SEO Meetup Rundown
I got the mail in my inbox from a fellow member of staff highlighting an SEO meet up in Cardiff. It sounded like a great idea. Us picking up many a tip, contacts and general digital information from the seminar.
There were 3 amigos (that's us btw) due to attend until one, unfortunately, had to pull out at the last minute, thank god for periscope!
Admission: I was a geek before it was cool. SEO and all things digital/computer have a reputation for being a bit geeky as it is deemed techy based. The event was held at Urban Tap house. A bar? With other people around, food, drink and all things social? Bursting the digital media myth with this testosterone filled, networking atmosphere! Great start!
I was looking forward to this meeting for many reasons.
- Different, interesting subjects.
- Measure and assess my knowledge against my peers
- Pick up valuable tips
- Make useful contacts
The venue was cosy, shall we say, but that was due to an initial allocation of 30 places, which was quickly changed to accommodate 50 people. This increase in traffic (boom boom) bodes well for future events.
There was an overflow room to cope with the added allocation, which we were banished too. I say banished, it was more pulled than pushed due to the plush seating arrangements. Both rooms had a visible screen and the sound was the same quality.
We did migrate to the other room for the all-important Q&A sections, a very worthwhile part of the meetup and dare I say it – the most valuable. We get to enjoy the plethora of the speakers knowledge and people can ask specific questions related to their industry and business. Tailored tips are what will benefit your business the most.
First up was Prabhat Sha from @OnlineSellerUK an expert in Amazon selling. Now, this wasn't the speaker I came for, as my interest in Amazon is purely social but it was an interesting and informative presentation. A lot of the information such as description and images were more beginner level but there were some nuggets of info for the more experienced seller. The fact that Amazon takes your supplier details alludes to their nefarious nature resulting in them first piggybacking and then steamrolling the competition. But then they are #1 and this is one, of many, reasons why.
That said you can still set up your own business successfully. Whether it's an initial hobby where you are looking to expand as you progress or for an already established business that is interested in adding this selling medium to your existing channels. Amazon can't and won't compete with everybody.
The Q & A session was excellent in fact. The variety and depth of questions allowed the audience to extract even more from Prabhat's knowledge banks, including an accidental reference to a saucy subject. People will always find innuendo in innovators. An interesting note to point out was that people not attending for that particular talk, started to consider using Amazon as a side project (chocolate teapots anyone?). And that can only be good for the skill set and hopefully – the purse strings.
Next up was Jess Spate @Jess_Spate We know Jess quite well. 2 of our directors have been on her beginners Google analytics course (how much Jess?) She also touched base with me initially about the vacancy I hold here at Floormaker. Obviously, I am very thankful for her help in securing this job – I won't need to mention my peerless interviewing technique! She only took 10% commission too. Sorry Jess, I am joking obviously.
It was 5%.
Moving on swiftly, Jess spoke about Google Analytics, anyone detect a theme here? This was more on the intermediate level so some people may have been waylaid at the start, but there was still some tips even the complete novice could take away. Steve, the event organiser was very helpful in asking for tips about basic analytics themes and mistakes so that all the audience could take some titbits from the presentation.
Again this was finished off with some great questions and superb answers. The most interesting point was that we are all hoping for Google to give us more information (solicited) on individual users. Big brother is getting bigger!
Last but not least was Jonathan of Stills, find him at @JonWalkerOM. He was the main reason (beer excluded) why I came to this meetup. Sorry Jess (again), but only because I consider myself excellent at GA already. The on-site optimisation is something I am working on most minutes of every day, in between my cmd + tab (alt +tab, PC users) of Google analytics.
Jonathon fell into SEO as a result of being jobless, not unemployed per se, but underused by his company. What started as a hobby, something to pass the time or just to justify his wages/presence turned into a career in SEO.
His talk covered all manner of on page SEO which I enjoyed immensely. Judging by the feedback from others I wasn't the only one. It was funny and informative and some of the do not do's were definitely being done by some attendees. Probably not from today onwards though. And that, right there is one of the main benefits of attending meetings like this. It's not all about what to do to promote your site/business/blog. Removing a faux pas can do just as good and in some cases – even better.
There was one question from an attendee that was billed as a beginner query. The blank looks on the rest of the crowd and Johnathon's face told a different story. I would like to repeat what it was but I still don't quite understand what it was. Better to keep my mouth shut and let people assume I don't know rather than open it and confirm it as fact! Probably should just google it.
FYI: Here is the best google article ever written. His words, not mine. But after reading it, I am more than inclined to agree.
The Q & A was excellent; consistent with the rest of the evening. These sections were a particular highlight for both my colleague and me, and long may they continue in future events.
Handily this brings me onto the feedback of the event. It wasn't going to be a bed of roses and I expected that. It being the first event along with the increased allocation would inevitably suffer teething problems.
The room turned out to be sufficient for all the people that attended. The overflow room could be used for people to chill out in. The only disadvantage being you might have missed ( ) face when his vibration tool comments weren't received as expected
For next time, I suspect a bigger room may be needed as great feedback on the course and increased attention/publicity will result in higher attendances.
Great variety of topics and the speakers covered a wide range of topics. Mixing things up helped keep the audience engaged throughout. Not sure how 2.5 hours of intense focus on PPC re-targeting would have gone down.
Thumbs up from me on this regard. I would like the level of the tutorial to be issued beforehand. This would save beginners attending an advanced course and vice versa.
The MC, the main man, the organiser, the grafter or whatever we are going by these days was excellent. Steve welcomed us and others in and made sure that everything was ok with us throughout the evening. Whether this was a result of guilt for deflecting us to the overflow room is another discussion entirely.
He filmed the whole thing on periscope which you can catch here http://bit.ly/periscopecardiffseo for a limited time. Be kind, the first ten minutes is a bit sketchy, teething problems remember! I will be posting a link when Steve posts it to a permanent host. So check back in the near future to get that link. Check back anyway, it'll be nice to see you! Cough cough session time cough cough!
I'd suggest that we have a sign in sheet next time, where people can volunteer their contact information for networking and possible future collaboration. I have set up a twitter list for the which you can subscribe to here http://bit.ly/seocardifftwitterlist. If you're not on the list, let me know and I will add you. For a fee! Sorry Free*
Until next time.
PS. Sorry Johnathon this article is <2000 words……you should have talked more. File under Faux Pas.