Search Marketing Expo Notes

on March 3, 2008

I’m back from Santa Clara, California, ready to put into practice all of the ideas I took away from the Search Marketing Expo.It’s always a challenge to fly anywhere via Chicago’s O’Hara Airport with multiple delays, cancelled flights and lost luggage, but at the end of the day, it was worth spending the time to gain wisdom from experts and make new friends in the business of search marketing.

During the three days of the conference, I attended sessions on blended search, using video for high impact for local businesses, understanding consumers using persona models, managing an online reputation, social media, and multiple strategies for search engine optimization.

The reoccurring message I kept hearing was that the greatest opportunity for visibility (and subsequent revenue) for local businesses lies in creating an online presence with maps, user reviews, and use of video. Local businesses must start integrating the use of search engines to tailor a favorable experience upon arrival. A restaurant should post a full menu, while offering incentives such as discount coupons to encourage traffic. Also describing the “around location” is helpful, by leveraging landmarks such as “located near Best Buy in the Nashville West Shopping Center”.

As more businesses understand the use of the Internet as part of their overall marketing strategy, the traditional brick and mortar store without an intentional web presence will get left behind. As the old adage goes, “A business without a sign is a sign of no business.”