Bend WebCAM Blog

Why Marty Weintraub loves Bend WebCAM

July 25th, 2014

Marty-Weintraub-bend-webcamMarty Weintraub agreed to come back to Bend WebCAM following an overwhelmingly positive response to his presentation at the 2012 conference. He will present on the latest in Facebook and social media marketing, announcing his  presentation title soon.

Marty said, “Bend WebCAM is a coveted regional online marketing conference, on par with substantially larger cities. I’m thrilled to keynote this conference as well as to sample Bend’s famed brewhouse fare. Grab your up-close-and-personal conference pass now or you’ll read about the conference somewhere else and wish you had attended.”

Marty is the founder and Chief Evangelist of aimClear, an online marketing agency, dominant in audience targeting and customer acquisition. His firm serves such iconic global brands as Intel, Firestone, Siemens, Victaulic, Tektronix, Dell, Eurail and The Washington Post. aimClear was twice named a top workplace place in Minnesota by MN Business Magazine, including 2014. Marty was honored as “Search Personality Of The Year” at the 2013 US Search Awards and judged the 2014 European Search Awards. Marty is a fixture on the international conference circuit and was named the #3 most influential PPC professional in 2012 and #2 in 2013 by PPCHero.com.

 

Mike King talks about ROI and Content on Moz Blog

July 18th, 2014

mike-king-content-marketing-conference Upcoming BendWebCAM keynote speaker, Mike King from iPullRank is featured today on the Moz Blog‘s White Board Friday segment talking about proving ROI potential of content campaigns.

Mike will be the opening keynote at the Bend WebCAM Web & Marketing Conference this October talking about the latest trends in content marketing.

Read more about content marketing on the Moz Blog.

Don’t forget about our early adopter price! The early adopter price for a two-day ticket to Bend WebCAM is now available for $299 – save $180 off the regular ticket price of $479. This discount ends September 11, 2014 at 5 p.m. and then the ticket will go up.

Register HERE to get the discount.

6th Annual SEMpdx Rooftop Networking Party presented by Moz

July 17th, 2014

Bend WebCAM would like you to join our friends at SEMpdx for some old school networking in old town Portland at the Embassy Suites in downtown Portland. Enjoy good food, drinks and conversations as a DJ spins tunes. Don’t miss the best networking event of the summer!  sempdx-rooftopclosejpg-d6b704cbddc50b21

The SEMpdx annual Rooftop Party promises to be the most talked-about networking event of the year. Many professional organizations will be joining us on the roof. Be on top of the latest developments going on at the most innovative marketing associations in the Pacific Northwest! Register Now!

Location: Embassy Suites, 319 SW Pine St., Portland, OR 97204

Date: Tuesday, August 12th

Time: 5:30pm – 9pm

Cost: Register Now $20 through August 6th; $30 after August 6th; $40 at the door

John Doherty guest blog post: Building an online community program

July 15th, 2014

by John Doherty, Online Marketing Manager at HotPads

Building a company is hard. Building a new team within a company is just as hard. If you’ve ever built your own team from scratch, you know challenges of prioritizing who you hire, the timing of that hire, and even worse is knowing when someone is not the right fit for a position or your company.

In my talk at Bend WebCam this year, I am not going to talk about hiring strategies or questions to ask in interviews. Instead, I want to talk about a few pieces that people rarely talk about when building an inhouse marketing team. These are:

  1. Invest in technology now, not later.
  2. Your job is to train, inspire, and bring together the pieces, not to be an individual contributor.
  3. Communicate your vision, and communicate it often. Be willing to let others have ownership of it too.

Let’s dive into each one briefly.

Invest in Technology
In a digital world, you are as good as your tools. Your strongest tool is your brain (don’t leave home without it), but after that your physical tools and the efficiencies they allow you to enjoy determine your success.

Before you hire a team, and especially after, ensure that you have both the monetary and human budget to investigate, purchase, and integrate new marketing tools. At HotPads I am lucky that I also have the Zillow.com marketing team to lean on for tools like Sprinklr or SEOclarity to track a lot of our marketing metrics, but I also hired an email marketing manager before we had an email marketing platform in place. We spent 4 months using one engineer almost exclusively to integrate our data into the ExactTarget platform. While the email manager was brought onboard to in part guide this implementation, she also would have been more successful short term had I leaned on the other resources I had to get the platform up and running for HotPads before she started.

I did not make this mistake with my content manager. We launched a new blog about two weeks after she started. The blog was a process I started two months prior to that because I knew whoever I hired would need a better platform that what we were currently on (when I joined, we had a very small blog audience on the antiquated TypePad platform). Since then we have been able to grow our blog audience significantly because we had the new platform and a writing talent acquisition vendor in place.

Invest in technology to help your team succeed.

Your Job
Repeat after me – train, inspire, bring together. If you are building a team, this is your job. Rand Fishkin, the Wizard of Moz, wrote an amazing post called “If Management Is The Only Way Up, We’re All F-d”. I agree with that. Some people, dare I say many people, are meant to be individual contributors. You get your head down, do work, and make magic happen.

If you’re building a team, you are likely not that person. Will Critchlow, CMO of online marketing agency Distilled, talks about the three kinds of people – discoverers, implementers, and sharers. If you are a manager, your job is the first and the last. You discover new ideas, you talk with your team to implement them, and then you share their successes with the broader company to get increased buy-in and budget to keep making the magic happen. You’re a strategist, not an implementer.

Building and managing a team means training that team to be the best individual contributors they can be, while at the same time identifying the ones who could be great leaders someday. Your job is to inspire them to action, to show them where both them individually and the team as a whole are heading. If you inspire your team and show them that you both trust and believe in them, you will win their allegiance and make great things happen. Great leaders do nothing apart from those they lead.

 

Communicate Your Vision, Often
Communication is hard. At Distilled (where I worked for 2.5 years), we frequently said “Communication solves all problems.” When you refuse to take part in back-channel communication and instead Turn On The Lights (which is one of Zillow’s Core Values), you are communicating and working towards solving problems.

Your job in building a team is to communicate your vision for the company/marketing/product/etc to your team. You have a vision, right? To be a great leader and to build the right team, you must have a vision for where you will end up. And after that vision has been set, you communicate it to your team to get them on board with the vision you are setting.

As with any successful mission, you also take seriously any feedback given from your team. If they do not believe that the vision is right, they should have the freedom, and even be encouraged, to speak up. I have told my team that if they disagree and do not speak up, that is when something has gone wrong. They should always speak up, and I should always listing.

Communicate your vision often, be open to feedback always.

Building a team is hard. Being a leader is hard. Let’s unpack that more at Bend WebCam this year. I’m excited; are you?

john-dohertyJohn leads online marketing at HotPads.com, the nationwide rentals business owned by Zillow. From his agency days at Distilled in New York City, his experience spans all sizes of clients in a wide variety of industries. In his spare time he is a cyclist, rock climber, photographer, world traveler and an all-around adrenaline junkie. If he could live anywhere, he’d settle in Switzerland with a vacation home in Costa Rica

 

 

 

Bend WebCAM Brown Bag with Eric Hardenbrook

July 11th, 2014

eric-hardenbrook-bendwebcamThe FREE  Brown Bag Lunch series is back with  Eric Hardenbrook of Hardenbrook Marketing Solutions on Friday, August 29, 12:00 noon at Looney Bean Coffee, 961 NW Brooks St., in Downtown Bend. This event is free, but space is limited so be you must register here.

The talk will be held outdoors on the back lawn overlooking Mirror Pond. Bring your own sandwich, salad and sunscreen, plus a folding chair or blanket to sit on. And support Looney Bean by enjoying one of their yummy iced coffee drinks or smoothies.

His topic will be generating and managing customer reviews of your business. Positive customer reviews have become a critical component for effectively marketing your business. Constantly generating a stream of positive reviews for your business can be a daunting task, one most business owners push off to another day. Eric will briefly cover the importance of creating a system for attracting reviews, suggest ways to avoid bad reviews and introduce several tools that can help make the process more manageable for you. Come get valuable insights for integrating this important marketing component into your business.

About Eric:

After 20+ years of running and marketing his own construction businesses, Eric realized that quite a few folks were asking him questions about how to market their business, that he could help them and, that he enjoyed doing it. The result was Hardenbrook Marketing Solutions  which opened in 2010, providing business and marketing consulting for clients in the US and abroad.

The majority of his consulting clients needed help creating and managing their presence in local search results and gaining customer review online. So, in 2012, he opened Customers to Me  to help businesses address these needs.

Currently Eric works with a few select marketing clients, enjoys life in Bend, playing piano, cycling and the smell of walnut lumber running through the table saw. He is also a happy member of the artisan team at Black Canyon Woodworks.

Cindy Krum guest blog post: Mobile SEO and the Future of the Industry

July 11th, 2014

by Cindy Krum, CEO and Founder of MobileMoxie

cindy-krum-mobile-moxie-logoEveryone knows that SEO is important if you have a website, but many companies are still not giving mobile SEO the focus it deserves. While it is true that desktop rankings can have a strong influence on mobile rankings, it is not the only thing at play. Desktop and mobile rankings differ in a variety of different ways, and all digital marketers should be aware of those differences and know how their SEO decisions will impact their mobile rankings and traffic. In a mobile search result you can expect:

  • Less room and potential rankings that can show above the fold
  • More impact  when PPC results are present
  • Indented sub-links with expansion arrows for sub-sub-links
  • More potential for Universal Results like Images, News and Video to rank
  • More potential for Knowledge Graph Results to display
  • More App Rankings and Map Rankings
  • Schema.org and other Micro-Format incorporation in the results

In the past couple of years, Google has been putting more focus on mobile. Some of the things they have done, like launching a smartphone crawler, and announcing deep-linking in Android apps and launching Enhanced Campaigns in AdWords have had obvious mobile appeal, but, other things that they have done like adding functionality to Google Now or updating the search algorithm to improve results for voice and image search submissions may not have been as obviously focused on mobile, but are still very important for the future developments.

At SMX Advanced in Seattle, 2014, Matt Cutts explained that mobile search continues to grow and a very rapid pace and that Google is very close to the point where the number of mobile search submissions will surpass the number of desktop searches. Savvy digital marketers and Google strategists both understand that this growth in mobile search queries is already trading-off with desktop search, and as it continues, that tradeoff will be painful for companies that do not have a mobile-friendly site.

The other important thing to understand is that good mobile search results broaden your appeal to different use-cases and different times of day. Not only is mobile search growing, but the total number of searches is still growing because mobile devices expand the availability and time that people can search, especially when they are not near a computer. For mobile-friendly sites this means that your marketing messages can be more actionable and multi-channel, because you know, for instance, that someone watching your TV commercial probably has their phone within reach, and could search for your brand or you products, and take action immediately, rather than having to remember to do it the next time they are in front of a computer. cindy-krum-2

Tablets are also changing digital marketing and dramatically altering people’s media consumption habits, as more and more people cancel their cable subscription and switch to more on-demand TV options like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon Prime for video. Google has not launched a tablet crawler, but already keyword rankings and SERP presentation for one keyword term can be different from desktop to tablet to mobile, and can even be different depending on the orientation of the device – landscape or portrait. While this change makes keyword rankings across different devices harder to track, it gets closer to Google’s goal of providing the best results to each device with as much contextual relevance as possible.

One of the most obvious first steps to starting a mobile SEO project is to see how your site performs on mobile search, and compare the desktop rankings with mobile and tablet. Hopefully you are ranking number one on all devices for searches on your brand name, and even better if you have indented links to inside pages below the primary ranking. The next step is to test all those links. These are the pages that will likely be getting the most mobile SEO traffic but believe it or not, many huge brands forget to test these links and consequently direct visitors to mobile-unfriendly desktop pages, redirect all visitors to the mobile home page or even show an error. Next, look for sub-sub-links, in the AJAX down arrows that sometimes show up in mobile search results – these should be checked too. Even sites that are built in Responsive Design can have problems here when not all of the desktop pages were transitioned into Responsive Design.

Sometimes mobile SEO is a lot about protecting desktop rankings, and this is especially true in the case of Responsive Design. Responsive Design can be great for mobile and tablet visitors, but if it is not done skillfully, it can create pages that are slow to load, even on desktops. Remember that load time has a direct impact on rankings for all devices, but it is thought to be given more weight in mobile. Google has said that mobile visitors actually expect mobile pages to load faster than desktop, which can be quite a challenge, given phones lower processing power and potentially spotty data connections with the carrier. That said, slow sites will drive the bounce rate up, and when you are in a Responsive Design, that means high bounce rates on your primary set of urls – not just a mobile sub-set of urls. In that scenario, desktop rankings could suffer in the name of mobile SEO, which is not a good over-all decision – especially since the same pages will likely be even slower on mobile, and slow mobile pages won’t perform well either.

Google has started to look more at design cues, and insists on being able to crawl JavaScript and Stylesheets – which also may be related to mobile SEO. They want to understand how your page will look, and a lot of that instruction is moving into the control of the external files like CSS and JavaScript. Google is encouraging webmasters to in-line the CSS and JavaScript that is needed to render the content above the fold on a mobile page. They are also starting to provide user-experience feedback for mobile sites, in the Google PageSpeed insights. This tool checks to make sure pages have a high-quality mobile experience. This addition of design cues to the tool is important to note – Anything that can be included in a Google Web tool can be crawled and counted in an algorithm, so it is likely these things are already in the mobile algorithm or will be soon:

  • Have the ‘view-port’ set correctly for mobile screen sizes
  • Make fonts and tap-targets are big enough for mobile users
  • Make the CSS calls are efficient, and extra un-necessary CSS rules and classes removed
  • Avoid including plugins that would not work on mobile browsers

Google also seems to care more about things like Schema.org and micro-formats in mobile, but there may be an ulterior motive here. Google seems to show their Knowledge Graph results more in mobile and tablet search, which is often great for the user, but usually includes information that they have scraped from your site, especially if it is marked up with schema.org tagging. This is a mixed blessing, because you get the increased exposure and top billing with the Knowledge Graph result, but it may give visitors enough information that they never get to your site. In general, it is still a good thing, but it can throw off your success metrics, when people find all the information they need in Google without actually clicking-through to your site. (In mobile SEO, we have been dealing with this from map results for a long time!)

cindy-krum-3If you are familiar with Google Now, then you may already suspect the next step in this progression. Information in the Knowledge Graph, as well as other information that Google culls from your activity in Google+, Gmail and your search and location history is aggregated in the Google Now – which is built into Android phones, and can be added into iPhones from the AppStore. It acts as an intuitive digital assistant, guessing about the information you want to know, and presenting it to you without even the need for a search. Google Now also often seems like a beta environment for lots of the things Google wants to push to Google.com, but with it’s focus on voice search, will also be incredibly important for Google’s future integration with the ‘wearables’ like Google Glass and others that they already have in development. Many of these will rely on voice search because they have no convenient place for including keyboards. So the future of search and mobile SEO is exciting, possibly mind-blowing, potentially invasive or depending on your perspective, all of the above. Regardless of where you think it is all going, the first steps are making sure your content works, ranks and can drive a good experience for mobile visitors from search.

cindy-krum

Cindy Krum is passionate about bringing creative online marketing solutions to clients and is the fearless leader of MobileMoxie, LLC, a mobile marketing consultancy that hosts the most cutting-edge online mobile marketing tool set available today. Cindy is the author of Mobile Marketing: Finding Your Customers No Matter Where They Are, published by Que Publishing. She brings fresh and creative ideas to her clients, providing on-site training and workshops, as well as speaking at national and international trade events on a regular basis. She’s an active member of the search community and has been published in Website Magazine, Advertising & Marketing Review, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch,Marketing Land, SEOmoz and Search Engine Strategies Magazine.

LAST CHANCE! Get Your Two-Day Bend WebCAM Ticket for $229 before 5 p.m. Today

May 6th, 2014

Last chance to save $250 off your ticket to the only web, social media, creative and marketing conference of its kind. After today, the price goes up.

Here’s how you can get the insane discount:

Option 1) Bring someone who has never attended Bend WebCAM before and both of you will save $250 off registration (regular ticket price is $479).

Option 2) If you’re a Bend WebCAM virgin who can’t find a Bend WebCAM veteran to buddy with, never fear. The deal still works when you bring another first-timer with you. You’ll both save $250 off registration (regular ticket price is $479).

Still looking for your Bend WebCAM virgin? Email us at info@bendwebcam.com and we’ll play matchmaker.

Register by 5:00 pm TODAY by using this link to get the deal before it’s gone.

ATTENDEE TESTIMONIAL: BRENT GRENFELL OF DANA SIGNS

May 5th, 2014

Small Business Owners attend Bend WebCAM like Dana Signs“I’ve found Bend WebCAM to be one of the most valuable conferences for my sign business in Bend, Oregon. Not only were the sessions on social media and website content marketing helpful for me when creating and managing all of my social media accounts and web content, but I also participated in the Hot Seat session where my previous website was reviewed by search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) pros who offered concrete guidance and advice. I was able to take their recommendations and implement them into a new website for Dana Signs where I’ve seen substantial growth in visits and sales.”

Brent Grenfell, Owner of Dana Signs, a sign business with locations in Bend and Redmond Oregon

The Bend WebCAM Temporary Insanity Pre-Agenda Special

April 7th, 2014

Call us crazy, but for a very limited time – before we announce the conference agenda – we at Bend WebCAM are offering our best deal ever on registration. There won’t be a cheaper ticket available. EVER.

Just bring someone who has never attended Bend WebCAM before and both of you will save $250 off registration!

If you went to Bend WebCAM any or every time between 2009 and 2013, you know what an amazing brain-boosting experience it is. Not to mention what a ridiculous value it always is. Now, when you invite a newcomer to Bend WebCAM 2014, you and your friend will get an insane-in-the-brain-deal on registration for only $229 each!*

We’re talking a savings of $250 off registration for the two-day conference on October 13-14, 2014 in downtown Bend. That’s an absolute screaming deal, especially compared to the $1,500-$2,000 registration fees you’d pay for a big city conference that might have many of the same speakers. So don’t miss out. Like the name suggests, the Temporary Insanity Pre-Agenda Special is temporary indeed. When we come to our senses and announce this year’s agenda and star-studded lineup of speakers on Tuesday, May 6, the deal is done.

BUY NOW!

* If you’re a Bend WebCAM virgin who can’t find a Bend WebCAM veteran to buddy with, never fear. The deal still works when you bring another first-timer with you.

 

Speaker Testimonial: Christina Knight

October 28th, 2013

“I wanted to reach out and say thank you so much for inviting me and taking care of me so well at Bend WebCAM. I thoroughly enjoyed being part of your community and returned to Sweden feeling energized and inspired. Bend, Oregon impressed me as a very friendly, exciting and inspiring place and the Oxford Hotel ranks as one of the best hotels I ever stayed at.”

- Christina Knight, Creative Director from INGO – Ogilvy & Grey Stockholm