SES Session: Kevin Ryan Unplugged

Kevin Ryan - Unplugged - SES Chicago

“I was surprised when getting involved with this conference how many people could not distinguish between strategy and tactic,” stated Kevin Ryan at the top of my final session of a whirlwind SES Chicago.

“Kevin Ryan Unplugged” was a chance for Kevin Ryan, the man behind it all, to share his own personal thoughts on the conference and for attendees to offer compliments or suggestions.

It also served as a great bookend for my coverage of this excellent conference.

If I were to sum up the conference as a whole, I would, as Scott Miller did in a previous session, break it down to three C’s:

  • Conceptuality
  • Communication
  • Coordination

SES Session: Landing Page Optimization Clinic

Landing Page Optimization Clinic at SES Chicago

Focus is a tricky thing. Especially when describing a product that has so much too it. How can you possibly explain a detailed product, like a customized laptop, for instance – in just a few bullet points? The ideal prospect will want to read about every last feature – that’s simply their demeanor.

Let’s take a different, broader product. Pizza, for example. It’s absolutely fantastic that major pizza chains allow you to order pizza online using landing pages, and I truly hope that the best pizza in the Twin Cities will not only begin doing so soon – but call TopRank Online Marketing immediately to provide their site with the treatment their pie deserves.

SES Session: So You Want to Be A Search Marketer?

So You Want to Be A Search Marketer, SES Chicago Attendees?

Well, do you?

If you’re reading this, and you’re not a relative or friend of mine trying to figure out just what it is I do, the answer is probably affirmative.

A more accurate question could read, “Should You Want to Be a Search Marketer?”

The answer could be found in this aptly labeled “Just For Fun” track on Day 4 of SES Chicago.

The panel, moderated by Kevin Ryan, included:

  • Dave Davies, CEO of Beanstalk
  • David Wallace, CEO and Founder of SearchRank
  • Nicole St. Martin, Search Marketing Analyst for HotGigs
  • David Hoffman, from Search Smart Marketing

So should you?

SES Session: Managing PPC For Multiple Clients

Managing Multiple PPC Accounts at SES Chicago

“Managing PPC for Multiple Clients” had for me the pleasure of being a “slow-burn” of a session at SES Chicago.

For those unfamiliar with a term I may or may not have created, it means that it did not leave an immediately strong impression on me, until I later was fortunate enough to review the notes I had taken.

The session, moderated by the always exceptional Kevin Ryan featured a panel of:

  • Joe Rosza, President of SEO Columbus
  • Matt Naeger, VP & General Counsel for Impaqt
  • Christopher Upkes, Director of Agency Business Development for Adapt Technologies
  • Craig Macdonald, VP of Marketing for Alliances & Product Management

So what was is it that resonated with me most about this session upon further reflection?

SES Session: Images and Search Engines

Images and Search Engines at SES Chicago
What’s great about working in a new and constantly changing industry, that still manages to adhere to several of the rules of the past, is that you can take an old adage and play around with it and try to coin it to fit our new world.

For example, “An image is worth a thousand words,” could turn into:

  • “An image is worth a thousand links”
  • “An image search result is worth a thousand text search results”
  • “A properly branded image is worth a thousand non-branded images’
    And so on…

So were the themes of the hyper-paced “Images & Search Engines” today at SES Chicago.

Moderated by Anne Kennedy, the panel featured:

  • Shari Thurow, Founder & SEO Director at Omni Marketing

SES Session: Podcast and Audio Search

ses chicago day 3 002

Oftentimes, the birth of one technology, while dubbed a death-knell or replacement for an existing technology, instead simply means an evolution.

Television, for example, was not a death-knell for film nor for radio. In fact, film & radio have evolved to not only exist in their original environments, but spill over into the newest technical mediums.

The web is perhaps the strongest example of this, as film, television, and even radio have migrated over to this medium.

So was the starting point for my first session at SES Chicago – Day 3 titled “Podcast & Audio Search.”

The session, moderated by Danny Sullivan featured on its panel:

  • Amanda Watlington, Owner of Searching For Profit
  • Daron Rabin, From WebMaster Radio

SES Session: SEO and Development – Get It Together

Get It Together

It seems nearly every conference will have an overarching theme to it. (Rather, it seems the sessions I choose to attend at any given conference will have an overarching theme to them).

The final session I attended during Day 2 of SES Chicago, “SEO & Development: Get It Together” spoke further on what I had been seeing throughout the day, and served as a nice bookend to my first conference session, “Usability & SEO”.

The conference, moderated by Chris Boggs, included on its panel:

  • Geoff Karcher, President/Owner of The Karcher Group
  • Sage Lewis, President of
  • Colton Perry, SVP of Technology at NetPlus Marketing

The session continued on the overall theme of SEO & design working together from the conception of a website and through each of its days to ensure a powerful blend of creative and SEO best practices.

SES Session: Usability and SEO

Usability & SEO at SES Chicago

Truly, is there anything in the world more beautiful than a perfectly designed website?

One that is easy to find, easy to navigate, all while burning its design into the heart of its visitors?

Like a perfect marriage, it contains seamless and complimentary aspects of all that have a stake in its creation to the point that its union seems almost too easy.

Our nation’s high divorce rate serves to remind us that it’s truly not as easy as it looks. My first session at SES Chicago, “Usability & SEO” served as a reminder that these two complimentary concepts do not blend seamlessly without a bit of work.

“Usability & SEO”, moderated by Jeffery Rohrs, included on its panel:

  • Shari Thurow, Founder & SEO Director from Omni Marketing

SES Chicago: Traveling Locally To Ensure Clients Are Found Universally


While I am not native to Chicago (regular readers are well aware that TopRank Marketing is native to one of the 50 toughest states in the union – Minnesota) – it is a far more local journey than my last two excursions, to SES San Jose and the Bulldog Reporter Media Relations Conference in DC.

My objective at SES Chicago next week will be to both cover sessions for the benefit of our valued readers here at Online Marketing Blog and to learn as much as is possible in a short week about topics such as universal search and marketing with social media – what are best practices, what are the most powerful tactics?