I attended a seminar earlier this week in Chicago entitled “Secrets of SEO: What the Competition Doesn’t Want You to Know“. Being there confirmed to me that all the things you would have to pay money for in a class room environment is now available for free online – At least in the world of internet marketing. Not only that, but first hand experience tops everything as I feel the speakers (Reps from Constant Contact and Network Solutions) really didn’t offer anything unique to say that you couldn’t learn more from via first time experimentation.
Constant Contact is an email marketing and survey service. Their goal was to make us “aware” of email marketing strategies in hopes of us becoming new clients. I haven’t done much research into email marketing but I would probably write a script and organize my own process/logging before I used them. They are VERY white hat, so much so that it could effect their customers. Mostly because they have a policy that if one of your marketing emails gets reported as spam out of every 1000 your account may be suspended. A bit harsh for a service that can go up to $225 a month if you go all out. I would defiantly consider other options.
I was a little more impressed with Network Solutions presentation. They are partnered with Constant Contact but provide hosting and website marketing services. I used these guys to host one of my domains six years ago and dropped them when I started managing my own servers (Their prices were starting to become outrageous too). The man speaking was giving us a 90 minute crash course on internet marketing which is usually reserved for an entire semester. There also was a slim down version of it which usually went five hours. The speaker knew his stuff and I’m sure I could have learned a bit from him if he had the time to go into more details.
I stress against newcomers going to seminars like this however because the nature of them is usually “crash course” oriented. I noticed several people were left with questions which were a bit too much for them to processes. When you hit walls like that it disrupts the learning process which is why I’m such a big advocate of independent studies. However if you have the money to throw at it, any experience is a positive one. I would suggest researching in advance though.
Independent Internet Education > Seminars
To prove my point, you’re reading the following tip where? One example is when they were talking about researching and using keywords to put in content so that you could rank high for them. They had just stated the importance of using free and paid keyword tools and left out a HUGE tip in my opinion. While not everyone already owns a site or has existing and well ranked content, the tip they should have given would be to use Google Trends and compare a keyword which you already rank well for. For example. You already know from a #2 spot ranking with the keyword “digital srl lenses” Google Analytics (I hope you’re using some kind of logging software) tells you you’re getting 5,000 unique hits a month from. You can assume the number one spot gets about 5% more give or take a bit – its not an exact science. Now when you compare a keyword like “digital slr cameras” and see that its popularity for search is double the height of “digital srl lenses” search graph, then you start to get an idea of EXACTLY how useful ranking for that term would be. Your hits for being #2 with that term would come to 10,000.
I don’t mean to come off anti-seminars/classes etc. as they are really good in many respects. I think they are best geared for intermediate level users. Too soon for beginners and too slow for advanced users. There are always exceptions however.
Also my apologies for the lack of posting. I just bought a house among many other activities and finally have all my stuff in it. If you plan to move to the northern Chicago area and ever need a realtor, home inspector or attorney then shoot me an email. For a first time home buyer I feel like I had an ace of a team that helped make everything go smoothly – and its not often I give recommendations (as you can tell from my rant above).
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