SMX West: San José

SMX West 2012 – A First-Timer’s Experience “You must unlearn what you have learned.” – Yoda   Man, was that the truth. As you can gather, I am a big fan of Star Wars and attribute a lot of my awkwardness as a kid to the fact that I believed I would some day be ‘discovered’ to have ‘powers’ and become some awesome class of Jedi; as only a high midichlorian count can provide. Unfortunately, the Jedi Council has not called… yet. Going to SMX for the first time is what I imagine the experience of visiting the Jedi Council would be like. Sure, I have been to conferences before. I have met stars and important dignitaries in my life and travels. Even so, it is something all together different to meet the big names in an industry that one is passionate about. That marks the difference; I cared about the people I was going to be meeting; the material they would present and most importantly – I was a willing to forget what I thought I knew about The Force… sorry, I mean SEO. Before I go too far into my personal experience at SMX West 2012, I need to share a great big thanks to cj Advertising for footing the bill for this opportunity to learn and network. I had only been with them for about four months before they took a chance on their newest SEO Specialist and flew me from good ol’ Nashville to the beautiful town (or city as most would call it) of San José. After experiencing the wonderful adventure that is flying nowadays and making it through the 8 hour flight, we arrived in San José around midnight. Starving and jet lagged, my co-workers and I journeyed to the Marriott at which we were staying and discovered that there was a great little Italian restaurant still open! It wasn’t a bad start to my SMX experience. Side Note: That little Italian restaurant was absolutely amazing and goes by the name Original Joe’s. If you are ever in San José, I highly recommend this spot. In meetings prior to attending SMX, we determined what sessions I would attend as the only SEO going on this excursion. (My other two counterparts are focused on SEM, namely display advertising and PPC – and we ended up becoming clients of Acquisio thanks to the conference). You may be wondering, ‘but Chris, SMX West 2012 happened in February, why are you just now writing about it?’ Well, to be honest, I am always skeptical of new things especially when it involves something I’m passionate about, like my children. Before presenting anything, I typically like to investigate it thoroughly and determine if it is worth the effort to pursue. Look at all the hubbub surrounding business reviews. We all read reviews, testimonials or feedback of a business as well as take heed of what people say about a service before committing time, money, effort or resources to it. Information should be parsed though in a similar fashion. Plus, after getting back, I had A LOT of work to do for the clients and embarked on a five month journey. Let me just say that the project that came out of SMX was affectionately named: Project FIX. The creamy goodness in all of that? I have highlighted items below from SMX that I have tested, used and know every SEO should be implementing in their strategy or best practices thanks to months of testing and fact finding. Here are the sessions I attended during SMX West, click to jump...

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