October SEM Hot Seat Recap
The Hot Seat event held on Wednesday October 10th was quite informative for attendees, as the five panelists did give some pretty specific details about things that would help visibility and usability.
Even though I was one of the panelists, I don’t think I’m being biased when I say that this session was as good as many review sessions I’ve attended at large search marketing conferences.
We got off to a bit of a late start because the hotel did not have the room ready upon our arrival at 6 p.m. There was no food available, and they hadn’t even set up the bar. The panelists had to scramble to be able to get their food eaten by the time the presentation part of the event actually started at 6:30 p.m, and when it was over, the food was pretty much gone.
Other than that, it was fantastic, and there was no shortage of knowledge among the panelists. Like usual, several of the websites had similar problems with much of the fundamental aspects of search engine optimization simply missing altogether, but they were all unique in their issues too.
Some of the information may not have been exactly what the submitter wanted to hear, such as my own suggestion to “start completely over – your site is designed with frames and it’s sort of hopeless”, but others were given productive suggestions for not only SEO tips, but for basic usability issues as well, like presenting a professional appearance, certain poor font choices, and placing contact information visibly on each page.
It’s hard to think that anyone could have attended this and not learned something, and I was no exception. Theres something about being in a group setting that always brings out the best observations and sharing of ideas.
I particularly liked the fact that we only had five websites to review instead of six or seven. In the 90 minutes we are given to review the sites and answer questions, six websites is one too many, and I think attendees got a better value because of it.
I would also like to see some specific questions be prepared in advance by the site submitter, but the SES and Pubcon method of “taking it as it comes” seems to be working well also.
If you are a web developer, search marketer, or even a business owner in Portland and you’re not a member of SEMpdx, then you’re missing a huge opportunity to get some fantastic advice and knowledge, as well as a great networking opportunity each month. Remember, you don’t have to be a member to attend events, but you do get a discount if you are.
The next event on Tuesday November 13th is a new format for us, and promises to be excellent, covering a broad range of topics. Registration is open now