Hot Seat - Jan. 2015 SEMpdx EventFor those of you not familiar with the Hot Seat concept, it goes a little something like this…

You share your website, your baby, the vehicle for your business hopes and dreams, the technological and marketing feat for which you are endlessly proud with a panel of marketing experts who proceed to tell you absolutely everything that’s wrong with it.

My very first experience with SEMpdx in 2007 was at a Hot Seat, I paid $125 and proceeded to get more than $2000 worth of very relevant and actionable advice. There’s not an extra charge to submit your site for the January 13th, 2015 SEMpdx event, but you do need to be a registered event attendee 

The site reviewed was Avery Print & Mail Center. I had been working with Avery since 1999 and the goal for this new site was to combine their printing products with printing technology to make postcard, business card and other marketing printing easier for their small to mid size business customers.  (They ultimately partnered with Modern Postcard to absorb that part of the business and as of 2013 were purchased by CCL Industries).

What I learned from the Hot Seat was enormously helpful and incredibly actionable. Here are just a few recommendations:

  • Create a video sitemap. We had a lot of video and hadn’t created a proper video sitemap structure.
  • Focus less on products and more on target segments and problem we were solving. We were trying to reach our SOHO (small office, home office), Hybrid Mom and Mid-Size business markets but content focus was around products.
  • Refine our keywords to be focused more around our target markets, not just the high volume keywords around the products.
  • Test having some of the downloadable templates on the home page since that was a popular call to action.
  • Bonus: We were preparing for focus group research and the panel recommended testing images (turned out the people and product images outperformed the standard product-only hero shots).

Also what I learned that day was how important regional organizations are to professional development. I joined the organization as a member in 2008, became a Board Member and am now on the Advisory Board. It’s an amazing aggregation of smart, wonderful people and becoming a member has greatly impacted my professional growth.

As my SEMpdx Hot Seat Site Review illustrated, you won’t just get help around search but in lots of areas important to effective digital marketing. Panel speakers include Michael Cottam, Mike Arnesen, Scott Hendison and Kevin Getch.

Whether your area of expertise in marketing is paid media, technical SEO, local search, social, content or PR, you’ll learn something from the SEMpdx Hot Seat Site Review.

Submit your site to this great panel of experts. It’s hard be told where you’ve gone wrong with your website but remember we’re all in this together; learning, failing, testing and winning. Learn how SEMpdx can help. Sign up for our January 13, 2015 Hot Seat Site Reviews.

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