#LocalU – A Western New York Workshop Success!
Yes, I was at another LocalU event last year in Cleveland…but learning never stops…so I signed up for this one as soon as I got word of same!
What a great great and I mean great event! First, as a bit of explanation of what these events are and what they do….I thought that I’d acknowledge the leaders of same right off the bat!
David Mihm is the head “honcho” of the now more than a dozen successful LocalUniversity workshops and he needs to be commended for the creation and development of these informative four-hour crash courses in the basics of internet marketing–and especially Local Search. David leads the whole workshop session and ties together the various speakers and their tips ‘n guides and gets the whole room full of attendants excited about local search! #Kudos David!
And it’s not just David who has the “chops” that can help SMB owners get better at local search….the list is chock full of experts and yup, I read their blogs online daily! It’s largely a beginners’ event that is definitely intended for business owners. Attendees learn Search Engine Optimization tips and techniques that will lead to sustained, long-term search engine rankings–and, hopefully, new customers. And David has gathered just about the best crop of “local search” Professors to do the heavy lifting when it comes to learning about local search! Here’s a list of same from last Tuesday’ event in beautiful Ellicottville, NY…
Matt McGee, is the session leader that showed us all about how using Social Media can help your local search campaign….thanks Matt for those tips and I’m sure my clients will be very appreciative too!
Mike Blumenthal, called “Professor Maps” by one and all, showed the 100+ attendants at the afternoon workshop (and there were 100+ also present at the morning workshop sessions too!) all about how local search would be and could be worked on via various items, like reviews and citations too! So thanks Mike for the great take on all things Google!
Mary Bowling, lead us all on a trip along what one can do to upgrade our on-site SEO optimization issues, from all aspects and I think that many of us in the audience learned about some great ideas that were both tested and true! Mary, a big thanks to you and your Q&A answers later were spot-on girl! I note that you have spoken at many many SEO conferences and workshops and do appreciate your ability to show using real life examples very much indeed!
Aaron Weiche, was a new session leader for me – but his humour and general take on all things SEO was both one of the hits of the afternoon as well as some very intriguing rationale about local search. Many heads around me nodded…and I can add that I hope that Aaron becomes a “regular” at the LocalU workshops as he is a great addition! So thanks Aaron….much learning from you!
Cecelia Stewart, works on product marketing for Google’s local products. Before joining the marketing team, she worked as a Product Specialist for local features, including Google Places accounts and local reviews. She’s worked directly with hundreds of users to get their businesses up and running on Google. Her passion for the local space and for helping small businesses get online stems from the the time she’s spent working for her mother’s tiny cafe in Dallas, Texas. That’s the official bio for Cecelia, but as you most likely are aware, in SEO-land, getting to acutally “be” beside a Googler and then ask questions, is a chance of a lifetime and this opportunity was not missed by any of the SEO practitioners in the LocalU audience. And Cecelia handled herself well….she was point on with much of what Google says publically about SEO; she was privately just as concerned as we were with spammers and scammers and made notes I know about some issues that we raised as practitioners and that’s a good thing! So #Kudos to Cecelia….nice – very nice to meet a Googler in person and be able to chat on just about any SEO topic! Oh, and this was one of the first times I understand that the LocalU was also sponsored by Google Places too! So another big thanks too, for that insight by Google themselves!
And the sessions were over so quickly, the Q&A’s done too…that it was time to retire for a spot of refreshment and we all had a cocktail or two and then the room emptied….with lots of SMBs thinking, I’m sure, that there is more….so much more to local search SEO that they’d never even dreamed of…and more to learn and study and test.
One final note of thanks – that Mike Blumenthal invited our “Canadian Table” of myself, Dev Basu and Matthew Hunt back to his home in Olean along with everyone else on the team of session leaders for a home-cooked meal and talk and discussion on all things SEO! It was a meal that was wonderful – especially when you realize that Mike’s wife made just about every single table-laden item from locally grown beets and corn and ham and potatoes etc etc. The homegrown apple crisp was delicious and the cold beers and sharing a meal with this kind of SEO expert and a Googler too – was about the best SEO bonding I’ve ever had! So a big @KUDOS to Mike and his whole family for the wonderful dinner….Mike you are truly a “country squire” and if I wasn’t “in” SEO myself – YOU’d be the guy I’d hire to run my own SMB local campaign!
I just received this note from Mike Blumenthal on how the LocalU is run –
” Thanks, Jim, but one bit of “correction”. David does MC the event and works very hard on most aspects of the event. He is most certainly a glue and we run under the Getlisted brand but Getlisted Local U run more as a cooperative. Decision making is shared, income is shared (when there is any), work load is shared, content is continually refined and revisited by everyone. The development kudos go to all that have participated and worked together to make this happen. Those of us that were there at the beginning: Mary Bowling, Matt McGee, Ed Reese, David & myself and those that have joined us a bit later: Aaron Weiche, Mike Ramsey and Will Scott all deserve credit for the event and what it has become…”
So, I stand corrected on the way that the LocalU is run…and as I see it explained above by Mike, it’s a solid biz model that works, eh! So #kudos too all of the LocalU Co-operative!Google