GetListed University Spokane- New All Day Agenda Local UniversityI am traveling and speaking in the Pacific Northwest this week. Get Listed Portland on Tuesday, Searchfest on Wednesday and Getlisted University Spokane on Friday. Needless to say it will be a light posting week.

I am particularly excited about GetListed University Spokane for two reasons. It celebrates GetListed University’s first year anniversary. It has been an exciting year of great conferences, making great new friends and learning the ins and outs of putting on truly local marketing events in local markets.

Equally exciting is the fact that this year in Spokane we are rolling a new, all day event. In the past events, while we manage to cover lots of material, a common recommendation was to expand the event to an all day format. (To see every comment, like and dislike about previous events read the Local U feedback page.)

To sign up for the event use the discount mb2011 for a $30 dscount off the full day price of $149.

If you are an agency and wish to bring your clients we are offering a “7-Pack” of tickets for $699. To get the agency pricing it is necessary to reserve Your 7-Pack via email. If you are planning on attending the event, please let me know and be sure to introduce yourself!

During the morning, we cover the big picture background that every small business needs to understand. In the afternoon we dig into the tactical details and provide real world examples of successful practices that any SMB can implement. Here is the full day agenda:


Time Session Topic
7:30am – 8:30am Check-In and Caffeine
8:30 – 8:40 Kick-Off and Conference Introduction

Spokane’s own Ed Reese will introduce the 2011 edition of Local University, dispel some of the widespread myths about optimizing your website, and bring attendees up-to-speed on some basic terminology that will be used throughout the seminar.

8:40 – 9:00 Introduction to the Search Engines

Aaron Weiche will walk you through the basics of how search engine results are generated and some of the major opportunities for small businesses to improve their visibility online.

9:00 – 9:40 The ABCs of Local Search

In this session, Mike Blumenthal will dive into how to rank well for searches in the Inland Northwest.

9:40 – 10:00 Q&A

By this point, your head will probably spinning with some questions. Take the opportunity to ask specific questions to the presenters.

10:00 – 10:20 Break / Site Review Clinic I

Re-charge with some coffee, take some time to meet your fellow presenters, or pop into our first Site Clinic of the day, hosted by Mike Ramsey & Aaron Weiche, and get some personal recommendations for how to improve your company’s online presence.

10:20 – 10:25 SEO Myths and Pitfalls

David Mihm will dispel some of the common myths and misconceptions about optimizing your website for the search engines.

10:25 – 10:50 Website Optimization Basics

Mary Bowling will explain some of the REAL signals that your website can send the search engines in order to rank better.

10:50 – 11:20 Getting Social Online

Matt McGee will take us through the world of social internet marketing, including strategies to engage with customers and prospective customers using the most popular social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, and blogs.

11:20 – 11:40 Got More Questions? Get More Answers!

The second Q&A panel of the day will again give you a chance to ask questions to the presenters.

11:40 – 12:00 Break / Site Review Clinic II

Network some more, take some time to return voice mails and emails from the morning session, get your company some personalized advice in our second Site Clinic of the day, or just grab lunch a little early.

12:00 – 1:00 Lunch
1:00 – 1:30 Workshop I: Building Your Keyword Matrix

Mary Bowling will walk attendees through the step-by-step process of keyword research in our first workshop of the afternoon.

1:30 – 2:00 Workshop II: Analytics

Ed Reese will walk attendees through step-by-step how Google Analytics works, and how to interpret the data that it provides you about your website users and customer prospects.

2:00 – 2:30 Workshop III: Local Search Listings + Links

David Mihm walks you through how to ensure comprehensive coverage for your local business listings, and offers a few ideas for how to get locally-relevant links as well.

2:30 – 2:50 Break / Site Review Clinic III

The last chance to get your business some personalized advice (without missing one of our panels of course!) in our Site Clinic.

2:50 – 3:30 Workshop IV: Creating Your Social Media Campaign

Mike Blumenthal and Matt McGee go through how to create a sustainable review process for your business, how to gain new followers and fans in social media, and how to leverage them for higher search rankings.

3:30 – 3:50 Workshop V: Getting Started in Paid Search

Learn some basic Google Adwords and Microsoft Adcenter techniques for maximizing your budget for a local audience, and also get introduced to Facebook’s demographic targeting platform.

3:50 – 4:10 Workshop VI: Marketing Plans and Time Management

Tieing the entire day together, learn how to set your company’s priorities and where to focus your internal marketing resources going forwards.

4:10 – 4:40 Local Search Success Stories

Hear straight from Spokane-area companies (some of whom attended our seminar last year) about how they improved their bottom lines in 2010 via Local Search marketing.

4:40 – 5:00 Final Questions & Answers

Take this last formal opportunity to ask any remaining questions to our presenters.

5:00 – 6:30 Networking Happy Hour

Time to blow off a little steam! Join the presenters and your fellow attendees for a networking event right at the Northern Quest.

I hope to meet you in Spokane!

Related posts:

  1. GetListed Local University Portland
  2. Local University Inaugural Event in Spokane
  3. Come to GetListed Spokane – And See Ed Reese in Action

How to Get on Google Maps, Yahoo Local, and Bing Local Listings

Local search marketing is an excellent way to get more visitors to your website, and in general, to bring in more business. In comparison to normal SEO (search engine optimization), local SEO is easier to implement and get higher rankings. In addition, search engines like Google, are favoring local businesses and listing Place Pages above all or most websites that rank from organic SEO

The Rubicon has Been Crossed -Local Pages as Transaction Interface

Yesterday was a seminal moment in Local. It largely went unnoticed but it reflects the rapid monetization of location pages by the major search engines.

Bing* announced a number of local, map and mobile upgrades that improve an already good, but under rated and under used product. Clearly, they are battling toe to toe feature wise with Google Places and will be giving as good as they get. It is nice to see their staying with Local and keeping in Google’s rearview mirror with a general purpose Local platform.

But the part of the announcement that caught my attention was the following:

Mobile (iPhone):

  • Check-in: Share your current location with friends and family via Facebook, foursquare or Windows Live Activity Stream.
  • Plans: From the Bing homepage or a local search result, people can plan a night out and share the plan with friends via Facebook, who can comment or join the plan.
  • Opentable and Grubhub integration: With the integration of Opentable and Grubhub into Bing for Mobile, once you find your restaurant of choice, you can reserve a table on OpenTable or order takeout from Grubhub without leaving the Bing app.

Local enhancements:

  • OpenTable will be integrated into the local search vertical, allowing people to book reservations from the restaurant details page in Bing.
  • FanSnap will be integrated into the local search vertical, allowing people to purchase tickets to a concert or sporting event through the events details page in Bing.

These features when examined in conjunction with new features of the Google Places indicate the arrival of a new era for place pages.

Hotel Booking tool

You recall that recently Google Places’ started including hotel booking options directly on the Places page.  These pages are now (finally?) becoming an entry point for financial and social transactions as opposed to just informational or contact based information.

In this role the search engines will be sitting between the customers and merchants or booking services. This change, while having been predictable, can affect many local business going forward in much the same way that the shift from cash to credit cards has affected them.

On the one hand, it will remove friction from the transaction while on the other, someone will be inserting themselves in the sale, with or without your explicit permission. It is a double edge sword and one that can be a net plus or not depending on how the search engines and social sites handle the process going forward. Historically, whenever a large corporation stuck out their hand in partnership to me, it inevitably ended up in my pocket and no longer felt much like a partnership.

Transparency is one way that could keep this from becoming totally unbalanced. But secrecy seems to be the order of the day as far as the Google Hotel booking system is concerned.

Does the new willingness of Google and Bing need to end up this way? No in fact, like the credit card it might actually increase bookings and sales for SMBs and potentially remove a layer of blood suckers that currently exist in the affiliate world. But then again it seems that the power relationship is so uneven that as the demand of capital markets make their presence felt, more and more of the profit will go to the big boys…

*Full disclosure: Bing is a sponsor of many of our Get Listed University events.