Meet three attendees and see what they learned in San Jose this week. Adam Dean from Whole Latte Love (B2C) Adam Dean traveled from the state of New York to come to SES and received a big reward on the very first day. Danny

Sullivan, a search marketing guru and presenter at the conference, complimented his site Whole Latte Love in front of hundreds of other attendees. Sullivan was impressed with the intelligent use of content on this site selling everything to do with coffee. As content editor, Dean could not have been more proud about this unsolicited compliment. Talk about an ego boost!

“You have to walk a fine line between your users and the search engines. Users might like Flash, but it does nothing in the search engines,” confirmed Dean. “Whole Latte Love is consistently ranking n°1 or n°2 after an ad campaign. But organic is also good. My job is to think about the structure of the site and how to keep organic searches bringing us on top.” Dean believes that good content is key in drawing traffic. “We are constantly adding new reviews. Articles from the monthly newsletter get thousands of hits.”
Michael Freedman from (B2B)
Last time Michael Freedman attended SES, it was three years ago in Chicago and things have changed in search marketing. “I was interested in the novice panel track back then, things like writing for the web. Now I am more interested in the advanced sessions,” said this senior marketing manager who is in charge of the site for his company, a Hearst Corporation property, which caters to hospitals. Admittedly, SES is more geared toward B2C sites. “Unlike most attendees here, we don’t sell a product. Our site generates leads for our sales force,” explained Freedman.

“I am here to keep my design and optimization agencies honest. I want to make sure that we have the best site and the best reporting,” he said. “When I wanted to redesign our site six months ago, I looked for an agency that could do both design and optimization work. But I never found it.”

In the spirit of a conference where networking with peers is an essential component, Freedman shares his enthusiasm for an upcoming search engine called ChaCha. “A former colleague works for them. They do human-powered search. It is like walking up to a reference librarian,” said Freedman who still admits that showing up on Google, Yahoo and MSN is the main goal.

Brian O’Connell from CPA Site Solutions (agency)

CPA Site Solutions is a small agency specializing in site design for small CPA firms around the country. “I am here to learn about search marketing both for my own business and for our clients,” said O’Connell. “I am talking about the fundamentals that get you 80% of the results. Getting the 20% is what big companies want.” After two days of conference, he has already learned useful tips that he will apply once he gets back to the office. “I am taking back great ideas on how to structure the sites. I have learned a process to set pay-per-click for my clients that will take me 20 minutes instead of four hours,” explained O’Connell. That is time well-spent.

Isabelle Boucq for Atelier from San Jose

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