Local U "Graduate" Feedback
Read what previous attendees have said about their experience at Local University.
After each of our Local University seminars, we ask attendees to fill out a survey telling us how we did, and more importantly so that we know how to improve the event in future venues.
Specifically, most verbal feedback comes in response to three questions:
- What did you like BEST about Local University?
- What did you like LEAST about Local University?
- Will the information you learned at the seminar help your business?
As you can see from the order of the responses below, we actually do read these & try to follow up on them in each city we visit. Feedback like "longer breaks," "need a glossary of terms," "few handouts," and "more time for Q&A&,quot; optional full-day sessions, and more hands-on advice have all been taken to heart.
In the interest of transparency, here is the full volume of unvarnished feedback from every single Local U attendee that has given us permission to publish their comments. (Names are also included with permission.)
June 26, 2012
Helpful? Yes. I have some great action items to incorporate into my site after this.
Liked: The accessibility of the instructors afterwards to ask more personal advice. Personally, I learned the most about social marketing, though I should say I'm very experienced at SEO already.
Disliked: Not for myself but I feel the section on on-page SEO moved way too fast for the average business owner. You talk about page titles, H1 tags, meta descriptions and I doubt many of them know how to actually change these things.
Helpful? Personally, absolutely because I know how to implement everything I learned. I don't know about the average business owner.
--Bruce Wedding RankAcademy.com
Liked: Mike's presentation. It was nice to have a lot confirmed.
Disliked: We spent most of the time in the introduction section and then things that interested us more (ex: analytics) had to be rushed through.
Liked: Two major impacts 1) This was a holistic approach to SEO without pushing a vendors agenda 2) The opportunity to sit down and discuss the local landscape with the presenters
Helpful? I believe the information presented was generally helpful for business owners. The technical level was minimal, but I believe that is was mostly appropriate for the audience
Liked: The opportunity for a one-on-one site clinic session with Mike, the opportunity to talk with Googlers, and the after-workshop mixer at Scholz's.
Disliked: No coffee at the break!
Helpful? Even after attending SMX and Local University Advanced in Seattle a few weeks ago, I picked up new information from the presentations. Your Local University information is already being put to use in helping my clients's visibility in search results. This workshop is a bargain!
Liked: Quality of Presenters
-- Not exactly a good fit
Helpful? Overwhelming, too much information too fast. It was a blitz or torrent. Need time to digest and do hands-on practice. I think the followup classes with Texas State SBDC makes sense. I will try that.
Liked: Amount of information.
Disliked: Speed at which the information was given.
Liked: Knowledgeable and frank professionals that are leaders in their profession. Amazing quality info from people that are actually doing it.
Disliked: Honestly, it was just perfect.
Liked: Thorough coverage of the topic by a variety of speakers. I also appreciated the website evaluation and the Google + meeting. Great handout materials.
Liked: Credible experts. Usable information.
Disliked: Compressed schedule didn't allow for breakout sessions or workshops. Would have liked some facilitated activities and dialog with other students. Also, all the Google+ examples were for restaurants and bars. What about the rest of us?
Helpful? It will. We're using techniques that are least 2-3 years old and are not getting the full benefit of social and other forms of marketing.
--Adam Green VP, Technology Betis Group, Inc.
Liked: Ease of understanding
Disliked: The auditorium
Helpful? Yes, Absolutly
Liked: The panelist were very knowledgeable and each brought a great perspective. I thought it went at the perfect pace.
Disliked: NO water at event, and not allowed to bring in any beverage.
Liked: Helpful and east to use tools for helping market small businesses!!
Disliked: Some of the slide deck panels were too small for that venue
Liked: The wealth of information and Q&A sessions
Liked: Overall content.
Disliked: Very hard to take nots on small slide printouts.
Liked: The diversity in each of the presentations was fantastic. That was probably what I liked most about the seminar.
Helpful? Yes, I do. We've already moved up from the 3rd page to the middle of the 1st page in Google just by working with our Google+ page.
Liked: The content.
Disliked: The venue. Wifi was spotty, there was no coffee when the invitation indicated there would be, and they wouldn't let you take your food and drink with you into the room! Everyone was having to scarf down food really fast before going inside.
Liked: The speakers were all very good.
Disliked: I enjoyed the whole seminar.
Helpful? Yes, I think the information will help my business. It gave me several different avenues on which to work.
--Beverly McCreless, SWSLoo, Inc.
Liked: real life examples and experience of presenters
Helpful? yes but a bit overwhelmed. I missed the last session but need to know what to do first. My web site cost alot of money and totally is not set up for SEO. What do I do now? Also may offer a word press class seperately.
--Lea Anne Porter
Liked: level of expertise, material covered, pace, it never bogged down, excitement about the topics.
Disliked: couldn't drink (coffee) during the presentations
Helpful? the reference material will be helpful while I dig into the details. The only thing that might have helped me because I have nothing, would be where to start!! 🙂
--Brenda Baker, Mail Room San Marcos Texas
Disliked: short breaks
Liked: good mix of speakers
Disliked: As a general contractor selling to state federal and municipal agencies,i wanted to know how to market to those clients more effctively
Liked: It was a wealth of information and access to experts.
Disliked: The format could be enhanced if you have break-out sessions and smaller groups. Also, ask each participant to let you know in advance what questions they have. That way these can be addressed in the presentation.
Helpful? Definitely, I have a Flash Web site and I found out why I am not getting very much traffic.
Liked: The quality of Information
Liked: That you made it available to small businesses at a good price
Disliked: That I wasn't able to go! 🙁
Helpful? Not sure - will be able to answer better when my site is finished and I can look at all this.
Seattle, Washington (Advanced)
June 7, 2012
Liked: Really excellent speakers! Lots of ideas I can put to work in my consulting practice. I'd never had a chance to talk to someone from Google before coming to Local U Advanced. Especially enjoyed Mike Ramsey's and Will Scott's suggestions for running an SEO business!
Disliked: Many of the slides are multiple stage builds. Import them into Keynote and that feature doesn't work
-- so I have to pull apart the slides to see the component graphics. It would be nice if presenters could provide pdf versions of slides with a slide for each stage of the presentation slide build. This is a minor complaint
-- this was a very worthwhile experience.
Absolutely! Local U Advanced was best professional learning experience I've had in years.
Liked: Going deep with locale tactics
Disliked: The state of local search
Helpful? About 90% of the info I already knew
Liked: Hearing different tools used (workshop session)
Disliked: Would like to hear more real world examples and learn more about listing processes.
Liked: Great panel, good information
--Justin Liles Advice Interactive Group
Liked: multiple take aways, that we are not alone thinking, we have to wait for the dust to settle after the listing page merge with G+
Disliked: the bananas... JK. 🙂 very insightful, i know the easiest ? for most to answer in a a questionnaire is what u didn't like. That said, I have no negative comments about the workshop. I would come back every yr, or multiple times a yr, if evolution of the industry demanded, ie, major changes.
absolutely, it was great to relate with others frustrations, good to know core ?s and doubts I have were unanswerable. we have taken the same approach as other-let the dust settle before reacting.
Liked: The current state of local/mobile search. Q & A with Joel Headley. Mary Bowling's presentation about how to fix issues with listings was very informative.
Disliked: I'd hoped more attention would be given to enterprise-level local search (agencies working for big business). Would have been good to incorporate a speaker from an agency working with enterprise-sized companies instead of focusing solely on in-house marketers within large companies.
Liked: The practical stuff. Some of theortical sessions just did nothing for me. I think we are all looking for tips and tricks with some high level, but I would really keep the high level stuff to a bare minimum because in essence it is really just the presenters opinion. We all know Local SEO takes time, and that it requires proper management and reporting, etc. we really dont need to hear that, esp if a session is devoted to that. That is beginner stuff to ease you into the reality and horrors of Local SEO.
Disliked: I would have had the presenters provide more examples. Its not that hard to take screen shots of the steps they take to do what they are recommending, by that I mean screen shots from there actual work. I dont think saying that you cant do that becuase of client confidentialy is true, to me that is just an excuse. The main reason is they dont want to spend the time to show those screens by either creating dummy data or grey out the confidential stuff. Taking about it versus showing exactly how it is done are completely two different things. Unfortunately too much in the education / training world follows the adage "If you cant do, Teach." And bragging about your company should be completely eliminated from all presentations.
Helpful? Yes the practical info with examples of how it is done.
-- Ken Mozlowski
Liked: Affordable access to industry leaders and Google, Bing employees; open atmosphere
Liked: Session Openness. Allowed for open dialogue. Access to presenters before, during and after.
Disliked: Materials handed at beginning were lacking and unprofessional. Black and white in a small elementary folder? Should have been in a 3-ring binder, in color and printed in 3-slide per page handout form to allow for more notes next to each slide. With slide animation built into everyone's presentations, the printouts did not show the bullet points on several person's slide printouts. We are OK with slides not having fancy animations. We are data driven folks, so when doing bullet points, keep the animation out. Lastly, a USB with all the presentations would have been a good takeaway too.
Helpful? Yes, this was great information. I have already taken advantage of some of the Mikes guidance. Great guys. Good info, even for a big brand guy like me.
Liked: Reporting and client management
Yes very pleased
Liked: Speakers, content, variety.
Disliked: I would have liked to see more diversity between the tracks - SMB vs. Big Brand. It was nice that they overlapped but I decided to stay in the SMB track where I would have enjoyed getting a bit of each perspective if the agenda was a bit more diversified.
Helpful? Yes. The information presented was great. It was wonderful to hear industry experts all have the same passion for providing a strong set of local search knowledge in one workshop sitting.
Liked: Quality speakers and the ability to ask a lot of questions.
Disliked: In Seattle
Liked: Hearing the story and seeing the struggle of all sides of the local marketing ecosystem was my biggest pay-off. As a "first-timer" most of the actual content was weighed equally, even if I had discovered the "answers" elsewhere, hearing the message delivered to me live from the mouths of field experts was well worth it in terms of validation.
Disliked: Time spent on "details" that could have been used as supplemental slide decks. Troubleshooting tips and unorthodox methods may have been more interesting if summed up to peak interest and provide follow-up materials as downloadable content. Entire presentations seemed overkill in these areas.
Helpful? At this point, I was satisfied with the the level of information delivered. I will be ready for more technical content next round.
Liked: Specific take-aways that I am already applying which should positively impact my bottom line.
Disliked: Some of it was geared to tell an agency how to interact with their clients. That's not "local search" to me.
Helpful? Great info. Great value. Thanks!
Syracuse, New York
May 22, 2012
Liked: The quick, tight presentations. Oh, and of course, Will's reference to Damn You Autocorrect Top 25.
Disliked: The slides that were dense, light, completely non-readable - both on the screen and in handouts. Don't tell people they're available online! Later just is SO wrong.
Helpful? I certainly hope and expect so.
Liked: Gave solid information, not the same old. Gave key advise and suggestions. Good timing for speakers and Q & A. I was very pleased with the information received and am excited to try all of the suggestions! Very beneficial.
Disliked: Need to raise the speakers and screen, hard to see visuals without raked seating.
Helpful? Yes, I plan to begin searching to see where we pop up and to make our presence much more visible.
--Patricia von Mechow.
Liked: Fast paced and very informational. Everything went on time and speakers were limited.
Disliked: David used so many "umh's" This so distracted from his teaching/speaking.
Liked: Expertise of the presenters
Disliked: Experts were not very engaging speakers
Liked: How you covered the 3 main aspects of what all small/local businesses face.
Disliked: The Google Places rep really mailed it in.
Helpful? Absolutely it will help my business and the knowledge I can provide my clients.
Liked: Instructions for DIY optimization - websites to register on, etc. in a layman's language. No one talked over our heads - terrific!
Disliked: The venue - it was warm in the "room" and being in the court of a large mall had alot of distractions including not being able to darken the room so that the slides could be seen clearly and not having good wi-fi (at an internet presentation?)
Helpful? It will definitely help - can't wait to get started!
Liked: How applicable the topics are for speakers
Disliked: It'd like a more full-day event. Or more opportunity to talk one-on-one with the speakers/other attendees.
Liked: the set up...experts presenting and then a panel for Q&A.
Disliked: The Bing sales pitch and that there were no tables to sit at.
Helpful? I definitely had a few take-away points and when implemented, should help us a bit.
Liked: I was looking for some guidance in what it all means because I am new to providing marketing techniques to our company. I found that all of the information was very helpful and am excited about cleaning up our listings, and making our website more search engine optimized. thank you!
Disliked: the screen was completely washed out and occasionally the echo from the surrounding area over powered the speaker. I felt I may have missed some good information. I did sit near the back, but that should not have mattered. A separate conference room would have been highly preferred.
Liked: The caliber of presenters and depth of information
Disliked: Too fast.
Helpful? Absolutely. Using what we learned to modify new website design is just one way.
Liked: I thought the speakers were very knowledgable.
Disliked: location - Was difficult to see the slides and, at times it was difficult to hear.
Liked: Having a variety of presenters from different organizations. Useful info about concrete next steps to take. Opportunity for Q & A
Disliked: Inability to see the screen
-- you tried to solve the problem, but still not great. This would have seemed more manageable if the handout copies of the slides were a bit bigger with fewer on the page to improve ease of note taking (there was so much info shared!
Liked: The speakers stayed on track and dished out so much information in a short time. (thanks to the clock Nazi. You know who you are) It was a lot to fit into 4 hours. Keeping up to date with all the advances and changes the search engines have been making is difficult. Reading books and following blogs, you never know who is really an expert or if it is someone who just thinks that they are. I thank you all for sharing your knowledge and your expertise with us. It was an awesome afternoon.
Disliked: It could have been a bit longer, with a break between the last presenter and the final Q&A to have a few moments to think of questions I wanted answers to. It was a lot to take in.
Helpful? Will most definitely help. K. Leah O'Connor - KLO Web and Graphic Design LLC
Liked: SEO optimization
Liked: Diversity of speakers and topics.
Disliked: Location. AV services (couldn't see screen because of glare for first portion of afternoon). Did not enjoy Will Scott. I thought his topic was good, but his presentation was arrogant, casual, and he mumbled a lot.
May 1, 2012
Liked: It was a very informative session with the intent on education the attendees, there were not ulterior sales pitches by the presenters.
Disliked: Could have spent a full day on the topics discussed.
Helpful? The information was great - I am already looking at getting my Google places set up. We had recently gone through an SEO exercise but already see room for improvement on that.
Liked: A lot of content from able, knowledgeable presenters. All the material being made available online so we can review it at our own convenience.
Disliked: The pace was blistering fast, but you compensate for that by making all the material downloadable after the lecture, so... no harm no foul. I'd rather have a ton of content at a fast pace than a small amount at a slow pace.
Helpful? Definitely yes.
Liked: Getting an insight into how Google "thinks"
Could be improved: As part of a University Organisation, the local search results, although interesting, were least pertinent for me.
Helpful? yes - gives me a good place to start SEO, but also underscores the time/effort involved. I thought I just had one website to optimise, now it turns out that in addition, to get the best results, I need to also have a presence on social sites. This equals more time investment for me and less time I have for my real job.
Liked: presenters were clear and concise and liked the fact that it was all summarized at the end with the top 7 things you can do. There are low hanging fruit that can be implemented as well as long term strategies to work through. I really feel all topics were given an appropriate amount of time relative to it's importance in the overall agenda.
Disliked: Room was a little too cold which was distracting...lame I know but I had to think of something.
Helpful? Yes, as long as I follow through.
--Shawna Lindberg, Paul Blais Realty Group Remax Elite
Liked: There was a lot of time for questions and the speakers were very approachable
Could be improved: Speakers spoke a little too fast -- even though the presentations were available for downloading later, I like to take notes as the presentation is happening
Helpful? Most of the information was valuable, but because I work in an educational institution, some of the business aspects of the seminar didn't apply (ex. google places). However, I can see where I can use a majority of the information to improve our web presence.
Liked: Diverse number of speakers with differing but related topics
Disliked: The speed of the overall seminar was way too fast
Liked: You kept to the schedule plus the amount of quality information given by each presenter.
Disliked: Cannot really think of any negatives.
Helpful? Yes. Just the facts. I hear so much "do this" or "do that" and you will be number one but most information is crap.
Liked: Learning about Google Places.
Disliked: Some of the lingo was over my head.
Helpful? Yes I did, I learned about a few simple things that I need to change an my webpage to imrpove my SEO
Liked: Professional and approachable speakers. High quality content and important content across the board. I would recommend to more clients if conference returned. Talking to my client who went, he thought it was a bit over his head, and got lost in parts, In the end - he was pretty positive on the quality thought - he did come out of it fired up to get some of the ideas implemented. Good for him and me!
Disliked: Some of the presenter slides are a bit text heavy. I think some of the presentations would have more impact on non-seos if they were distilled and pared down for more impact per slide. Less tech specifics and more broad discussion. Specifics could be provided in handouts. Thought the first two presentations covered a lot of the same topics.
--Glenn Walker, Tiko Digital
Liked: the quality of the speakers. very knowledgeable and friendly.
Disliked: one on one clinics were during some presentations. Felt like i missed out a bit.
Helpful? Yes. very valuable. Felt like i got a free website eval from an expert.
Liked: The one-on-one site clinic, the tools you provided, the presentation from Mike Blumenthal, Matt McGee and Darren's session on Ranking Your Business in Local Search Results were highlights.
Disliked: The basic SEO instruction. I think the seminar should have been focused solely on local search. If attendees don't know about SEO - then Local Search isn't on their radar.
Helpful? Oh yes, definitely it will help our business. The tools and the one-on-one clinic alone made it well worth our time. We believe that we gained valuable knowledge that will put our clients who are serving a local customer base well ahead of the pack.
--Louise Desmarais, Azura Marketing
Liked: the high level presentations about how to get the most from SEO and SM.
Disliked: The fact that the first presenter didn't know he needed a passport to get into Canada...Come on!?
Helpful? Yes, you've provided me with some next steps in the areas of SM and SEO. Much appreciated.
-- Gord G.
April 27, 2012
Liked: I really enjoyed the quality of the speakers you brought in. I thought they were all very engaging and passionate about their topics. They are also all willing to talk to you afterwards about specific questions you have, which is extremely helpful. The facility was great and the food was very good too. As far as the materials go I love having all of the presentations in the packet that way you can just take notes as you go next to the slides that they pertain to. Makes it much easier to take quick notes and understand them when you refer back later. Really well done event, thank you!
Disliked: During the afternoon sessions it was hard to determine when one meeting started and the next ended. I had to leave my first one to do a site clinic and after that it was hard to figure out where the other presentations were (just beginning or close to ending). Our handouts mentioned 30 minute meetings, but I think they ended up being more like 40?. A little more clarity around that would have been great, maybe like time sessions listed next to the plaques out front. Other than that, everything was great.
Helpful? I do. There was a lot of great information that was shared.
-- Andrew Dietz, Better Business Bureau
Liked: Tools, links, significant discussion
Disliked: the pace was a little too frenetic, although I'm not sure I'd slow it down in sacrifice of content
Liked: What I liked BEST about the local university was the multi-faceted information provided.
Disliked: What I liked LEAST would be that the local university was only one day. Might have been nice to slow it down and spread the course over 2 days.
Helpful? I believe that information did help.
Liked: I liked the diversity of speakers and face pace.
Disliked: Actually there wasn't anything that I didn't like about it.
Helpful? Yes it will help.
Liked: The variety of presentations and amount of information presented. It is always nice to be updated as things which are constantly changing. The smaller breakaway sessions were the best part as they were more focused even though there seemed not enough time to do everything!
Disliked: It is slighlty overwhelming to members of my company that were there for the first time. It is a lot of info, and even though I would reccommend going a second time, more intro and big picture overview could be helpful for new attendees.
Liked: Hearing the most up to date info was great since SEO and the internet are changing so quickly. We can't spend as much time on being up to date with other job functions to do so a day focusing on the topic with experts is wonderful.
Disliked: The company I work for doesn't sell locally so for me I overall the focus of the discussions didn't apply to how we interact with our customers. That said, I did hear ideas and suggestions that we can look at using in a non-local customer base. Maybe have a session at the next university that addresses reaching non-local business.
Helpful? Yes, there were a few items i took note of to go back and review for our current SEO plan.
Liked: I liked the opportunity for networking. It was great that so much information was covered. It wasn't covered in depth, but there was something for everyone and it gives you fuel to move forward with different elements you need to focus on.
Helpful? yes, it will help if we can carve out some time to implement
Liked: I enjoyed all of the presentations. They could have even been longer! Of course then we would have needed another day!
Disliked: Actually the only thing I'd like to suggest is possibly more time for one-on-ones, like when we did the clinics. I had lots of questions I would have liked to ask Mary but there wasn't a good opportunity.
Helpful? Definitely. I hope that by attending seminars like this I will actually get a grasp on what's going on.
--Steven L. Baumann, Marketing Manager, Serenity Insurance
Liked: I loved that social media was included into the discussions, and everyone seemed to really know what they were talking about. Glad the expert panel were really experts! 😉
Disliked: The Google presentation felt more like an ad than an informative piece. Disappointed, because I expected more from them. There was also a lot of repetition in the presentations, but I understand that this is important to make sure the messages were absorbed -- I know that this wasn't targeted to my demographic exactly.
Helpful? I think it will for sure. A lot I knew already, but it's nice to take it back to my management team as well and support what I've been saying with expert opinions as well. It would have helped more to have more variety in the presentations.
Liked: I found the most value in the personal website reviews
Disliked: It was all great
Liked: I enjoyed all the presentations. Very informative.
Disliked: Very very fast. So much info, but I think that was expected.
Liked: One on One Sessions
Disliked: How short the breakout sessions were
Helpful? Very Valuable! Having someone walk through my website one on one with me was very helpful to give me exact pointers on what I needed to work on.
Liked: The wealth of data and the very organized way in which it was presented. I will certainly attend again.
Disliked: I believe this conference was meant more for people new to seo and web marketing. That being said, the info on local optimization was very useful to me and the site clinic evaluation of my website provided some very good insights on conversion which alone all by itself was worth multiple times what i paid to attend.
Helpful? Yes, but like i stated above, learning more about how to outsource would have been helpful. With just the two clients i have, i find myself doing a ton of busy work that stunts my ability to find new clients.
-- Kendall Wood
Liked: The breadth of the information and the energy of the presenters.
Disliked: A lot of information...hard to grasp it all.
Helpful? Yes, as a person wearing all of the marketing department hats, this seminar helped me get a grasp on what is happening in digital media in one jam packed day.
--Kristin Davis, Spokane Hoopfest Association
Liked: I liked being able to pick and choose sessions this year.
Helpful? I think it will help.
Liked: The one on one site clinic was definitely the most valuable.
Disliked: Some of the presentations were too brief.
--Jeff Valley, Pacific Company
Ellicottville, New York
September 29, 2011
Liked: Everything, especially a real human from Google. That was awesome. All Good
Helpful? Very Much since this is what I do for businesses. I can Sell this stuff!
Liked: I really enjoyed hearing from someone directly from Google and from Mike Blumenthal on how to rank in search results.
Helpful? I think it will help, I work at an Insurance agency, so some of the things won't be useful for it, but the information was still very good.
Liked: Presentations were concise, to the point and delivered by experts.
Disliked: Room set up.
Helpful? Extremely valuable - would have paid for more time - great insight into what improvements can be made
Liked: I thought it was really well put together guys. nice and tight. perfect amount of info for a SMB. you guys rock!
Could be improved: thought more time for Q&A or some public site audits would be good too... I know you do them in the clinics, but I thought one or two would really benefit the attendees.
Liked: In-depth sharing of knowledge.
Could be improved: Could have done all this with a few less speakers. Needed more breaks.
Liked: The suggestions that presenters made about improving your website were manageable and most of them were able to be done without professional help.
Could be improved: When a question was asked it was not repeated by the presenter so it was difficult to hear towards the back of the room.
Liked: the information was relevant to day-to-day scenarios
Helpful? Yes, stressed the importance of the homepage and how "flash" is not read, which is 80 of my homepage!
Liked: The quality of the presenters and the way they made the information understandable.
Disliked: Visibility from the back of the room was a challenge.
Liked: All of it. It was vary informtive. You all have helped me to look on to bigger and better things. Thank you for all your help.
Disliked: the one girl you could not hear her. She did not speak into the micophone at all. She need to speak clear. So that section I did not hear at all. and the Q/A have a micophone near each person so you could hear in the back and the screen up high so you could see better. Thats all. Every one else was great.
--Maureen Peronne, Rubber Fab Technologies Sparta, N.J.
Liked: Most practical and useful web and social networking seminar I have attended.
Could be improved: I would have liked more time for the personal web site analysis.
Liked: All of the well qualified and up to date presenters and information. There was a great energy in the room, and I appreciated all of the interesting facts and helpful additions to our current Marketing and Web Development strategy.
Could be improved: Needed lunch? Also, couldn't really hear Mary very well from the back.
Helpful? Yes, I think it was difficult thought because we were in the process of building our web and some of the lectures were geared more towards established websites. Yes it was great, I only wish our site was public so that Mary could see the backend code necessary to give us a full consult. Her opinions and advice were very helpful and we are going to put them into practice.
Liked: quick andd to the point
Disliked: alot of info in such short of time to cover
--Timothy M. Bennett General Manager
Holland NASCAR Motorsports Complex & Holland Paintball Adventure Park
Liked: Experts as teachers, free 15 min website review
Disliked: Prior planning on use of A/V equipment, my ears are still ringing!
Liked: Excellent, a wealth of information and never a dull moment.
Disliked: The sound was too high, especially for Aaron. But I am really not complaining, very nice setting.
Liked: The wealth of knowledge that each person had and shared with everyone
Helpful? Currently I am a mental health counselor and I will be starting up a new program that involves social media/marketing to reduce mental health stigma and to broaden the range of mental health services within the community. I am brand new to this area--there were a lot of terms and ideas that were way over my head but I am very happy I will be able to have a hard copy of all of the information that was presented. --Meghan Monahan MSEd MHC
Liked: Representatives from Google and Bing participating.
Disliked: Room was too skinny.
Liked: you spoke at a normal level -- you didn't throw big terms or confusing stuff at a 'newbie'
Disliked: how narrow the room was -- felt a little squished
Helpful? very valuable -- just don't know when I have time to do it all....
--Meme Krahe Yanetsko, GOACC
Liked: Variety of presenters kept the presentations interesting.
Could be improved: Examples seemed to be geared toward local retail type businesses, restaurants. Our business clients are municipalities, so they are often not local. Perhaps breaking into groups according to business type.
Liked: Meeting the SEO people I follow and getting to talk to them in person, and meeting new people in the SEO community.
Disliked: Geared more toward getting local business online and setup themselves than the SEO community.
Helpful? Yes, I was able to get information that will allow me to streamline my processes.
September 27, 2011
Liked: The people were great. It was well organized and I learned a lot. They were amazing at answering questions and helping each of up out with our individual projects.
Helpful? Yes, it will help our local business out a great amount!
--Samantha Foiles Idaho WaterSports Website Manager
Liked: I have been involved with traditional seo since 2006 but LSO is new for me as of this year. It was very helpful to review local search info and get further insight. Definitely valuable to my business and my clients business.
Could have impoved: I would like to have gone deeper into strategies to scale our efforts in these areas when managing many clients.
Disliked: The drive from slc to Burley. It was completely worth it and I would return again next year or travel the same distance to do it again.
Helpful? It was great to meet the mad scientists behind the "Local Search Ranking Factors". I am super excited to have power points for today's classes to use for future reference. I have been following David's, Mike's, Bluementhal's, & Mary's blogs all year. It was great to meet Ed and Matt today. Thanks for sharing your insight with all! You guys have helped me look really smart when working with my clients on local search optimization!
-- Cody Baird
Liked: I liked the Online Help on Keywords and just understanding the concepts of Organic and Local Searches. I liked that it had a nice flow to the program.
Could have improved: It was hard to Pay attention to one of the people talking but other than that it was put together quite well. I'm really a detailed person and thought that the preperation for the hand out lacked and could have been bigger print so we could see it better. I'm 26 so, with good eyes it still was too small. (just wanted to elimate the old person and bad eyes excuse).
Helpful? I think that it will. I sat by a business marketing man and he said that it was pretty basic things. But it was helpful for me and new to me, I learned what it takes to become a better business owner and to market myself much better as well.
Liked: I was really impressed with the genuine desire that the presenters had to see me succeed with my ventures. The instruction was perfect for a non tech individual like myself. I feel like I can really go to work with what I was taught.
Could have improved: It would be nice to get some feedback on individual websites. I am just starting a new venture and my website is not up and running just yet, but when it is done I would love to have some quick input on it at first glance. Some of this was done during the block of instruction which I think really helped those individuals.
Liked: The pace - kept moving without a having to listen to one person for too long. Very nice.
Disliked: The fact I was so busy absorbing information I didn't have time to get to have my site reviewed.
Helpful? Yes, I've already put started and I look forward to doing more.
Liked: I felt it was a great fundamental white hat maps/organic conference. I learned some implementation techniques but mostly great strategy ideas. I also loved how accessible you all were and the number of Q and A. Thanks again.
Disliked: Only technical issues.
Helpful? Yes. I think the suggestions to track and use KPI's will in the end identify how I should spend my time best.
--Jason Weaver, Rexburg, Idaho
Helpful? Yes, I have a niche web design business that also does SEO consulting. I now have confidence that I am giving good solid information to my clients.
Liked: There was a good line up.
Disliked: Even though there was a good line up, the presentations were pretty disappointing. I do understand that the majority of the audience were small business owners, with very little online experience. But there was a percentage of attendees who were expecting at least one advanced presentation. Over all, it was just too beginner. I also felt the Q&A section was rushed, and the questions weren't fully answered.Helpful? Even though I was pretty disappointed when the day was over, I feel it was still a productive conference. It helped trigger ideas and conversations with my co-workers who attended with me. Also, it is possible to transfer a Places listing to another account. You just need to remove the listing from one account, the listing will then go un-verified. You can then just re-verify with a different account.
Liked: all the great info
Disliked: not enough one on one time
Could have improved: An area set aside to speak with individual presenters about specific needs. Thank you. Setting up non-profit organization websites with no budget
Grand Rapids, Michigan
June 28, 2011
Will Scott was a very good presenter. I also found the "ranking your business in local search" presented by Mike Blumenthal. I liked it all, but wish we had more time to go over forming your online marketing strategy.
--Erica Hanberry, Marketing Director, Achieve Physical Therapy
The terminology used was explained and easy to follow. The flow if ideas was logical as well. As a non geek, it was VERY helpful and informative. The end was rushed, but overall it was very helpful. All the areas were very helpful to me. The only area I really couldn't relate to was the Q&A, as this is not an area I could formulate a good question. Thanks for all of your work and sharing of very valuable information.
Liked: All of it
Disliked: none of it
Liked: Convenient location, comfortable atmosphere
Helpful? Yes -- am applying some of the recommendations today!
--Bill Eureka, EurekaResults Inc.
Liked: Moved quickly, good speakers, Q&A was good
Disliked: No women speakers, No local speakers (ironic)
The depth of knowledge and the range of information within the topic. I felt a little bit overloaded with info, but I am looking forward to reviewing everything and absorbing the information on my own time.
There was a lot of good useful information provided, informative links for resources, and case studies presented. It seemed rushed - I think more time was needed to go through everything and also some additional breaks would have been nice, to break up the presenters and allow time to absorb. This could be a 6-7 hour seminar rather than a 4 hour one. Some of it will help and we can make the changes right away. Other ideas will be helpful in the future once the right strategy for our business is determined.
Liked: Will Scott did a great job!
Disliked: John Carcutt was too long.
Liked: Aaron W's suggestions for content - What makes you best? Learning about importance of links. Will's taking the fear out of blogging and social media Mike's input about managing your web presence.
Disliked: John Curcott - too fast, a little to technical without explanation.
I think it will help; just need to take the time to understand and apply. Possibly have an online "support" option, at reasonable cost, to help apply our new found knowledge.
Liked: Qualified people sharing important information. Q/A was important.
Disliked: Too much info to process, beak up the sessions, take a little more time for us synthesize the content. Copies of slides too small to read, but thank you for having them on line.
Helpful? yes, but need more time to process information. Break up topics presented. Create an "Action plan" for each presentation. Put only 2 or 4 slides on a page, difficult to read.
Liked: Environment and accessibility. Absolutely it will help.
--Cathy Stathakis, Director of Marketing and Census Development Lutheran Social Services of Michigan
Actionable, up-to-date information from people who know what they are talking about. I would have liked more case studies -- was disappointed that this was cut at the end. I thought the "Getting Social" talk was lacking in specifics. I think this audience would have liked more how-tos. Also, the speaker was biased against Twitter, which seems unfortunate because he eventually gave many examples of when Twitter would be helpful.
-- Susan K. Jones, Professor of Marketing, Ferris State University
Liked: close to place of business
Disliked: not relavant
Could be improved: more systematic overview of steps to follow and consequences.
Helpful? yes, it will. I have to organize the info and learn more by going online to fill in the blanks for my specific situation. It will be a step by step plan to implement various aspect on a timeline, like the implementation of a marketing strategy.
Liked: I honestly enjoyed it all. It was a lot of information in a short period of time but I'm so eager to learn more that I would have been willing to go a whole day. Now I just need to "make the time" to following the recommendations. Thank you so much for a great workshop!
Disliked: The coffee cups could have been larger. 🙂 Seriously, I wish it could have been a longer session.
It was fantastic!
I would have gladly put in another half hour to slow the pace of a couple of the presentations.
Presenters packed in so much great info! The real-world examples and screen shots really helped.
I definitely think the information will help my business. The presenters did a great job of presenting tips, tactics and ideas I can implement in my business right away.
--Pam Ralston Hunt
Liked: The Google listings were especially helpful. Explaining the method behind the curtain makes the process more relevant.
Could have improved: The long presentations. I would have liked to pick and choose who I wanted to listening to based on presentation content.
Liked: Fair price, even for start ups. The speakers openly answered all questions, honoring knowledge sharing to build trust. Engagement is key! The evolution of marketing from push to pull holistically embraces users, whether selling a product or service or educating others on the value of reaching beyond the normal boundaries.
Disliked: I don't have a least, though offering a second session of the University, focused on hands on training offered in a half-day or whole day. Allowing participants to choose sessions best fitting their need.
Helpful? Yes, I am conducting an independent study for my Master's in Communication, focused onweb content strategy. I have read a number of awesome books, online material, and case studies in this area. The University's seminar helped deepen the knowledge, including industry terms. Communication has always been at the center of my business values, engagement is key and each speaker started with user trust. This is important in our personal and professional life. My goal for new business as a "web content strategist," is to educate my clients on the importance of this element to build long lastings relationships. Every attendee in the morning session should walk away with importance of customer and client "trust!"
Liked: The passion the presenters had for the subject matter. Also, providing information about free resources on how to start using these new resources! Very little sales pitches for the presenters companies.
Disliked: You forgot the social notes! (I know i can download them now, but I had to scramble to take notes and highlight important/interesting items.) But I understand mistakes happen and did not effect my over-all experience.
Helpful? Yes, I do believe it will help our organization.
--Christopher M. Jarman
I liked that you had professionals that didn't necessarily see eye to eye on the importance of different forms of marketing. It really made it a more well-balanced seminar, I think. I thought it was all pretty great.
Liked: The cost was good because it was not too expensive, but worthy of the amount. Possibly it was very good timing because all of the topics were very relevant as we are really focusing on viral marketing. Not only did you give real life examples, but you actually gave us the information that we could bring back and use!
Could be improved: It could have been a whole day. I would have loved to have brought my computer in and had you walk us through some of the websites based on my own information - - more hands on. I'm in real estate and would have loved to hear a discussion on how to convert our agents and clients away from print. Another would be more in depth about domain names.
Helpful? Most definitely!
--Kim Maggini, Prudential Preferred, REALTORS
Liked: It did answer some the the questions I had about social media. As I get older and the information is changing all the time it is hard to understand everything. I need help.
Could have improved: Some of it was well over my head. I really do need to start with some of the basics. I understand the information as it is given but to actually come up with how to implement it is a different story. I have a small at home business so I need to do most everything myself.
Helpful? Yes. I do need to look over everything again and try to put it in practice. Needed a little more time take in all the information.
Liked: The variety of speakers (even though some were long-winded!!), and for the most part you were time efficient and tried keeping things moving along. I also liked the location, and the cost of the workshop.
Disliked: The only (little) thing was the signing-in when we all got there. Seemed the girls at registration table were a little unorganized and it seemed only one girl was checking off names etc etc....other than that, not much.
Helpful? Yes, absolutely. I am overwhelmed with information but not to the point where I feel stuck. I'm going to use info to be a better, smarter small business owner and blogger. The information was extremely valuable.
--Kris Henderson, MA, LPC Thinking Thin Lifestyle
Liked: The "know-it-cold" knowledge, the humor and the ability to tell the information in a human way. I did actually enjoy the bantering!
Improve: Shorten presentations or summarize repeats--a lot of information was repeated or harped on. Sometimes everyone had the same fact or opinion but they would still repeat it in their own way just to be heard. I would have liked to see the case studies. Also "tieing" is spelled "tying" 🙂
Liked: Very informative- a lot of good information
Could have improved: The Q&A got a bit away from you. Its great that everyone on your panel had something to say - but the crowd got a little lost (or at least I did) with the constant microphone passing and additional answers.
Liked: Experts sharing
Disliked: Seemed a little unorganzed- better handouts would have been good
Liked: amount of information--enough for everyone enough to get started or refine what doing now
Disliked: off schedule; some presentations needed to offer less info and focus on fewer key points. make sure enough folders for all. too much interaction/remarks between panelists that didn't move the education forward
I was impressed by the level of knowledge the panel represented. I walked away with so many ideas and plans that I've spent the next day claiming listings, asking questions of our IT team questions, requesting testimonials, following your crew's blogs, researching my own site and all the other great things you added to my to do list. And this is a good thing. Thank you.
Liked: information on social media
Disliked: was sometimes too techy
I have attended a few different classes like this, but it is always great to get new perspectives and new ideas.
Disliked: The fact that I had to leave early during the middle of the class for a work emergency!
Could have improved: I think that the timing of the presentations could have been a bit more organized. When the presenters knew that they were pressed for time the information got lost.
Liked: It wasn't to technical, but did cover technical issue. Seeing Mike undress ( Only kidding ). Honestly it was all good, a little more time would have been better.
Could have improved: Felt like some of the delivery was rushed. Maybe an additional hour.
Liked: Very informative, spoke in terms I understood, moved quickly but still good information, good presenters, they know their stuff but were not boring!
Disliked: ended too quickly!
Helpful? Yes....we are currently using a company that is charging us for SEO and I believe they are NOT doing the job they claim. I want to educate myself to present to the OWNERS the SEO and SEM strategies that we need to be looking for. Real Estate is a perfect area for website promotion. Out business industry has changed 100% or more due to the web. But we need to keep the personal touch on the Listings and Sales of Homes. This company that is charging us is not following up and doing a job they say they are doing and they are taking advantage of the owners. I need to educate to be able to provide the information to show this.
--Kristen J. VanDeventer Director of Operations Coldwell Banker Hubbell BriarWood
Liked: Packed w/ information.
Disliked: Time duration.
Liked: The diverse group of presenters made it interesting to get a bunch of different perspectives.
Could have improved: It could have been a little more in depth technically for my liking.
Diverse and up to date information. Speakers seemed very knowledgable.
Spokane, Washington 2011
February 25, 2011
I loved the whole thing but especially the short burst sessions, networking opportunities and real-life examples many of the speakers interjected. The 'live' website workshop was priceless - I got instant invaluable feedback on our websites! As a non-technical person, I appreciated the way the speakers could talk in non-technical terms. I also enjoyed the real-life testimonials at the last session. The other excellent feature was the seamless transition of speakers and presentations - also the way David could pull up a website when someone was talking - very cool!
I was a little tired by around 2-3 p.m., but it was mostly from trying to take in SO much useful information. Honestly, I didn't even want to take any restroom breaks because I didn't want to miss anything! My only suggestion would be for the web clinic to have sign-ups for one=on-one time, and then possible some open sessions. More than once I went in for assistance and one person was monopolizing the assistance. I would've liked the facility to offer recycling also.
Helpful? Yes, definitely. I learned easy things I can implement immediately that will make a big difference in visits to our website. It was also helpful to have the websites reviewed to learn we are doing some things right!
--Tammy Everts, Business Development Director, Yakima County Development Association
Very knowledgeable trainers and very actionable training information and "how to" and application ideas / pointers "clinics" were not as I thought. Not enough time. I thought we would be able to get time as a team in one or 2 clinics to look at our situation together and put to use some of the training.
I found all the topics interesting. I think all the information will help. What I am struggling on now is trying to figure out how to organize all the information and where to start first. Just a lot of information, but it all was worth it. I just have to figure out how to get it out of my head and onto paper for my 10+ HIPPOS to comprehend (which is the biggest obstacle I have).
I really liked the site clinic; but they told me one big thing that my web designer does not understand. I wrote and asked the Nifty Marketing guy if he would explain, but he didn't reply. Now, I feel lost ;>) I need someone to actually help me.
Liked: Information. You all spend your lives doing this, so educating us on how to do it was very beneficial and will allow us to step ahead of competition.
Could have improved: Information overload. (I know, I said above that I liked this). If you could break out with an AM and a PM class and split the information. Moring was great, afternoon was great, but it could really be a 101 and a 102 class. I act as a consultant to local businesses and this is just the information we need to set them aside from others in the insurance industry. By understanding local search as well as SEO, I will be better equiped to help them excel in their offices. Thank you GETLISTED.ORG!
Fast paced and variety of presenters and perspectives. Everything moved along. I liked it all but I never had time to go to the next door hands on session because I didn't want to miss any of the content. I am a neopyhte at this so maybe others could easily pick and choose. Yes, all of you were very good presenters with lots of great content.
The presenters were great. Alot of good and practical information to re-evaluate what we are doing on the web. Alot of information to absorb. Would like to come again after I get a chance to work with the tools you have presented.
February 22, 2011
The speakers were all people from within the target listings. That inside information was very helpful.
There really wasn't anything I didn't like other than missing out of the beer because I had to attend the AM session and couldn't come back. Helpful? Yes - I feel as if I went away with a list of things to do.
--Dan Saunders, Advertising & Marketing Manager Miller Paint Company
LIKED: Fast pace - LOTS of information in a short amount of time.
COULD BE IMPROVED:
1) Too much high-quality paper for my green preferences (this is Portland, after all!). The PP slides especially were too small to be of much use, and would have been better accessed on your website. Your "Key Takeaways" page would have been sufficient if it included a brief outline from each speaker - and could have been combined with the Agenda page for a nice, running guideline. 2) I wish there was some code. I know this is a small business seminar, but it would be helpful if there was just one speaker session addressing the specifics of placing correctly-optimized code. Some of the speaker's recommendations were code-level anyways, so a visual of correct implementation would have benefitted all attendees, even the small business owner who just wants to check if their designer has covered all the bases. I'm not sure anyone needed to go through Google Places step-by-step, that could be done on one's own. I am a Graphic Designer who stayed with print, and now is (finally) branching into web.
Yes it definitely helped:
1) my understanding of the overall concept of SEO
2) gain tips and be better able to sift through misinformation
3) see SEO from the point of view of a small business owner (in other words, my client)
Great information - almost too much in a short time- at times seemed a bit redundant - I needed almost a hands on clinic with a one to one- come in and look at my site and give me 5 or so things that I could do to improve my listing/site etc. It all was useful - but not focused- would have been better for maybe an intro class in am and more advanced practical class in afternoon- YES - this will definitely help - i just need to take the time to implement!
--Dr. Scott G. Johnson, Oregon Hearing Solutions
The presenters were well informed and presented the material in a easy to understand format. I would add more time to the session. It felt rushed.
Knowledgeable, well-known speakers, relevant content. I can use nearly everything that was presented during the conference.
I liked having the consultants/experts there that knew exactly how thigns really worked vs what the people from Google and BING said worked. I thought the knowledge of the people from Google and Bing was really weak. I thought it was really well done except for [Google and Bing].
I really enjoyed the presentations by John Shehata, Matt McGee, and Ed Reese (Perhaps would have preferred more from Ed). I would have preferred more from David, too. I could have done without the Microsoft presentation, was he just reading from company talking points? Google's presenter was only slightly better. While I don't doubt Mary Bowling's expertise, she is a terrible presenter, mostly with voice, pace and pitch. I totally tuned out for her presentation.
I absolutely believe the time and money at Local University was worth the small investment. I learned quite a bit from Digital Marketing experts from around the country. It was all put together quite well. And the happy hour afterward was a hoot!
Liked: to the point presentations
Could have improved: some of the information seemed redundant and gave the impression of overload.
I would hand out definitions or email to people before the event.
It was quaint. i got a chance to speak with most of the presenters. The folks from Bing and Google didn't seem as invested as the rest of the panel.
--Trent Carlyle, Lawgical
I thought the discussion and presentations were at a perfect level for my understanding. I felt the Google participant needed a wider base of knowledge to be a more valuable panel member. Her presentation was good, she just had a tough time with questions.
I liked that I walked away with "next steps" for me that were easy to follow. I also liked the sample marketing plans providing a broad overview if I wanted to take it further. Ed's case study was great - brought it all to life. Most of all, I left energized.
--Tracy Vicario, CRG Insurance / Group Insurance PDX
I received something beneficial from each presenter.
The wealth of information was amazing. The energy of the people and their enthusiasm for what they do was infective. I recognized opportunities to enhance and redefine my business plan and structure.
Could have improved: Mary's presentation was perhaps a little clinical. The other presenters seemed to present the information with more examples of real-world integration? Just felt a little lost during her topic. If anything, I would love to see this stretched out to a full day seminar in a setting with on line for all (bring your own or we supply), with a little more time for walking through some of the locations/procedures together. Maybe that's unrealistic but would give the average small-business owner some hands-on with what is being presented. I have already used your information to go establish myself on Google Places and CitySearch. The rest come shortly.
-- Stephen L Barkley CPA
It was so straight forward and really gave great instruction for small businesses to take their online presence into their own hands. Also to understand the things that you hire an outside company to do verses the things that you can do yourself. I really appreciated what David said about the "Snakeoil" salesmen. I feel like in small business we are inundated with sales calls regarding SEO placement etc. Now that I have a better understanding for the different aspects of online marketing I will feel more comfortable telling the difference. It really was a "layman's" course---and I so appreciated that!
Could have improved: More time with each speaker. I would have attended a full day on this subject. Also, the folders were great, and I know you have the slides on here, but the book was not in order of speaker and it was hard to shuffle around to find the right slides to go along with the presentation. I noticed that others were shuffling as well. I also felt like I couldn't even find some of them. I really appreciate that they are here though--having those really help.
Different/more information. In regards to the web development portion,I would guess that most of the attendees already had websites up that they very likely paid a company to build. Finding out things that we/they should have done was kind of depressing after all the money spent. What would have been helpful would have been to find out easy ways to "fix" some of the things on an already built website. If that makes sense. would love to attend other courses you may have. BTW---$129.00 is ridiculously cheap for this seminar. I do work in the dental field where I am used to paying $350 to $1000 for CE (continuing ed) courses, so I'm not sure what other small businesses would be willing to pay.
--Nikki Tuley Wilsonville Dental Group
For me, the ability to actually speak to a Google employee, because Google has no support service. Yes, I had to pay $130 and go find one in person! Even the topics that interested me less still provided some useful context.
Very knowledgeable and approachable panel of speakers.
Yes. I am just starting to learn about SEO/SEM, and there was a lot of good information in the workshop.
January 26, 2011
BEST: All the information was presented in a way both web newbies and savvy websters could understand. Having the slide presentations printed for note-taking plus the presentations available online to refer back to was a huge bonus. I came back to work armed with to-do lists and ideas that will boost our online presence. Can't wait to put them all into practice!
I KNOW the information I received today will help our business. I have attempted to list our practice online on my own, but never knew about some of these tools that would make my efforts as effective as they should be.
-- Kim Williams, Marketing Coordinator for Carl Walker Orthodontics
(In response to " What topic(s) do you wish we had spent MORE time on?"):
The mechanics of make all of this happen at the small business level. How to leverage resources internally. The whole online presence can still be challenging for small businesses, particularly when the owner is not as tech savvy as you might assume.
The challenge is which small bite of the big apple to take first. It can all be a bit overwhelming.
Liked it all
--Mark Harris, Mark Harris Homes
Great cut to the chase, nuts and bolts information.
--Mike Burnett - Digital Consultant.
I was expecting a sales pitch, but it never came. The instructors all showed passion for their topic. No questions were side-stepped or dodged. I can't wait to start using what I learned today.
-- Nicholas A. Kopp
Speaker[s] were very knowledgable and up to date. Good use of examples.
It verified the importance of online efforts with marketing and communications. Old fashion business people don't always appreciate the relevence of the online world, esp social media. It gave me concrete facts. tools and evidence to go to my boss and say "hey...this really works and here's why and how we do it."
LEAST: It wasn't long enough for all the subject matter. I wish it had been scheduled for a longer day with a few more breaks. It felt a little rushed...
HELPFUL? I left with a laundry list of things to do when I got back to work!
-- Lesli Bass The Birmingham News
I have a list of ways I want to improve our SEO capablities just from yesterday.
-- Billy Mahoney Internet Sales Director Town & Country Ford
it will take a couple of months to implement all the tips.
-- Adam Bradley Laser Works of Alabama
Everything was great. Each speaker delivered the perfect message. Great information. I learned so much.
Several topics covered in a easy to understand presentation - plus a relaxed Q/A session. (you weren't afraid to ask the panel a question) I think there are several ideas that we will be able to implement quickly. Also, the 'what to ask' tips will really help when we hire an agency for more advanced services.
BEST: Very informative and up-to-date. Great job!
LEAST: the presentation handouts were not provided in their entirety. It left me kind of confused at the beginning of the presentation (I saw others hunting through their packets too). It's easiest to take notes on the slides being shown on the screen.
The strategic focus on what more there is to learn about SEO.
It was more detailed than I hoped and the presenters were awesome. I can see us working with most of them. Will help develop organic search better, and will help us with our social media strategy.
BEST: Speakers were very knowledgable on the topics. Very informative.
LEAST: Time limited. Needed more time to go deeper into the topics. Might want to consider offer a follow up class.
BEST: The variety of the speakers, time for questions. The speakers were very personable and made it easy to listen to.
LEAST: So much information tried to put in to the session.
HELPFUL? Yes it will help my business. Already claimed my business on Google Places.
-- Marisa Indelicato - Talladega Superspeedway
BEST: All the presenters were very knowledgeable, but were able to present their information in a manner that even a novice was able to understand while helping the seasoned webmasters.
LEAST: I didn't have any least likes other than the time seemed to go too fast.
I have worked on our website for a number of years inputting information and page creation; our webmaster handled our optimization. Now I am helping with the SEO and this seminar gave me a lot of information on the starter tools so now I know where to begin and what to look for along the way.
BEST: I liked the panel of speakers. It touched on different aspects of the internet. There are great ways to help our clients show up on a business listing side (which is better than not showing up at all). I still think clients need to invest in certain SEO campaigns, but business listings on multiple search engines will lay a foundation to work from.
LEAST: I personally wish there had been less time introducing search engines. However, I'm already familiar with search so I imagine it depends on your audience.
I think the information I received will help my clients. It also gives me more knowledge to bring to them increasing my credibility as an "expert" in online marketing strategies.
October 21, 2010
BEST: It provided me, a novice, the opportunity to see what can be done.
LEAST: Would have liked to ask questions and clarify during each of the presentations.
-- Kurt Anderson JMA Consulting Inc
BEST: There was a LOT of good information (not fluff) and great, informative speakers who didn't spend too much time on any topic, but took time to answer questions. Very very helpful...best one I have EVER been to. I was very happy that I attended. I would recommend it to anyone. More Q&A time after EACH section would have been helpful too.
LEAST: The location was not great for me. East or north of Denver is generally better for most folks (centrally located in the area).
-- Kay Tauscher, Peak to Peak Paragliding LLC
BEST: Quick exposure to new ideas by respected industry pros with no selling of their specific services.
LEAST: Q&A: ALWAYS repeat the question! Depending on location of person asking (and age of audience, i.e., ME) I had no idea what you were answering until maybe half way thru the answer! and even then, I wasn't sure. Very simple and helpful to repeat before answering!
HELPFUL? Absolutely! In my case, I expected the seminar to be much more basic. Being a novice, I felt like I was capturing water from a fire hydrant with a paper cup...but you did a great job of summarizing the main points. In addition, the handouts helped. I now have a much better feel for what I need to do and/or ask of the SEO experts.
-- Gary Rasmussen
BEST: Actionable suggestions;
LEAST: No power outlets in the conference room 🙂 At least near me
BEST: All the helpful links to free tools onlines and the best blogs. The Google Maps presentation was very helpful.
LEAST: Some of the information was too basic for me, but it wasn't a big issue because I still learned a lot. 2-tracks would be nice (the option to choose a more advanced session would be awesome.)
Fast paced and lots of good information.
HELPFUL? Yes, very much so. I have used pay-per-clicks for a dozen years. Initally, it was great, inexpensive and a very good return on investment. However, clicks went from $0.50 to over $10.00. Your information is a good option.
-- Kent Jarnig, President DVD-CD Inc.
BEST: The price seemed about right - affordable for the smaller business. Great speakers, learned something from everyone who spoke and it was great to see and meet people who's blogs I read - plus always great to see Mary! Well worth taking the afternoon to attend! THANKS!
LEAST: The room got a little cold and I did not want to go and get my sweater in case I missed something...
Yes, there were a couple of ideas that I can pass along to help my clients do better in Local Search. Also, I got some great ideas from the speakers on some ways to freshen up my own classes when I am teaching Local Search, Social Media and Online Marketing classes locally.
-- Liz Hamilton, Maia Internet Consulting
BEST: Level of presenters and the blend of topics.
-- Alan Struthers, FindYouLocal.Com
BEST: The discussion of Google Local and Social Media
LEAST: Some of the Web 101, I know some people don't have much of a tech background but that part wasn't too relevant to me and I'm sure a majority of the audience. But I also know its a necessary evil since some people are just getting into this arena.
HELPFUL? Yes, it will help greatly!
Everyone's presentation was top notch. David Mihm in particular was excellent becuase he assessed all questions accurately and gave short direct answers that carried weight.
One suggestion might be to have a few attendees set up or awarded the assistance of walking hrough and seeting things up with their business while the rest are able to see how it comes together.
--Kenneth Pollack B&J Surveying Inc. Aurora, CO 80112
BEST: The meet and greet afterwards. I appreciated being able to meet each of the presenters and also many others in attendance.
LEAST: My initial response is "nothing". However, if I were to pick one thing it would be Aaron's presentation. Other than his mic being to loud, his delivery was good. But the content was to basic for me. I would have preferred to hear more from Mary or Mike as their content was more relevant to where I'm at right now.
Not only will the information be helpful to me in business, more importantly, meeting each of the panelists and seeing their personalities was a big plus. From now on, I plan to follow the speakers blogs much more closely. As I read each blog post I will hear the voice behind the post and I expect to both comprehend and appreciate the message that much more as a result of having met the blogger in person.
--Randy Miller, FindYouLocal.com
BEST: Links I did not know about. Such as links to presenters/experts blogs, reputation monitoring links. I was in the afternoon session and got there about 20 minutes before the start. Mike Blumenthal came around before it started and I got to talk and ask him a couple of questions. He really know his stuff.
LEAST: The handout did not show all the current slides and some were difficult to read. The download for the slides was great and made up for this problem.
My company is involved in two industries, self storage and hotels. Getting in the 7 box for self storage is not difficult. Getting in the 7 box for hotel in a place like Orlando or Las Vegas is a different story. I would have liked to see a little more on local search in a difficult or saturated market. A couple of items that were not mentioned that I found suprising because I think they should have been are the Whitespark Local Citation Finder, and AmIVisible.org. Have you got enough stuff for a full day?
BEST: Comprehensive and robust presentations from engaging speakers.
LEAST: Felt rushed for all the info available.
HELPFUL? Absolutely. While we are currently doing quite well, I learned enough new info about which I was unaware to help us forward our efforts.
-- Evan Lee Wheat Ridge Cyclery
Felt like the website optimization lacked actionable tips.
BEST: The fact that it happened. What an opportunity to hear these industry leaders together in one location... for $90. I'm probably not the target audience, and I know a lot of what was covered, but what I did learn will pay significant dividends.
LEAST: Would like to hear more from Mihm.
This will definitely help in my work, but that doesn't answer your question. I was surprised by the number of agency people. It's great that they can take this info to their clients. However, I would love to see more business owners in the audience.
-- Jason Rogers, dub3media.com
BEST: You offer a wealth of information that is helpful for web developers and small businesses alike. Your panel of experts cover all of the key areas of business web marketing, from SEO to link building to local listings. Please let me know when you will be offering another seminar in Denver so I can spread the word to my clients. It was important that you announced the slides would be posted on the website later. That allowed us to really listen to the speakers instead of madly trying to take notes. The printed slides helped, too, though they didn't cover everything and some were hard to read. Overall, it was a well-organized event with a ton of useful information.
LEAST: This is a small thing, but it would have helped to be able to plug my laptop in so I could take notes, tweet and monitor business emails throughout the conference. My battery died with one hour left in the seminar, and my laptop was set for max. power save.
While some of the information was review for me, I received plenty of new information that will help my business and my clients' businesses. Also, I was able to ask your panel experts questions I've had for some time. That was extremely valuable.
-- Amy Moulton, Chameleon Web Design
It was worth what I paid, which was $89 with the Deluxe discount, but I don't think I would have gone at full price. There was lots of useful and understandable information. Other seminars I have been to are a quick teaser and then a lot of talk about how so and so can help you achieve great results.
HELPFUL? Yes, it helped demystify how search engines work a little bit and gave some direction in how to proceed with my own websites.
--Ed Davidson, eLife-Systems.com
I liked that it was in Denver and that you brought experts with real world experience into the instruction.
There is a lot of information to cram into four hours. I would be nice to have a more time for several of the subjects and Q&A.
I do think the information I received from the seminar was helpful and will be helpful. As noted above I would've appreciated more time in long-tail keyword development and introduction into the site/content - appropriately.
BEST: I loved the quick pace and relevant information.
LEAST: I thought the Q&A had people trying to get a little to much specific advice for themselves which was a waste of time for others. Maybe remind people that the happy hour was the time for specific questions. I though the SEO for Local Search was a little short on helpful specific tips.
I thought it was great. Any time I can pick up some helpful tips for under a $100 - I consider that a good use of my time.
-- Loni Gilfedder CEO Boulder Blimp Company
BEST: actionable tips, no sales pitches
LEAST: parts seemed too fast paced
BEST: The content was very thorough for a small business owner - seo for local, social media, and local search. Outstanding. The presenters were all great. I think the professionalism of the event was what I liked best.
LEAST: Well, I don't really think that all the Bing plugs had a place in the room. Presenters tip toeing around the fact that Bing does not have their act together. Did not appreciate that. Just because someone is a sponsor... You should choose different sponsors. Where was the Denver Chamber of Commerce? Where was the Mile Hi business alliance? Wow it would be cool if someone from Google was there to answer questions too. Now that would really have been something, right?
-- Jeffrey Magner Trumpet Local Media
BEST: Diversity of presenters and agenda topics applied to my SEO efforts in a local marketplace
LEAST: Could have been longer, with more in-depth topic coverage
It will help my and my customers business.
BEST: I really enjoyed meeting some of the experts in the industry. I felt that the content was well presented and included a nice balance of "accessible" content for the newbies as well as nuggets for those of us with a bit of experience coming in.
LEAST: I would have loved MORE. If there could have been even more content or perhaps some break out sessions on topics (like Local Search or Social networking), I think we could have done some super best practices sharing. Perhaps make the session a whole day and let folks sign up to have a more intensive Q&A on a particular topic. I think there were a wealth of questions that we just didn't have time for.
HELPFUL? Absolutely, I walked away with some items to look into immediately.
BEST: Matt McGees presentation. Social media is where we struggle, but he really inspired me to put more effort into it. I like guidelines. Submit 2 blog posts per week, etc.
LEAST: Unfortunately, Mike Blumenthal's presentation. I think he has a TON of information to share and it was unfortunate that he spent that time walking us through setting up a google local listing set up. Maybe a slide screen shot presentation might have been quicker.
BEST: Quality/knowledge of all of the presenters and the content the each presented was excellent.
LEAST: A few of the screen shots were a little hard to read from the back of the room, but we got the idea. I personally got a little nervous when Mike started to show how to claim a local listing without truly making it a full how-to experience. We have seen so many local listings set up incorrectly (primarily with regard to identification of the client's own Google account, multiple accounts, multiple listings, etc.) and then are very challenging to unravel. There should have been a few more cautions expressed before diving into a casual setup in my opinion. But overall, I still got several good points out of Mike's explanation of each section of Google Local set up.
Attending for Acorn Internet Services, it was beneficial to match what your presenters were saying as compared to what we present to our clients - all very closely matched. The only area where we have a major difference of opinion is WordPress. Our primary concerns with WordPress are: 1. the security patch issue on hosting server that wasn't really addressed and probably should have been mentioned to the attendees not as aware of the technical side of WordPress; 2. the recurring promotion of ease of use but we have found over and over that clients who are not technically savvy really do not find this an easy environment to work in.
-- Sharon Rowe, Acorn Internet Services, Professional Client Services Manager
BEST: It covered alot of local search alternatives.
LEAST: Wish the Bing person was there to talk about Bing/Yahoo. Also wanted to see more things dealing with Mobile Search and cell phones. Also, turn it into a 9-5 seminar, instead of 1-5.
HELPFUL? Yes, definitely. I wish you looked at websites in the # 1 spot (in Organic and Google Pack results) and gave us reasons as to why it is ranked in the # 1 spot.
BEST: The quality of the panel. (I was only missing Andrew Shotland.) Here's my quote... "The marketing power and consumer awareness of geographical based searches are just emerging. Local University has the experts in the Local Search SEO field in one place."
LEAST: I think there are two audiences for this. The do-it-yourselfer SMB and the SEO campaign manager. Some SEO people I spoke with thought it was too basic and didn't come. I think a lower profile, lower cost SMB basic intro course should be separate from a larger agency or large company "advanced" course.
--Richard Haussmann, Internet Account Manager, HealthGrades
BEST: The format was well planned and executed. Perhaps a little basic for seasoned internet marketer but useful none the less. I brought my father who knew very little about LBL, Social Media and SEO. He came away with a whole new understanding that was explained in an easy to understand manner.
LEAST: Would have liked to seen a case study from seOverflow!
HELPFUL? Absolutely, we have already started to us UBL and some of the tatics that Mike B demonstrated.
-- Jeremy Siefkas www.LocalizeItOnline.com
Cleveland / Northeast Ohio
June 30, 2010
BEST: Details on Google Places, as well as some of the general info
HELPFUL? Yes. there were things that will definitely help.
BEST: I got a lot of new ideas about how to improve our online presence. It was also pretty cool that you used my company as an example.
BEST: Credible speakers with no bull.
LEAST: Felt a bit rushed and would have liked questions interactively as we went along.
HELPFUL? Yes. I would have liked more info on how to choose service providers.
-- Steve Rucinski
BEST: learned valuable tips about SEO, a topic that I am just starting to learn about.
BEST: meeting personally the folks who's blogs I read daily AND learning something from each of them!
LEAST: that there were too many un-used seats...ie we should have had more folks realize the value of this Conference and attend, eh!
-- Jim Rudnick
BEST: The information was unbiased and didn't seem to have an underlying sales pitch. I felt the panel was honestly there to be helpful for small business owners and not to just market themselves and/or increase their own exposure.
LEAST: The location was not posted correctly and I showed up at the wrong place first. (I know - it's totally petty, but by giving a little negative feedback, you should find my positive feedback more credible, right?)
HELPFUL? It definitely will. Please come back for another one.
-- Kimberly A., Kitchen Your Digital Footprints
BEST: It was very informative and I felt I got a lot out of it.
LEAST: The 2 speakers cancelling was disappointing. Would have liked to heard more from Karcher, Bing rep & Matt.
HELPFUL? Yes, both the company I work for and my husband's small business.
BEST: A phone consult with some speakers is 250-300 per hour. We got 4 hours worth of info plus q&a for a hundred bucks. Good value.
LEAST: There were 3 or 4 people that getlisted.org advertised would be there that weren't there. That was kind of disappointing. I also think we tried to cram toomuch stuff into the 4 hour session...seemed like we had to rush a few times. I would have paid more for a full day. This would have enabled us to dig a bit deeper into the topics. I mean, how much can one learn about social media marketing in 20 minutes?
HELPFUL? Yes, learned some great stuff.
-- John Fenn
BEST: There was a lot of really good information shared in the short period of time, no sales pitches.
LEAST: It was a very good event, but I am not sure that small business owners can benefit from attending. It is just my opinion that the event for business owners should be less technical.
-- Rita Dalian
BEST: The subject matter.
LEAST: Too much PowerPoint and a lot of the speakers hid behind the lectern.
-- Brad Heutmaker
BEST: Practical advice!
HELPFUL? Absolutely! Looking forward to applying what I've learned.
BEST: Hearing some new technology or newer changes
LEAST: Hard to act on so many ideas without laptop. Hope that presentation slides will have links to continue the learning.
BEST: Facilitators seemed knowledgeable and were very easy going and helpful in their question answering.
LEAST: Was more basic than I was expecting, I probably picked up about 20 percent of new information that I didn't already have or know about, and I am pretty basic.
As I said, I got about 20 percent of new information from what was presented and I do believe those pieces will be helpful for me.
-- Scott Fullerton
BEST: Good amount of information. some people went over, but for me it was a useful refresher on what was going on with local search.
LEAST: Location was the biggest issue for me. It was hard finding the venue based off of the address that was given on the website. The address is tied to a building on the other side of the canal from where the venue actually was.
BEST: Mike Blumenthal's presentation.
I have already done business from the local directory ranking I've achieved as a result of the workshop.
BEST: SEO info
LEAST: up-selling and too much w/google maps.
BEST: Expertise presented by panel. I felt that there were truly industry experts in front of the audience that i could TRUST.
LEAST: lots of info...not enough time!
-- Andrew Dell'Aglio
BEST: The nice blend of professional expertise and friendly, relaxed atmosphere. The speakers were great and they shared a lot of valuable information while keeping the mood friendly and energy high.
LEAST: I thought the presentation was awesome, but I knew a lot of the basics that they were covering. It would have been nice to see some hands-on demonstrations of more in-depth tactics.
-- Justin Luntz
BEST: The quality and knowledge of the presenters
LEAST: How quick the presentations were
The information provided was extremely high level. There were ideas but the work of knowledge attaining was really left to the attendees. I think it would have been a better option to have a morning session for those that just wanted a highlevel understanding and an afternoon session for those that knew what you were talking about wanted more technical explanations. I was not very impressed overall.
BEST: The advice was practical (though from my perspective a few more implementation details would have been welcome) and the panelists were believable.
LEAST: I did not realize that the seminar was going to be focused on local search, rather than general search. Given that I am a consultant with potentially nationwide reach, this was not terribly productive for me. More detail on the case studies would have been welcome. Even better if you could have gotten representatives from one or two of the case studies to have participated, even if that had to be done remotely.
BEST: Meeting the panelists and talking with other local practitioners.
LEAST: The fact that some key panelists weren't able to make it...Ryan from Google and Mary Bowling. Also, the Bing product person wasn't too knowledgeable.
-- Jennifer Wolfsie
BEST: Anita's presentation seemed the most insightful and actionable for small, non-SEO, businesses. Concepts are great (and necessary) but practical advice about scheduling and practicing this work seems the most beneficial, in my opinion.
-- Mike Feuti
BEST: Highly relevant information It was all good.
LEAST: Pace was sometimes too fast for notetaking
Twin Cities, Minnesota
May 13, 2010
BEST: The applicable information- it was at a level I could understand and relate to without having a ton of 'fluff' to fill the time... and I am very green at SEO. The presenters were VERY knowledgable about their subjects, which leant to their credibility (obviously). Also LOVED all the free tools and resources. Everyone knew their stuff!
LEAST: I wished there was more time for Mike, Matt and David.
-- Kelli Ramirez, Communications Assistant, Citizens Independent Bank, St. Louis Park, MN
BEST: The information was presented with a good balance of insight that is useful for the more experienced attendees while simultaneously covering the basics for people who are still just getting their feet wet.
LEAST: I would have liked to hear a little bit more about ways to optimize your website's layout in order to be picked up effectively by spiders.
BEST: Speakers were actually giving advice, not "well, you could do this" or "buy my book and it'll tell you". This was not a lead-in infomercial to another cash spend, it was a practical learning experience.
LEAST: Can't really think of anything.
-- Scott Walter
BEST: I enjoyed hearing from a variety of speakers each versed in a different area of SEM. There were a lot of good tips on how using the free tools online can make an impact for a small business.
LEAST: I would have liked some of the speakers to go a little more in-depth on the SEO and PPC side. They didn't mention PPC much and I would have like to see what the panel thought of SEO vs. PPC in terms of cost and effectiveness for a local business.
HELPFUL? Yes, I feel that I picked up a lot of tips that I can pass on to small business owners. The biggest thing I see for them is time and commitment to use the free tools.
BEST: Extremely well facilitated. Presentations were well structured and engaging. Ample Q & A time.
LEAST: Perhaps it was a bit much to pack into 4 hours? Maybe a full day session would be more appropriate.
--John Daly / Manager - Marketing Communications, AmeriPride Services
BEST: Well-rounded information of resources and good speakers. Also the time lengther per speaker kept it short, and informative without dragging on.
BEST: Professor Maps Mike Blumenthal's info, Ed Reese's presentation
LEAST: Hoping to hear more advanced info from David Mihm
BEST: that it offered a lot of great information and resources in one sitting.
LEAST: Information was a little too basic. And they didn't talk about getlisted.org
-- Susan Staupe
BEST: The topic. The panel. The opportunity to see who else in town was doing this type of work.
LEAST: Would have been nice to have created a formal opportunity for networking. The group was small enough to have askked the group some questions and have them respond by a quick show of hands for things like..."who owns their own B2B business?", "who does SEO for a living?", "who came here to evaluate a local service to help them", just some basic questions about WHY people were there and what they were looking to get out of LocalU would have been enough info for everyone to be able to get their own ball rolling during the breaks. You guys did a great job. Especially for your first event of this type. Loved it. I'd come again. Tomorrow!!!
-- Angela Elser - Again, great job. Love it.
BEST: I liked being able to ask questions to the experts.
LEAST: Time went by too fast.
The information will definitely help my business. Lot of great tips and strategies were shared.
-- Joe Leyba
BEST: Quality of speakers. Brevity of Presentations and accessibilty.
LEAST: Location. I prefer urban/city settings.
BEST: The credibility and experience of the speakers/panel was impressive. Enormous amount of information was presented in 4 hours. This is a conference any SMB should consider attending to get up to speed quickly in local search. You won't walk away disappointed.
LEAST: Can't think of anything, honestly.
-- Brigitte Cerwick Davis
BEST: It was all good. I don't think I could choose a "best".
I found the information to be extremely valuable for my business. It will also help in how I work with my small business clients. The 4 hours of time I invested should yield great returns.
BEST: Quality of the presenters/presentation. Very infomative. very well done
BEST: It was a good overview of what is needed to get visibility in the local listings.
LEAST: It would have been good to have a more detailed case study - starting with keyword research, then summarizing the steps taken with the keyword(s) chosen to get visibility in the local and organic listings.
BEST: I liked that all variety of experts and the accessibility to them.
LEAST: This was my first Local University seminar. I am new to the world of SEO so I found the amount of information so very useful. I would have liked the to have heard from the web developer, Patrick Sexton.
-- Nancy Entwistle
BEST: Variety of speakers. For the most part, everything was fairly well understood for those of us who are not familiar with all the technical pieces of SEO and online marketing.
LEAST: A few presenters went WAY to fast! I think more case studies and real examples of how these tools were used would have been really helpful. A 10 minute "walk through" of setting of one of the most important accounts would have been great as well.
HELPFUL? Yes, absolutely. Now I just have to make sure I can implement it!
-- Lindsey Tibesar
BEST: details regarding local and map listings.
LEAST: information was on the "basic" side. More advanced tactics would be fantastic.
BEST: I think that the presenters were really good. There was a good mix of basics and tactical data.
LEAST: It seemed hard to network with anyone as there was only one short break and then an unofficial reception afterwords which didn't seem like part of the event.
I haven't kept up much with local search in the past few years so learning the developments was very beneficial.
-- Thomas McMahon
BEST: I thought the variety of presenters was very good, each person brought a different angle and ideas to the table.
LEAST: Some of the information was very basic, which for a lot in the room was probably going over topics they knew a lot about.
I think it will help for trying to get more results on page 1 just by having local results come up, however our company markets to a national/international audience, so it was a bit confusing whether or not local would help us that much.
BEST: Being in a room with & learning from such innovative and creative thinkers
-- Janet Roper www.Talk2theAnimals.com
BEST: *Convenient location with free parking *Representatives from reputable companies like Google and Bing *Energetic presenters
LEAST: Felt it could have been a whole day seminar.
HELPFUL? Yes, very valuable
BEST: All presenters were energetic and stayed on topic, and on time. I felt you really honored the schedule, which is not always the case. And the information offered was outstanding, useful, on target and achievable.
LEAST: I wish it was more centrally located, but the hotel's conference center was excellent.
HELPFUL? I hope it does, I have to find the time to execute it.
-- Frank Jossi
BEST: All the great content.
LEAST: Time...should have been an all day event.
-- Carrey Hoese
BEST: Good information. Variety of good speakers. Google and Bing guys being there.
LEAST: More case studies would have been nice. Burrito guy was okay.. but would have liked to see more in depth such as: "Company ABC has a website, here are general characteristics of their market, here is what we did for them, here is how long it took, here is how much it cost to get them there." Do that for companies in different situations such as (1) a company with no internet presence, (2) a company with some internet presence such as a website but still needs help
HELPFUL? Yes. Plus it was a good pep talk to get out there and make it happen even though some stuff I knew I should be doing but it fell low priority.
-- Joe Manier
BEST: There was just a deluge of data and information from all of the speakers. There was no pitching at all.
LEAST: Every speaker claimed it was easy to do all of this local optimization, but then as the questions came in, it was revealed how difficult and time consuming all of it really is.
LEAST: Not enough time
BEST: The strength of the presenters!
LEAST: The speed of the presentations
HELPFUL? Yes...I have already started to inplement some of the Ideas.
BEST: The seminar provided a lot of great information in a short amount of time. I liked that Google and Bing reps were there. Also, the "key takeaways" sheet was a really nice touch. This is something I can refer to and get started on immediately.
LEAST: There was no water available at the break.
HELPFUL? Definitely. We are currently not doing anything SEO-wise. This was a way to kick things off and get basics for developing a plan and strategy in house.
-- Colleen Winters
BEST: I liked learning about local search and different things that small businesses can do for free to market their business via local search.
BEST: The presenters were so friendly, open, happy to share their knowledge and willing to talk about strategy. Too often SEO experts have big egos - it made me wonder if local SEO experts are just cooler.
LEAST: I had to pay for it out of pocket - my corporation has cut almost all training, despite another year of big profits - I should really switch to a small business. Maybe with this knowledge I'll go freelance. I registered as soon as the announcement was made that you were coming here - then I saw discounts on Facebook and Twitter. I wouldn't pay that much for concert tickets but it was definitely worth the price of admission to see those Local SEO Rockstars.
HELPFUL? I know it will and I even appreciate the basic info - I always like to hear how others describe SEO because I have to do that to my clients all the time. I would have loved an advanced session too - related to microformatting and other advanced topics - with more case studies. If there was time I could have asked a lot more questions. Also, it was very nice that some friends and I tweeted about please bringing LocalU to the Twin Cities and you did. Thanks for listening!
-- Amelie Collins
BEST: I loved the combination of representatives - from local to national to the search giants themselves. The information was great. Mike Blumenthal's presentation was overall the best for my purposes.
LEAST: I was satisfied with the whole experience. Ran out of soda is the only thing I can come up with.
BEST: Everything was presented in a how-to-do format so participants could go back to their work and put some knowledge to work immediately.
It got me up to speed on several topics which is what I had hoped to get out of the seminar.
BEST: Plan-language, non-high tech speak about web technology- specifically optimization and social networking.
LEAST: Occasionally some of it was over my head with specific terminology or program and network info that is not common knowledge.
HELPFUL? Yes, especially knowing sites you can go to and register your website, keywords info, exposure to multiple social sites such as twittering.
-- Rebecca Wright, Designed Wright, Inc.
BEST: The fact that there were no pushy sponsors or presenters trying to force a product onto me.
LEAST: Felt a little rushed...Q&A was very valuable, but wasn't allotted enough time.
BEST: Recommendations for free online tools Speakers were obvious experts in their fields and offered strong insights Facilitator did a great job of re-stating questions to be sure we all knew what was asked and found the answers enlightening and relevant
LEAST: Encourage all speakers to actively use microphones. I think some of them thought they were easier to hear than they actually were - much better to use them if not needed than the other way around.
BEST: I am not very web-savvy, but understood about 95% of what was discussed.
LEAST: I wish Mary Bowling's info would have been on a handout also...good to jot down notes.
HELPFUL? Yes, I know it will help.
-- Jan Strommen
BEST: different websites to look at to improve visability
LEAST: a lot of it was pretty basic talking about the local/map listing. I don't know a ton about getting visability on the internet and it seemed basic to me.
BEST: Knowing about wireless ahead of time
LEAST: Knowing about powerpoint access before.
BEST: Accessibility of presenters and others during happy hour. I learned a lot. Good hotel site for parking etc.
HELPFUL? It has already helped.
-- Dave Allen SEO Practice!
Spokane, Washington 2010
February 4, 2010
BEST: Experts in the field spoke.
LEAST: Few handouts.
--Peggy Alderman, Coeur D'Alene Dressing Company
BEST: Details about making your site SEO friendly
BEST: Presenters/content and Q&A session.
LEAST: Wish we had a 15 minute break.
HELPFUL? The content felt meaty. I'm going to test the information to see if I can get my website listed.
BEST: Seeing the diversity in the presenters and the information they each shared. There wasn't much overlapping of info which was good. This provided attendees with more content then if everyone was talking about the same things. While each presenter spoke on different topics, they all worked together to provide a complete picture/stragety for attendees.
LEAST: I would like to have seen more information on how to promote a local company globally. Our company's customer base is mainly outside the Spokane area so it would have be helpful to hear if some of the local strageties would apply to businesses working outside of their local area.
HELPFUL? The information in the event mainly confirmed some of the practices we have in place currently so it was helpful in that sense. Again, we are a local company working with global customers so it would have been nice to see if local strageties could be applied globally. The case study about the guitar teacher was a good example of reaching beyond the local customer base, more examples like this would be helpful in future events. Real world applications say the most!
BEST: Qualified speakers who kept things simple for the n00bs, but didn't shy away from talking about more advanced subjects. And no one, for once, gave out SEO advice that was full of bogus information. The case studies at the end were nice. Having better before and after would have been nice for that though.
LEAST: A longer Q&A session with the Google and Bing guys would have been nice. My team could have spent the whole time asking questions. And perhaps a section for the advanced people would be nice, although I know that it's mostly tailored to business owners.
HELPFUL? For BUSINESS owners, showing a direct correlation between optimizing for LBC and increased traffic, etc., should be shown. I don't think the "How will this make me more money" question was ever answered, but it should be answered. For ME, it confirmed a few thoughts that I had floating around in my head.
-- Dan Gayle, Adworkz Inc.
BEST: Range of speakers from large companies
LEAST: Each speaker had VERY similar things to say. Felt as if they should have spoke on one topic individually instead of an overall range of information, from each speaker.
BEST: GetListed.org Local University was the one conference that presented the top names in local search in one place. If you are a Small-Medium businesses you will learn more in four hours about how to move the needle for your business than anywhere else.
HELPFUL? Yes I think the information would help small-medium local business. I think one thing that would really help SMBs is to provide three levels of time/resources and what they should concentrate doing on the level for the appropriate level, helping them prioritize where they should start. After digesting this much information, my experience in working with SMBs is they don't know where to start and chase the shiny object (Facebook, Twitter, Etc) rather than what is going to ring the cash register (Proper Categories, Consistent NAP, Reviews, etc) Example: 1 Hour/$100 Month 3-4 Hours/$250 Month 5+ Hours/500+ a Month
--Craig Baerwaldt, LocalInboundMarketing.com
BEST: I liked the combination of detailed "how to" information with some real-life examples and case studies.
LEAST: I would have liked to see you delve deeper into the case study examples.
BEST: Lots of good well-presented information from highly informed professionals. I've been in online marketing in a variety of capacities, on both sides of the client/marketer table, since 1994, and I learned some things and got several more items clarified. I think the conference was well-done and well worth the time and money. Great job by everyone!
LEAST: There is nothing that I liked least, particularly given the wide range of experience there was in the audience. I might have liked more in-depth information but I didn't come to this conference with that expectation.
-- Bill Garnett
BEST: The variety of the information provided. I really like that you provided copies of the slides.
LEAST: Because there was so much information covered it wasn't as in depth and detailed as I had expected.
HELPFUL? I really enjoyed all the speakers and look forward to making changes that I believe will help.
-- Amanda Arp
BEST: Addressing local small business with a good mix of techies, marketing folks, and the rest of us.
LEAST: No break other than during q & a. -- maybe the entry social would be better as a break in the morning session.
BEST: I liked that you all have real-world experience and were able to offer real solutions, not just theory, to small businesses.
LEAST: I would have rather heard more high-level internet marketing tips. My company has already implemented 95% of what you recommended during the seminar.
HELPFUL? Yes, we have implemented separate contact us pages on out web site for each of our locations. Need higher-level tips now.
BEST: Explanation of how local results are created prior to you taking ownership and the importance of doing so.
LEAST: Audio needed a little help. Maybe mic the speakers to prevent flailing arm can't hear em syndrome.
BEST: I really appreciated all of the small details that you clarified (meta tags are NOT used to classify my website? HUH?) as well as the differences between organic, maps and adwords and how to boost my status. I also appreciated knowing what I need to do to help the spiders figure out who I am and what I do. If you ever need a regular, run of the mill business person to speak at any of your events - call me! I would love to participate!
LEAST: Not understanding what some of the terms were before the presenters started talking about them. Perhaps an initial glossary would be helpful. Also, though it's not that I didn't like it, but the examples of what we should do were great, but how to do them was left out - like to start a blog yes we do, but do we need to optimize a blog? Upload a Youtube video, but tag it with labels? I think that some things may seem like a "Duh!" moment when you know the information, but that stuff is the grain of the bread for those who don't know it.
HELPFUL? Yes, this definitely will help my business. We're in the process of re-creating our landing page to actually work WITH the search engines and therefore our customers instead of against us!!! Dancing Leprachauns and entry pages be damned! ~ Also, since there's no other place to put it, I do think you can offer this class again and more people will come...
-- Tia Wooley - Beautiful Photo Studio
BEST: top notch professionals presented, from Google and Bing - other presenters appeared knowledgeable in their field.
LEAST: alot of the information was stuff that I already knew. Seemed like it was geared for the very beginner..would have liked to delve deeper into the aspects of pay-per-click and how to read the reports in order to know where to spend advertising dollars.
HELPFUL? yes, I did learn some things, for example that metatags within the site don't mean anything anymore.
BEST: The pace
LEAST: too many subjects, I think social media could have been another topic entirely. I lost focus.
HELPFUL? it will help me get started learning more
BEST: A great overview of local search, with good concrete steps to take to get your company listed.
LEAST: Would liked it to have been longer and more in-depth, maybe break out in groups. Would have paid more for a full day. (It never reached the point of getting old or repetitive, at least fro me.)
HELPFUL? PPC overview would have helped me (personally)
-- Barrett J. Rossie
BEST: the focus on Local, and doing things w/ Cheap free tools / DIY approach
-- Josh Schluter
BEST: I appreciated that this seminar was directed towards FREE methods of improving search results and improving site traffic. We are equivalent to a non-profit and so we have no budget for ppc marketing. Also was impressed that the presenters are top in their field - that gave a little more weight to what they were saying.
LEAST: It went a little fast. Also, I think it may have been more helpful or more meaningful if the case studies given at the end of the session were from Spokane. Maybe consider useing the websites of your attendees as a case study - might hit home a little more. At least I would have found it more interesting if it were about companies and organizations I was familiar with. I know Ed Reese did this, but if all the presenters did, that would be great.
HELPFUL? I think that what I learned at the seminar will help our websites get noticed more, but I would have liked to see more info on basic SEO and not so much emphasis on the Local part.
-- Sarah Reynolds
LEAST: Your presentation skills were great except you should have appeased the type of learning style that needed handouts to take notes on and follow.
I understand it is hard to take on a group of people with varying levels of knowledge but I found mysef lost in acronyms.
-- Eunice Hickerson, Broker, Desert Hills Realty
BEST: good people very organized
LEAST: no door prizes,no sponsor demos,no continuity or community. no local case studies or live demo
-- John Wright
BEST: the information, the locality and the hotel
LEAST: use tables instaed of rows of chairs. ask ann to slow down. it would have been useful to have copies of the slides or at least the information on hand to be able to take notes on. have food other than pure sugar (as we get older the crash after the sugar high comes sooner).
HELPFUL? very much so.
-- btpotter, Chair, OutSpokane
BEST: THE TIPS ON MARKETING WITH FACE BOOK AND BLOGGING AND TWITTER. ALSO THE WORD LIST FOR WEB SEARCHES
LEAST: WOULD HAVE LIKED SOME OF THE SUBJECTS TO BE MORE IN DEPTH
HELPFUL? YES DEFINATELY
-- VIKKI HOSKINS HAV WESTERNWEAR
BEST: Good information.
LEAST: Needed at least 1 more break. It was a long time to sit.
BEST: Great info, wonderful panel. It was a well run event packed with good info.
LEAST: Needed more break time (ouch!)
HELPFUL? Absolutely. I am very involved in local search and learned a ton. I feel it was still accessible to all, however. I would have really liked to see some kind of ongoing group started by the event, like a local search mastermind kind of organization. If not that, perhaps a forum for attendees.
BEST: the in-depth coverage on SEO's
LEAST: Would have been nice to have had the handouts on the slides immediately to take down notes on these, rather than hand write out so much info.
HELPFUL? most definitely will help
-- Lisa Beckman
BEST: BLOG impact on SEO
LEAST: seating - no way to take notes. need table
HELPFUL? Distinction between local and organic searches - never realized the difference.
BEST: It was well represented, it was not a sales presentation, the information was provided in an easy to understand way. The seminar stayed on track and on time which was great.
LEAST: A break would have been nice.
-- Stephanie Feist
BEST: Great info all around. Really nice having someone from Google and Bing there. I've seen a lot of Social media events lately, but it's always the same people and there's usually no real value to hearing them speak. This had some great, high level thinking and implementation for SEO/SEM/Social.
LEAST: Nothing I can think of.
HELPFUL? Yes. I sell online to clients, and I now feel a bit more prepared to sit down with them and go over optimizing their site and increasing their organic search results.
-- Patrick O'Brien
BEST: Ed Reese's taco truck case study. 🙂 Actually, the whole thing was good. Especially the google stuff and how to do local listings.
LEAST: More breaks and questions. Also, not all businesses want to reach the local market. I would have liked to see more about how to reach business away from here.
BEST: Great content and interaction between presenters and speakers/panel
LEAST: Wish there was a short break after the first panel before the next speakers and second panel.
HELPFUL? Most definitely
BEST: The content -- the practical application of search and the different social medias
LEAST: Too compact....would like more time to share with others in attendance and to slow down and work through different business scenarios.
HELPFUL? Yes.....just want more
-- Jim CastroLang
BEST: quality of presenters
LEAST: could have been a little more down to basics for me. IE: less jargon and acronym used.
BEST: The information presented is very beneficial if one takes this information and applies it to their specific applications.
LEAST: The presentations should be put on CD's of other media and handed out upon entering the meeting so they can take it back with them.
HELPFUL? Yes, however, I am still awaiting the email with the electronic information presented which will be a good road map to use in the optimaization process.
BEST: the variety of presenters and that none of the presentations were too long - the session was broken up into short enough blocks to keep it lively but get interesting points from each speaker. I liked learning about the "long-tail" search, I hadn't heard about that one before but it made total sense based on my own experience as a consumer.
LEAST: That it wasn't more clear in the meeting info where the exact location was. The directions were only "Northern Quest Casino". Having been to meetings @ the casino before, I assumed it would be in the pavilion near the casino floor. When I headed that way and didn't see it, I asked one of the staff nearby who looked like he was there to help direct people. He didn't know and sent me to another desk where they said "that must be that meeting going on in the hotel." So then I had to walk all the way back through the casino to the hotel. More the fault of the facility I guess.
HELPFUL? Yes, I just need to put it to use 🙂
BEST: That knowledgable people came to our community.
LEAST: It went too fast. The speakers had to rush through all their information and there wasn't enough time to ask questions or even take a break
HELPFUL? Yes, we still have a lot to learn, but more detail on the different areas would have been more helpful. Having it a day long instead of 1/2 day would have helped the information to sink in and help make the information a lot more useful.
BEST: I was completely new to these concepts, but they were well explained. It was very easy to go to the office afterward and implement everything discussed.
LEAST: The Q&A. They were so specific to each person's situation that it did me no good to hear what they had to say, and if nothing else confused me more while I was learning new concepts.
HELPFUL? Yes! I've already claimed my listings and am taking control of what people see, including feedback.
-- Benjamin Pingel, Marketing Director for Thrifty Car Rental of Spokane