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The Top 5 Speakers from ClickZ Live 2014 San Francisco

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Published: August 25, 2014

The SES conference, now known as ClickZ Live, wrapped up on August 14th, in the lovely city of San Francisco. This was my second event, having attended last year’s SES conference. Overall the team did a great job organizing ClickZ Live and putting together an outstanding line up of speakers and presenters. However there were five that stood out above the rest. Our best of the best lineup includes Jim Boykin, Larry Kim, Bonin Bough, Thom Craver and Erin Everhart. So what separated these five speakers from the rest? They were passionate, informative and actively showed why they are experts in their field. I am not saying that the others were less knowledgeable, but these speakers provided real examples of how they are getting results using their expertise.

Jim Boykin, CEO, Internet Marketing Ninjas
I have followed Jim since the days of when his company went by We Build Pages. His integrated marketing tactics have always proven results in every campaign I have been a part of. From using PR and content marketing with link building campaigns and avoiding easy link building tactics to not be hit by algorithm penalties. The first time I met Jim was last year at SES and he is a real down to Earth guy that is always willing to help out with advice and tips to correct mistakes that are being used in SEO or link building campaigns. This year he spoke on the topic of Digital Assets to Increase Your SEO, SMM, and Branding Signals. Boykin, completely out did himself with all the wealth of knowledge he provided from how to properly promote infographics, to how building simple apps and writing great content can naturally build links and brand mentions through social media, and syndication.

Larry Kim, Founder & CTO, WordStream, Inc.
First of all, his memes were on point. One of his main points of emphasis was the importance of having a good quality score on your PPC campaign and how to earn it. The other point he covered was, what is a good CTR and how to increase it. According to Larry Kim 50% of the ads are under-performing, 15% are awesome, 5% are great and only 1% are Unicorn ads. Kim, said that in order to increase your CTR you must write Unicorn ads, which will average 6 times more clicks than the average ad. Also in order to write these types of ads, one must avoid using DKIs and must use ad extensions. But what is a Unicorn ad? See example below for a divorce attorney ad.

Bonin Bough, VP, Global Media and Consumer Engagement, Mondelēz International
To be honest with you I had never heard of Bonin until he stepped on the stage and even after he started speaking I still had no clue who he was, but once he mentioned that he was behind the Oreo “you can still dunk in the dark” Tweet during the Super Bowl black out, I immedately realized this guy is a genius. The topic of the keynote was Hackonomy, meaning we don’t always have to be the inventors of something as long as we can hack it or reserve engineer it we’ll be just fine. One of the things that got me thinking was when he mentioned that marketers can use utilize influencers to create content for their brands because this is something that we just implemented and it seems to be working. So it’s always great when I someone of his caliber confirms the tactics we are using. Lastly, he mentioned that we must always test to find out what is working and what isn’t.

Thom Craver, Vice President, Development and IT, Internet Marketing Ninjas
On Monday, I attended his workshop on the topic of measuring results through analytics and attribution. After listening to the first 45 minutes of his presentation I knew that once I got back home I had a lot of tracking work ahead of me. Thom covered very useful tracking data and reporting from the importance of tracking events, to grouping pages by main categories and why tags in analytics are important in inbound campaigns for visitors and segmentation. One thing that I really enjoyed are the “How To’s” he had in his presentation from how to properly track goal funnels and the most common mistakes marketers make when setting up a goal conversion funnel. I was always under the impression that one must have a check out process to have a funnel, but he proved that I was wrong. We can set up a funnel with the contact and thank you page.

Erin Everhart, SEO Manager, The Home Depot
Erin covered the topic of Landing Page Optimization. This is a topic that every marketer must pay extra attention to, especially if you are running PPC campaigns. A few weeks ago I attended a client meeting in which I met the person who is handling their paid campaign and after speaking with her for about five minutes, I realized she has no clue about what she is doing. She points every ad to the home page instead of unique landing pages like Erin was stressing during her presentation. Erin like many other presenters drove home the point of A/B testing for landing pages to find out which page will convert at a higher rate. According to her, one way to get an understanding of how your customers buy is to perform a quick survey or interview. Participant should be current customers and people who are not familiar with your brand to get the best results. During the interview avoid using yes or no questions instead ask open ended questions to ensure they perform the action you want them to when they land on your page. Plus, don’t forget that people like to be validated so find a way to validate your customers whether it’s on social media or other types of platforms. Lastly, ignore your gut and the gut of the HIPPOs “Highest Paid Person’s Opinion” and always test.

Honorable Mention Eric Enge, CEO, Stone Temple Consulting
The first time I met Eric Enge was last year at SES when he was speaking on the topic of penalty recovery from Google’s algorithm. At that time we had just on boarded a client that had been penalized by Google for low quality links. The tips he provided were very useful and we ended up helping the client recover from the penalty. Therefore I had to attend his workshop this year on Developing and Sustaining a Winning Content Strategy since this is the way we are helping clients with brand presence and link building. Once again Eric did not disappoint with his wealth of knowledge and ways to develop and improve content strategies.

Of course every year there is a great deal of influential speakers at the conference that is now ClickZ Live. Speakers and marketers from all over the world travel to this international conference to discuss the latest innovations and strategies that other peers and influencers are using to achieve success with their clients and individual brands. What makes this conference so great is that is a conference for digital marketers put on by digital marketers so the team at ClickZ is very well in tune with who the top influencers in the industry are and do their best to make sure that they get as many of them as they can to speak at their conferences. If you also attended ClickZ Live 2014 in San Francisco, which speakers made your top five speakers list?