Looking at Adtech - Day 1 from an SEO perspective

Wed 23 September 2009 11:00, Peter Young

Looking at Adtech - Day 1 from an SEO perspective

Adtech is not one of the first conferences many UK based search marketeers will think of in terms of attendance, however I was pleased to see not only a good turnout at the conference but a vibrant engage audience wanting to talk all things digital.

A rather muted start was not symbolic of what was to come at Adtech London 2009, with chair Jeanie Bergin starting proceedings off, followed by Thomas Gensemer from Blue State Digital, one of the digital agencies involved in Barack Obamas steamroll to the White House.

Whilst the talk itself focussed on a number of different facets of the online and social media aspects of the BA campaign, it was truly impressive to see not only the different parts of the campaign coming together but also some of the associated opportunities that came about from various user generated contributions. Of particular note were particular figures which highlighted the role online played in the Obama campaign. Of particular note were:

  • Of the $750000000 donated, $560000000 was raised online (Number of noughts should be right)
  • Most donations consisted of contributions of $100 or less
  • Average age of donor was 45+
  • Average donor gave more than once

Crucial to these was the speed of reaction and the use of social media as part of the campaign. Further stats provided highlighted the level of engagement with Obama supporters during this time including

  • 2 Billion emails sent
  • 5 Million participating in groups/social media
  • Tens of thousands of bloggers involved, producing millions of posts. From a search perspective such buzz would (and didn't go unnoticed).  Parallels with SEO were consistent throughout and the real focus on advocacy and engagement was something I personally felt many SEO's could have taken a lot from.
  • The role participants played in the evolution of the campaign itself. Many of the TV slots, viral campaigns, offline campaigns came about via feedback from participants

 In terms of a keynote it is certainly an inspiring start, something which continued to be taken into subsequent panels both in the conference centre itself and throughout the exhibition seminars themselves. A dedicated search panel at the event has ensured a consistent stream of quality search related data from the event (as well as other search panels on the Efficient Frontier 'theatre'), which today included:

  • Jordi Ribas - Microsoft - End of an era - banish the blue links
  • IAB - Making the most of recent changes in search marketing which included representatives from the main three engines
  • Vincent Labey - AEDAgency = 5 best practises to stay ontop on the holidays
  • Robin Goad - Hitwise - How will christmas 2009 shape up for online retail
  • Terry Heffernan - High Position - getting the maximum from search from all channels
  • JT Manning - Genieknows Media - 2nd Tier search marketing
  • Ed Preedy - Tribal Fusion - How an Ad Network can refine your online branding strategy
  • Jonathan Beeston - Efficient Frontier - A bad practise guide to PPC
  • Greig Holbrook - Oban Multilingual - How to combine SEO/PPC with multivariate testing to get optimum traffic and conversions for international sites (some good European search and behavioural stats to follow)
  • Neil Yeomans - Lake Star Media - Don't make these SEO mistakes

Further information will be provided on a number of the panels above, in particular Gregs talk on International sites shortly.

From an SEO perspective, it obviously doesn't have the same focus on search as other conferences such as SES or SMX however it was good to see a good turnout at the event from the big agencies themselves and several smaller ones - potentially further proof of renewed optimism in the economy in the UK. Further to that a number of speakers and attendees from as far a field as South Africa were in attendance - something which it has to be said is not symbolic of other more niche operations.

In conclusion, its not one of the conferences many search maketeers may consider but a good blend of agency and client side folk provide a conference which engages and provides a broader overview of online marketing and particularly searches involvement therein.


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