The “other seminar”- subsidized by the SBA at WSU
Today I attended the “How to drive traffic to your website, and what to do when it gets there!” seminar at Wright State University and sponsored by the SBA and the Ohio Small Business Development Centers.
From the Dayton Daily News article, it is a “3-hour workshop presented commercially nationwide for $295” – which it turns out- isn’t true. “Dr. Jerry” said that that seminar was an all day seminar- but that he was going to speak faster for us so we would get the same info- just in a shorter period of time. If I made this claim, the Dayton Ad Club and the Better Business Bureau would be all over me.
There were almost 50 people in the room, and I did everything I could do not to say anything to correct some of the patently incorrect information that was given. My favorites were his explanations of how search works- mostly based on scores of keywords- which might have been fine 4 years ago- but is no where close to how page rank is established now. He claimed that links in weren’t important for building incoming traffic (my stats would say differently).
A woman asked about new entries to the web; “Do you get a better position when new” was totally wrong. He claimed that Google actually won’t index a new site for several days- and there is a “Sandbox effect” where a page will rise in rank over time. Google knows the web is changing daily- and that most of the time people are looking for the most recent information available. A perfect example of current topics rising to the top of search was within days of launch of the new Apple iPod nano, a kid blogged about how his broke- and Apple wouldn’t fix it. Not only was his site instantly a huge hit, it attracted so many other stories that a class action lawsuit was filed soon after and Apple changed its repair policy.
The list of things we cover in blogosopher would exceed the 21 page handout he provided- but, to briefly cover the most important things he didn’t talk about: Blogs, RSS, CSS, how to build online relationships, Open Source solutions, Static vs Active vs Live sites, web standards, accessibility standards, alt tags, how search is changing site design, mass e-mail management, how URL’s are largely irrelevant (his suggestion was to buy every URL variation, and extension including misspellings because they are cheap), how the web will change the way we do business even more so in the future.
While I have seen stats saying most people prefer organic results and as high as 80% of people skip the sponsored links entirely, if you followed his presentation- you would be spending all of your money on pay per click. We believe PPC is a tool of the sloppy marketer, one who doesn’t understand how to build a brand and a brand message that is compelling. We’ve had some people sign up for blogosopher just because they were spending so much on PPC that, while sales were increasing, the costs of PPC were neutralizing profits.
Many of the people came to the WSU seminar looking for answers on how to build a site- his answer was to use GoDaddy’s site tonight templates.
I can assure you that you will leave a blogosopher seminar able to own an effective site- that you can maintain, knowing the tricks to organic search engine optimization and to grow your business.
I must admit- I almost lost it when he did one of his few online demonstrations and searched the keyword “pump” in Yahoo Search Marketing (formerly Overture) keyword selection tool- and the results were less than g-rated.
Be assured, all search engines don’t work the same- no matter what “Dr. Jerry” says- and all seminars aren’t the same.