Joke, joke, no infographic here @davesnyder would have my guts for such things, so here is a penguin instead.
The event was brilliant, with speakers such as Tim Grice (@tim_grice), Lee Odden (@leeodden) , Dave Snyder (@davesnyder) and Ralph Tegtmeier (@fantomaster) all speaking about marketing at it's best (and worst). ionSearch 2012 was held at The Carriage Works in Leeds, a brilliant venue with just the right capacity for this inaugural event. Before delving any deeper I should point out that in my view (at least) ionSearch was a huge success and I can't wait for next year to come around.
The day started with Lee Odden, CEO of Top Rank Marketing, opening the conference. He began with a brief overview of his history and how TRM has been shaped over recent years. Lee also talked about his new book "Optimize", which probably won't be localised to Optimise for non-US markets we learnt. Lee spoke about how TRM use a 6 month striking plan, with wild cards, to really get the most out of every marketing strategy for every company they work with. He talked about how it is important for website owners to realise that traffic is not an end goal, but the conversion of that traffic (something I've banged on about for years now). One of the big tips from Lee (and others during the day) was to piggyback on current affairs issues to lever your product and get it talked about, though it did come with a word of caution, it can be dangerous and backfire!
One of the nice things about ionSearch was the venue meant you were close to the other event rooms and could (if you wanted) skip across between schedule making the most of the event. One of the other event rooms was the Experts Panel room, where talks about niche subjects took place such as Mobile Search by Andy of WebCertain (@andyatkinskruge) and My SEO Toolkit, in which 4 seo experts talked us through their favourite SEO tools - a biggie amongst the lists was the Microsoft SEO Tool (which is free).
This was the room I spent a chunk of the afternoon in listening to talks about Social Media and the Future of SEO, as well as Creative Link building. These are all interesting topics to have discussed in a large group as we did, but perhaps a such a wide scope at times that the topic (for example) kept returning to "Bad Links" and how to remove them. Now that is perfectly natural for a session to take the direction of if it was about just link building but having been billed as talking about link building strategies I would have taken a lot more from the session if it actually stuck to the description. That said it and the other sessions we're all fantastic and with speakers such as Tim Grice, Lyndon Antcliff (@lyndoman), Razvan Gavrilas (of @cognitiveseo), Alex Craven of Bloom Agency (@alexcraven), Heather Healy @heatherhealy and Kirsty Hulse @kirsty_hulse, it was always going to be an amazing afternoon in the SEO Experts Panel room.
Two speakers which I missed, due to being in another room or talking to other SEO's, were those of Tim Grice (link building) and Ralph Tegtmeier (Black into White SEO), though I did see the end of the later. By all accounts those two talks were pretty damn good and shouldn't have been missed, but it is a tribute to ionSearch that there was so many good things going on something was always going to loose out. If you want to read a little more about those talks take a look at the ionSearch reviews by @armenante (ionSearch review by Tom Armenante) and TheCultureVulture ionSearch Review (@culturevultures).
Overall ionSearch 2012 was a great success, it had great speakers, great sponsors and great delegates. The key take aways are:
SEO should be naturally built up SEO is not something that is done overnight!
There are LOTS of Free SEO Tools See @analyticsseo slideshare above for over 50 of them!
You can remove bad links If you try REALLY hard! Otherwise just build new Good Links!
SEO is vital to Great Online Marketing Keeping upto date is keep to staying ahead of your competitors.
If you would like to see some of the pictures from ionSearch 2012, check out flickr.
Finally, a huge thank you must go to @BlueClaw and all the advertisers that made the event possible. All delegates had a great time and are looking forward to ionSearch 2013!