Takeaways from the 2019 Raleigh SEO Conference

Well, I just got home from the Raleigh SEO Conference for 2019 and let me say I was just blown away. The speakers and panelists were amazingly generous with their knowledge about what’s working for digital marketing both on the content side and the technical SEO side.

raleigh seo conference badge 2019

Based on the other people I talked to who happened to sit next to me, they took away a lot from this conference as well, and had some insight of their own to add.

Interviews from Attendees

Taylor Rasmus runs social media for the company she works for in Raleigh and said she’s getting a lot of traction on Facebook in 2019 by creating unique, shareable memes that encourage engagement.

A technical SEO working for a company in Apex NC said that the focus for website optimization should be heavy on mobile page speed as was discussed in one of the conference tracks.

Anthony Welch, who also works with SEO at his company, said his favorite part of the 2019 Raleigh SEO Conference was all of the creative ways that people are thinking outside of the box with SEO today and how much was shared.

Frank Jones from OptSus Marketing did a great job at organizing 2 separate tracks so that attendees could pick and choose the topics that most interested them. Obviously I could only be at 1 place at a time, but I’ve added my takeaways from each session I attended below.

Session #1: Common SEO Mistakes

This was an excellent discussion to start the day including Jake Bohall @jakebohall, Candice Lyna @candicelyna, and Karl Sakas @KarlSakas.

One of the first things mentioned that resonated alot with me was this idea that chasing the money is a huge potential mistake. I love that long term focus as it aligns with how I like to approach marketing and SEO.

Some other mistakes that these experts have observed over the years include:

  • Emulating competitors blindly
  • Thinking an SEO strategy is “one and done”
  • Making little effort
  • Not experimenting new ways to get exposure

Session #2: Small Business SEO

This session was a presentation by Phil Buckley @1918 about how he helped his wife build her small business from out of their driveway into a booming office in Cary NC.

small business local seo

Phil shared a lot of tools that would help small business owners who are looking to increase their local SEO presence, and shared an excellent way that he built a web page to save his wife hours of time every single week.

Session #3: What Works in Building Links Today

This was another great panel including Joe Youngblood @YoungbloodJoe, Brian Patterson, and Mark Traphagen @marktraphagen.

link building seo

There was a ton of value from this session that I can’t possibly cover it all here, but let me say this one was my favorite and worth the price of admission alone.

In a nutshell, the panel shared creative ways to build links in a way that is ethical and win, win, win for everyone involved– which again hugely aligns with the way I approach SEO.

The closing comments summed it up perfectly: “Be Creative”.

Session #4: SEO Strategies, Tools, & Website Migrations

Here was a panel that really got into the nitty gritty of SEO. The panel was led by Jeff Louella @jefflouella, Rob Delory @rdelory, and Chuck Kim @DigitalKRage.

seo tools

What I appreciated about these discussions was that there was an obvious attention to detail– which can sometimes get lost in a world of shortcut plugins and tools.

For you SEO nerds like me out there: A great tip from Brian Gorman (check out his post on Moz Blog too) was that sometimes website owners don’t check their robots.txt file for an easy and obvious fix to why search traffic has dropped.

Session #5: Technical SEO in 2019

This was an insightful panel with Brian Gorman @briangormanGFD, local legend Jenny Halasz @jennyhalasz, and Rachel Costello @rachellcostello about again, the nitty gritty behind websites and SEO.

The topics ran the gamut from things like structured data make-up, the impact of website speed to ranking in SERPs, and the importance of using CDNs particularly if your audience is international.

Some of the other hot topics were discussed such as voice search, image impact to rankings… and along those lines also the impact of video.

Session #6: Content, Content, Content

This was a great presentation by Mark Traphagen @marktraphagen.

content is king presentation

If you’ve ever met me in person and heard me talk about my company’s mission statement and approach to SEO, you’ll know that I founded the company name and logo inspired by the pine tree– which is evergreen and keeps its leaves all year round. Having highly valuable content is what makes that evergreen characteristic possible for a company’s marketing strategy.

I appreciated Mark’s emphasis on the person behind the content and how they can connect with the audience’s mind AND heart.

By humanizing yourself you can humanize the others you serve.

Session #7: Social Media and Link Building

I shouldn’t have been surprised that I’d takeaway so many valuable insights and tips from this presentation by Joe Youngblood @YoungbloodJoe considering he also had a lot to share in session 3 that I talked about above.

He gave practical tips on using Twitter and Facebook to help drive exposure to your content, as well as a surprising revelation about his success of the “dying” platform Tumblr.

He also talked about Reddit and some creative local community building he is doing on there– sharing positivity rather than the regular news cycle of doom and despair.

raleigh conference speakers seo

All-in-all, I had a great time.

I met some great people, learned a few things, and got some big picture ideas for my own SEO strategy.

If you’ve ever considered attending the SEO conference in Raleigh, what are you waiting for?

Every year, business owners and online marketers can learn and network with some of the biggest names in Raleigh SEO at this conference, and hopefully take something away that will drive major impact in a business.

Try it out and see for yourself.