It was that time of year again and DBG made the journey over to Sydney for the annual Search Marketing Expo Conference trip, our third year in a row and I’m now starting to feel like I know Milson’s Point better than my own back yard!

This year’s international speakers included:

Rand Fishkin (SEOMoz), Bruce Clay (Bruce Clay Inc), Greg Boser (3 Dog Media), Jane Copland & Rob Kerry (Ayima) & Stephen Pavlovich (Conversion Rate Experts)

Day One:

Day one started with coffee and eggs Benedict at Ripples Café by Sydney Harbour, nice view of the harbour and that big bridge. After registration and collecting my whiz bang, limited edition, SMX Sydney laptop bag I made my way to the crystal ballroom for the first day of search marketing goodness.

Things that were spoken about:

Blended Search (Video, News, Books, Images etc all in the Google results together) and Mobile search (optimising for portable hand held devices and mobile phones).

After a delicious lunch I sat down for the second half of day 1 and listen to presentations on:

How to get the best out of your page rank by structuring your internal page links correctly and setting up the correct 301 re-directs to preserve back links.

After some quick coffee and cake and a chat to the gang from Advantate I moved on to session 2:

CSS, AJAX and Web 2.0, the ranking issues and what to consider when designing a site with these technologies. Then bruches up on Ad Group Management for your Adwords account and International SEO – Optimisation your site for different audiences around the world. Finished the day off with some drinks at The Deck and made my way back to the hotel.

Day two…

Day two included sessions on what you should be measuring in your Analytics but aren’t, followed by probably the most interesting session I have ever attended on Conversion Rate Optimisation presented by Stephen Pavlovich. If you are ever wondering why your site is not converting , get in touch with this man.

After lunch we looked at Quality Score with Google and how to get the cheapest Cost Per Click and most relevant Landing Pages and Ads and learnt some nifty paid search tactics to save clients money.

I then sat in on an interesting session on SPAM, the junk mail variety, not the ham.

The end of conference Site Clinic is always a good laugh with the who’s who of SEO battling it out over who’s got the biggest ego and providing some handy advice on what to do and what not to do with your site, more often than not, to the embarrassment of those brave enough to put their site up for critique.

The two days were topped of nicely with a  networking boat cruise around Sydney Harbour – networking on a boat – what a brilliant idea! The barbequed prawns weren’t bad either. Got to catch up with my old mate Philip Shaw from Clever Clicks and kicked on well into the night. Made many new friends and thoroughly enjoyed some boating and fishing banter with the legendary Bruce Clay – what a champ. Till next time…

Picture below courtesy of Andrew Ballard @

Bruce Clay, Luke Jamieson, Kate Gamble & Philip Shaw
SMX Sydney: Bruce Clay, Luke Jamieson, Kate Gamble & Philip Shaw