A Great Day At The LocalU Event in Silicon Valley!

by on May 4, 2014 · 3 comments

Don-Thomas-LocalU1024v2

This last week, Local University (#LocalU) came to Silicon Valley for the first time. LocalU is an event designed to help small and local business owners figure out what to do online.

I’ve been to several LocalUs and presented at some of them too, so it was exciting to have one in my home town. We held the event at the Community Center in downtown Campbell, which is just West of San Jose and in the heart of Silicon Valley.

The room was full at LocalU in Silicon Valley!

The room was full at LocalU in Silicon Valley!

Event Highlights and Photos

Here are some pictures and highlights from the day:

I worked with Kathy Long of KatAndMouse to help organize the event. Kathy gets credit for most of the work though. We had almost 200 people at the event – and the Campbell Banquet Hall at the Community Center was packed. We had coffee, tea, and all kinds of other snacks and drinks there (including some Red Bulls to get people charged up in the morning!)

Presentations at the LocalU Silicon Valley Event

At the event, Aaron Weiche started it off with his presentation How To Make A Good Website. He’s a great presenter and had some really good tips in there for making a website that not only ranks well, but provides a top-notch user experience which results in more effective websites.

Aaron Weiche at LocalU in Campbell, CA

Aaron Weiche at LocalU

I presented next – my presentation was called Website Optimization Basics. I walked through the basics of how search engine results are generated and the REAL signals that your website can send the search engines in order to rank better. We did an experimental “live stream” of my talk for our Expand2Web Members using LiveStream. I think it went well, so we’re going to do more of these.

Don Campbell at LocalU

Don Campbell at LocalU

Will Scott’s presentation was Getting Social Online where he introduced social internet marketing, including strategies to engage with customers and prospective customers using the most popular social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, and blogs. Will provided a ton of really good examples in his talk.

Will Scott at LocalU

Will Scott at LocalU

Mike Ramsey followed this up with his presentation on Reviews And Your Online Reputation. In his presentation, showed how to make online reviews work for your business with some great examples and practical tips. He also gave a shout out to our new feedback and review management system GetFiveStars – thanks Mike!

Mike Ramsey at LocalU

Mike Ramsey at LocalU

Mike Blumenthal stared his presentation off by dropping a stack of print yellow pages on the floor. The distinctive “Thud” got the audiences attention! Then Mike delivered some great research and advice on how to rank well in the Google Maps results and how to make sure you convert searchers into customers.

Mike Blumenthal at LocalU

Mike Blumenthal at LocalU

Kathy Long of KatAndMouse did a presentation called Grow Your Business With Email Marketing – she showed how to build relationships with easy, inexpensive and highly effective email marketing. Kathy is local to the area, and she did a ton of work to make this event happen. She also recently redesigned her website – and if you check it out you will see she’s got a great eye for design!

Kathy Long at LocalU

Kathy Long at LocalU

Ed Reese’s presentation was Understanding Your Website Traffic. He did an excellent job of breaking down Google Analytics and showing how to measure the success of your local business website, and how to convert visitors to customers.

Ed Reese at LocalU

Ed Reese at LocalU

Google was a sponsor, and did a nice presentation called Going Local On Google – he showed how to claim your local Google Place page, and showed some other local products as well.

Google at LocalU

Google at LocalU

Ginny Sandhu from Microsoft presented Going Local On Bing. He gave a demonstration of Bing’s local products, and also dropped some super interesting statistics based on what they are seeing. Bing is now allowing you to verify your business based on asking you questions that only the business owner would know. They are getting this information from Dunn & Bradstreet. It’s a great idea that is simplifying the process of claiming and verifying business listings on Bing.

He also shared some of Bing’s research and findings about how people use their mobile devices. He said that 86 million people per month are looking for local information, and when they do this from their mobile device, they make a decision within one hour vs one day on desktop devices.

Another interesting stat he shared – mobile is now driving 15% of search queries on the Yahoo / Bing network and growing fast. David Mihm retweeted this and added – Google predicts mobile will drive 50% of search queries by year end!

Bing at LocalU

Bing at LocalU

Event Backing and Sponsors

This LocalU had the backing of several sponsors including the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce, Whitespark, CustomerLobby, Expand2Web (my company, and creator of GetFiveStars).

Upcoming Events

It was a great day in all, and I can’t recommend this event enough. Check out the LocalU website to see when it is coming to your town!

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Don is an entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley. He founded Expand2Web and is the publisher of the Expand2Web Blog, and the GetFiveStars Customer Feedback and Reviews service.

Don has written 313 articles on Expand2Web

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary Bowling May 5, 2014 at 7:54 am

Thanks for helping to make the Silicon Valley LocalU such a great event, Don and Thomas!

Reply

Don Campbell May 5, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Our pleasure Mary. It was great to have LocalU here. Fantastic event. We missed you though!

Reply

stefan May 6, 2014 at 1:01 am

Too bad I missed it. I liked this overview. Thanks for sharing

Reply

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