7 SEO Mistakes Even SEO Professionals Make

No, despite what you may have heard, SEO is not dead. That’s just people being dramatic. At the same time, it is changing and changing rapidly. For that reason, if you want to stay ahead of the curve it is important to know what’s going on and how you can take advantage of it. Only in that way can you make sure that what you’re doing in SEO actually has any value.

Today we’re going to explore some of the big mistakes that many SEO professionals are making. These fall into two broad categories. The first one is using strategies from 2016 and back in 2017. The second one is not being on the ball and letting small mistakes influence the effectiveness of what they’re doing.

Sound good? Let’s get started.

Not having a checklist

The very first thing that we’re going to discuss is the humble checklist. Yes, I know, a checklist? But bear with me here. Checklists have proven invaluable in numerous professions. For example, hospitals and surgeries now use them regularly to significantly reduce the risk of death from surgery.

How do they do this?

By identifying small maneuvers and actions that can make a difference but are easily overlooked. Yes, individually these actions might not be that big. They might only make a 1 or 2 percent difference overall. But when you’re talking about big numbers – and hopefully you are – a couple of small little actions that add 1 to 2 percent to your campaign’s effectiveness will make a huge difference to your bottom line.

So, the first thing that you should sit down and do with your SEO team is create a checklist of activities and actions that are important to SEO. As an added bonus, you’ll use that time to share news and ideas that will make it clear what techniques work and which ones do not, thereby shedding wasteful actions and focusing on what will actually boost your strategy.

What’s more, an up to date checklist will be phenomenally useful when training new members of staff. So go on, do that first.

Thinking it’s still all about keywords

Just a couple of years ago you could make a lot of money by finding underused keywords, building a website that was covered with it and then redirecting traffic from that site to your own. That doesn’t work anymore. After all, Google reads the articles out there as well.

(Do you ever wonder if Google’s algorithm reading about Google’s algorithm amounts to self-reflection? Okay, that’s just me then.)

Sure, Google still works with keywords, but they’re not half as important anymore. Instead, they’re now targeting underlying concepts. Yes, that’s right. Google now understands language well enough that simply writing about keywords is no longer enough.

Instead, texts need to actually be about what you say they’re about, with the algorithm determining based on word groupings what you’re actually discussing. This is a massive boon for those websites that have decided that a lot of high-quality content is valuable. It isn’t quite as great for those SEO practitioners that are still creating huge amounts of mediocre content in the hope of building lots of links.

Duplicated Content

Often content gets duplicated by accident. For example, your website might have two different ways of pointing to the same text. The thing is, just because you do so by accident doesn’t suddenly make it alright. In fact, it makes it far worse as you’re far less likely to actually notice that it’s going on and that it’s affecting your page ranking.

For that reason, it is vital that you regularly check for duplication both on and off your site. Fortunately, that is quite easy to do. Simply turn to such programs as Copyscape to give you an idea of where texts are being duplicated.

Also, be aware that print friendly versions of pages, as well as different paths to the same pages can lead Google to seeing duplicated content. Similarly, if you have something as http and https then this can be interpreted as duplicated content.

The easiest way to avoid this kind of problem (after deleting the page, of course) is to use 301 redirect. That will make it possible to have multiple pages with the same content without it impacting your scoring in any way.

Quantity over quality

Google cares about quality. Sure, this isn’t sometimes fully embraced in their algorithm, but that’s more because their algorithm is a work in progress. The thing is, you can be sure that they’re going to continue updating their algorithm in that direction for the forseeable future, so that they can improve their reviews of companies and websites.

So even if right focusing on quantity is still a feasible strategy that is earning you a lot of traffic, that will continue to change and to shift against you – until one day they make that one little shift or change that will kill all your efforts and leave you without any traffic whatsoever.

Make sure that you get ahead of that by starting to focus on high quality content today.

Now, to be clear, not everything that you’re doing has to be absolute outstanding. That isn’t even possible. Instead, the right strategy to pursue is to have some pieces that are truly outstanding while other pieces are simply pretty good.

Then, when you have a piece that is really drawing in a lot of people, don’t just leave it be, but take extra steps to make it extra good. That means updating it, adding new information to it and in other ways making sure that it stays relevant and continues to serve as a portal to draw in extra traffic to your website.

Focusing on the wrong audience

Sometimes we get so obsessed with in audiences to our site that we forget what they’re actually there for. For example, somebody selling pots in Arkansas, starts blogging about it, ends up drawing in a lot of traffic and thinks they’re a huge success. Except that they’re only selling pots in Arkansas and the people that are actually coming in aren’t actually looking to buy pots. And so, though their traffic is up, their sales numbers are not.

Similarly, there are plenty of content marketing attempts that target the wrong people as well. For example, a lawyer site who writes articles that are only interesting for other lawyers, or a software development firm that writes articles which only programmers can understand.

Now, obviously that won’t work. This is not the audience for your product. For that reason, when you think of a new article or a new keyword, make sure that it actually fits the audience you’re trying to draw in. Because, sure it’s always nice to have more authority and to rank better overall in Google, but at one point you have to draw the line and aim at pulling in the audience that will actually buy the products that you’re offering.

Not using the right anchor text for internal links

Internal links are a fantastic opportunity to let the Google algorithm know what a page is actually about. So don’t waste that by anchoring your text to something like ‘click here’ or ‘this post’. Instead, make sure that your link actually contains the keywords that your article is about. In this way it’s far more likely that you will actually have your article rank for those words.

Remember, your link doesn’t have to be only one or two words long. You can easily highlight five or six words. In this way if you want to have the words ‘click here’ included, you still can. Just make sure that they’re followed by words that actually relate to what the article is about.

Putting the algorithm in front of your visitors

Yes, of course you want to rank well in Google. If you can do so effectively, then you’ve got a real opportunity to draw in lots of traffic. Just remember though that only drawing in the traffic is not enough. They also need to stick around on your site once they’ve arrived.

For that reason, make sure that your page actually serves the purpose that it’s meant to, by giving people the information that they’re looking for. This will ultimately serve you better than just targeting SEO as it will reduce bounce rate as well as make it far more likely that users will return to your page in the future – which in turn will benefit your SEO strategy.

So yes, focus on building a good SEO strategy. Just realize that that is not the only thing that matters. Ultimately, serving the people who come into your site well will help you far more than gaming Google.

Last words

SEO is not dead. Instead, it’s evolving. The great news is that it’s evolving towards giving users what they want – which is high-quality information that is truthful. That means that ultimately white hat strategies will pay off far more than black hat strategies as well as making the two tracks – optimizing for SEO and optimizing for visitors – fall more and more in line.

So the best strategy is to continue to optimize for SEO, even as you slowly put more and more emphasis on serving the people that come to your site. If you can do that, then you’ll be following close in the footsteps of what Google is trying to do and your content will continue to rank well for years to come.

Learn How To Use Social Media Marketing To Present Valuable Info To Your Prospects

In our previous issue, we discussed about effectively communicating with your Facebook fans. In this issue, we are going to talk about using Facebook marketing (Social Media Marketing) to deliver significance to your prospects and customers.

Here’s the fact: Over 50% of the whole Facebook community log in to their personal accounts daily. This simply means that there are around 250 million of the social networks 500 million who might be able to see your Page.

Think of the large number of people that your company can reach out to. That can equate to tons of dollars in revenue and even more work opportunities that you can actually get a chance to get involved in.

Still don’t assume all Facebook accounts have the capability to acquire customers. Just like an official web page, a Facebook account must be worked tirelessly on, adjusted, upgraded and evaluated.

It’s important that you first assess whether your Facebook business page is delivering valuable results while keeping your reputation healthy.

Do you want your business to raise a corporate awareness among people on Facebook?

Do you want to add a touch of fun and excitement which will appeal to your audience?

Or do you simply want your page to be a customer service area where informal questions and inquires can be attended to?

It’s important that you always regard value as your top priority whenever posting anything on your page. Get rid of the clutter and post only the very important things. Sometimes with a business page, you just have to reject the temptation of being too particular even when such a medium calls for it.

Here are some other tips you may find useful:

Use Customer Testimonials

It used to be that people who want to keep up with their families and friends would just have to visit their Facebook profile page, view photos, send messages and stuff like that. At present, social media management offers numerous benefits to business people. You can persuade prospects by using testimonials from your current customers or clients. So why not ask your past clients for testimonials? Of course, you would most appreciate highly positive feedback if given under your own accord. Still, this may not always be the case based on the quality of your products or services. So offer incentives, give out prizes or hold a contest. For instance, how about a 5% discount for every constructive feedback?

– Interact with Potential Customers

Whenever there are inquiries with regards to your products or services on Facebook, make sure that you get back to them straight away. It would be a good impression for your Page and for your brand in general if their questions and issues are tackled at the earliest time possible. In case this is not possible, at least apologize for the late response.

To help you with answering questions, you should also hold as much information in your Landing Page (or your Profile Page). You can make use of the Notes section for this or other similar applications on Facebook.

– Upload Relevant Photos

Quite a few use the Photos Page while some make pseudo-shops where they feature their merchandise. Any of these is fine as long as the product images are shown in good quality. Presenting photos that look wearisome and uninteresting won’t attract prospects. That’s why it’s important that you come up with eye-catching, even artistic photos, if possible. When working with retail for example, zoom towards areas where there are intricate details which highlight a clothing item’s quality.

Always remember these simple suggestions when coming up with content and you’ll have tons of prospects coming in to your business page.

Be sure to read our next issue of Facebook for Business soon.

Top Notch Content For Your Blogs

If you operate a small business website probably you without a doubt understand or know that for your blog to function, you should add new content to it consistently. Should you be not a writer naturally, contemplating things to write can be a concern and writing it is likely to be time consuming and depressing. In case you want the results but don’t want to do the writing, a content writing services can be the answer. Outsourcing does cost money, but it does not have to be costly exercise. Via low budget to high budget possible choices allow me to share three ways you can utilize content writing services to develop the material on your business blog.

If you’ve got the budget for it the most effective way is to outsource all the writing activity to content writers or particular blog writers. You can purchase a set number of posts per week or per month and in general, the more you order, the less you will pay per post. If you have one particular site, then even adding ten relevant and well crafted posts your blog each month can help get potential clients to your website.

In choosing a content writing service, the lowest priced isn’t likely to be the most effective and it’s far better to pay more for quality content than to pay a pittance and get content you wouldn’t want to publish in your site.

A high level site owner with a limited budget you can limit the sum you spend on content writing by organizing some of the articles for you blog yourself and ordering just a couple of articles a month from a content writing service. Consider ordering two longer, superior quality posts within the service, and writing several shorter posts yourself.

Employ other resources for content to fill your site. Think about obtaining content from time to time from article directories and inviting site owners to submit pertinent guest posts in exchange for a link to their website.

If you are adept at writing but find idea generation the most tough part, you could attempt purchasing articles from a inexpensive overseas content writing service and spinning them in your own words. A small problem with this is that rewriting a poorly written article normally takes longer than writing a short article from scratch!

Quite a few web owners have the extravagance of being able to outsource all of their writing needs however for newly set up businesses, it is usually unattainable to get this done. Despite your budget, writing for your home business blog will assist you to grow your business so it’s worth finding a way to implement it. A content writing service may be part of your solution.

Social Media Revolution

I came across this video over the weekend at a 4 day Internet Marketing Conference. It was interesting to track it down in YouTube and then read some (but not ALL – as there are hundreds!) of the comments. Many people seem outraged at the statistics and think that the video is clearly misleading. I tend to agree with some of these sentiments, however; one things this video does make clear is that Social Media really is a phenomenon – even if the stats are exaggerated in this video.

Judging by some of the people I met over the weekend, there is definitely HUGE opportunity for using Social Media in business. To me it is the viral nature of Social Media and the power of referrals that make it such a powerful weapon in your online marketing campaign. Anyone who has a Facebook or Twitter account will tell you that they often click on links to check something out – whether it be a link someone has posted on their page or one they discover on one of their ‘friends’ pages.

I often stumble across products or services I would normally have never known about if it hadn’t been for my Social Media account. And it’s only human nature that when you come across something you like, you then tell other people about it…and then they tell their friends about it… You see how this is viral?

So – enjoy the video, don’t get too caught up in the accuracy of the stats BUT I hope you do start to get an understanding of the incredible benefits of using Social Media to promote your business.

Don’t forget to post your comments…

BestWebber’s Client’s Enjoy Front Page Rankings

When your customers are trying to find your business or service online, are they finding your competitors instead? Finding your way to the front page of Google takes a lot of skill and strategy to get the kind of results we have achieved for our clients. So, if you are looking for the same type of result, then we are the people you should be talking to!

Want more proof? Why not head over to the Case Study page – which details the success our client SunMore Holidays has enjoyed since they started using our services

Small Steps to Better Blogging Productivity

Blog Commenting can be a very valuable addition to your arsenal of tools in trying to rank higher in the search engines and drive traffic to your site.

Blogs have been used on the internet as sources of information and human expression. They come in different forms ranging from business blogs to personal blogs, and from specific areas like travel and sports. Here is a technique that introduces a way to use blogs as leverage for traffic generation into your own website. This technique is a great way to get those desired links for your site. And more than that, this is a more of a relevant and meaningful way to attach your link. As much as possible, we want to avoid being branded as cheap or worse, spam.

Thus let us learn about the use of valuable blog commenting.

Blog Commenting

This works by searching blogs in websites, preferably top blog sites like www.blogger.com and www.wordpress.com. These awesome sites have thousands of bloggers in them. You may want to fish into these rich, deep waters. So assuming you are planning to promote your website about network marketing, you may want to search blogs about network marketing or mlm, also maybe about internet marketing. Then you’ll do the 5 step process we will introduce here in order to create valuable blog commenting. This will work magic since unlike most blog commentaries; valuable blog commenting possesses sincerity of intention, relativity to the subject, and connection of common interest. There will be a 7/10 ratio or a 70% chance that your endorsed links will get through by the use of this process, contrary to the usual slim 20% probability that most cheap blog commentaries get.

There is sure way to get your blog commenting running straight up to the trash can. That is through the use of cheap blog comments. Familiar lines like “Awesome Page, please check mine at www.blahblahblah.com.” are a big no no in the marketing arena. Simply put – there are no shortcuts to success. You have to earn it yourself. There is a valuable way to post blog comments. And this is done through the use of our 5 step process. Here it is:

The first process is to read the blog. That might sound simple. But our brains can trick us to assume that we already know what the blog is usually. So we are not reading at all, but assuming. Take the wisdom of the fully-filled glass of fowl water. Because it is full, it cannot take in new and fresh spring waters. So when we read the blog, make sure you really read it with an open mind.

The second process is to understand. This will only happen if we already did the first process. Have we figured out what the blog is really about? Or you rush in to post your cheap comment without really understanding the whole point of the blog. Understanding is the key to developing valuable responses and comments.

Third process is to relate. This is where connection happens and your comment becomes valuable because is it relevant to the point. We may consider relating our own personal experiences to the blog. How can I relate to the blog? Do I have something valuable to say?

Blog Commenting

If you do, then it is time to go to the fourth process. After reading, understanding and relating to the main point of the blog, then it is time to post your valuable blog comment.

Watch and see this process work wonders for you and your business.

And of course, the last and final step of the process is to attach the link of your website to your blog commentary.

Everything will go easily now as long as you have already followed the initial 4 Steps to creating valuable blog commenting.

The last step may not be necessary on some commenting forms as the form itself has a spot for you to enter your website. If that is the case you don’t need to enter your website in the body of your comment.

This process really works. Try it and see for yourself. If you do intend to use blog commenting you should also allow commenting on your own blog to give other people the same benefits you are going after.

What is a Network Marketing Business Opportunity?

When your friend calls you up and says that he has a great network marketing business opportunity, what do you do? What is he talking about? Network marketing is a business model for companies to sell their products. It is also known as multi-level marketing or MLM. In this model, companies use individuals as their sales force (often called distributors). If a distributor sells the products of company X, he receives a sales commission.

What makes this sales model different than other marketing is that if you find someone who also wants to be a distributor, you will make a commission on their sales as well. In this way you can build “levels” (also called your “downline” or your “team”). As more and more people sell underneath you, your commissions grow without additional work on your part.

Network marketing is popular because you have two ways to earn money: from product sales and the commissions from the distributors below you. For this reason, network marketing is often called a business opportunity.

Network Marketing Vs Pyramid Schemes

Multi-level marketing is often mistaken for a pyramid scheme because as you get sales people below you, you can map their relationship to you in a pyramid-like chart.

A pyramid scheme is very different from MLM, however. In a pyramid scheme, you earn money as people below you join the pyramid. There are no products to sell and if you don’t build beneath you, you lose your initial investment.

MLM’s are a legitimate business model which have been around since the 1940′s. They have real products to sell and recruiting sales people below you provides additional income to product sales. You can still make money from an MLM even if you don’t recruit distributors.

Pyramids are illegal. Run from them if you are presented with one.

Advantages of a Network Marketing Business Opportunity

Network marketing business opportunities are attractive to business people for many reasons.

  • They are easy to start with relatively low start-up costs.
  • They are relatively easy to learn. Many people are successful without having to get expensive business degrees.
  • There are multiple ways to earn money: product sales, and commissions.
  • They offer a means to passive income if you grow your sales team.
  • They offer a way to leverage other’s work by building your sales team.
  • Business systems and marketing materials are provided for you. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

Disadvantages of a Network Marketing Business Opportunity

  • Many company train their distributors to use old style sales methods–pressure selling to family and friends, bothering people in grocery store lines, cold calling, etc. Without proper training in attraction marketing, this can lead to frustration, burn out and the industry’s 95% failure rate.
  • Without attraction marketing, the efforts required to build your business can feel more like a job than an independent business. You need proper training to avoid being enslaved to your network marketing business opportunity.
  • Because of the poor marketing training for its distributors, the network marketing industry has gained a bad reputation. To build a strong MLM business, you need win your customer’s respect.
  • Often people join their MLM company rather than start their own business. This is a subtle difference in mindset that has huge ramifications. If you align yourself with your company, you can fall victim to changes in your company’s policies and compensation plan. If you start your own business (using your MLM as an income stream), you are master of your own destiny and can respond to company changes in a positive way.

A network marketing business opportunity offers a great way for individuals with little capital to start a business. But to avoid frustration and burnout, you need proper marketing training.

I teach attraction marketing, where you attract customers who want what you have. I help you build a business where people come to you for your products and request to be in your downline.

Technology: I Heart Mixero

I have a confession to make. I’m one of them. One of the elusive Gen Y, part of the tribe that’s pretty much been on the Internet since I turned ten. I love technology and everything it brings. I not only spend most of my day on social media but I’ve also made it my job. Yes, I’m one of those.

I’m also a nerd/geek or whatever word you’d like to use. Always have been. I’m fascinated by learning new things and you can often find me devouring yet another book or article, whatever I can get my hands on. I have no particular interest in biochemistry and often find it even boring yet I’ll spend an hour listening to one of my friends talking about his cool project. Cambridge tends to foster that sort of environment. And so does the Internet and social media channels.

But it’s very easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information available out there.

I’ve got my RSS feeds from tens of blogs that let me keep up with the latest industry news as well as anything else I might be interested in. I get recommendations from friends on Facebook, sometimes I stumble upon something interesting just by pure chance.

And then there’s the big one: Twitter

I’m currently still following less than 400 people in my Twitter account. That may not seem that much yet it means almost constant bombardment by interesting and often useful insights, jokes and links. And those links are ones that I want to be able to get through. I want to follow the conversations that are taking place on Twitter and I want to be able to make sense of the hundreds of recommended resources and blog posts that appear in my Twitter feed every day.

This is not unfiltered information. Despite the feeling of overwhelm, these are exactly the sources of information that are most helpful. They have been filtered by someone I trust or consider an authority. It feels like I have hundreds of personal mentors, ready to share all the best information they’ve come across with me.

Yet as with everything in this world, not all links to outside information have been created equal. I need a way to distil the most important pieces and have them presented in a format that makes the most sense.

That’s where Mixero comes in.

Mixero is a desktop (and iPhone) Twitter application that organises my Twitter feed in a way that truly makes the most sense.

Here are some of the reasons why I heart Mixero:

  • Mixero lets me organise my Twitter contacts into groups (that are local to my computer/username) – I have a group which congregates feeds from designers, another one with social media industry news, a local one for my Cambridge-based contacts etc.
  • I can add all or only certain groups to my “Active List” – a left part of the screen where the Twitter feed appears
  • I can specify different contexts – maybe I want to read about social media at work and about cooking at home
  • It lets me easily save searches for terms, groups of terms, or hashtags.
  • I can get instant information about any user right within the interface.

How do you deal with the overload of information and what tools have been most helpful to you?

A Year On: LifeWithSocialMedia.com Re-Imagined

I started this blog a year ago, in June 2010. A lot can change in a year and today I bring LifeWithSocialMedia.com back into the light of the blogosphere, with a new resolve, with new ideas and with new direction.

The last 12 months

The last year was a year of trying to find my feet, trying to figure out how I’ll fit into this post-university ‘real’ life. It’s been 11 months since my graduation from the lovely Churchill College of Cambridge University, since I was handed my diploma and sent to find my place outside of the bubble of Cambridge education.

I started the year working for a lovely small agency here in Cambridge, UK, absorbing like a sponge and trying to learn as much as I can about social media, marketing and running a small business. During the year my role kept shifting and accommodating, one of the joys of working in a startup, and I found myself growing into a Community/Content/Marketing gal for Alfred.  I’m happy to say I’ve enjoyed my work very much and am keen to find out how it will continue evolving.

Looking ahead

Yet the next 12 months promise to be so much more eventful. There will be a change in my role, the outlook of long-term travel and many more changes, all of which you’ll hear more about in the next few days, weeks and months.

With this new impulse, the direction of Life With Social Media will shift as well. I’ll continue writing about the uses of social media and the tools that make our lives easier yet I want to also take a higher level look –

  • How can we really make the most of social media to live the lives that we’ve always wanted to?
  • Is it possible to use the tools of web 2.0 to really live the life that we imagine, from anywhere in the world?

I hope you tag along for the ride!

Lessons Learnt at AdTech

My HipstaPrint 01 300x300 Lessons Learnt at AdTech 2010

I’ve just returned from my first big industry event. It was exciting and new and a great experience of actually going out there as someone who works in the field, representing a company. I was able to have a conversation about the products and strategies that were being presented with the background of having worked on real-world projects, helping several clients.

But I was also coming in with fresh eyes and that allowed me to evaluate the event from a bit of a blank slate.

Here are some of my take-aways from the day:

  • Business cards are a must – AdTech was a two-day event. Two days full of seminars, exhibitor stalls, keynotes, meetings…resulting in crowds and crowds of people coming in through the door. Whoever you talk to, I guarantee they won’t remember your name the next day as there’s simply too many new faces. Having a quick way to hand over your contact information was essential.
  • Interesting business cards are better – I can’t even count anymore how many times I’ve had a conversation that was simply sparked by my colourful Moo Mini cards. They look different. They feel different. They’re definitely not boring and people will remember you better simply because you gave them something memorable. Go get yours now.
  • Not all seminars were made equal – I was really excited about the seminar part of the day and had decided beforehand which sessions seemed really interesting and which I would go to. That plan didn’t work quite so well simply because the quality of the seminars was varied and I often found myself feeling bored after five minutes of listening to an uninteresting pitch on an idea that seemed brilliant. I learned to walk away.
  • But for the good ones, come early – If there’s something you really want to see, be prepared to show up 10 or 15 minutes early as places will go fast. Listening from behind the seminar area is not pleasant and often virtually impossible with all the noise around.
  • Travel light – I spent the whole day walking around with my own bag, a coat and a promotional bag full of paper and hidden gems. The exhibition hall was packed and it certainly would have been easier walking around had I planned to take as little as possible in advance. You can get pen and paper at certain seminars (e.g. Google’s AdWords Factory Tour provided a goodie bag and I ended up just using this convenient stationary rather than fishing out my own shiny Moleskine).
  • It will all be one long pitch – Exhibitors are in sales – they will be trying to pitch you the product or service, get your business card (or scan your barcode – more on that in another post) and sign you up for life. Well, maybe not the last bit. But it will pretty much be a pitch and sales event so brace yourself in advance.
  • So come prepared with a plan – Why are you there? Is there anyone specific you want to talk to? Are there seminars that look interesting? Is there a product you want to check out? Make a plan so you don’t end up aimlessly wandering around. The hall is big and you will get distracted.
  • Network in advance – Industry events are a great way to network with people in your field. But these big events are too busy and overcrowded and I found myself not actually having that many nice relaxed conversations getting to know industry colleagues. It would have made a huge difference to seek out others that are going well in advance, connect with them on Twitter and maybe have a few online chats. That way, we could have arranged to meet up on the day. Well, I’ll learn my lesson for next time.

Do you have any tips for the next event? What do you usually do to get the most of industry conferences and networking opportunities like this?