Virginia SEO and Internet Marketing Meetup for Small Business

In its very earliest of days, SEO by the Sea began as an idea to have a gathering of people interested in internet marketing and search engine optimization away from the big cities, the expensive hotels, costly conferences, and crowded conference centers.

The idea of returning to those roots is something I’ve been considering for a while.

On Sunday, I took the first step by registering at meetup.com the Virginia SEO and Internet Marketing for Small Business. Meetup.com hasn’t officially announced the group yet by sending out emails informing meetup.com members of the new group, but should within the next day or two.

The meetup group is for small business owners and website developers and designers around me in Virginia who might be interested in learning more about internet marketing and search engine optimization. If you work on local government or nonprofit sites, or have a personal or professional blog, and are interested in learning more about SEO or internet marketing, it would be great to see you as well.

I have some ideas on places to hold local meetings, and am hoping to get some local businesses and business organizations involved.

If you’re a website owner, designer, or developer in the Northern Virginia area, interested in learning more about marketing your site and other sites online, please consider joining the meetup group or contacting me to find out more about the meetups.

I’ve been thinking about topics for the first meeting, and some of the areas I think might be good to start with include:

  • How to show up in local search results for Google Maps, Yahoo Local, and Bing Maps.
  • What the search engines and their guidelines say about search engine optimization.
  • Common mistakes that site owners might make that could cause them not to rank as highly as they could in search results
  • How to research keywords that potential visitors might use to find your site.

I am open to other topics as well, and look forward to hearing from people who sign up for the Meetup group about what they are interested in hearing about.

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36 thoughts on “Virginia SEO and Internet Marketing Meetup for Small Business”

  1. Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for the well wishes. I’m excited about the chance to meet with some local business owners, and help them learn more about SEO and internet marketing.

    I appreciate the retweets.

  2. Hi Henrik,

    I do believe that local search will see an increasing amount of use and importance over the next few years. I’ve been doing a lot of local searches in my area, and not seeing a lot of local businesses taking steps like verifying their locations in places like Google Maps, which was one of the reasons why I decided to start a local meetup.

    Thanks.

  3. Hi carldgogeta,

    I agree absolutely. A local SEO strategy can be very helpful to small businesses, especially if they have a location or locations that they would like people to visit, or provide services or goods in a specified geographical location.

  4. Local search will become more important in 2010. As people continue to spend more time online it is the first port of call when looking for any kind of service. Many companies have neglected local seo thinking SEO is only useful to companies that offer a national service. This is not the case smaller companies can benefit from a local seo strategy.

  5. Bill,

    This is a very good way to build up your network. I’m sure the people will love your keyword research lesson. Don’t forget to bring tons of business cards! :)

    -Kai

  6. Hi,

    I know you had talked about the meetup also being an opportunity to help non profits in the area. I hope to see some of those there. :-)

  7. Thanks so much for providing all. We absolutely see tremendous SEO benefits via Blogging for ourselves and clients. One observation, if you map about SEO and Brand Integration on the front end of Blogging.

  8. Hi Kai Lo,

    I’m looking forward to meeting some new people locally who are interested in improving their websites, and giving them some ideas and tools to do so.

  9. Thanks, Kim.

    I’m going to send out some emails to some local nonprofits, and invite them to join up and come to some meetups. I hope some will as well – I’m having a hard time finding some of them through the search engines.

  10. Hi SEO Melbourne,

    Blogging can be helpful for many businesses, but there are even a number of simpler steps that many sites can take that they may not be. I’m looking forward to discussing some of those.

  11. One of my new years resolutions was actually to do more meetups, especially around SEO.

    What level will the meet up be?

    I would love to come.

  12. Hi David,

    It would be a pleasure to have you join us. The meet ups will cover a range of topics, and will probably include beginner, intermediate, and advanced topics.

    I’ll also be putting together detailed handouts covering some of the things that we might discuss so that people who are fairly new to SEO and internet marketing have something to follow that can help them take action on things that we discuss after the gatherings are over.

  13. Hi Bill,

    I would love to join you but I’m just too far away from Virginia.

    SEO is such an important subject and there always seems to be more to learn about it.

    If you can record the most important and educational parts of the meetings and have them available for those who can’t be physically present it would be very beneficial.

    Vance

  14. Hi Vance,

    Sorry that you are too far away. I’m going to try to provide some recaps and information about the topics that we might discuss. It’s not going to be quite the same as being there in person, and being able to ask questions when a topic is discussed.

  15. Hey Bill, we’re nowhere near Virginia…Australia, in fact…but that’s a great idea. A locally based get together for small business/SEO could prove very productive. There are so many misconceptions about SEO in small business circles. It would be a great opportunity to educate and pave the way for productive relationships.

  16. Hi Bullaman,

    Exactly. Thanks.

    There are a lot of misconceptions about SEO, as well as a lot of small steps that a small business owner can take that might make a difference. It gives me the chance to build some relationships with some members of the local business community as well as share ideas that might help my local community thrive.

  17. Nice. I hope that you enjoy getting involved, Joel.

    There are a surprising number of meetup groups covering a very wide variety of topics.

  18. Hi Bill,

    Any free online meetings or webinars you might be able to provide too for those who are from far locations such as me?

    I would like to learn a lot from you and your experience not just with seo but your approach with internet marketing as a whole..

  19. can i virtually register to this group , or can i connect to it from my home, as it seems interesting to me and i love this work too.

  20. Hi Peter and John,

    I hadn’t anticipated having any free online meetings or webinars in the near future, but it’s something that I will start considering.

  21. Hi Bill ,
    Good initiative and would rather recommend to do what john and peter requested , i would love to assist you for doing that , thanks

  22. Hello Bill,

    This is a very good way to build up your network. I think the people will like your research lesson about keywords. I want to help you if i can.
    Thanks.

  23. Hi Mike,

    You’re welcome. Shame that you aren’t closer, but I have seen a number interesting meetup groups worth attending, and I know there are some very active ones aroung focusing upon SEO and internet marketing. I hope you find one that you like.

  24. Hi Sean,

    It’s funny – I’ve been looking at some very large websites lately, from some very large businesses, and the mistakes they make aren’t too different from the mistakes that small businesses make. Small businesses often tend to have an advantage when it comes to addressing those though – they don’t have to cut through bureaucracies, hostile corporate cultures, and slow production cycles to make positive changes to their websites.

  25. Very cool – too bad I don’t live in the Virginia area or else I’d definitely take advantage of this great opportunity. You’ve inspired me to research small business “meet-up” groups in my local area. Thanks!

  26. Hey Bill, thanks for organizing this and spreading the word about SEO and internet marketing for small businesses. There are a lot of misconceptions out there and someone’s got to set them straight because there certainly is a lot of opportunity to success when these things are done right!

  27. I’d love to make it to that meetup but I’m in California. I did recently attend a local SEO/Internet Marketing event coordinated via Meetup and managed to pick up a few clients while I was there too. So far I’ve had good experience with Meetup.

  28. Hi Spencer,

    Meetup does provide a nice way to meet other people, to network, and to share ideas and inspiration. I highly recommend using it as a networking opportunity.

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