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Benchmark Search Conference 2015

In the brilliant sunshine (almost unprecedented weather in Manchester), digital marketing professionals from all over the UK and beyond flocked to Bridgewater Hall on Tuesday 30th June for our inaugural search conference. And what a day it was…

The delegates

The atmosphere was buzzing as our delegates arrived, perused their goodie bags and enjoyed refreshments in preparation for the day of search marketing insights, ideas and inspiration ahead.

benchmark conference delegates in lobby
goodies Benchmark Conference

Perhaps next time we’ll go for Panda cola and Penguin biscuits (little SEO joke there)

The speakers

Jon Myers, VP & Managing Director EMEA, Marin Software

John Myers - Marin Software

Jon was our chair for the conference and also talked about Unifying Search with Performance Media covering data migration and the importance of social channels.

James Murray, UK Search Advertising Lead, Microsoft

James Murray, Microsoft

James’ presentation was intriguingly called Search Reimagined. He made the point that “search is the new electricity”, ie, it’s blended into the background of our lives to the extent that we’re becoming less and less aware of its presence.

Alan Reeves, Paid Search Director, Click Consult

Click's Alan Reeves

Our own Alan Reeves took to the stage with his 10 Steps to Conversion Rate Optimisation Success (CRO). Unable to resist a three-letter acronym, Alan’s our resident guru in both PPC and CRO and explained how, amongst other factors, preparation and patience are key to boosting conversion for search campaigns.

Bas van den Beld, Founder & Chief, State of Digital

Bas Van Den Beld

If anyone knows a thing or two about public speaking, it’s international search powerhouse Bas, recently voted European Search Personality of the Year. With stories and slides about his family, his presentation about Understanding Your Digital Audience was funny, touching and  – most importantly – engaging. It certainly reinforced his point about connecting with your audience.

tweet about bas van den beld

Warren Knight, Author, Leader, Speaker, Think #Digital First

Warren Knight, Think #Digital First

Ex hip-hop dancer Warren used a colourful story about arranging illegal raves in the 80s to demonstrate that it’s human nature to network and share as he gave his tips on How To Do Your Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day.

tweet about illegal raves in the 80s

Colin Woon, SEO Manager – Marketing & Consumer, O2 UK 

Colin Woon, O2 UK

Colin’s well-researched and detailed presentation used data and examples from O2’s own experiences to emphasise his points about Making SEO Effective in Large Organisations. In particular, how to marry data with creativity to produce great results.

David Tutin, Senior SEO Specialist, Expedia 

David Tutin, Expedia

David talked about developing client/agency relationships in his presentation, How to Get The Most From your Agencies and Agencies What You Can Do To Wow Your Clients.

Nick Wilsdon,  SEO Lead – Global Channels Optimisation, Vodafone

Nick Wilsdon, Vodafone

Experienced international search marketer Nick covered the mobile opportunity and revealed that the UK has now joined the US and Japan in performing more Google searches on mobile devices than on computers.

Gino De Blasio, Search Marketing Strategist, Click Consult

Gino De Blasio, Click Consult

Our own search and social specialist’s lively talk was full of funny and interesting personal anecdotes backed with data to demonstrate the importance of being aware of cultural nuances: the intriguingly-titled A Guide To Multilingual Content Marketing & How I Annoyed A French Blogger.

Shyam Dattani, Digital Strategy Specialist, Searchmetrics

Shyam Dattani, Searchmetrics

We use Searchmetrics tools every day at Click, so it was great to hear Shyam’s insights about relevance (a point that can never be over-emphasised) and the old SEO tactics that ‘grind his gears’, using Family Guy’s Peter Griffin, Homer Simpson and Kevin Bacon to illustrate key points.

Paul Morris, Head of Digital & Social Media, The Co-operative

Paul Morris, The Co-operative

Paul’s topic was Generating #Awesome Relationships to Maximise SEO and went back to basics to highlight how it’s critical to nurture interpersonal relations, both online and offline.

Rupert Staines, European Managing Director, RadiumOne Inc

Rupert Staines, RadiumOne

In Lighting Up The Dark – Harnessing The Power of Consumer Connections, Rupert gave us fascinating insights into the social sharing that the analytics programs we rely on aren’t capturing.


The sunshine showed no sign of ending as the conference wound up and the delegates and speakers headed to New Wakefield Street’s Black Dog Ballroom for some refreshment, reflection and relaxation.

benchmark tweet about black dog ballroom

Thanks yous…

At Click, we’re thrilled with how our first conference went and feedback from attendees and speakers alike has been phenomenal…

Facebook feedback
Twitter feedback for Benchmark Search Conference

Twitter feedback for our Benchmark Search Conference Great feedback from Benchmark Search Conference

Thanks to all of our team, as well as the guys at Don’t Panic and Bridgewater Hall for their help in organising such a fantastic day!

Catch up…

If you would like to catch up on each presentation from the day, they are now available to view on our Benchmark Conference page

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