Search engine optimization is one of those fields that’s akin to New York City – it never sleeps. It keeps evolving 24/7 and shifting gears. So, any specialist in this field has to be a life-long learner if they want to keep up.
As to how to do that, SEO conferences are an unbeatable option. Let’s review why it’s so – and which of them taking place in the United States you should have on your radar.
First Things First: Why Attend an SEO Conference?
So, you know that when it comes to SEO, you need to update your know-how to remain in the know. But still, why go to conferences for that?
Well, such events don’t exist just for training. Here are 4 more reasons why attending an SEO conference should be on your bucket list:
- Network, network, network. Imagine a whole event full of like-minded yet diverse people. Connections you establish there can turn into friendships, partnerships – or even job offers.
- Pick someone’s brains. Even if you already consider yourself an expert, there’s always going to be someone who knows more than you. Picking their brains is awesome for one simple reason: they’ll tell you things you won’t ever find online.
- Exchange your experience with others. You can also be that someone with expertise worth sharing in the eyes of other participants with less experience in SEO.
- And, of course, have fun. These events aren’t just about networking and learning – it’s also about enjoying your time with new acquaintances in a new city!
6 SEO Conferences in the USA to Add to Your Watchlist
There’s probably no other country with as many SEO conferences taking place every year as the United States. And, without further ado, here are the top 6 of them – in no particular order.
Engage Marketing Conference
- Where: Portland, Oregon (in 2020 & 2021 – online)
- When: August 5-6, 2021
- Cost: $99 in 2021; upward of $679 in 2019
Let’s kick off this list with this SEO conference organized by SEMpdx – a nonprofit that brings digital marketers together.
Usually taking place in Portland, Oregon, Engage had to move online in 2020 and 2021. But, the organizers are confident they can bring the conference back in person in 2022. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
As for what you should expect from Engage, the organizers focus on two key aspects: experience and education. The topics themselves encompass a variety of digital marketing fields. Apart from SEO, there are also PPC, UX, content, and social media marketing sessions – and that’s not even a complete list.
- Where: New York City, New York; San Diego, California
- When: NYC – postponed (originally scheduled for April 2021); San Diego – March 24-25, 2022
- Cost: from $999 to $1,299
Organized by Distilled (which is now a part of Brainlabs), SearchLove is, perhaps, the top SEO conference New York City has to offer. And its sister event is definitely among the top five such events in California, too.
Here’s just a sneak peek at what kind of topics you should expect from SearchLove:
- SEO and web marketing trends;
- integration of PR and SEO;
- Google algorithm updates;
- how customer experience impacts search.
Unlike many other digital marketing and SEO conferences, SearchLove doesn’t adhere to the track system. In other words, there are no sessions happening simultaneously in different rooms. So, you won’t have to make that tough choice between two or more interesting sessions taking place at the same time.
- Where: New York City, New York
- When: May 10-11, 2022
- Cost: starting at $1,199
The year 2021 marked the 10th C3 conference – but, like many other SEO conferences, it had to take place online. In 2022, however, C3 is coming back to the City that Never Sleeps.
C3’s main focus is SEO and content marketing. Still, what makes it a top SEO conference New York City has to offer? Two words: top speakers. In 2021, for example, Conductor managed to secure leading digital marketers from Samsung, McAfee, WeWork, and Getty Images & iStock.
- Where: online in 2020 and 2021, previously – Seattle, Washington
- When: July 12-14, 2021; TBA for 2022
- Cost: starting at $1,199 (as of 2019); $129 (in 2020 and 2021)
Three days packed with SEO sessions in one single track – that’s MozCon. And if you’re an SEO specialist, there’s no way you haven’t heard of the organization behind it. Yes, it’s Moz itself, and it needs no presentation.
As for the expectations you can set for yourself if you attend MozCon, here’s a short overview of its top sessions from the past years:
- Taking Charge of Your Indexability: How to Optimize and Prioritize Your Technical Work.
- Beyond the Basics: Awesome SEO Tricks for Uncovering Advanced Insights from Your SEO Data.
- Harnessing The Natural Language Toolkit for More Productive SEO.
Advanced Search Summit
- Where: Napa, California
- When: June 9-11, 2021
- Cost: from $899 to $1,499
Let’s move on to Advanced Search Summit. Its latest edition brought together 33 industry experts and 250 attendees for 2 days.
The program is usually broken down into two tracks. Plus, you can find such brands as E!, the Home Depot, Disney, Atlassian, and WebMD at this particular SEO conference.
Yet, Advanced Search Summit isn’t just about learning and networking. It’s also about having fun, VIP-style. The event takes place in one of the finest resorts in the Napa Valley, Marriott Hotel & Spa. There’s even a masquerade party planned for the participants!
- Where: online in 2020 and 2021, previously – Boston, Massachusetts
- When: October 12-14, 2021
- Cost: starting at $119, free pass is available (2021); $199 (2019)
Last but not least, it’s Inbound. The driving force behind it is another big name among digital marketers – HubSpot.
Make no mistake: Inbound is more than just another SEO conference. Besides SEO itself, it encompasses a variety of sessions on marketing in general, as well as sales and customer success. So, if you’re looking to boost your skills across the board, Inbound is the right choice for you.
Plus, it can always boast celebrity names on its speaker list. Its 2021 edition, for example, will feature Oprah Winfrey, Spike Lee, and Hasan Minhaj.
That’s not to say SEO specialists won’t find anything interesting on SEO itself. Expect sessions like “Killer SEO Strategies Through Product Design Methodology” and “The Great Debate: Content Creation for SEO or Sales?”, too!
In Conclusion: In-Person vs Virtual Events
The year 2020 disrupted the way humankind holds events, probably for years to come (you know why). Restrictions come and go and come back. Essentially, it’s become impossible for both the organizers and the participants to be 100% sure the event will take place as planned.
So, if you find yourself wondering, “Should I call it quits on all in-person events until the end of the year?”, this question isn’t baseless. But bear in mind: virtual events come with one key tradeoff. There’s no mingling with other participants, so networking is practically impossible.
On the other hand, online events have one more advantage, besides the safety from COVID-19, you can be anywhere you want and get access to any conference.
So, which tradeoff would you like to make? Well, it’s up to you to decide.