Barrera Search Marketing Acquired by Buzzshift

I am VERY excited to announce that the company that I started over three years ago, Barrera Search Marketing, is being acquired by Buzzshift, a Digital Strategy Agency based in Dallas.  I will be leading the search marketing team with the title of Chief Search Officer.

I’m excited to join the talented team at Buzzshift who I have been lucky to work with over the past two years.  Co-founders Cameron Gawley and Eddy Badrina have an amazing way of transforming a brand’s presence online.  I completely share in their team culture and work style, and I’ looking forward to helping grow Buzzshift into one of the premier boutique digital marketing agencies.

barrera search marketing acquired by buzzshift

Clients of Barrera Search Marketing will also be better served by the additional social media, content marketing and other services that Buzzshift will be able to provide in addition to the search engine marketing services that Barrera Search Marketing has been providing them. Clients of Buzzshift now include Tuesday Morning, the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Verizon Wireless, American Medical ID and StumbleUpon, among others.

About Buzzshift:

BuzzShift is a digital strategy agency based in Dallas, TX. Buzzshift knows that making connections builds brands, and as veterans of other startups they hold theirselves to a high standard: close the gap between objectives and real business results through awesome digital strategy. Buzzshift collaborates with their partners to plan, create, and deliver dynamic campaigns to connect with their customers via digital assets.

About Barrera Search Marketing:

Barrera Search Marketing was founded in 2010 with an emphasis on creating organic and paid search campaigns for brands with a strong online presence.  Barrera Search Marketing focuses on using data to make informed decisions that will increase qualified traffic and increase conversions for clients. President Mark Barrera served as the past President and Chairman of the DFW Search Engine Marketing Association and currently serves as the President of the Social Media Club of Dallas.

Announcing the State of Search Conference Hosted by the DFWSEM

DFWSEM State of Search Conference

I am very excited to announce that the DFWSEM will be hosting our first ever full-day conference.  The Board of Directors has been talking about hosting a conference for the past few years and this year we were finally able to make it come to fruition. I’m also excited to be the event Chair and have been working hard over the past few months to make this event happen.

The State of Search Conference will be held in Dallas on November 12th, 2012 at the Cityplace Conference Center just north of downtown Dallas.

This event will bring feature three tracks covering SEO, PPC and Social Media marketing. Sessions will be a mix of presentations, panel discussions, Q&A, hands on training and interactive learning.  Speakers are coming from all across the U.S. to present the latest strategies and best practices that will propel your online marketing to new levels.

Keynoting the event will be Social Media superstar Chris Brogan and Duane Forrester, head of the Bing Webmaster Tools team

We have structured the event to cater to all skill levels from beginner to advanced.  The speakers will give you actionable steps to help improve your online marketing campaigns, whether you’re in-house, agency, or on your own.

There will be lots of networking opportunities with over 200 other online marketers at the conference.  Food will be provided by renowned chef Andrew Ormsby for breakfast, lunch and at the intimate cocktail reception following the event on the 42nd floor of the building, providing gorgeous views of Dallas.

The cost of this event is only $199 for DFWSEM members and $249 for non-members.  If you register before November, you can receive $100 off these prices by entering promo code ‘FIRST’.

We are still looking for a few more great speakers, so please fill out this form if you want to speak.

Sponsors for the event include the Dallas BBB, and Buzzshift.  There are still some great sponsorship opportunities available so let me know if you want to be a part of what will be a fantastic marketing event.

Make sure to register today and I’ll see you there!

Who Spends on PPC in Your Neighborhood?

The already numerous capabilities of SEMrush and SEOQuake are being expanded upon, now from a geographic standpoint. Through the use of their newest product SEMrush GEO, businesses can now uncover prospective clientele who are not only local to them, but who are also currently spending valuable marketing dollars.

In addition to the initial geographic search, SEMrush GEO provides all necessary contact information as well as the approximate marketing funds that these businesses spend on Adwords. This makes it that much simpler to initiate immediate contact, and there is a greater opportunity to organize direct meetings to discuss how to further their already-employed marketing strategy.

Due to the fact that SEMrush GEO pinpoints both large and small businesses who are presently implementing marketing strategies, it also coordinates the foundation of potential business relationships with neighboring corporations.

semrush geo tool

SEMrush GEO establishes results through the combination of SEMrush data, Yellow Book records, and Google Maps. This allows the detection of prospective clientele based on a combination of their zip code and a radius selected that can be anywhere from two to one thousand miles. Based upon the aforementioned information being entered, SEMrush GEO displays the businesses that are presently advertising with Google Adwords, and all results are mapped conveniently on the all familiar Google Map that can be dragged in and out for precise viewing.

SEMrush GEO is an easy-to-use and effective tool that can assist in the attainment of new clientele. Take a look for yourself at

My Upcoming Speaking Engagements

DFWSEM Meeting July 2011 Photo 0224

The next few months I will be speaking at events in Dallas, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Hawaii. Beyond these events, you can always find me at the monthly Dallas/Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association events.

The next DFWSEM event is on November 16th.  We will meet to discuss ‘The State of Search Marketing’ featuring Duane Forrester of  We will also be co-hosting the 2011 Jingle Mingle holiday party on December 1st at the Dallas Contemporary and all proceeds will be donated to the Dream fund.

You can find me at these events in the next few months:

If you have an upcoming event that you need a speaker for, please contact me here.

Why SEOmoz Should Come to Dallas for a MozCation

So I may have waited until the last minute on this one, but I feel that if I didn’t nominate Dallas for the MozCation, I would be doing our city a disservice. As the current president of the DFW SEM, I know that our members would love to hang out with the Mozzers.  I’m also pretty sure that the Mozzers will enjoy the warm weather and sunshine that we have in June. So on behalf of the DFW SEM, I present the reasons why it is a must for a MozCation in Dallas.

MozCation Dallas

Dallas Has The DFW SEM

Other Reasons for Dallas

Besides the community of SEOs that we have, Dallas offers much more.

If you haven’t heard, we have a great basketball team led by the world’s greatest basketball player.  Not to mention, we have the biggest and best football stadium in the world.  We also have great hockey, baseball, soccer and horse racing.  If you don’t like the pro sports, we have many minor league teams too!

Roger addressing the crowds at the Dallas MozCation

SEOmoz at Cowboys Stadium

Everything really is bigger in Texas. Especially the SEOmoz MozCation!

Our Arts District has undergone an amazing transformation and the dining, shopping and entertainment are unlimited.  I’ll let you dig in deeper here.

Texas is very business friendly.  In fact, there are more corporations based in Texas than any other state.  There are 20+ Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Dallas alone (yes, the now infamous JCPenney included).  The Financial Times even did a piece recently about how awesome Dallas is.

While we used to be behind the rest of the US in public transportation, we now have light rail serving the majority of the city and are also connected to Ft. Worth via rail.

Don’t just take my word for it, here are a few reasons that others love Dallas.

SearchFest 2011 – My Trip in Pictures

SEMpdx, a Portland organization aimed at educating people about search engine marketing techniques, held their 6th annual Searchfest Conference on Feb 23, 2011 at the Governor Hotel.  After reviewing the speaker lineup, and seeing tickets for under $200, I decided I had to attend.

There was much talk about a snowpocalypse, but luckily that didn’t affect Portland which only got a couple of inches of snow, only the people driving from out of town.

I always try to fly on Southwest and this trip was no different.  I flew from Dallas to Kansas City and onto Portland.  The current issue of Spirit magazinefeatures articles about Dallas, and being from Dallas, I thought I wouldn’t see anthing new, but I did discover a new nature hiking trail that I plan on checking out soon.

Spirit Magazine Article about Dallas

I always knew Texas is business friendly but wasn’t aware that ‘more corporations are based in Texas than any other state.  There are 20+ Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Dallas (yes, the now infamous JCPenney included).

Spirit Magazine Article about Dallas
After arriving in Portland, I hopped on the train to downtown which was super cheap at $2.35 for the ride.  I was pretty pleased with Portland’s public transit and didn’t have to rent a car which is always nice.

Portland TriMet Light Rail

I was unable to get a room at the conference hotel, The Governor Hotel, so I got a room at the nearby Paramount hotel, which was very nice.  I definitely enjoyed the Jacuzzi tub each night of my stay. I had a corner executive suite and had some nice views of downtown Portland.

The next morning I woke up early and headed over to SearchFest.

Chris Sherman Keynote at SearchFest 2011

After the Keynote by Chris Sherman of Search Engine Land, I attended the Competitive Intelligence session presented by Todd Malicoat and John Andrews.

John Andrews Presentation at SearchFest 2011

The next sesssion I attended (along with 90%) of the other attendees was the Advanced Linkbuilding session featuring the SEO celebrity himself, Rand Fishkin, and Adam Audette of Audette Media.  Rand was very upbeat and many thought his demeanor was more excited than normal.

Rand Fishkin Presentation at SearchFest 2011

What would a search conference be without a quote from Matt Cutts?!

Matt Cutts Quote at SearchFest 2011

Next up was lunch, which was surprisingly good considering the food I’ve had at other conferences isn’t always up to par.  Great job Jake’s Catering!

SearchFest 2011 Food

The next session I attended was the Conversion Optimization session presented by Susan Delz of Ion Interactive and Lulu Gephart of REI.  If you haven’t checked out LiveBall from Ion Interactive, I highly suggest checking out this great landing page optimization tool that I was introduced to recently. (link to LiveBall)

After this session, for the final breakouts, I was one of 30 others who listened to Todd Friesen and Ian Lurie talk about Building Your Search Agency.  This was a great session that featured lots of humor, obscene language, David Hasselhoff naked and lots of tips for running a search agency.  I have to say that this one was my favorite of the day.

Todd Friesen Presents David Hasselhoff Naked at SearchFest 2011

The day concluded with a keynote by Chris Boggs, President of SEMPO and currently running SEO for Rosetta (the #1 agency to watch according to AdAge).

Chris Boggs Keynote at SearchFest 2011

After the keynote, everyone hung around for a few hours for the Happy Hour sponsored by ethology.  There were lots of great people to talk with and I met a lots of great people.  You can see the rest of my Searchfest 2011 pictures at Flickr.

The next day, I headed out to the airport.  There wasn’t any snow on the ground in downtown, but there was on the outskirts of town.

Snow in Portland 2/24/2010

Overall, SearchFest was a great conference and I’m hoping to attend next year.  Thanks to SEMpdx, David Mihm and all of the others who made this a great event.

IS Conference Keyword Research & Strategies Presentation

Here is the SEO presentation that I gave in Houston at the Interactive Strategies Conference on September 16, 2010. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or need clarification. To any attendees, thank you for listening!

Reduce Email Opt-Outs With Your Email Unsubscribe Message

I recently have been going through my emails and clicking like crazy on the ‘unsubscribe’ links in a lot of the messages I have been getting recently.  In doing so, I have seen quite a few different unsubscribe messages.  The majority of these unsubscribe messages are pretty short and to the point and have a check box for ‘unsubscribe’ and not much else.

However, I recently came across a great idea by Gordon’s Jewelers that I wanted to share because I think it is something that all retailers should emulate.  Instead of just letting me choose to either (a) receive emails or (b) not receive emails, they give a few other options to change the frequency of the emails instead of just unsubscribing.  So instead of unsubscribing, I simply changed my preference to receive less emails and Gordon’s didn’t lose an email subscriber.

Study: Consumers Quick To Unsubscribe

The frequency of the emails is the main reason I have been going through and unsubscribing from so many offers.  It seems like most retailers are sending me an email at least weekly if not more.  If given the option by these companies, I would in many cases simply lessen the frequency that I get their email communications.

Here is Gordon’s Jewlers email unsubscribe page:


In a study in March of 2010, only 37% of the 100 major online retailers surveyed have some type of option to change email preferences, while the others simply use an unsubscribe option.  This seems like a big loss for the other 63% if you ask me!

What options are you giving to YOUR email subscribers?

OpenCamp Dallas – Photos and Session Coverage

OpenCamp kicked off today and I was one of the lucky attendees.  I was not able to attend the Friday festivities with the US Army Golden Knights, but from everything I heard, it was definitely a successful event.  There are photos and coverage of Friday here and here.

Courtesy One Cool Monkey

I arrived at OpenCamp around 8am to sign in and get ready to start the conference.  I didn’t register until the day before, so I didn’t have a fancy printed badge like everyone else, but Mark Ramsey was kind enough to help fill in my details.

After checking in, I went into the main room to sit around and talk with other attendees.  The first session was scheduled to begin at 8:30 but by 9:00, they announced there were technology difficulties, so they wouldn’t be starting until 9:30.  Luckily, I went out to the sponsor tables and Microsoft had a few boxes of Dunkin Donuts to fill my belly while I waited for the conference to begin.

At 9:30, the show was started by John P as promised.  From then on things seemed to move at twice the speed.

Giovanni Gallucci was next and presented his ‘Blackhat SEO’ session that had quite a bit of info that most attendees agreed were worth the price of admission alone. Lee Odden posted details of that session here.  Most of the main sessions were also streamed live at, and you can watch the first four sessions here.


After Gio, Cali Lewis talked about Success with Multimedia and shared her experiences and lessons learned managing her show at  The most tweeted tidbit from her session was that for her, 10am-2pm is the best time to get your message out via social media.

Cali was followed by Trey Ratcliff, who is known for his great HDR Photography explained how to share your photography to get noticed, as well as how to use other people’s photography to make your own site stand out from the crowd.  Trey also had quite a few people in line to get one of his ebooks on photography.  One of the things I really liked was when he reminded people to make sure to translate your popular content so that it can be shared worldwide.  An example is how he had his users help translate his HDR tutorial which led to many more links and viewership.

The morning sessions were then closed out by Scott Kublin who discussed monetization strategies.  His advice is to use your analytics software to find your most popular posts and then re-optimize them.  You can even use tags to help Google Adsense better target your ads to your content.  For more help on this, see my tweet on how to add the code he mentioned.

I then headed to lunch which consisted of a ‘create your own hamburger’ buffet which didn’t taste very good, but at least it looked good :)

After lunch I headed to the WordPress track and listened to Stephanie Leary discuss the Hidden Gems of WordPress.  Her in depth presentation can be downloaded here.  She had a lot of info that she tried to fit into 30 minutes but could have filled an hour with all of the info.

Jerod Morris was next and talked about how he took his $10 investment in and turned it into a highly trafficked site that is a regular on the first page of Digg and other popular sites.  Jerod also mentioned a great WordPress plugin called WP-Malware that will monitor your WordPress installation for malware attacks which have been very common lately (I had to deal with one last month so I’m definitely going to add this plugin).

At 3pm, I decided to head over to the ‘Charging Room’ to fill up my batteries and check email.  I’m glad to see a whole room dedicated to charging your batteries, because I have been to more than one conference where people where in line waiting to use the limited outlets available.

After the break, I headed over to the Multimedia track to hear Eric Swayne talk about how you should be measuring your campaigns and what KPIs you need to focus on.  His presentation was so popular that people were standing outside the door just to get a glimpse into the packed room.

After Eric’s presentation, I headed over to hear more about Woopra and then Buddypress.  Both presentations were great.  I finished out my day by listening to Mike Orren talk about how Pegasus News became the popular site that it is today.  The site was originally going to be an unplanned Dallas music news site with hundreds of band profiles but transformed into a news outlet that gets 450k uniques a month now.

I’m now headed off to the party tonight and will follow up later with more OpenCamp coverage.

I have also uploaded all of my pictures from OpenCamp to Flickr which can be seen in the slideshow below.

More OpenCamp Coverage: (video)

#ocdfw on Twitter (Video Streams of Common Sessions)

How Does Google Crawl, Index and Rank Websites?

The PPC Blog just published a great infographic showing how Google works.  I have been talking to a lot of small business owners lately about helping get traffic from Google and many don’t seem to understand the process. This image shows how both the organic and paid listings are ranked, although you must remember that the two do not influence how the other operates.

So if you think it is an easy task to rank well in Google, please take the time to understand this whole image and you will see why it is important to work with a professional who understands Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click advertising when trying to market your site online.

How Does Google Work?

Infographic by PPC Blog