How I turned ONE TACTIC into ACTION from the SearchLove Conference in San Diego and recovered the cost of my plane ticket, AIRBnB, Uber and conference ticket.

Back in 2011 I attended LinkLove as it was called in Nawlins and had the benefit of experiencing one of my first SEO conferences. I had just landed a major account and wanted to be on the cutting edge of thought leadership at the time. So what better way to invest the client retainer other than purchasing a ticket to LinkLove New Orleans in 2011. I learned many actionable tactics from the conference some of which I still use even 5 years later. I also made a contact who I regularly keep in touch with and bounce ideas off.

TBT - Linklove 2011

TBT – Linklove 2011

Fast forward to 2015…I am in the process of launching a mobile app soon and I saw a presentation that caught my eye at SearchLove San Diego…Cindy from Mobile Moxie was presenting on Mobilegeddon and what web/app owners can do to take advantage of the updates in Google’s algo geared toward mobile. Also 3 speakers from LinkLove New Orleans…Wil ReynoldsChris Bennett and Rand Fishkin were returning to speak again. All great speakers…in fact Real Company Shit was coined at LinkLove New Orleans 2011.

There were a lot of great presentations at SearchLove that stood out to me. But I gained the most immediate benefits from listening to the speaker talk about paid social. I have dabbled in paid social and retargeting but never felt comfortable enough to really spend a lot on it. Besides organic is free…lol. Two presentations that focused on paid social were Larry Kim’s – Top 10 Facebook and Twitter advertising hacks of all time and Wil Reynolds – Paid search strategies SEOs will love. Both were awesome and gave me a new perspective on paid social. On day 2 a lightbulb went off on how to turn paid social into direct retargeting for potential customers that were interested in products or services but may not have converted yet.

So what was the tactic?!?…I use a service called Grasshopper. It’s a Virtual Phone System for a website I have in the reputation management niche. I have has the website since 2012 and the phone number has been active through Grasshopper since then as well. If you are a Facebook user then you may have seen a message asking for your phone number to keep your account secure…lol. Well consequently once your account is secured via phone you can be targeted with ads by that same phone : )

Step 1 – Export your phone numbers from Grasshopper or your Virtual Phone System. If you use Grasshopper you will need to email support in order to get your dashboard setup correctly. Once that is done export your phone numbers into a nice CSV file.

Grasshopper Support Email












I ended up with over 3,000 rows of call some rows had to be cleaned out since the number was marked private and showed up as unknown. I ended up with 1,340 phone numbers after I removed the duplicates and unknowns.

Step 2 – Import the phone numbers into Facebook Ad Manager as a custom audience and setup your ad copy, ad spend, landing page and budget. I started out with a modest budget of $50.00 per Larry Kim’s advice. Then as I started making sales I increased the spend. Also you will have some phone numbers that are not connected to a profile on Facebook.










Step 3 – Profit. After 6 weeks of running an ad campaign targeted towards callers I made 6 sales that totalled $1,925.94 in revenue. My conference ticket was $999, Uber Fares totalled $55, AirBnb $230, ATL to SF RT $248, Alcohol $43 and Food was provided. So far I am up $350.94 after executing the tactics learned at SeachLove 2015 in San Diego and over time my profits will increase.

searchlove-case study








Conclusion – There is obviously more to it that just attending the conference. The key to maximizing your benefit is being attentive during all sessions. Taking notes and thinking about how you can apply the tactics described by each presenter. Since I was not running any paid campaigns there was a lot to be gained by doing some paid social in an effective manner. I was also lucky in the fact that I had been collecting phone numbers of the callers interested in my product or services for over 3 years. Up until this point I didn’t realize the value in the data I already had. Lastly A/B testing and optimizing the paid campaign over time will increase the ROI even further.

Searchlove Conference Presenters

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