MnSearch Summit Agenda

Saint Paul RiverCentre, June 9-10, 2022

2 Days of Epic Learning

The MnSearch board of directors is excited to be bringing together TWO epic days of digital marketing awesomeness for the 2022 Summit. Get ready for two great days of learning from industry leaders and lots of opportunities to network with speakers and peers throughout, or after over drinks at the Post-Summit After Party!

Day 1 is a workshop day, jam-packed with learning opportunities with actionable lessons from a variety of topics like growing your brand, managing an agency, DEIB initiatives, PR, local SEO, and link auditing.

Day 2 is filled with sessions focused on SEO, PPC, analytics, email marketing, content, social media, and much more! Check out the list of session topics and speakers below.

2022 Summit Schedule*

*Schedule subject to change

Workshop Day - Thursday, June 9th (Day 1)
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Workshop 1

Equity in the Workplace and Where To Start (DEIB)

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Rebecca Slaby

Cancel Culture Living: Navigating Online Reputation/PR When One TINY Slip Can Get You Canceled (Digital PR)

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Joe Thornton

Getting Higher on Google Maps for Local Service Businesses

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Tim Brown

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Workshop 2

Building Better Agency Teams With Planning, Process & People (Agency Mgmt)

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Andrew Miller

Building Your Personal Brand (Thought Leadership)

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Alejandra Porta

Backlink Audits

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Timmy Walczak

5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
VIP Party

Keynote & Session Day - Friday, June 10th (Day 2)
8:30 AM - 8:40 AM
Opening Remarks - Cari Twitchell
8:40 AM - 9:30 AM
Morning Keynote - Jenny Halasz
9:40 AM - 10:25 AM
Session 1 Breakouts

From the Ground Up: Building a Content Strategy for a Niche Industry

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Niki Mosier


Creative Audience Targeting Tactics for Meta Advertising

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Akvile DeFazio


Unlocking the Power of GA4 for Search Professionals

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Jeff Sauer

10:35 AM - 11:20 AM
Session 2 Breakouts

Topics, Taxonomies & Tabaxis: Navigating Entities in SERP

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Jamie Indigo


Google Ads & B2B: Common Mistakes & Overcoming Platform Limitations

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Andrea Cruz


Getting Started With AB Testing

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Brian Massey

11:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Session 3 Breakouts

Internal Links: Your Secret Ranking Super Power

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Cyrus Shepard


Turning YouTube Data Into Consumer Research & Actionable Insights

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Cory Henke


The Anatomy of a High-Converting Landing Page

Bob Sparkins

12:15 PM - 1:15 PM
1:25 PM - 2:15 PM
Mid-Day Keynote Christina Garnett
2:25 PM - 3:10 PM
Session 4 Breakouts

Forming Fantastic Partnerships With Franchises

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Amanda Jordan


The Modern Google Ads Playbook

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Aaron Levy


Designing Presentations That Don't Suck (The Life Out of You)

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Alejandra Porta

3:20 PM - 4:05 PM
Session 5 Breakouts

Data & Keyword Segmentation: Answering Complex SEO Questions

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Chris Long


Search Lift & Omni Channel Planning

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Julia Vyse


Content Operations: How to Win the Infinite-Content Arms Race

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Alina Benny

4:15 PM - 5:00 PM
Afternoon Keynote - Navah Hopkins
5:00 PM - 5:10 PM
Closing Remarks - Cari Twitchell
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Post-Summit After Party at Patrick McGovern's

Workshop Agenda - Thursday, June 9

Does the thought of self promotion make you cringe? Ever feel awkward or guilty about promoting your own work?

When Alejandra Porta first started working, she was crappy at building her personal brand. All her focus was on the company. It shouldn’t be this way! The value of dedicating some time and energy to talking about yourself and showing your work cannot be overstated and can drive long-term benefits for your career.

As a brand strategist and the co-creator of Shine Bootcamp, Alejandra Porta put together a hands-on, personal branding workshop where you will learn:

  • Why your brain actually dislikes self-promotion just as much as you do
  • How you can get past feeling negative, guilty or awkward about self promotion
  • How to cultivate a strong POV (Point of View)
  • How to self-promote confidentiality and authentically.
  • How to showcase your personality through writing & visuals so that people can get a feel for who you really are.
  • How to set up goals and develop solid brand-building habits.

*Please bring a laptop and something to journal with. Be prepared to be an active participant and get hands-on.

Andrew Miller Profile Pic

Great agency leaders and managers don’t jeopardize long term sustainability by chasing instant gratification and hustle culture. Sustainability comes from planning ahead, creating repeatable processes, and developing your people. Yet, many managers struggle to find time for planning while also managing day-to-day operations.

The best advice doesn’t come from management books or Twitter threads – it comes from sharing experiences with other leaders who have faced similar issues. Andrew will lead interactive roundtable discussions and share examples and templates from Workshop Digital’s award-winning playbook that you can put to work in your agency right away.

Rebecca Slaby Profile PicMany nonprofits have begun the necessary, long-overdue process of examining their organizations through a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens. Unfortunately, much of organizational DEI work happens in fits and starts, is driven by a handful of staff who have experienced marginalization in the workplace, lacks commitment from leadership, is under-resourced, and fails to make the deeper culture change that is needed for organizations to truly become diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

So how can we do DEI work “right” – or at least better? What do organizations need to consider as they delve into DEI work in order to create the lasting DEI change they desire and need?

Join us in an important discussion about the questions, considerations, challenges, and pitfalls organizations should consider before and during DEI work. Share perspectives about what has and hasn’t worked with DEI initiatives you’ve experienced. Understand the important missing pieces that often undermine DEI work. Learn two frameworks (the AMAZEworks Anti-Bias Education and Conditions for Belonging frameworks) for implementing DEI work that create deeper organizational change.

You know you need a lot of Google reviews, and perhaps even to create location-specific pages on your local business website – but what else can you do to drive up your placement on Google maps?

This session will detail everything you can do to increase your likelihood of getting shown more often:


  • Everything you can do to create a more comprehensive Google Business Profile than competitors.
  • Ways to get more reviews that actually work, 1 to 1 and at scale as your business grows.
  • “They ask, you answer” strategies that relate to “local ranking” for small businesses that mix marketing and sales.

Conducting a backlink audit is essential for the health of any website. Learn how link audits help with keyword research and how to use it to create an effective off-page SEO strategy.

Keynote Presentations - Friday, June 10

Join Jenny Halasz, new SEO Manager at LL Flooring (formerly Lumber Liquidators) for an amusing look at some of the biggest things that can go wrong with SEO in an ecommerce environment. This talk will have you using fun new phrases like fetch/render and image optimization.

Learn how lazy load can go terribly wrong, how a single image change can wreak havoc on your entire site, and why you should never be satisfied with “good enough.” Jenny will show you how simple and not-so-simple changes resulted in significant improvements in conversion rate, revenue, and site performance.

Brands are fighting for attention and relevance as consumer behaviors continue to adapt. Brand affinity and community act as moats for those who know that their delighted customers are their strongest competitive advantage.

In this session, Christina Garnett, Senior Marketing Manager, Offline Community and Advocacy at HubSpot will deconstruct brand affinity and provide clear tactics for inspiring love and community with your current and prospective customers.

Navah Hopkins profile pic

SEO and PPC are often at odds with each other due to lack of communication and collaboration. In this data-powered and action item oriented session, we will discuss how to bridge the divide and do better work together. This session will cover:

Landing page theory and how to ensure technical SEO empowers instead of canabilizes paid efforts through domain structure and settings.

Balancing the conflicting objectives on creative and how to empower content marketing through PPC data. Workflows to consider in a more integrated and collaborative world that honor the privacy-first web.

This session is designed for marketing managers who own both functions, as well as agencies who may need to collaborate with another vendor/partner who owns another digital channel.

Session Topics - Friday, June 10

SEO Track

Amanda Jordan Profile Picture

Experience with local and enterprise SEO gives you a valuable and rare skill set whether you’re in-house, a freelancer, or an agency. It puts you in an excellent spot to work with franchises.

During this talk, we’ll discuss what franchise SEO is, common issues franchise SEOs face with clients, and how to solve them.

Chris Long Profile Picture

Similar to Google Analytics segments, many rank tracking tools allow SEOs to create segments or tags for keywords. These can be used to group keywords across different devices, URLs, locations, keyword categories or any way that users would like to segment the data.

Doing this allows SEOs to get much deeper insight into their ranking data. Instead of just looking at aggregate ranking data, you can use segments to drill down to specific and meaningful groups that you want to analyze.

This session will show users how they can use segments to find which devices they perform better on, keyword categories where they rank well or need improvement and how to use segments to perform SEO tests.

Cyrus Shepard Profile PictureWe all know about internal links – it’s so 2012 SEO, right? Cyrus dives into the data to see if our 2022 techniques still align with 2012 best practices.

Jamie Indigo Profile Picture

Our lives are digital. Search impacts everyday life from health to wealth to public safety news. Google is pushing to provide users with fact-oriented SERPs. To succeed in SEO, you need to focus on creating content that is factual and useful.

In this panel, we’ll look at Google’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy which documents all known objects, people, places, and concepts. After an exploration of how it works, we’ll examine a hands on strategy for optimizing and creating content. Finally, we’ll look at the future of SERPs

Attendees be warned: This is going to get nerdy.

Niki Mosier Profile Picture

As with most things digital marketing, building a content strategy, especially for a niche industry, a one size fits all approach doesn’t cut it. For a niche industry, there are even more challenges like a lack of data available in the usual tools.

Learn what challenges can be expected in building a content strategy, how to overcome them and how to succeed.

PPC Track

Akvile DeFazio profile picture

If you’re struggling to find audiences that perform well on Meta, you’re not alone. As we were all still adjusting to the post-iOS14 advertising landscape, Meta removed even more native audiences in March ’22 leaving advertisers wondering how to find audiences that will perform as well as those we’ve lost.

During this session, Akvile DeFazio will share innovative tactics plus tried and true targeting you may have not considered. Level up your Meta Ads performance while making your strategy resilient enough to withstand changes to future targeting capabilities.

Andrea Cruz Profile PictureNone of the content and features Google Ads creates is meant for B2B accounts. Most advice for B2B benchmarks and best practices, even when scouring the web, is too general to be useful.

After auditing hundreds of B2B accounts, the root causes for bad performance are always the same; automating bids too quickly, not excluding the right audiences, and focusing too much on the optimization score, to name a few.

The objective of this session is to walk the audience through the most common mistakes, why these are considered mistakes, and how they can apply a B2B mindset to Google Ads, a B2C product. Each mistake will also include how to troubleshoot it, and case studies based on my professional experience.

Cory Henke Profile PictureYouTube ad data is rich in it’s ability to deliver your KPI but also generate a halo effect on other platforms. Also, viewer and customer research is also available through the dissection of placements (YouTube Channels), keywords, and demographic variables.

This presentation will highlight how we can use this data to improve brand and performance.

Julia Vyse Profile Pic

What happens to a search marketer when the right people aren’t searching yet? Whether a new product launch, a public safety campaign, or a first-time ever event, we sometimes need to reach people who might not be searching for our preferred topics…yet.

Join me in an omnichannel adventure where we plan out different channels for different purposes, and measure the lift in search once we tell people what’s up! We’ll cover planning, optimization, reporting, and Google’s new Search Lift Studies – which I used to do manually and vowed never to do again!

Aaron Levy Profile Pic

Paid search has evolved quite a bit in the past few decades. Now that we’re firmly in the automation era, it’s clear that the best practices of yesteryear just don’t apply anymore.

In this session, we’ll look to the past to inform the future. We’ll talk about the latest features, tools, tactics and technology to help you effectively beat your competition, all while reducing your own time investment.



After this session, you’ll be able to:

  • Pick and choose which modern campaign types are a best fit for your goals.
  • Understand the best way to use “new” match types
  • How to develop a purposeful, data-inspired account with the future in mind
  • Leverage the best of machine learning, your business instincts and old-fashioned common sense while preventing potential pitfalls.

Cross-Channel Track

Brian Massey Profile Pic

AB Testing is one of the best ways that a marketer can test an idea. However, we can’t test every idea that we have. The most effective conversion optimization program uses AB testing as one tool to understand what our visitors want in an online experience. Brian Massey is going to provide an overview of the role AB testing has in the modern marketing toolkit.



Attendees will learn:

  • How to save and manage ideas
  • How to determine which ideas should be AB tested
  • What the limitations of AB testing are
  • The effect of AB test data on an organization

Jeff Sauer Profile Pic

Join international analytics expert Jeff Sauer as he shows you the most effective way to use Google Analytics 4, as the deadline approaches for the end of Universal Analytics.

During this session, Jeff will cover:

  • – Migrating your code to GA4 and the easiest way to get set up with parallel tracking
  • – New reports that set GA4 apart, and how to get some of your old favorites back
  • – Updating your Data Studio reports to use GA4, so you don’t lose all your account history
Designing a unique and beautiful slide deck need not be impossible. From creating a mood board to defining your style, seasoned designer Alejandra Porta will take you through her easy-to-replicate process for creating a professional looking deck — even for the design-challenged. As the Co-Creator of Shine Bootcamp, a speaker accelerator for women, Alejandra has helped hundreds of people design and refine their slide decks. In her talk, she’ll teach you the most common slide design mistakes (and how to avoid them), as well as some tactical tips, tricks and hacks that will take your slides from so-so to pro.
Whether your traffic comes from paid ads, organic search, social media, or (gasp!) a human-to-human conversation, the first thing your visitors see after they click needs to convert them into a qualified lead (or customer). But what page should that first page be? What are the key elements that you must include on that page? What should you avoid like the plague? What if the first page they see is a blog post? Bob Sparkins (Sales Marketing Manager at Leadpages) will answer these questions and many more as he simplifies your path towards your Perfect Landing Page. You’ll hear what’s working now in landing page design and common mistakes to avoid. You’ll walk away with a 5-step plan for crafting your next high-converting landing page, no matter what platform you use or product you’re selling.

Alina Benny Profile Picture

High-quality content production isn’t as crazy as it seems. Thousands of content teams have mastered the art of balancing product, brand, and SEO content without breaking a sweat.

This focus can take many forms — acquiring media companies for their audience, using high-production-value videos, or even capitalizing on user-generated content.

The core mechanism at play is a combination of clever product positioning and an unassailable content operations program.

So how do these teams build this program from the ground up? What does a fully fledged content ops team look like?

What you’ll learn:

  • The keys to bigger, better copycat content
  • Assembling the core, adjacent, and external teams
  • Unleashing your true front-line defense: documentation