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July 13th – Coming out of a Sabbatical and Going Back into the SEM World.

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Have you ever dreamed about taking a sabbatical? Have you dreamed about leaving a full time (even six figure) job to travel and/or to volunteer? Maybe you are dreaming about becoming a minimalist, traveling and working while you are on the road.

I want to share my experiences with you including what I loved and what I didn’t like about being on a sabbatical and living a minimalist life. I want to share my technological challenges and offer some advice for those of you who might be inspired by my story.

So why am I back now? Why am I looking for full time SEM work? You will have to come hear me on July 13th to find out! I also want to share my challenges with job hunting after a sabbatical and looking for work without a permanent address! Did my experience change how I see the future of my SEM career? Absolutely!

Here are the topics I will cover:

  • Why I went on Sabbatical.
  • The RV life and becoming a minimalist.
  • The Internet connectivity challenges of the RV life and how I managed.
  • What it was like to work and volunteer on the road.
  • Renting an office the size of a closet in a 100 year old bank building.
  • Why I came back to Search Engine Marketing (hint…I love SEM!)
  • What changed about SEM in the few years that I stepped out and what stayed the same.
  • What it was like trying to find a “J.O.B.” after being on a sabbatical.
  • How my career goals have changed because of my sabbatical.

City Central – Addison
17250 Dallas Pkwy Dallas, TX 75248

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Shelley has spent 25+ years of her career in marketing with 20+ years in online marketing and 15+ years specializing in paid search, display advertising and remarketing across multiple industries. She has also been a guest content contributor for publications like the SEM Post, Marketing Land and MarketingSherpa.

Shelley’s 15+ years of consulting and agency level paid search, display advertising and remarketing experience has included previously working with iCrossing, Advice Interactive, Globe Runner, Cinsay, Online Performance Marketing as well as other agencies. Her accounts have ranged from small to Fortune 500 and have included Coca-Cola, Kimberly-Clarke, Ritz-Carlton, USAA, Mary Kay, Avaya and Hallmark.

In September of 2014, she went on her first sabbatical after a sudden agency lay-off. Within a year, she had given away her belongings, bought a motorhome and hit the road. She put her marketing skills to work everywhere she landed including as a volunteer on the mission field and as an SEM consultant. Shelley is currently doing SEM consulting work full time while continuing to volunteer for the ministries she partnered with starting in 2015.

August 10th – Mastering Entity Optimization

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The future of search isn’t keyword optimization, it’s entity optimization. Arguably one of the most impactful shifts in Google’s numerous algorithm updates, understanding entities are key to ranking in a modern-day world of MUM and BERT.

At our August meeting, you will learn:

  1. How the knowledge graph is actually influenced
  2. How semantic SEO works in practice
  3. Concrete steps anyone can start doing to build their brand in the SERPs.

City Central – Addison
17250 Dallas Pkwy Dallas, TX 75248

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John McAlpin leads the SEO strategy for Cardinal Digital Marketing, an Atlanta SEO agency that focuses on serving enterprise healthcare companies across the United States. Currently located in Dallas, John is deeply engaged in both the local and national SEO community and has a strong background in technical SEO, web development, and digital marketing strategy.


The Dallas-Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association’s goal is to promote digital marketing and increased return on investment for companies and their websites through best practices. We accomplish this through networking, education, and promotion of all forms of digital marketing.

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Attend DFWSEM monthly events VIRTUALLY for one year. A virtual membership also comes with one in-person ticket per year so you can network.

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