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Day 1 SearchLove London 2012 Key Takeaways

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 by Dave Colgate

What an awesome few days in London! Although the weather wasn’t particularly grand, inside the Congress Centre on Great Russell Street the atmosphere was charged with positive anticipation.

This was the first conference of this kind that I’ve been to so I was looking forward to soaking up as much as possible from the great line of speakers that were on show. Once underway Duncan Morris from Distilled gave a great introduction. He recommends checking out Business Insider’s “State of the Internet” and the following resonated with me the most:

If you’re fighting content, you’ll be fighting forever.

The message from Duncan was clear; you need to start making great content and getting it front of your potential customers.

As part of my note taking process I also made Sketchnotes of some of the sessions that stood out to me.

SearchLove London 2012

Monday 29th October 2012

Live Site Reviews with Wil Reynolds, Stephen Pavlovich and Hannah Smith

  • Don’t spread yourself thinly across too many ccTLDs – focus is the key. Try to target ones that are most important and work out from there.
  • Remember to claim your local listing and hook up Google+
  • Each page of your site should have one goal
  • Each page of your site should also have one call to action (CTA)
  • Don’t expect visitors to complete massive forms, keep it short and simple
  • Credibility can be achieved through testimonials – get them on the site!
  • Don’t bother putting your price up unless it’s competitive
  • Remember to consider your mobile users
  • Remember rich snippets, video and diversifying content to get links

Justin Briggs and life as an in-house SEO

  • How long did change used to take before you entered company?
  • Use current content as a re-marketing strategy
  • Before doing something “check it’s going to be a sure thing” to get others on board
  • Go through old marketing assets – what can you use that currently exists?
  • Leveraging online activity with offline activity will also generate links
  • Whenever launching a new product always have a landing page ready
  • Ask for a organisational chart to know who’s who
  • Consider what the ROI of all your digital marketing activity is – budget

Guy Levine and the future of small business SEO

  • You can pimp out your content on a small budget
  • PPC provides a much faster, more measurable ROI
  • Start with things you know will work rather than things you’re unsure will work – using resources appropriately
  • Get content ideas from Google Analytics, Money Saving Expert by site: searching in Google for “help needed + {keyword]”
  • Find trending topics by using Topsy with Wordle
  • Turn and switch marketing collateral into different media. Video > article > infographic for example
  • Rich snippets take half a day to do and give great results on click throughs
  • If you’re going to fail, do it fast and then turn it around
  • Need more cash to action something? Be upfront and ask for it
  • Create punchy press releases which can turn into partnerships

Mark Johnstone and beyond linkbait

  • “Just creating link bait is no longer enough” – agreed!
  • You have to know your topic incredibly well and in-depth
  • If you don’t – find someone who does
  • All great content starts with a question
  • Change how you work – bring new ideas to the table, discuss and question – answer those questions
  • Curate content – what’s available? Put all the brilliant bits in one place
  • Don’t just think ‘links’ – think business objectives and customer interests

Wil Reynolds on chasing algorithms

  • “Think devilish, act angelic”
  • If something seems “too easy” – it is
  • Don’t think that a backlink history won’t impact your website
  • Rather than thinking about what happened, think about RCS (Real Company Stuff)
  • Don’t pay any attention to patents – 8 year lag in getting them implemented
  • Don’t chase algorithms – just invest in RCS
  • Quality digital assets is the answer to getting through updates
  • Don’t panic! People panicked about footer links and removed way too much
  • Link velocity – Majestic doesn’t necessarily tell you exactly what’s happening
  • Footer links, widgets, sitewide links – are they okay - It Depends is the message

Heather Healy on social signals and rankings

  • Effective communication + conveying emotion = message
  • Perfect correlation in search doesn’t happen
  • During testing 80% rankings remained the same – no impact
  • Social interactions are the things that count (not likes etc)
  • More engagement correlated with more links
  • A relationship exists between social media and link acquisition
  • Links gained through social can outweigh costs of link builder
  • One off social events has no impact on rankings
  • Very heavy social media use, publishing, interaction, response times.
  • Social = driving links, social ≠ increase rankings
  • Same as always – do RCS

Mat Clayton on marketing hacks

  • Facebook – using one big photo posted once a day, link in content works very well
  • Twitter’s retention point is 30 followers
  • Identify your weak point in retention and work on changing it
  • Use data to look back and find out what users are really looking for
  • Facebook notifications are effective way of getting engagement
  • “Never tell someone how to do it, just what to do – they may surprise you”
  • “Acunu” – live analytical data and social shares

Will Critchlow on low budget digital marketing (Head2Head)

  • “If you can’t afford marketing, you probably aren’t charging enough” – my favourite quote!
  • There are two ways of not spending money (1) Pay with something other than money or (2) spend someone else’s money
  • Don’t measure ROI – investment is too small
  • You can pay with talent, relationships, fame and assets (are they scalable?)
  • No cash? Then spend time
  • Create partnerships to share content (LinkedIn is good for doing this)
  • Engage in blog posting and find a community to participate in
  • Localise and personlise everything you do
  • Look into news hijacking to take advantage of traffic (think LEGO Red Bull)

Rand Fishkin on low budget digital marketing (Head2Head)

  • Buying marketing – Earning marketing
  • “Why can’t marketing be like love?” – you can’t buy it and it lasts forever
  • Inbound gets 90% of clicks from latest research on SERPs
  • Customer loyalty is earning marketing
  • Paid search – you’re ‘buying’ their love
  • Earn your customers and don’t rely on paying for them
  • Empathy + creativity = Great content
  • Great content + consistency = brand recognition and loyalty
  • Co-citation is the way forwards
  • Some are ranking because they are making other people look good

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About the author

Dave Colgate

Dave Colgate

Dave came on board with Vertical Leap in 2010 with a strong SEO and web development background, having worked on Content Management Systems and eCommerce websites. With a creative flare, Dave combines his knowledge of design, usability and SEO with advanced technical skills for a broader view of search that achieves great results. Follow me on Google+