BRIGHTON SEO APRIL 2013
Written by John King, SEOEvents.
Brighton SEO – 12.04.13
Brighton Dome – Cost: Free
A year on from my first introduction to SEO at BrightonSEO I find myself back there. Again its well organised, friendly and the coffee and tea are warmly welcomed by everybody who participated in the pub visiting the previous night.
The conference has expanded this year from one auditorium last year into three rooms. The discussion panel kicked off in the main auditorium with Kelvin Newman, Fili Wiese, Jonas Weber and Alfredo Pulvirenti. However I started the day in the Corn Exchange with the opening presentation from Aleyda Solis.
Aleyda Solis, SEER Interactive.
Aleyda began by establishing if a business had international potential and how to target an international audience, leading to how to develop your site.
Some main points,
There needs to be a big focus on language and local support for your business.
Use analytic tools to determine if there is enough traffic from other countries to necessitate taking your business international.
Localize everything for your new site. Local IP address, language, directories, etc.
Social structured data
Alex Ross from 3 Door Digital.
This presentation was particularly useful, as Alex expanded on getting the most out of your social media. What you want is to improve your click through rate, which is done by tailoring your content for each social media and using their tools. This will gain you real estate and greater exposure as the content is more applicable and accessible.
Some main points,
Use meta data so shared media doesn’t automatically add its own descriptions.
Use Twitter cards, you need to apply for these, and Facebook open graphs to improve the content.
Mark up Look Sharp
Alan Cairns, BozBoz
Alan’s presentation revolved around the importance of marking up your content, an increasingly important area of SEO, marking up properly will help your content go further and be more useful.
Definition tags help with ranking and also having an online glossary.
There are plenty of tools to help, such as Data Highlighter, although still in development.
Use Schema to give your content authority, something that is being heavily pushed by several big organisations.
Break time and a chance for people to move between rooms. We moved to the Concert hall for session two.
Go Big or Go Home
Hannah Smith, Distilled
This was one of the most useful talks of the day for us. Hannah weighed up the advantages of small and big content. Small being easily shared and cheaply created content, however having a relatively short life span but with consistent results. Big content, being costly and time consuming to create, however having a much longer, relevant life span. This give it more ability to be shared for longer and can contain much more in the way of links, resulting in a much higher return of results. This is not without risk, as Hannah showed the results can be far more varied in comparison to the small content.
Small content, small risk, small gains.
Big content, big risk, potentially big rewards.
The content needs to support the brands positioning and needs to be repeatable, as one or two pieces of big content will not be as effective.
Make sure that the content is ever green, topical content has a limited life span already.
How to Pitch to Journalists
Geoff White, Channel4 News
This one was mainly for content creators who are wanting to pitch to journalists in more traditional media. Traditional media still holds credibility and links from them can give authority like few other organisations can. Geoff stressed the need to pitch any content from a human perspective, ie where does the story connect with people, how is it relateable and is there a larger issue behind the content.
7 Secret Weapons of successful Content and Outreach
Lexi Mills, Dynamo PR
Lexi Stressed the importance of research in creating and distribution content. Find out what is trending, potentially going to be popular and anything topical. The content should be scale-able and could be applied to niche markets.
The next step is outreach, be specific in who you approach and tailoring the content to them and their brand. Involve people who may be part or subject of the content, ask for links and mentions where you can add some to the footers to increase the visibility of the content and make more return from it.
How to Spot a Sh*tty Link
Paul Madden, Manual Link Building
Despite what Google might be saying about the change in its signals, links are still a huge part of it. To avoid looking spammy and potentially risky link building, vary your content. So if another update such as penguin is released and targets that one type of content you are producing, you won’t take a hit that could cause serious problems. Its important to note that all links carry a risk and as a result every link should be validated where possible. Remove any links that are not credible are spammy or have low or no authority. It takes experience and time to do this, however may save you more time and inconvenience in the future.
Lunch and time to reflect on the day so far. There has been some very good and useful presentations and with the relaxed atmosphere it makes the conference all the more enjoyable. There is still lots more to come yet. As like last year, some of the local bars and restaurants are offering discounts to anybody with a BrightonSEO pass. For the next session we moved to the Studio Theater, the smallest of the three venues.
Most Effective Link Building Methods
Danielle Fudge, Forward 3D
This presentation revolved around analysing the type of link building in different sectors. Danielle showed how it varied between sectors and how large established companies, such as super markets, had well varied, organic links through out their sites. In comparison to payday loan websites that had masses of spammy links all linking to their home page. This caused them to rank highly in the space of a few days. From this Danielle mentioned the importance of knowing what your competitors are doing and how they are achieving their links.
Scale-able Post Penguin Link Building
Neil Walker, Quaero Media
Neil expanded on the effect of penguin on link building and what this meant for the future. With the penguin update cracking down on spammy links it is more important then ever to assess any links you have. Make sure all links come from reputable sources and will not give Google any excuses to send you warning messages.
Building a Plan to Integrate Search, Social, Content and PR in 2013
Matt Roberts, Linkdex and Kevin Gibbons, BlueGlass
These two presentations centered on the increasingly blurred lines between search, social, content and PR. Therefore it is far more beneficial for these to work together as a single unit. This will in turn make creating, managing and evaluating content easier and achieve better results. This means making really great content, rather then manipulating content to make it great.
There was break before the final lightning talks in the Concert hall. The lightning talks, as the presenters only have a short time, are very to the point, precise and often very entertaining.
CRO, Viral Mechanics and Unconventional Business Practice to Boost Sales by 450%
Marcus Taylor, Venture Harbour
Marcus stressed the importance of good quality feedback to improve your site and SEO, find out what people liked and didn’t like.
Offer incentives for people to share and link through social media to expand your audience.
Internal Search – an Untapped Source for Optimising your Website
Alan Ferguson, Centeral Bedfordshire Council
Analyse what pages you need and which ones you don’t. Use your internal search to determine where people are going and what they are looking for. The focus is on the customer, so you need to think and speak like them to ensure your search terms are relevant and that the customer is finding what it is that they want.
Negative SEO: Myths and Reality
Julia Logan, ContentMango
Bad SEO can be self inflicted and not the result of a negative SEO campaign. Check your plug-ins are working properly, up to date and secure. Make sure you are not producing any duplicate content and beware of any changes to your key words or peaks in links that are disproportionate to any SEO you are doing.
How to Turn Your Ideas into Innovation
Matthew Hendry, SiteVisibility
To survive and thrive you need to innovate with your content, approach and ideas. Run small scale prototypes and schemes to assess if they can be scaled, and use social media to help gauge the response.
Scouting For Influencers
Sean Walsh, BlueClaw
Bloggers are very important to SEO and as they have heavy weight in social media are only going to be increasingly more so. There are three levels of bloggers. The high tier, extremely influential difficult to get links from, established media. The middle, influential, established online, have a reasonable following. The last are bloggers who are starting to gain a following, growing socially and are beginning to engage on a wider audience. These are the bloggers you need to approach and recruit. Be polite, honest and useful to them. This is a mutually beneficial relationship and will be very useful in future.
Content Outreach, Looking beyond the Link
Pak Hou Chueng, BlueGlass
Links must relate to the brand, so they won’t be penalized by Google, and the best way to do this is to ensure that your content relates to the brand. The better and more relevant the links are the more weight they carry. Analyse links and remove non-relevant and valueless links.
Getting that Community Feeling
Jennifer Begg, Live Free Range
One of the most important elements of SEO is networking, so to do this it helps if there is a community to interact with. Build relationships with real people, this leads to sharing and then on to real outcomes. Even though SEO is computer based, I needs real people to work and prosper.
After Party Time
This is where most people get the chance to network, do not underestimate the potential of networking, as Jennifer stressed in the final presentation of the day. This is a great time to mingle which is helped by the banter between Kelvin and Dom (ThinkVisability organiser). They set up a game show as a bit of fun to promote Dom’s new venture, Link Risk.
We then went in to the corn exchange for a complementary drink and to network. A mechanical bull, pinball machine, pool table and race cycling was set up. These provided a brilliant release after the day and created a great relaxed atmosphere. There was also a charity domain name auction, excellently hosted again by Kelvin and Dom.
All day the staff were brilliant at BrightonSEO, full credit to all involved in the event. I would highly recommend BrightonSEO to everybody involved with SEO in all sectors, there is enough at Brighton to ensure a wide variety of subjects are covered.
But its not over yet, theres still the after after party. Held at Al Doumos, an Italian restaurant, there was plenty of quality, complementary pizza and karaoke. A great end to a Brilliant event, well worth checking out.