On Friday I was lucky enough to attend #BrightonSEO for the first time, the UK’s only free, full day SEO conference. Although there was no official theme for the event, the talks given focused more on wider marketing principals than actionable SEO tasks. However this was covered in the 7 slides in 7 minutes sessions.
I took a lot of notes from the day, so if you weren’t lucky enough to attend #BrightonSEO or couldn’t be bothered to write your own I’ve included a massive 150 key takeaway points below.
Predatorily Thinking - Dave Trott (Executive Creative Director, CSTTG)
Most people will see over 1000 adverts per day, but 90% of adverts aren’t noticed. This is epically true of SEO; 4% are positively remembered and 6% negatively remembered.
There are two types of creativity: ‘Pure Creativity’ (for example Art & Film) and Applied Creativity where form follows function. It’s the latter that gets you noticed.
Media is used to generate a conversion with consumers; this can be broken down as Impact, Communication and Persuasion.
Most advertising fails at the impact stages, make sure you look at what you can achieve to help you marketing standout.
So how do you turn the marketing principals into predator thinking or Applied creativity, to allow you beat the competition
Understand that you’re never going to beat everyone. For example Direct Line spends £81m a year on marketing, if your marketing insurance your simply never going to compete.
Don't solve problems you can't solve, solve those you can. For example: How do you advertise the iPod when its always in somebodies pocket? Change what people can see… in this example changing typically black earphones white. Instantly anybody knows you have an iPod.
Take the approach of going up stream on problems to find solutions
Do You Speak Brand - Antony Mayfield (Founding Partner, Brilliant Noise).
SEO has become a broad church, where people keep dividing in to smaller and smaller camps.
SEO is often miss-sold and can feel like it's SEO vs Everyone rather SEO + Brand
The industry is growing up, which is epitomised by Coca Cola switching a massive 20% of marketing budget to inbound marketing.
Digital marketing budget should be spent across all parts of cycle, not just purchase.
The combination of marketing disciplines such as PR, Content Marketing, Social, SEO and UX is not a is not a coalition, it's a merger
Content is like any long term eCommerce business, you have to invest in the supply chains, both distribution and procurement.
If you pitching SEO talk about the benefits not what it does and create story that anybody can understand.
Speaking Your Users Language (UX) - Stephanie Troeth. (Freelance)
Stephanie provided a great overview of how SEO’s need to go beyond their principal marketing work and think about UX and how it affects a site.
Imagery should convey your main proposition
Understand whether your communicating something emotional or rational. Make sure the on page language matching the right type.
When designing take the ‘mobile first’ principal. Layout you pages as you would for mobile to understand what you most important elements are.
When listing to the user there are two approach, closed listening and open listings, use both:
Closed ended listing answers the ‘how’ and is often driven by data e.g Analytics, A/B testing etc…
Open ended listening answers the ‘why’ and is often driven open ended question system such as Social Media, Listening Tabs and Surveys.
Take time to talk to real users and build this into your UX programs.
How to win friends. And influence robots - Martin Belam (Principal Consultant, Emblem)
Martin Belam worked as one the BBC’s first SEO’s and gave some great insight on thinking about content and UX.
Think about how headlines look when out of context. For example if you write a blog post, how would the headline look on another website without the blog content.
Look at the user flow around site. How does the user think about the way your site is organised?
If you don't need them it, don't publish it. Look at what the opportunity cost to do something, e.g could you be doing something productive or are you spending something that will yield little rewards.
Look at page load speed, it helps build trust both search engines and the user
Look at the law of unintended consequences for UX/SEO. If one change negatively affects the other is it worth doing?
Chasing the Algorithm: Smart SEO or Hopeless Effort? - Rebecca Weeks (SEO Associate Director, MGOMD)
This was a good talk about in the end if you're chasing the algorithm you're never going to win.
Look at correcting exact match links on high quality domains where penalty has been given.
Without good content you are never going to close the gap on competitors.
Learn from your errors to develop a stronger strategy, more importantly learn from your competitors errors.
Best practice is not always possible, you're never going to achieve everything you want.
For local SEO target local exact match domain for high quality link and relevant links.
Finally understand that good SEO never chase.
API WTF? - Will Critchlow (Founder, Distilled)
This session was meant to be delivered by Tom Anthony, however as he wasn’t able to make it. Luckily Will stepped in and lived up to his reputation as a great speaker.
Twenty years ago the web was just text, today it has evolved, so has the way it is consumed. For example 10 years ago users spent an average of 40 minutes online a day, now users spend 4 hours!
Search has changed and it's been refined already from where it starts, result are looking visually different and voice isn’t the answer as “you sound like a dick talking into your phone”.
Visual impact search are about transaction, e.g if you search for something with an attribute
API's is how computers talk to computers and helps to tie together all the different channels.
If you sell anything that has an SKU you’re going to get steam rollered by amazon. The only way to succeed is if you can off buyers something else, beyond Amazon’s cheap price.
How to be a better SEO - Richard Baxter (Founder, SEOgadget)
A something of a current personal focus of mine this was a really great session, where Richard simply covered what makes a great SEO and how to achieve that, he also stated that its important to remember that the depth of discipline is huge.
Understand what your goals are, where do you want to be 2, 5, 10 years?
Get a mentor or somebody you respect and copy him.
Good SEO’s a very curious people and seek to understand the ‘why’ beyond the ‘how’.
Aim to learn something new once a week.
Getting positive feedback? How could you work to make positive feedback even more.
Rehearse everything, meetings, calls and pitches.
Put yourself out of your comfort zone, personal develop occurs at best in this state.
Make yourself indispensable. become an expert on a specific subject.
Build your own websites and blog.
Make people realise that you care so much SEO, to gain traction.
Learn to sell anything.
Always follow up, on questions, interviews and client questions
Known your figures inside. For example how many unique visits do you clients get each month?
Communicate your successes, however minimal make people understand them
Leadership comes from certainty and belief if your own opinions and learning.
Work towards what you do a little better every day.
SEO Deliverance - Tony King (SEO Managing Consultant, Semetrical)
Tony gave an interesting talk about how to gain more traction and deliverance within a in house SEO setting.
How do you deliver SEO in House?
SEO can get pigeonholed into a specific department... Don’t let it.
Be seen as the guru and become the go to guy and gain influence within the business.
To gain influence, you need to deliver change, to achieve change there are 3 stages. Those 3 steps can be described as Research, Development and ImplementationResearch Stage
Know your market, keywords. carry out gap analysis between you and your competitors.
Assess your SERPS. What are the SERPS doing in a specific keyword group. Are they image driven, video, schema?
Know your completion both in paid and organic. Who are they and how are they performing. SEMrush is great for this.
Crawl competitors websites to understand there structure.
Carry out SWOT analysis to help guide your marketing.
Audit XML sitemaps, when were they last update.
Many companies own multiple domains, who manages their renewal, when are they due?
Understand the site and business
What is the site mission
What are is goals, traffic, sales and market share.
Is tracking working across the site. (You can easily check this using Screaming Frog SEO Spider)
Know your strategy and project scope, Who is going to delivery the project, what are costs?
Define a budget, but make sure you consider seasonal search trends for budget and begins
Determine what tools you are you going to need? And push to buy them beginning of the financial year, when there is less pressure
Build teams that you progress
Understand delivery includes extended teams such as PR and traditional advertising
Test what you read in white papers and blog posts
Define and assign responsibility
Who has influence in the sign odd process and what could be their objections?
Pre-emt questions with answers.
Know your plan when pitching:
Start with a business case
Let the figures speak for them selves
It's all about the ROI
Make internal proposal look professional
Include cover and contents pages
Get two people to proof it
Print and bind it
Make a PDF version for easy sharing
Quantify the changes from your work before and after
Separated by a Common Language - Lynne Murphy (Reader in Linguistics, University of Sussex)
Lynne covered some the differences between US and UK English and why they exist, a slightly off topic session, however given marketing on its lowest level is about communication.
The press hate the Americanization (deliberate typo) of British English.
Many ‘Americanized’ words such are erb (Herb) are derived Latin roots, the H was added a later date to denote class in English society.
These difference are often drive by the fact that English is actually French in many cases. For example ‘color’ was the original Latin word and pre dates ‘colour’ in the UK.
English at its roots is a language which thrives on borrowing.
A decade in affiliate marketing - James Little (Partnerships Director, Top Cashback)
James little givens us a condensed breakdown
Affiliate Websites 10 years ago looked “sh*t”.
Many affiliates used spyware and didn’t move away from till around 2005
There was a very negative view of affiliate as a late as 2006-8. This was epitomised ‘ASOS Grubbygate’, where in 2007 ASOS CEO Nick Robertson said that all affiliates were “grubby”.
Next Gate, Next dropped commission to 1%, which ‘pissed off’ many affiliates. Ironic this is now one of the best commission rate in fashion retail.
The grown up dates 2009-12 affiliates began to ‘grow up’.
This growing up period saw the rise of Cashback and Voucher Code site, with some affiliates even becoming mercents (e.g. Wish Club)
There are still some issues though, as the IAB got involved as there were loads fake voucher codes
Affiliates are becoming brands. E.g TopCashBack gets more traffic than confused.com
7 Slides in 7 Minutes Sessions
7 things you need to know about Mobile SEO - Aleyde Solis (Founder, Orainti Search Marketing)
Watch your mobile audience behaviour in Google Analytic, Segment the traffic to gain insight.
Review your mobile results and as shown in WMT.
Understand your mobile search volume using Google AdWords.
Use Fetch as Google Mobile Tot WMT to understand what code mobile Google is seeing.
Mobile is often localised, are you offered tailored to this factor?
Speed is key over mobile, make sure your site speed is fast.
On mobiles site which run in parallel to your (e.g. on sub domains) use canonical tags.
Content Planning in a Post Panda and Penguin World - Simon Penson (MD, Zazzle Media)
Good content planning focuses on content flow, variation and visualization
Serialise, regular content is the ebs of content marketing and should be time effective.
Bangs(flows) are big article or big ideas, which may include:
Look at the hours to market content, peek times should be big bang stuff
Social Media Reverse Engineering - Yousaf Sekander (Head of SEO, Elevatelocal)
Good, shareable content is not cheap.
Find out what worked for your competitors and leverage that for your client. This can easily be done with tools such as Social Crawlitics.
Discover who shared your competitor’s content and target them with similar content.
Use ‘Back tweets’ to understand who shared content for a given URL.
Use sites like Topsy to identify the most influence sharers.
For infographics use your own shorter, as you can control where the link points.
Future proofing SEO on large websites - Berian Reed (Head of Search & Online Partnerships, Auto Trader)
Copy and paste is the biggest method of sharing. The Daily Mail gains 1000’s of links a year through hacked copy and paste functionality using systems like Tynt.
Setup referral alerts: use filter to gain full referral URL. Contact those people
Learn from competitor mistakes. Why didn't a competitor fix/correct a bug?
Change detection; monitor competitor website to identify the pages there changing.
Run link detective on competitor domains.
Client Checklist for SEOs - Sion O'Connor (Marketing Director, Vanquis Bank)
Understand Your Clients:
Do they have corporate or personal objectives?
Are they focused on CPA or effective growth
Who are the stake holders in their business?
Who are their customers?
Who is the competition?
Look for innovation in other environment that you can apply to your customer
Become an editor of new trends for your client, informing them of those which are relevant and actionable.
Things your client wants:
Insights and Best Practice
Uncovers differences of opinion
Discuss risks and issues
Who is the decision maker in the business:
Use plain English to discuss trends, make sure they understand the payoff and risks.
Pinteresting SEO - Danielle Fudge - Head of SEO, Forward3D
Danielle discusses their new Pinterest Search tool developed by the team at Forward3D to identify outreach opportunities
Pinalytics allows you search Pinterest and return return the URL of the original image along with several key stats
SEOmoz Domain Authority (DA)
Social Metrics such a Pins, Tweets and Likes
You can easily export search results and gain a list of link prospects
Currently Pinalytics is 100% Free and will remain so for the forseable future
Attributing beyond the last click - Tom Lewis (Head of Professional Services, DC Storm)
Removing the value from direct and brand traffic (attribution)
Attribute more value to the initiation phrase/point when attributing value to specific part of the purchase cycle.
Attribution shouldn’t be based the 30 day Cookie window as buying cycles can extend beyond this period.
The business of SEO and how it can make our world a better place - Jason Woodford (Chief Executive, SiteVisibility)
There are many reasons to be cheerful about SEO
The industry is currently in a boom time, a reverse to the economy.
Most people in the current economy take 10-19 years to reach the same salary levels as those in SEO with 3-5 Years.
SEO is different to almost every industry as competitors share their knowledge. #BrightonSEO is best example of this.
Reasons to be sad about SEO
Helps sell stuff that goes in the bin, which isn’t very envronmeanlty friendly.
People still get emails saying SEO cost £99 a month.
Many people still see SEO as cowboys
Many still claim ‘SEO is dead’.
How as any industry we can change those views:
Act like a real business.
Do a great job, delivering a quality end product and service.
Develop and nurture talen.
Don’t under sell your services, profit - charge the value of your work.
Other key points
Generating lead growth of recession
Focus on charity work and corporate social responsibility (CSP)
Work clients on charity work, helps you bond with customers.
Work closely with Universities to raise the profile of SEO and attract good talent
Collaborate with other agencies for the collective good.
Quickfire Analytics: 7 Custom Reports in 7 Minutes - Anna Lewis (Digital Marketing Executive, Koozai)
Anna shows us some great custom reports to aid your digital marketing efforts, I’ve listed these below and you can setup them up instantly from the Koozai Blog.
SEO Reporting - Key KPI's
PPC reporting, overview, on page conversions and
Brand monitoring. Social and mentions
Social. Info from data hubs
Geek: understand how user technology influences the website
Host name report. Helps identify duplicate website websites
Email marketing. Make sure you have campaign tracking setup in your email distribution client
GA shortcuts. Make sure you set them up.
July 2, 2012 08:57 by EAOM
The way people find local products and services in Liverpool, has changed dramatically in recent years. The increased use of the internet, has meant that more traditional advertising sources, such as the Yellow Pages, are not being used as much as their digital counterparts. The use of popular search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo!, as well as social media websites, has meant business owners, have had to change the way they advertise, through local SEO in Liverpool, which let people know more about a particular business.
One of the most useful online facilities for informing people about a business, is Google Places. There are many good reasons to hire an online marketing agency in Liverpool, to setup these webpages.
When an SEO agency in Liverpool sets up a Google Places webpage, it provides the public with more information than other forms of advertising, and is located in one place. An organisations location, directions, contact details, opening hours, images, videos and an area for customer reviews, are just some of the features which makes Google Places such a useful online advertising facility.
When a person uses a search engine like Google, to search for a particular type of local business, product or service, the Liverpool businesses with Google Places listings, normally appear in these results. Every time someone views or clicks on this listing, it is recorded, and is an excellent way to analyse various information, related to a particular listing.
Once a Liverpool digital marketing agency includes a business in Google Places, this page can be modified and extended, whenever you want to. It can also be shared easily by email, social media, or through many other online facilities.
Some websites find it difficult to capture everything they want to say about a particular business. Adding a Google Places listing to a website makes it look much more professional. It also includes all of the details which would otherwise have been difficult to add to a particular website.
When it comes to online advertising, modern businesses have a wide selection of options to choose from. Unfortunately, this can have its disadvantages, because it can become confusing. However, one of the simplest and most effective ways to advertise your business, and make people in Liverpool more aware of what you have to offer, is to create a Google Places listing
June 29, 2012 10:52 by EAOM
Ever been to a company’s website and spent a significant amount of time reading engaging and interesting blog entries? Or been impressed by the simple, effective and professional appearance of some websites? Have you wondered how much you could increase your sales if you could only improve your rankings in search engine results?
Online Marketing Agency Liverpool
If so, it may be time to consider professional digital marketing services. The digital world is becoming more important in our day to day lives and online transactions are the standard way in which many people interact with their clients and service providers. Blogging is becoming an essential way to immediately communicate fresh and exciting ideas, while any business worth its salt needs to be able to deal with online purchases in a secure and streamlined way.
SEO Agency Liverpool
SEO is a fundamental cornerstone of digital marketing. When choosing an SEO agency bear in mind your requirements and consider how well the agency can work with you to understand your needs and business. Different sectors require different strategies. The right SEO agency will go out of their way to incorporate your vision and knowledge with tried and tested techniques developed through years of experience.
A core service offered by SEO agencies is the production of focused copy for your website that understands your brand and key messages. This can be complemented by articles, blogs and press releases. There remains plenty of scope for off line promotion, with off line press releases and advertisements still finding a wide audience.
Other techniques include building links with other reputable businesses and organisations to drive up search engine rankings and find a wider audience, and technical analysis and improvement of the code, structure and presentation of your website.
Digital Marketing Agency Liverpool
With a Liverpool digital marketing agency you can rest assured that you are receiving quality and expertise in all the fields required to promote your business both on and off line. With an agency that has in house experts in SEO, PPC, web design and social media services there is no need to outsource any element of the process. This has several benefits, including cost, a more streamlined process and peace of mind when it comes to maintaining high standards.
June 25, 2012 10:37 by EAOM
Nowadays, majority of business owners are involved in Internet marketing since it allows them to achieve worldwide recognition rather than geographically limited recognition. This guarantees that prospective customers who have never even heard the name of the particular business in question will find the website on the Internet. In order to make sure the customers find it online, the concept of page ranking and search engine optimisation is important to understand for the business owner. However, the concept is quite difficult to grasp due to the complications involved in it. For this very reason, most business owners focus chiefly on other aspects of their business and hire an SEO company to achieve good positioning and visibility of the website on search engine pages.
By hiring an SEO company, business owners can ensure that:
• Their website is ranked among the top results of a search engine result page. Liverpool based SEO Company's uses different optimisation tactics for attracting prospective customers, which consequently improves rank position and incoming traffic.
• Their website is designed optimally to improve ranking. Inexperienced website owners sometimes make the mistake of getting their website designed by unprofessional companies because of which they often do not succeed in overcoming competition. SEO company Liverpool also ensures that your website is designed in a particular way, which contributes in attracting maximum traffic.
• The customers are not disappointed after visiting the website. Experienced SEO company in Liverpool makes sure that the navigation system of the website as well as the content is optimised just the way a customer would want it to be. Good website-usability leads to good results on the part of customers, and subsequently works for the benefit of the business owner.
• The website targets the right audience. As every business is trying to target a particular audience for selling a product or service, it is important that the content and the website’s design focuses only on that audience. An SEO Liverpool company would ensure that the sales window doesn't close simply because the website couldn't target the desired audience. SEO firms equip the website will the ability to be searched by targeted users and provide the information they would require.
As you can see, there are various benefits a business owner could get out of hiring an SEO Company in Liverpool. Not only will the business accomplish a high ranking, its website usability and profitability will also be improved considerably.
June 18, 2012 10:45 by EAOM
For any business looking for an SEO Agency in Liverpool, they would do well do ensure that they locate a company that 1) understands the best way to market your website within ‘White Hat’ guidelines and 2) has the long-term interests of your website in mind.
Any SEO Liverpool company worth its salt should ensure that it operates only within an ethical framework, always with the best intentions of your business in mind. This includes, among other things, generating traffic to your website using ‘White Hat’ techniques. That is, never straying into questionable, unethical tactics which, while in the short-term may provide a significant boost in traffic to your site, could end up jeopardising your future marketing goals in the long-term. An ethical SEO Agency, Liverpool based business will know how to market your website, by carefully optimising your text-to-code ratio; generating natural, inbound links by providing your website with engaging content; and ensuring that your website can be easily located by the major search engines such as Google, without resorting to devious tactics such as keyword stuffing and link farms.
An expert SEO Agency in Liverpool knows the value of generating traffic, but also understands that short-term gains can often lead to far worse long-term issues, particularly when so-called ‘Black Hat SEO’ is employed. Such Black Hat tactics may include attempting to manipulate search results by generating large amounts of unnatural inbound links to your website and stuffing irrelevant keywords into the content, both of which are against Google’s best-practice SEO guidelines. Failure to follow these guidelines and attempt to manipulate the search engines may actually result in a lower position in Google, and therefore a significant drop in your website’s traffic, the consequence of which is less customers/leads for your business. And following Google’s recent Panda and Penguin updates, the importance of focussing on the user experience and quality of a given website has never been more important; Google can now filter out such ‘spammy’ looking websites, and may even remove them from its results entirely. Any search engine optimisationLiverpool company with industry experience will tell you that Google accounts for over 90% of the search engine market, and therefore losing such a large customer base for your business due to unethical SEO techniques is certainly not worth the risk.
Always bear the above in mind when looking to hire an SEO agency in Liverpool. Your SEO company should come across as professional, should steer away from cowboy SEO tactics, and should definitely focus on the long-term goals of your website, generating traffic in a way that follows Google’s best-practice guidelines, whilst providing enriching content for your website’s users.
June 1, 2012 15:00 by EAOM
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is an umbrella term for a range of methods used to increase the amount of attention and traffic websites receive. With the proliferation of websites and information on the net, businesses and other organisations are increasingly finding it invaluable as a way to get noticed, reach out to a wider audience and increase revenue. Those organisations that do not keep up with advances in the field are in danger of being left behind without a visible online presence. In today’s climate with more and more people opting to use the web for research and purchases, it is actively detrimental to not have this visibility.
Types of SEO Service
SEO services range from simple alterations in your company’s website page layout to more technical alterations in the code to make it easier for search engines like Google to interact with the website. Services also include the production of high quality, vibrant and engaging content in the form of articles, press releases, advertisements and blogs to generate continuous interest in your business. Blogs have become renowned as a way of engaging interest and no business should be without one. Another way of optimising search engine results is to improve the way in which your website’s links work. Quality links bring traffic to your website and increase its rankings.
SEO and Local Knowledge
Knowledge of the area is always helpful when devising a marketing strategy and using SEO. An example of applying local knowledge to SEO is an understanding of inclusion of geographical place names in search phrases. If you are looking for Liverpool SEO services, you may want to consider agencies in the surrounding area with this regional knowledge.
SEO Agency Liverpool
If require SEO services in Liverpool or the surrounding area, look no further. EA Online Marketing (EAOM) is a Preston based dynamic digital communications agency with expertise in SEO, pay per click marketing (PPC), email marketing, social media marketing and related fields. EAOM can provide SEO services Liverpool businesses and tailor your marketing campaign to be geographically relevant. A broad range of in house expertise means that this agency can deal with all aspects of ensuring that your business is reaching its full potential, both in terms reaching the widest audience possible and appealing to that audience with high quality content and user-friendly interfaces.