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26 Tips From SearchLove London 2013 Day 1

Mike Essex

by Mike Essex on 28th October 2013

SearchLove London Day 1SearchLove was the first major SEO conference I ever attended and in that time the world of SEO has changed massively. That’s also reflected in this year’s line-up with lots of new speakers and high level thinking on offer. For those who can’t make it, or for a recap for those who did I’ll be writing my top tips from each speaker throughout the day.

Due to the adverse weather conditions and subsequent travel disruptions we’re unable to cover the morning sessions. We apologise for any inconvenience. 

Google Approved Paid Links? Yes, There Is Such A Thing

By Wil Reynolds, SEER Interactive (@wilreynolds)

  • Paid content promotion does not work if your content is awful. You can’t put lipstick on a pig. With paid search promotion (e.g outbrain, taboola, nrelate) you have to test everything like you would with an AdWords campaign. Split test titles, landing pages and content types.
  • You need to know if people will care about your content before you spend money promoting it. The best way to do this is to do outreach first and see if you get coverage.
  • Paid promotion should be based on trends so you time your asset drop at the optimum time. You should also have a value in mind for each result (e.g. per link, social share etc) to track results.
  • Refine the sites that send you traffic and look at the metrics to see how many stay on site and what they do there. Also look how far they view on the page, what CTAs they complete, whether they click social shares. Social crawlytics helps you get a better understanding of the social footprint of an article. Also consider how well it did on the other sites that shared it.
  • Creating an asset people want to link to and share over time is far more valuable than a few hugely viral pieces.

Lessons From An Ontology Nerd

By Abby Covert, IA Expert (@abby_the_ia)

  • Meaning is subjective, socio-political, psychographic, lost in translation and not talked about enough.
  • There are only five ways to organise anything; by location, alphabetical, time, category and hierarchy. The way you organise products says a lot about how people perceive the information.
  • Some items can go in two categories, however the more you do this the less specific your results are and the less meaning they have. Also when you have items that have different meanings in different regions you need to cater for this.
  • Reading level matters. E.g. puns are not well understood by all. Also watch out for accidental synonyms (e.g. do people understood all the terms you use in your business and how they are different?). Often the best way to fix this is to change the terms or have an in house dictionary to define the terms.
  • It is useful to have a list of words you don’t say as a business, not just swear words. You should also have a list of acceptable acronyms to be used for your brand.

You Don’t Need More Traffic – Learn To Leverage The 99% That Aren’t Customers

By Craig Bradford, Distilled (@craigbradford)

  • Often people forget about how they can get more from their existing traffic as they are too focused on getting more and more traffic.
  • 90% of people use sequential screens to complete a task. This makes it hard to track a user journey and which channel got a conversion. Universal analytics can solve this issue and existing accounts can be updated.
  • Dimension widening allows you to upload customer data or purchase history in to Universal Analytics. You can then tie this in to customer reports.
  • Always be valuable. Stop trying to just get sales, start thinking about customers and their life time value. Stop just looking at final sales for conversion rate, also look at how many share, sign up for emails, refer friends etc
  • Use the cohort analysis advanced segment to get more insight in Analytics on users. Enable demographic data to see more information on visitors. Sign up for tag manager to easily make changes to a site’s code.

36 Tricks, Tips and Tools For Baiting Brand Signals Through Content

By Stacey Cavanagh, Tecmark (@staceycav)

  • Google accepts guest posts on their own websites. It is still a valid practice. Think about it as guest editorial not guest blogging. If you go to a lot of effort to write somewhere and all you get is a link you could have done better – social shares, buzz, sales, comments.
  • Look at what publications your clients read and what is the best coverage their competitors have had. Magazinesubscriptions.co.uk are a good place to find places to write for. Allyoucanread.com does the same, great for local citations. Journalisted.com or flacklist.com can help you find journalists.
  • Surveys only make for great content if the results name an interesting story. Toluna quick surveys can guarantee a number of responses. Google Consumer Surveys is even cheaper. You can file a freedom of information request to get free information from government sites (whatdotheyknow.com will help with this).
  • Use Moz Alerts to get alerts when people mention you and don’t link. If someone uses your image and credits properly you can offer then more exclusive ones.
  • Backtweets lets you search older tweets.
  • Newscertified.com can be used to offer yourself as an expert to talk on a topic.

The Future for Search

By Will Critchlow (@willcritchlow) and Tom Anthony (@TomAnthonySEO), Distilled

  • The Google Caffeine update and machine learning allowed them to launch Panda and Penguin. They got many people to say what pages were good and bad and used this to determine how the algorithm sees pages.
  • Personalisation of search results isn’t just due to you as a person it’s also based on the context of your search. They used 57 signals 2 years ago when people were not logged in to determine how much personalisation to apply. It would have massively evolved since then.
  • Search results are not explicit (e.g. they are not the exact thing you put in). They are implicit based on many signals. In fact the explicit nature of the query is becoming less important than implicit.
  • Google glass may soon be able to read the text on signs as you walk past. This could be fed into your recommendations much like Google Now does with your calendar and history.
  • Google is more interested in entities and how they connect to each other, rather than just keywords. Hummingbird takes this further.

We’ll be back tomorrow with Part Two, including talks by Nathalie Nahai, Kelvin Newman, Chris Bennett and Peep Laja.

Mike Essex

Mike Essex

Mike Essex specialises in digital marketing and everything search. A recent project of Mike’s was featured on BBC News, Radio 5Live and the Times here in the UK, whilst also featuring on USA Today and ABC News in the US. He will be writing throughout the month about digital marketing and much more...

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