Update: We now have a 15% discount code for the SMX London 2010 event.
Flickr Image credit: burningmax
I didn’t quite make it to up to my 77 SES London takeaway tips, but overall I felt this was a very useful conference and the audience certainly seemed to appreciate the more advanced approach to the sessions this year.
Anyway here’s the tips I took away, I’ve tried to credit the presenters for these ideas but let me know if there’s any I’ve missed:
- Search can be used as a very effective market research tool, you can use keyword research to identify what people are looking in the language of your consumers.
- Search marketing only has a 1.5% mindshare of the average Fortune 500 CMO. Brian Featherstonhaugh recommended to increase the importance of search by considering the way this can interact with TV advertising, direct mail/email, print, telemarketing, face-to-face retail, sponsorships and recruitment.
- 69% of agencies are predicting an increase in social media marketing this year. According to Econsultancy/Guava’s UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report.
- Online PR optimisation is growing, this is important to integrate offline and online marketing.
- Top social media sites used for marketing in 2009: Facebook 65%, Twitter 49% (up from 3% in 2008!), YouTube 39%, LinkedIn 38%, Delcious 31%, Digg 31% and Wikipedia 24%.
- 58% believe SEO is the most cost-effective form of marketing during the recession.
- Bas van den Beld told us that there are 400 million internet users in Europe and of these 93.89% use Google, 2.14% for Yahoo!
- Dean Chew spoke about how Twitter Search is to become a search engine by indexing links from tweets.
- Lyndon Antcliff recommended tactics for smash a brick into the face link building, by understanding people/bloggers and the reasons why they may choose to link to you.
- Choose topical linkbait issues, such as swine flu related articles for promoting credit cards or hotels.
- Discussion sparking content can be very powerful towards creating a buzz and different opinions around the web.
- In the Blow Your Mind Link Building session Patrick Alfoft recommended that you shouldn’t add a Tweet This button to linkbait. This to help ensure that bloggers link to you instead of tweeting/retweeting a link instead.
- Massimo Burgio suggested you follow the four P’s of social media marketing; Passion, Patience, Perseverance and Proactivity. Also following the four don’ts; Presume, Panic, Push and Procastinate.
- Ciaran Norris showed that only one of the top eighteen videos on YouTube is actually user generated content!
- Mikkel deMib Svendsen suggests that it may be easier to offer to buy offending websites so that you can remove any negative content. Everyone has a price!
- Reputation management can also be a very effective method of finding honest market research. Mel Carson gave an example about how social media has been very effective to help provide feedback for Microsoft products so that any issues can be reacted to quickly.
- If your brand has negative listings, in addition to try to outrank these with positive articles or neutral social media profiles, try using PPC to quickly make your side of the case visible. That’s if you have a case!
- It can be difficult to remove negative content from authority domains which are ranking for your brand. So instead why not try and find a positive story on the same domain. By building a few links containing targeted anchor text it may not be too difficult to switch the negative story with the positive one.
- Rob Ousbey suggested that you explain your side of the story to the author of negative content (or back-up your side of the story in comments) often they will edit or remove the post if you ask. Always an easy option before trying to outrank them, plus if people want to find a negative story they may search deep enough to find it anyway if it’s still active.
- When reviewing competitors, Rand Fishkin suggested reviewing on-site SEO factors such as; where keywords appear in title tags, URL’s, H1′s, body text etc. Also looking for weak sites which are ranking highly because of a high number of keyword-rich anchor text links.
- Use Wordle to quickly review the main keywords a webpage is optimised for.
- Target misspellings using SEO, perhaps using a glossary to target these keywords so that they do not look unprofessional when used in web copy.
- It was suggested that buying lower value, keyword rich anchor text links may have a positive impact to authority domains which already have a large number of quality inbound links. This is a strategy which would be very risky for weaker websites with average link popularity.
- Patrick Altoft showed how you can build a directory containing an individual profile page for each business within an industry. The aim is to rank for company names and later request that they link back or add a badge to the directory which can prove to be very powerful in terms of generating high-quality inbound links.
- Rand Fishkin recommended that you use your analytics package to identify any 404 error pages so that these can be 301 redirected.
- Rand also pointed out how you can perform a query such as “keyword site:domain.com” in order to find the most important pages for a keyphrase on your own website. From here you can add internal links from the top related pages to the URL you are trying to rank for this term.
- Kerstin Baker-Ash showed a study of increased clickthrough rates for brand queries when the TM or Official were used in the headline. This reassures users that this is the brand they are searching for.
- Use the extra space in display URL’s to contain targeted keywords, this helps to describe the landing page more clearly so that users know they’re likely to hit a specific landing page targeted to their query.
- The Google content network has improved greatly during the last 12 months, take advantage of being able to have more control over the sites targeted.
- You should establish all conversion goal metrics, for example there may be many different types such as; buy now, apply now, add to cart, enquire online etc…
- If you’re looking for inspiration in finding new PPC titles and descriptions, Guy Levine suggests visiting the local bookstore and looking at how the magazine headlines are crafted to make you want to pick it up and read. Try applying the same methods to your PPC ads.
- Find potential opportunities by comparing traffic from a city or county and comparing this with the actual population. If this is not in proportion perhaps you need to increase your bids in London, for example, to maximise the traffic in this location. This was recommended by Brian Clifton.
- Look at your internal site search data to identify top keywords on your site or new content you can create which your users are already looking for.
- Build content around popular and topical stories by reviewing search volumes in Google Trends.
- Look to target transactional keywords as the main goal, but also be aware of high search volume and important industry terms which are likely to be important to a client.
- Use Twitter tools such as Yahoo! Sideline, Tweetbeep, Twhirl and Tweetdeck to find popular keywords and trends. Suggested by Christine Churchill.
- Will Critchlow gave a very useful presentation looking at how to use Google Analytics to filter IP addresses, find the referral page of search results, identify real PPC keyphrases, separating Google.co.uk and Google.com referring domain, find universal search clickthroughs and many more. Plus he saved his wife from a night with Rand by winning the vote-off!
- Analytics should be used to find the customer journey, highlight the when and where reasons why users bounce and using this to identify why this has happened and how it can be improved.
- Analytics and tracking should be for all traffic sources. Often just paid search traffic is analysed when direct and organic traffic as likely to be just as valuable sources.
- Calculate the potential analysis of traffic using the formula: (1- Keyword Volume/Search Engine Referrals) (Pages Viewed) (Time) (1-Bounce Rate).
- Look at the following 5 analytics performance metrics:
- Keyword performance – breakdown where traffic from by applying the 80/20 rule to find which keywords are sending the bulk of traffic.
- Brand engagement – find the percentage of brand queries by performing a partial matching filter search to exclude brand terms in keyword reporting.
- Percentage of pages yielding search traffic – Look at keyword referrals per page and optimise landing pages specifically.
- Bounce rates – Red = 50%+ bounce rates should be improved. Amber = 20-50% – lower priority to be improved. Green = >20% this is good.
- $Index - find the value of pages which contribute to a conversion, looking to increase views for high value pages and reduce importance towards lower value pages.
Search Needs & Trends
Social Media / Linkbait
SEO / Link Building
As for the SEO give it up panel, us bloggers have 30 days to keep quiet and take advantage of some great tips before all is revealed! :D
So what did you learn at SMX London? Please feel free to add your top tips to the comments.