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This post was written 1 year ago and therefore may not be as accurate as more recent posts.

On Friday 13th September both myself and Rhys Wynne attended BrightonSEO. This post is coverage of the talks we both attended on the day.

International Link Curation – Speaker – Kevin Gibbons

This was an interesting talk, Kevin Gibbons from Blueglass UK – he gave real examples of a client whereby they planned and executed an international SEO strategy which consisted of how they got content translated locally for infographics and bloggers, find the key points and info about this talk below!

  • Blueglass speak over 25 languages
  • Momondo (client) – created an infographic and translated locally in 12 different countries
  • Doing outreach to bloggers, creating content and translating it locally for each country
  • Need local people with local knowledge
  • Translation isn’t good enough – you need local knowledge
  • Without centralisation it Is a mess – need a solid strategy
  • International success is tied in to a wider digital strategy – SEO, Social & Paid
  • We get a head start in the UK in terms of algorithm updates – on average 6 months before other countries, good time to prepare, test and refine ethical and effective tactics
  • Many languages have very limited geographic reach, ensure the content can be tailored to each location
  • Low DA in small markets isn’t unusual , it’s simply because those markets don’t have the same volume
  • Links from low quality sites from bordering countries can prove harmful, build logical bridges between content
  • Understand local behaviour and European holiday timetables
  • Outreach is easier with personal relationships – spend time to get to know your bloggers
  • Timing is CRUCIAL
  • HREFLANG is very powerful especially for lower populated countries

Country tips – Germany

  • Bloggers can be sceptical
  • There are good opportunities in other German speaking countries such as Austria and Switzerland
  • The content of the outreach emails MUST be written by a native speaker
  • German people are straight forward, just tell them what you want!

Country tips – Russia

  • Yandex has the majority of the market share – old school tactics still work here but still aim to build natural links
  • Russian web users are slightly younger than other western European countries, take this into account when creating content for them
  • Outreaching to bloggers in English can work here, but it is advised to try where possible to get a native speaker to assist as this still has a higher success rate

Country tips – Nordics

  • Very limited resources compared with other markets
  • Most are fluent in English, they do however search online in their mother tongue
  • Web users are savvy but SEO is far behind
  • There are consumer laws about sending unsolicited emails, personal relationships here are the key component

Country tips – France

  • Speak French to them!
  • Make sure grammar is spot on!
  • They are very anti SEO and will probably ask for money
  • Co-branded partnerships work much better than link exchanges

Country tips – Italy

  • Italian market is very small
  • Can get away more with building links from sites with standards below the equivalent English counterparts
  • Even national Italian media sites often have very average domain authority metrics

Country tips – USA

  • Have to make it win-win for both parties
  • building relationships is usually a longer process – don’t expect quick results in this market
  • Create content which shifts a niche’s standards and stands out
  • USA – have to make it win-win, building relationships can be a long process, expect quick results

Summary

  • Integrate a single strategy
  • It’s all relative – understand different market approaches
  • Implement HREFLANG – especially for markets where link building is tough.

International & Social Link Building – Speaker 2 – Alessandro Brunelli

Great talk from Alessandro Brunelli from Caliberi.com – in this talk he touched up on the influence of social from an international perspective and how we can use this to our advantage.

  • International social marketing
  • Why should an SEO think about international social media?
  • How do you measure success and tell the campaign is working
  • If you client is loving your work, think of how you can try new things
  • If they have a foreign office expand the strategy
  • 2.55billion social media users worldwide
  • Recent studies suggest social media is becoming more important
  • Social networks need to be seen for what they are
  • They can’t be judged solely by SEO rules
  • Social strategy and brand building go hand in hand
  • SEO can maximise social
  • Facebook advertising – Facebook has the highest amount of active users in the world
  • Facebook ad manager can help you understand your users and which countries they are coming from ,what content they like etc
  • Think like an advertiser
  • Make your money count
  • Make fans care about what you are saying, keep engaged users coming back to your site
  • Edgerank values how much attention a certain person pays your posts over a period of time.
  • It is all about competing for space and attention
  • The less people that care the more money you will waste
  • Cost per like will likely increase as a result of an unsuccessful strategy
  • Social metrics are great indicators of what works and what doesn’t
  • It’s about knowing what events are going on well in advance
  • August 7th graph search became available for English speaking US users

Summary

  • Take notice of your users intent
  • take full advantage of your social data to drive changes
  • Know what is going on in your industry in terms of events etc

The Other Search Engines – Speaker 3 – Jan-Willem Bobbink

So we probably know enough about Google by now, what about the “other search engines” – this talk explained how some of the main search engines in other countries work. Good talk from Jan-Willem Bobbink from notprovided.eu.

  • Other search engines: Yahoo, Yandex, Bing, Google, Ask Jeeves, Conduit, Babylon, Baidu

Country – China (Baidu)

  • China is the fastest growing market for internet sales, 2012 108 billion in sales by 2020 there is an estimated 650 billion in sales!
  • 14% of all online worldwide sales are made in china
  • China has firewall issues – there are restrictions, need an ICP licence without the licence you can’t get hosting
  • Chinese government have a list of forbidden keywords, if sites contain these keywords they will not be visible in search engines
  • Baidu is increasing and Google share is decreasing for market share
  • Baidu know what SEO’s are doing, they declared them the enemy of search engines!
  • 800 million pages indexed in baidu compared with Google’s 48 billion pages indexed
  • In Asia more than 24% of users are searching in mobile
  • Number 1 thing to do in the Chinese market is optimise your site for speed!
  • Prioritise content
  • Optimise on page elements
  • Exact match is located in the left results, broad match is on the right set of results (as opposed to Google which have paid ads on the right)
  • The results also give company information once the blue V next to the SERPs results has been clicked on
  • Baidu has a problem with spam, has the money plant update which focuses on tackling spam in generic and article directories
  • Pomegrate update – targets low quality page content and malicious adverts
  • Baike is owned by baidu – it is the equivalent of Wikipedia
  • Social data – sina weibo is the equivalent of twitter
  • Sharebar – easily share posts or pages on Chinese social networks, there is speculation that the more users share the better the rankings will be
  • Early 2013 baidu lost a lot of market shares 11%

Country – China (360 Search engine)

  • More western looking google style layout
  • Built their own safe browser, built their own phone software also (like Google)

Country – Russia (Yandex)

  • Yandex is dominant
  • Matrix net is their ranking system algorithm
  • You can use favicons in the SERPs results
  • Have an extensive webmasters section, will help you optimise the website for them
  • Make use of rich snippets
  • Yandex islands – can check for flights online, buy cinema tickets, doctors appointments etc.
  • Keyword research for Russian market is easy, don’t need an account and they share a lot of data with you, freely accessible for everyone
  • Sape.ru is the biggest linking network in the world

Country – USA (Google, Bing)

  • Google 66.7%
  • Microsoft 17.9%

Other search Engines

  • Blekko is one of the top spam and virus free search engines for the latest updates on news etc
  • Segment results and are more granular
  • Duck duck go
  • Don’t track user or keyword data, very focused on privacy.
  • Post prism their growth has massively increased duckduckgo/traffic
  • Gone from 60 to 90 million searches per month

Summary

  • Take notice of how other search engines operate
  • Make full use of all of the resources and features that the international search engines offer

Who Do You Trust? – Speaker 1 – Dixon Jones

This talk was from Dixon Jones of dixonjones.com – the presentation revolved around who to trust with your budget.

  • The Problem – as a marketer you have a budget and you want to spend it as efficiently as possible.
  • Advertisers are being asked to trust the network.
  • It’s not just networks you need to trust, it is also people.
  • Numbers aren’t the best metric – Lady Gaga has more followers than Barack Obama, for example
  • You also need to trust technologies.
  • Trust isn’t always clear – star ratings and reviews aren’t always valuable.
  • To scale trust, you can use toolbars
  • In a link you have the following – content (is it a positive or negative link), relevance, reach, intent, influence, timeless, meaning etc. All are remarkably powerful and measurable.

Summary

  • Marketers are being conned
  • You need independent data when you spend money
  • Digital Assets come in many forms
  • Links can help understand relationships between assets at scale
  • Still more to be done at scale

**Slides not currently available**

Making use of Big Data – Speaker 2 – Dr Peter Passaro

This talk from Peter Passaro was centred around how to effectively use and make sense of large amounts of data.

  • Big Data is volume, velocity and variety – more data from a variety of sources as quickly as possible. Anything over a gig or datasets that can be a struggle to process on a laptop.
  • To understand large big data you need to make it as easy as possible – clustering or feature simplification.
  • Feature effects – only show one or two effects.
  • From an SEO perspective you want to summarise data, sentiment of the content, topics and keywords and named entities (people, places & Products).
  • Artificial Intelligence for analysing data.
    • Finding Patterns
    • Network Analysis
    • Clustering
    • Feature Reduction
  • Statistical Analysis for Data
    • Distributions
    • User Descriptions & Stories
    • Time Series Analysis
  • Map Language Space – useful for brands. So for example for a Lotus you can talk about individual car company, F1 team, corporate etc.
  • The final thing for analysing big data is to produce marketing pieces

Summary

  • To Go Big for Big Data you need deep analytics, content discovery, to prove your ROI, predict and plan for search engine updates.
  • D3JS is a great for visualising data
  • Google Fusion

**Slides not currently available**

Social Signal Processing – Speaker 3 – Alessandro Vinciarelli

This talk delivered by Alessandro Vinciarelli of SSPNet.eu was around processing social signals and how they can differ.

  • Nonverbal Communication can be poor – for example a picture of two people
  • appearing to be screaming can be interpreted in a number of ways.
  • Nonverbal Communication is important – you can present the same content in the same way and it have two different meanings.
  • Conflict is a mode of interaction where the attainment of the goal by one party precludes its attainment by the others
  • To automatic nonverbal communication we have to learn from data
  • To measuring conflict we can analyse speed of response, pitch and length of response, and also how often users
  • Non-verbal communication is a physical machine detectable evidence of social and psychological phenomena
  • Interdisciplinary approaching including both human and computing sciences can perform better

Summary

Measuring conflict perception is possible, but only some parts are automatically detectable – this is known as physical perception (i.e. fidgeting). Inference perception cannot be easily automatically detectable (i.e. “atmosphere is relaxed”). It is possible over time using data gained from crowdsourcing

**Slides not currently available**

Mobile Strategy for Smaller Businesses – Speaker 1 – Bridget Randolph

This LoMo session from Bridget Randolph (bridgetrandolph.com) addressed the importance of mobile users in the online world today and why we should care.

  • Mobile in 2012 was 12 times the size of the entire internet
  • 77% users use phones to research products before purchase
  • Businesses need to be mobile friendly
  • 70% of top 20 UK retailers have a mobile friendly website
  • A lot of SME’s don’t see value in mobile friendly websites
  • Mobile strategy for small businesses
  • 3 stages, mobile friendly site, search and discovery, reaching out to customers
  • 3 approaches, responsive design, mobile site, dynamic serving
  • Choose approach based on users’ needs
  • Responsive design is usually the best approach on wordpress CMS
  • Have a google plus and Facebook page if a mob site isn’t affordable
  • Mobile SEO – responsive design, separate URLs
  • Local search – businesses with a physical location or a location based service area
  • Optimise pages for location, local listings (local relevant business directories)
  • Local link building – NAP citations, the key is consistency
  • Images of store front and product images are important also
  • Structured data, markup for place and local business, KML file for Google maps
  • Social profiles, Google+ and facebook
  • Yelp and Google + local
  • Social media – is important for local SEO 4 out of every 5 people on FB every day are on their mobiles
  • Dinner party test – if you are at a dinner party you would you ask them the question? If not don’t ask on social media
  • Make sure content is mobile friendly
  • Step 3 reach out to customers – build apps, if business relies on frequent visits it’s a good way to get users back.
  • Exclusive mobile content – give consumers a loyalty app for example; coffee shops – buy 20 coffees get a free coffee, you can also use push notifications by geo targeting
  • Check in on phone and get 20% off services or products
  • Make sure if you do email marketing make sure you have mobile friendly templates.
  • Provide in store wifi for users, can collect email addresses or get them to answer survey questions

Design for Mobile, Responsive OR Adaptive – Speaker 2 – Justin Taylor

One of my personal favourites, great talk here from Justin Taylor of graphitas.co.uk – he touched on the various mobile web design, mobile internet usage and some interesting sales figures in the world of mobile.

  • Responsive or adaptive design
  • Mobile internet usage doubled between 2009 and 2012
  • Search from mobile with local intent has increased by 40% in recent years
  • Focus on the intent of the users
  • 50% of all online sales for Mother’s Day came from mobile devices!
  • Mobile sales in 2013 forecast for £13 billion – from eBay alone
  • Mobile is the fastest growing platform ever
  • Speed is a huge factor on mobile
  • Users want easy, fast information, faster loading means more conversions!
  • Mobile users are less tolerant
  • Users don’t care if your site is adaptive or responsive, they care about finding information quickly
  • make sure there are clear calls to action
  • Design from a user’s perspective
  • Target your most popular mobile devices e.g. samsung galaxy phones, iPhones, tablets etc
  • enhance UX with mobile specific HTML
  • Put usability first above all else
  • Think like the customer not like the client

Summary

  • Always put users first when it comes to mobile design
  • Dynamic adaptive is a recommended option if budget allows, if not responsive is still a good option
  • Users don’t care how the site is made as long as they can find what they are looking for quickly!

Managing Local Listings – Speaker 3 – David Whatley

This was a bit of a different talk in that it focused much less on online and more on citations specifically. David Whatley from MiShopLocal.co.uk went on to talk about the importance of brick and mortar businesses even without websites having local citations.

  • Brick and mortar businesses with or without websites should make citation listings a priority
  • customer reviews for local listings are essential
  • ensure consistency in NAP citation listings
  • Getting citations on industry specific sites as well as the usual suspects such as yelp etc
  • All businesses regardless of size would hugely benefit from local listings and Google places optimisation
  • Local businesses are more concerned with getting customers on the phone than engaging with contact forms on websites
  • Even if there are multiple businesses in the same building you can still optimise local effectively by ensuring all of your NAP “anchors” are consistent

Summary

  • Ensure complete consistency across all external NAP citations
  • Even businesses without websites that have a physical presence should as a priority claim and optimise a local listing

Adwords for Local Businesses – Speaker 4 – Tara Dee West

This was another of my favourite talks from Tara West (Koozai.com) – she spoke about how to improve how you spend your budget more effectively on local adwords.

  • Account structure is the key here, make sure keywords are being targeted and segmented effectively, don’t lose traffic due to inaccurate IPs
  • Always bid on your brand name, it converts well, protects your brand, is cheaper and will boost overall quality score
  • Use modified broad match keywords – it is a good way of controlling broad match terms, helps discover new keywords and has lower CPCs
  • When clicks become less profitable reduce your bids – look at factors such as time of day, weather, current events etc
  • Exclude poorly performing locations and bid higher nearer to your office to counteract the poorer performing locations.
  • Ensure the site is optimised for mobile
  • Set mobile big adjustments at ad group level
  • Use/keep an eye on the Google Analytics bid adjustment reports

Summary

  • Account structure is the main focus
  • Always bid on your brand name
  • When locally targeting ensure to have 2 separate segments, 1 with locality keywords and the other geo targeting the same area, this way you capture the most possible clicks

How to Crush the Competition by Watching the SERPs – Speaker 2 – Rob Bucci

This section of the session was taken by Rob Bucci from Getstat.com – he talks us through how to analyse the SERPs and how we can best use this data to topple the competition.

  • Rankings aren’t dead, but the world has moved on from rankings have moved to a more holistic approach.
  • SERP Analytics is discovering and communicating meaningful relationships from SERP Rankings
  • Biggest challenge is to look at more keywords rather than short tail 10-15 keywords.
  • Segmentation is so important for analysing lots (~100,000) of keywords.
  • SERP’s are valuable data – you should look at more than your data than your own rankings.
  • Keyword Difficulty is a score 1-100% for how difficult it is hard to rank for a particular keyword – using Majestic SEO to analyse the authority on the top 100 rankings.
  • Top Competitors – Count frequency of top 10 rankings of a domain in your keywords.
  • Useful for doing second page as well.
  • Unsaturated Segments – find segments that your competitors aren’t ranking in.
  • Distribution of Rankings

Summary

  • Don’t just look at rankings anymore, the picture is much bigger than that
  • Look at more than just a small selection of keywords, try to analyse much higher volumes of terms for better analysis
  • Segment your data as much as possible

How to Crush the Competition by Watching the SERPs – Speaker 3 – Lisa Myers

This section of the session was taken by Lisa Myers (Vervesearch.com) – she touched on how important On page marketing is and why this should be a higher priority for businesses, as opposed to just looking at how to acquire links.

  • Google’s algorithm has changed more in the last 1 and a half years than the previous 3 years combined
  • Google is cracking down on over optimisation and has tightened the reins on the linking algorithm
  • On page SEO is the “Ugly Duckling” of SEO
  • You need to understand how people search, behaviour is very different now than it was in 2005!
  • Keywords and user intent have evolved from shorter, chunky terms to much longer tail phrases
  • Users are most likely to run a search query click on a site and bounce back to the SERPs to find another result than just Search > Click > Convert
  • You NEED to use supporting keywords on your page rather than targeting only your main term, this way you can catch related traffic
  • a staggering 70% of searches are longer tail keywords!
  • It’s now a key focus to understand user behaviour, target long tail keywords and improve user experience, this is real On page SEO!
  • Ensure on page elements are optimised efficiently, alt tags, H1’s, title tags etc
  • Make your site navigation “idiot proof” and simple

Summary

  • Do not NEGLECT your On page SEO
  • Understand user intent and target longer tail keywords
  • Keyword intent has evolved now to longer tail searches, users know exactly what they want when they search

Data and Content Production – Speaker 2 – Alan Cairns

Alan Cairns from Jellyfish.co.uk talks about how content should be driven by data.

  • Real Content has data behind it. Data.gov.uk is a great place to get plenty of data.
  • The G8 have pledged for all data to be open by default
  • Google ‘s public data discovery tool is google.org
  • You can generate your own data through social media and APIs
  • To generate content visualise data in an easy to digest format
  • Data Journalism is the new punk, in that the details and tools are available to all.
  • Data Journalism is needed but be careful as data journalism can be interpreted and support any argument

Summary

  • Always where possible create content that is driven by data
  • Generate your data through social media and APIs

Low Cost Link Building with Juicy, Juicy Data – Speaker 3 – Stacey Cavanagh

Here Stacey Cavanagh (blogsession.co.uk) talks about low cost link building and the how to go about it!

  • Data for link bait: versatile and multi format, cross niche and can be newsworthy
  • Data should tell a story or back up or contradict a story
  • Surveys are a good source of data.
  • For Stacey’s blog on 1000 Americans to name a city other than London it cost $25 and 2 hours
  • Google Consumer Surveys or quickresponse.com
  • Analytics is another source of information
  • For Techmark’s surveys it was $0 and 16 hours of time
  • Look for stories in you analytics
  • Freedom of Information Act – great insights on data that people care about. Free but can make a reasonable charge if it takes too long.
  • Whatdotheyknow.com manages the request for you
  • Improve existing data
    • Update out of date data
    • Improve the formatting
    • Put data in to more meaningful concert
  • Read “Made to Stick” for the science on memorable
  • Find followers who give a crap from FollwerWonk, Technorati & journalisted
  • Give data to journalists and they write the story
  • Pick up the phone
  • Paid outreach through AdSense, outbrain & stumble upon paid discovery

Summary

  • Look at alternative out of the box ways to do outreach
  • Gather real user data from surveys and use it!
  • Update old data and repurpose it
  • Give data to journalists and let them write the story

Inhouse and Agency Should be Friends – Speaker 4 – Max Brockbank

Max Brockbank is the founder of BiginSEO

  • Bosses like PPC as it is instantaneous, visible and full reporting
  • SEO to be sold effectively needs to be sold like PPC
  • Help the In house SEO – it is your best asset to your agency
  • Making SEO “Bottom line” friendly
    • Document change
    • Itemise costs
    • Show your workings using Google Analytics annotations, Google docs, excel docs and a daily email
  • It needs to be consistent, clear and simple

Summary

  • Clearly outline SEO is NOT a quick process
  • Senior management like PPC as it shows instant results
  • work with in house SEOs they are an extension of your team

**Slides not Available**

How we Plan Editorial at BBC Sport – Speaker 1 – Paul Plunkett

Paul Plunkett from BBC Sport explains how they make best use of “SEO Juice” in their editorial copy and gives some interesting insights.

  • 15.8 million unique users for the BBC – 15% from Search Engines.
  • 52% of BBC Sport audience comes from Tablet/Mobile
  • Headlines – Getting to the Top of Google
  • SEO Kickers are big at the BBC – so you start search traffic with those phrases (i.e. Wimbledon 2012:)
  • BBC work with 55 character title tags
  • The individual is often bigger than the event in SEO terms (so Andy Murray is bigger in SEO terms than Wimbledon).
  • Story Summary
  • How you name your picture
  • Captions and alt tags
  • Inline links to own content
  • Inline links to external content
  • Intros to stories
  • How you update stories
  • Features, Video and Audio
  • Planning for big events

Summary

  • Moral of the story here, choose titles carefully to help make use of the QDF algorithm
  • Ensure internal linking is implemented in all content published
  • Plan ahead as much as you can in advance for big events

Technical Internet Marketing – Speaker 2 – Katrina Gallagher

Katrina Gallagher is the MD of Digitangle

  • Tips for CRO
    • Live Chat
    • Split Testing
    • Exit Surveys
  • Avoiding Duplicate content when split testing using rel=canonical, noindex, Google Webmaster Tools
  • Check page load time & if your pages work with JavaScript turned off

Summary

  • Make CRO a priority
  • Carry out proper testing for the best possible data outcome
  • Avoid duplicate content when split testing!

Categories: Conferences

Ben Barker

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Ben's background isn't the usual entry in to SEO (is anyones?!), he started out life straight from school working as a personal trainer, he worked in this industry for 6 years then decided it was time for a change! From here he went on to work in recruiting for SEO professionals but soon realised after the mass rejection that he actually quite enjoyed learning more about SEO, from here he spent countless hours reading up on everything he could and managed to break in to the industry! Ben's background in sales and people management have proved integral to his current role which involves a large amount of client management and support, he also particularly enjoys the On page aspects of SEO and has a keen interest on building brands, as well as putting plans together to help improve clients online presence and performance he also looks at how it can fit in to other areas of marketing such as PPC, Offline etc.