Whilst this post might be a little delayed, I had the pleasure to attend SearchLove in London back in October 2013 and wanted to share some of the highlights. I have been attending the LinkLove and SearchLove events in London since 2010 and it’s been impressive to see how they have evolved to offer a much broader scope of inbound marketing topics. Whilst this concept is great and reflects the evolution of SEO and changes in the industry, I can’t help but feel that whilst many of the presentations were interesting and insightful, many lacked the actionable aspects that many online marketers hoped to walk away with. Regardless of this, here are my highlights from what I consider to be the top five sessions:
15 Years Of Unconventional Marketing: How to Launch something new online at low/no budget. Italian style. – Marco Montemagno
This was an energetic and entertaining presentation to start the day. Marko talked through his experiences including how he went about creating and promoting a startup event in Italy on a high speed train (complimentary use of train!). In addition to his stories, he shared outreach tips that can be used to promote an event or piece of content when approaching influencers/bloggers:
1) Target – who are the top influencers in this field? Who has written about this topic and who has the audience that you are targeting? Create a list of targets and categorise them into A/B/C priority levels, working from the bottom up.
2) Approach – never
ask for something. Make an offer and add value to the person’s work i.e. ‘I would like to promote your blog/content to my community’. Ideally provide promotion or coverage before you communicate with them. Timing can also be an important factor. Follow them on Twitter or read their blog and try to find the best moment i.e. when they are about to launch a product or promote a charity etc…
The New Rules of Big Content Promotion – Simon Penson
Simon shared his step by step process to maximizing reach content and important questions that need to be asked:
- Who would be interested in this content? >Brainstorm possible personas: who are they? where do they hang out? which are the right sites?
- What is the sell? Is the content exclusive? How do you provide value and convince them of this?
- Target deputies: top people don’t have time! Use Twitter and LinkedIn to find targets and contact information
- Find & stalk targets: show you know them, what they do and what value you can provide to them
- Steps: introduction > conversation > offer (value) > follow up
- Surprise and delight: provide a gift when possible!
- Optimise for search by integrating open graph meta tags
From Unknown Foreigner To Local Star… – Aleyda Sollis
Aleyda introduced a very practical Hreflang Tag Generator Tool that provides the correct syntax and value formats for international SEO targeting. There is also an insightful blog post here giving some context to the problem the tool solves and how it can be used.
Additionally Aleyda raised the very good question of whether users should be automatically redirected based on country IP or if it is better for the user experience to be given the choice (i.e. how they do this on amazon.com)? When it comes to understanding local markets and why competitors rank, it is essential to analyse these sites to see what is the most valuable content? Where are competitors receiving their links? Which content gets shared the most socially?
You Don’t Need More Traffic: Learn to leverage the 99% that aren’t customers – Craig Bradford
Craig raised a vital point that is often forgotten or undervalued in the world of SEO: why focus on building more traffic if it doesn’t convert? Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) has been more of a focus as SEOs move from their traditional focus on link building and search engine rankings to a more business goal type focus: how can we convert and attract more customers? The presentation was more on the analytics side rather than on CRO principles that can be applied, however he really made the case for ecommerce sites to upgrade to Universal Analytics. THe main reasoning for this is so that values such as conversion rates and cost per orders can be calculated accurately, this is particualry important as users use several different types of devices when making their purchasing decision.
36 Tricks, Tips and Tools for Baiting Brand Signals Through Content – Stacey Cavanagh
Stacey’s presentation was probably the most actionable in terms of applicable tactics that you can use for your day to day campaigns. Here are the top highlights from the 36 listed:
- Stop saying ‘guest blog/guest post’, treat bloggers as publications and instead use language such as ‘editorial submission’ or ‘editorial feature’
- Surveys – great way to generate buzz and interest when data provides an interesting story. quicksurveys.com provides a quick and cost effective way to to get survey results
- Freedom of Information Act in the UK can be an effective way to generate news interest
- > you can ask UK bodies specific questions, generally fast and free of charge!
- Setup ‘Fresh Alerts’ so that you know when websites mention you and you can contact them to see if they can accredit you with a link