Andy started the conference by setting the scene for the international search landscape. Search is a billion dollars bigger than it was last year with the majority growing in the international markets.
1) Research and Planning
Culture is very important – local research is vital or your marketing message will miss the target market. This is where keyword research adds a lot of value in this regard. Google, Nike and Unilever have all made mistakes in this regard. Keywords can’t be translated, you miss all the nuances in the local markets. For example in the UK a beamer is a BMW but in Germany it’s a projector. Google images does help to show subtle variations in languages. (more…)
One of our bloggers, Kelvin Newman, is the organizer and the big man behind Brighton SEO. This event has grown to be the number one free SEO event in the UK and possibly even Europe.
The last Brighton SEO again was a big hit with some great speakers and the fabulous networking opportunities. On Social Media events can go crazy as well. Just how successful and crazy a conference like that can be on social media is shown in this infographic below. (more…)
If you hadn’t noticed, I’ve been on a mission of late to cover as many SEO conferences as possible. Not only is it a great way to visit different countries, it is a good way to meet UK and international SEO’s and online marketers, and of course a fantastic way to network in the industry.
In the last 8 weeks alone, I’ve been lucky enough to visit London and New York for SES, Iceland for the RIMC, Think Visibility in Leeds, SMX Munich, the International Search Summit, Brighton SEO and IonSearch. I’ve met some amazing people, and I’ve written more blog posts than I care to mention!
With all the travelling and blogging, I’ve learned a lot about how to get the best out of conferences, blogging in different time zones, the pitfalls of live blogging, and the challenges of covering events, so I thought that for this post, I would share with you a few hints and tips for bloggers, speakers and conference organisers with a view to helping us to help you get the best coverage possible.
There have been a few events that I’ve been to, where the Wi-Fi drops in and out, or that the reach is just not enough for coverage in every room. There have also been some conferences with no Wi-Fi at all.
I know that there is never going to be 100% uptime, but not being able to use Wi-Fi effectively prevents us from being able to live blog effectively, and for people like me that are also running a business from the conference, not being able to work whilst listening to the speakers, makes for a much more difficult day.
Not all bloggers and attendees can make the start of a conference, so making the connection password visible from the moment we step into the building and at the start and end of every slide means we don’t have to tweet the inevitable ‘does anyone know the #wifi #password’
We Need More Power Captain
Two words – plug sockets!
Most large conferences I have been to have a large venue, often with plug sockets at every turn. Some conferences also provide a selection of sockets in the front few rows so that attendees can re-charge when they need to.
Larger conferences also have different pathways, so it is easy to nip out and charge up in the corridor as you head to the next talk. However, I have also been to conferences that run with a single programme from start to finish, with 10 minute breaks for coffee and lunch – really excellent programme and a great way to take in the information, but when you are running low on power, it is impossible to charge enough in 10 minutes to last for the entire day
I have learned that I need to bring a spare battery for the laptop and the phone, and cover myself with an old fashioned notepad and pen for when I can no longer type, but it makes life easier if I can plug in.
In order to cover your event, or your speaker session, it’s great to post a selection of photos to show non delegates what they are missing! Help us to help you look good, by giving us something different to photograph. Much as it is great to listen to speakers stood behind a lectern, pictures look loads better if you are pointing at something interesting, showing us an area on your slide, making hand gestures, (not rude ones!!), or have something on your slides other than lines and lines of text.
However, don’t move about too much as otherwise rubbish photographers like me can’t get the shot
In my experience, the best photo ops have come from the little events like ThinkVis, and Brighton SEO, where entertainment is put on in some of the breaks but I realise that this is not always possible at the larger events.
I also understand that constant clicking and flash photography can put speakers off, so invest in a camera that takes decent shots without the use of a flash – I know that my camera could do with having a silent shutter, but I’m working on that.
More and more, I see speakers putting the links to their Slideshare versions at the start of their session. This is fantastic, BUT if you don’t give us enough of a chance to catch that address, or you are using a long URL, or shortener we haven’t heard of yet – we can’t always write it down!
Many conferences suggest that slides will be available after the event, but if you are blogger that needs to get a post out that day or the next day, it helps to have instant access to slides.
If you are submitting slides to the organiser, put it on Slideshare or better still, your own website, and we can drop you a valuable link
I have taken to bringing a non-flash camera to take pictures of all of the slides so that I have a record, just in case, we never get sent the link…
I understand that some speakers, prefer a more visual approach so this is not always feasible, but every little helps.
Not picking on you guys, as you after all, are what we come to see at conferences and events, however, of late it seems that many speakers, turn up 20 minutes before they are due on, and some then leave straight afterwards.
I know your gig slot is your gig slot, but it really helps us to network and get to know you better, if you hang around! I only say this as not everyone can get to networking drinks, and some people save all year, to be able to come to some of these events, so being visible for more than the 10 minutes after your slot for questions, could just make someone’s day!
Help the Live Bloggers
Some of the more recent events have been so fast paced, it is impossible to take pictures of slides, let alone live blog it, so if you have a rapid fire list of handy hints or tools, give us the slides, so we can at least try to share your knowledge on the day!
I would be interested in any feedback on how we can make our blogs posts better for conference organisers or speakers, as I’m sure there are ways we can all improve to get the most out of all events.
Putting on an event to target the same audience as SMX or SES before and after they hit the UK may be a daunting prospect for some, but not for Fergus Clawson at BlueClaw. It seems like only a matter of months that the idea of IonSearch – an advanced search marketing conference in Leeds – hit the Twittersphere, so to pull off such a professional event, when even at the last minute speakers had to drop out, was a job well done.
Held on April 18th at the Carriageworks in Leeds, Ion Search hosted an impressive line-up of national and international speakers, and although there were some first conference hiccups such as Wi-Fi not being readily available at the venue, (hence no live blogging from us!), the day was a great success!
There was so much great content in fact, that I have split the post into two parts! (more…)
This is a guestpost by David Sottimano who’s a lead SEO Consultant for Distilled London, responsible for managing large scale SEO projects for top UK corporations. You can find him speaking at international conferences or blogging for SEOmoz, Distilled and other high quality sites like this
If you didn’t manage to make it to either Boston or London Linklove 2012, shame on you – but don’t worry as I’m going to give you the goods right here in this post and it’s important to note this is strictly my interpretation of the presentations. If you want the full recaps, check out the Distilled London & Boston recaps.
For your reading pleasure, I’m going to break this down into major sections that your ADD can skip through as it pleases – or use the anchor links below:
The future of link building – or is it link building? Back to top
In light of recent events, this topic has become much more relevant now that Matt Cutts and the Google webspam team are killing thousands of sites. We all knew this day was coming, and it’s finally come. Rand has been preaching about long-lasting link building strategies that will pass any web spam test for some time now, but now it’s more important than ever.
I won’t say create good content, because (like you) – hearing something over and over makes me cringe. I’ve always been an advocate for creating things that matter, make me feel something, relieve boredom, make me money and lets me show off in front of friends – but I didn’t realize from a business perspective that it actually costs less to do content marketing. Oh and if you think you have a boring product, check out what these guys are doing.
Link building will always be around, but it seems like social “verification” is the way forward. Even if you don’t believe it, you can only benefit by investing in content marketing & social strategies because it will still drive traffic to your site. I for one, do not ever want to rely solely on Google – simply because they can flick a switch and crush you overnight.
Theory: Tom Anthony explained the traditional link graph and the concept of social/authorship verification. Using rel=author was never about the vanity, it’s about giving Google another weapon against spam.
How to figure out where you are and where you should go Back to top
We know we need to create good content, market it, create jaw-dropping viral videos – but you’ve heard this so many times you might even consider killing animals if it would help make it stop. In Will Critchlow’s session, he demonstrated a method of pin-pointing what’s holding your link building campaigns back from greatness.
Maybe you’re an industry content leader and your design just needs an upgrade, or maybe you’re not getting links because nobody in the company promotes it – or even have social accounts!?
Once you have enough responses, copy them into this excel spreadsheet and follow the simple instructions. You’ll end up with output that is an aggregation of several factors that can help you determine what’s preventing you being awesome.
Real life example
This would be the robot output: From Red to Green = bad to good. Content & Permission are problem areas.
Human output: In this scenario we can see that content & permission are the problems that are holding this particular website back in their link building campaign.
- Commercial email lists (product releases etc)
- Content-based email lists (newsletters etc)
- Company-level social media following
- Individual social media followings throughout the company
- Relationships with major influencers in your industry
- Relationships with major global influencers (journalists, politicians, celebrities)
- Traffic / blog subscribers
- Community / evangelists
Ok – can you tell how powerful this is? Why not give this to your new clients, or hand it out internally to see where you need to improve.
There’s regular analysis & reporting, and then there’s researching & reporting like a boss. Distilled’s conferences are intentionally advanced and 2 presentations that defined advanced were given by Branko Rhitman and Justin Briggs.
In the interest of brevity – if you’re interested in:
How to prune out the “selfish” Twitter users that mostly tweet their own stuff and are probably doing it as an act of self-promotion and will find little interest in tweeting your linkable content, but on the other hand, might make good targets of ego-bait…
I love watching Martin MacDonald present, mainly because he’s just talking about something he loves – and it shows. The guy lives and breathes SEO and understands what it’s like on the ground level where we constantly pound the pavement for links.
A clever tactic was to hijack communities – now don’t get ahead of yourselves here, this is nowhere near manipulative or against terms of service. He found a conversation on Twitter, got involved, wrote a blog post and gained tons of traffic and links from the BBC. I’m not kidding, and he outlined the entire process in detail in his presentation deck.
Sometimes you just have to go over and above to form relationships, by being creative/creepy. Wil Reynolds shows us how he managed to get a link from a person who seemed untouchable – full deck here.
John Doherty defines hustle, and this is his set of preferred tools & link building process. I’d say if you’ve got a link from Wired.com to your personal blog, you’re probably someone we should listen to. Here’s the TL;DR version:
Friday the 13th, a packed schedule, awesome speakers, 20 x 20 Pecha Kucha, a new use for Pinterest, Street Fighter, Swingball, Magicians, and the launching of a new website on stage… closely followed by Chips, Beer on the Pier and Karaoke can only mean one thing – yup – Brighton SEO!
Brainchild of State of Searcher Kelvin Newman, Brighton SEO kicked off on the Thursday with a series of training workshops including; PR Link Building (Chris Lee – VP of Digital, Emanate PR) , Advanced GA (Dara Fitzgerald – Head of Insight, FreshEgg), and an intro to coding (Dom Hodgson – CEO, Ember Ads). The conference itself took place on Friday with a format of one-speaker-after-another, meaning that you could sit through all talks, in comfort, nipping out for complementary coffee as and when.
This was the first time I have been to Brighton SEO and what a lovely surprise! Firstly, I was lucky to get a ticket seeing as they ‘sold’ out in a record number of minutes, secondly the conference had the same level of speaker that I have seen at many other paid conferences (but this one was FREE and friendly), and thirdly, this all took place in the beautiful Georgian building that is the Brighton Dome – let’s face it, sitting in a darkened theatre on plush velvet seats adds an atmosphere and charm that is unrivalled on the conference circuit. Combine that with pre lunchtime cabaret in the form of Magic Sam and you have your perfect seaside weekender! (more…)
In about a month SMX London 2012 will open its doors in the Chelsea Stadium in London. At the event search marketers in Europe will gather to obtain knowledge and network. SMX London has now announced the full agenda of the show and the line up of speakers.
We already knew that Amit Singhal would be keynoting SMX London and that Danny Sullivan would return to the London event after being a few years away. Now we can also confirm that more Googlers and more “UK SEO Celebrities” will be presenting at the conference.
Speakers at the conference are for example Christine Churchill, Stephen Pavlovich, Chris Sherman, Ed Schofield, Anders Hjorth, Guy Levine, Andy Atkins-Krueger, Mikkel deMib Svendsen, Rob Kerry, Martijn Beijk, Richard Baxter, Navneet Virk, Simon Heseltine, Kevin Gibbons, Bas van den Beld, Maile Ohye and Ken Dobell. (more…)
This time last week the International Search Summit took place at the Hilton in Munich alongside SMX München.
Once again a great selection of international speakers covering a variety of topics including John Mueller from Google, Bernard Lukey from Yandex, fellow state of searcher Bastian Grimm, new to me Niall Donahoe, and the usual suspects, Brett Petersen, Andy Atkins Kruger, Tracey Falke (and her amazing shoes!) (more…)
Two great sessions from Dr Karl Blanks, and Ian Howie from Conversion Rate Experts. Many conversion areas have been covered in previous posts, so this post covers the second part of the session Key performance Indicators.
What are KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)?
“Measures that help you understand how you are doing against your objectives.” – Avinash Kaushik, Author, Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google, Co-founder of Market Motive
Continuing on from SMX Munich last week, this session was so informative, it deserves its own post! A cracking run down of tips and tricks for e-commerce websites from Richard Baxter at SEO Gadget.
“People think that link building is hard, but it’s not, you just have to want to own the content that you are building and sharing – even if that content isn’t that great you can still get links from it.“
At this years SES New York we are bringing you, next to the regular blogposts, something else. We went around the Expo Hall and talked to different tools asking them to ‘pitch’ for us. Tell us why their tools are the best.
In this video Checkdog.com, a tool which helps control your spelling on your websites. Like an online spellchecker for your website, a very useful tool which gives you an overview of your misspellings really quickly.