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  • 116 Best Tips from SES London 2012!

    Update: this now includes day one and two! This week I’m at SES London and I’m going to try and keep my notes of the event up-to-date on here and Twitter across the three days. Wish me luck!

    Image credit: Andrew Girdwood

    So far, here’s what I’ve picked out as the best tips – favourites highlighted in bold. I’ve tried to credit the speakers where possible and thanks to the useful tweets from  @gfiorelli1, @wordtracker and many more:

    Analytics (@avinash)

    1. Calculate the economic value of the micro conversions and you will have the real picture of the efficiency of your site
    2. 1st click attribution is like giving your 1st girlfriend credit for marrying your wife!
    3. John Lewis online success isn’t just sales – measure micro-goals; credit card apps, brochure requests, email captures
    4. Measure both macro & micro conversions – don’t just focus budget on 2% that converts. Improve the 98% that doesn’t!
    5. Measure social metrics that matter; interaction, amplification rate, applause rate (quality), economic value
    6. Use GA multi-channel visualiser to find channels drive conversions w/ multiple touchpoints
    7. Multi Channel Portfolio Optimization > Incrementability > To calculate the incremental value of your mrkt actions
    8. Media Mix Modeling > don’t figure out the order of the channels, but the optimal mrkt channel mix
    9. Don’t let your ad write cheques your site can’t cash!
    10. Insane focus on: Price, Cost, Share, Size = making huge amounts of money!
    11. HITS = How Idiots Track Success

    Social Media & SEO Tools (@andrewgirdwood, @pauldavidmadden, @theukseo, @davenaylor, @richardbaxter)

    1. Yahoo Pipes & ifttt recommended for collecting feeds on keywords. But interact, don’t broadcast
    2. strawberryj.am for monitoring blog posts
    3. RSS Graffiti, Easy Promos & YouTube for Pages all recommended as Facebook apps
    4. Use http://www.bufferapp.com to enhance your social campaigns. It works out when your tweets should go and sends them.
    5. Engagement vitally important for social media – but automation can boost ROI with volume
    6. Social tools; SocialOomph (auto tweets), TweetAdder (follow/unfollow), dlvr.it, oDesk outsourcing
    7. Look out for Pinterest tools next – big opportunity to build strong social presence
    8. Why use SEO tools? Solve a problem, collect data or improve efficiency
    9. SEO Tools; Copyscape (find scraped/duplicate content), pingdom (downtime), xenu/screaming frog (crawl errors)
    10. KissInsights, FiveSecondTest & WebsiteOptimiser recommended as low-cost conversion optimisation tools
    11. Sistrix Research (PR history), SearchMetrics (panda), GTmetrix (site speed), LinkResearchTools
    12. APIs are all around us… use them and create tools to complement the ones you’re using already
    13. How to check for 404 errors in your XML sitemap: http://bit.ly/excelsitemap
    14. Use tools for measuring social media but 80-85% should be good ol’ human analysis.
    15. Is my link still live? > Excl =IF(XPathOnUrl(C2,”//a[contains(@href,'seogadget.co.uk')]“)=””,”NOT FOUND”,”FOUND”)
    16. NetPeak Checker recommended as tool to grab loads of SEO info

    SEO Sales (@lisadmyers, @lorenbaker)

    1. Estimating traffic worth; 1) what is conversion worth? 2) current rankings/traffic/rev 3) estimated volumes
    2. SEO sales; ban words like XML sitemaps, robots.txt from a pitch – talk to them about the money, not detail
    3. Sometimes you have to say “no” to clients when their available budget can’t get them the desired results
    4. Clients bringing broader marketing team into SEO pitches now, PR/Marketing, not just search opens up branding budget!

    Technical SEO & Site Migration (@leeodden@russosullivan)

    1. Use http://www.snippetoptimizer.net to show clients how the site will look in google
    2. Failure to plan is a plan to fail – SEO migration considerations; technical, process, people
    3. Technical migration considerations; CMS, redirects, links, maintain SEO, sitemaps, custom 404, analytics, webm tools
    4. Process migration considerations; design, content, linking, benchmarks, monitoring
    5. Businesses consolidate = combined company website. Design w/ SEO migration in mind (KWs, CMS, links etc)
    6. Crawl each site for assets and links. Map old pages on CC site. ID top converting pages. ID most powerful links..
    7. Ensure New CMS SEO Features: Title Tags, meta descr. separate title tag and on page titles, Image alt txt editing, URL editing
    8. Mapping of old to new content most important factor during site migration – preserve URLs wherever possible
    9. Audit & benchmark, preserve URLs, update backlinks/301, submit new sitemap & work with SEO agency from day 1
    10. International SEO tip – Use rel=canonical & hreflang to consolidate link equity across trust of main domain

    Duplicate content (@SamuelCrocker)

    1. 1) Identify dup content 2) create sensible IA 3) create mapping & rewrite rules 4) create process & stick to it
    2. Justify budgets by stating how much search % contributes to online revenue – ask client how much they spent on TV/display?!
    3.  “Legacy” & Other Orphan Pages > Ask for a full DB dump? – Dig through server logs? Ask for a proper XML sitemap
    4. PPC landing pages; noindex/follow or rel=canonical if duplicate
    5. Templated SEO pages (e.g. car brands), why not spend money on unique content instead of links?
    6. What to do? Focus on the high converting pages > Create at a minimum some unique content > Focus on the high-converting
    7. How to create unique product descriptions; Fiverr, interns, UGC, video

    SEO Metrics (@andrewgirdwood, @theukseo, @kevgibbo, @boggles, @willcritchlow)

    1. SEO forecast; Adwords volume, add 8% (other SEs), add 30% (KW variations), * by 65% (organic CTR vs PPC), * by 5% (CTR on page 1)
    2. Calculate your SEO efficiency by analysing costs vs results; traffic = organic CPC & conversions = organic CPA
    3. Track micro-conversions closely, so that you can ensure you are on right track before you can measure macro conversions
    4. SEOs should make sure they tie their search goals with business goals. Learning from PPC is a good start
    5. PPC works so well because marketing directors understand it
    6. Treating SEO as a PPC campaign >> helping convince executives to provide bigger budgets
    7. Google Webmaster Tools is a solution to the “not provided” problem as it provides all the queries/keywords

    Conversion Optimisation

    1. Try http://whichtestwon.com/ for learning about which ads will be the most successful. Then implement your own
    2. whichmvt.com list of ab testing tool with all features

    SEO General – Keyword Research & Competitor Analysis (@richardbaxter@andrewgirdwood@jonaths)

    1. Google considered marking slow and fast sites with special icons in the SERPs
    2. 1.75 in-store connections are driven by Search for every one online in Vodafone’s case study
    3. John Lewis do local very well, with location pages for all stores
    4. KW Modeling > Brainstorm >> Refine >> Categorize >> Test <<< this is the standard process to follow
    5. Search Engine Optimisation should be renamed Search Everything Optimisation – technical, content, links, social etc
    6. Combing seo and ppc budget is a good way to reduce risks of questionable strategies that may have been adopted by competitors
    7. Useful competitive analysis site queries, Google; intext: inurl: intitle: Bing; linkfromdomain: (finds who they link to)

    Mobile (@AngelaHoAtWork, @aschottmuller)

    1. If you can’t read your site on any mobile device (without zooming in) then your site isn’t mobile ready.
    2. Use the WordPress WPtouch Plugin to make your blog mobile friendly
    3. 584% growth in mobile online revenue YoY (2010-2011)
    4. Kiddicare & John Lewis encourage customers to price comparison shop by offering mobile wifi in store
    5. Mobile search tips; split campaigns by device, analyse time of day/geography, use offers to entice
    6. Search position 1 or 2 is critical for tablet traffic
    7. Device & location big factors for mobile organic search results
    8. 65% of mobile rankings have specific mobile site, as opposed to using a single URL for both web & mobile

    Link Building (@lisadmyers@patrickaltoft@optimizeyourweb)

    1. Different types of links; Giveaways, linkbait, paid links, guest content, syndication, reciprocal, social links
    2. Google+ may not be a ranking factor at the moment but it is a visibilty factor so don’t ignore it
    3. The biggest way social signals effect rankings is the way they syndicate out to other sites as links
    4. Every paid link should look like a natural link. More about what it looks like than if it’s paid!
    5. Link outreach; email people you know, blog editors in sector, give products away (carefully)
    6. Confused.com linkbait generates large volume of social shares – yet not generating links. Make sure you target bloggers
    7. Bad links do hurt sites & only way to recover is remove links & submit reinclusion request
    8. Large scale link prospecting tool by Justin Briggs recommended 
    9. Research your competitors in the top 10 (pick comparable samples) – look at their backlinks and how they got them
    10. Goal of link building = build enough links to rank #1 for target keywords. Don’t take risks by going link crazy!
    11. Choose landing pages, not keywords for link building – mix it up & think about the content first
    12. Search by image to find which sites shared/linked to competitor infographics
    13. Content seeding; articles, blogs, emails, forums, infographics, RSS, Twitter, Facebook etc
    14. Advanced link building = be patient & manage client expectations. Think long-term strategies, not quick wins
    15. CNN wont link to you, so get links from websites that CNN already link to
    16. Get links from competitors, crawl outbound links on Xenu Link Sleuth – “look for no such host”, buy that inactive domain!
    17. Get indirect competitor links; use LinkResearchTools to find common links which competitors link to & target them!
    18. Use a good URL for competitons – e.g. /snowboarding – then you can update landing page content once comp is over
    19. Post a link on Wikipedia even though it’s nofollow. People will use that link where it might not be nofollow
    20. Image search by image = great link building opportunity. Find image theft (e.g. infographics) & ask for link!

    Social Media & Video (@avinash@jakelangwith)

    1. Most of what’s measured in social media is garbage – so actions are not innovative, e.g. Facebook just used for comps
    2. National Express (Facebook) & Marks & Spencer (Twitter) highlighted as great examples of social strategy – Disney UK (Twitter) bad example
    3. LinkedIn is the best platform for sourcing SEO staff
    4. LinkedIn tips: use advanced search, current job, multiple job titles, location radius, filter by keywords
    5. Retweet an influencer. If they retweet you back, you can gain a lot of followers
    6. Plan ahead to schedule social strategy around large events, Olympics, Super Bowl, X Factor etc
    7. Consumers exposed to a brand on social media are 50% more likely to click on a search ad
    8. 38% of users access videos via search engines

    Google+ (@lorenbaker, @aschottmuller)

    1. There are 3.5 Million Google+ users in the UK
    2. When  does a search, he wants to see best results on web – not just his Google+ friends & local results
    3. “Search Plus Your World” is really just “Search Plus Your Google” – but is that really in the best interest of users?
    4. Google wants to be the Google of social – why wouldn’t they bring Twitter/Facebook/Flickr etc into results?
    5. Will people take the big leap from Facebook to Google+? Why would they? How will G get them to do it?

    PPC/online advertising (@guylevine, @duncanparry, @daxhamman@caroline_rolfe)

    1. Why invest in PPC? It works – your competitors are already doing it.
    2. Make sure you set time spans on remarketing….few weeks can be ok a few months will annoy customers
    3. A ranking in position 3 or 4 with review stars can generate as much traffic as number 1 position
    4. Think about your brand when you’re writing a PPC ad – it may look spammy and may not be good for it.
    5. Search retargeting company Chango are now active in the UK
    6. Retargeting is broader than site retargeting. Infographic reveals 7 types effective retargeting
    7. Adding order ids to remarketing ads to do attribution modelling super quick
    8. Counterfeit products big problem for Links of London, 1,100 sites contain luxury brand name & drives PPC prices up
    9. Taking down counterfeit competitor sites = 41% decrease in brand PPC & 50% traffic increase for same budget!
    10. http://Luminate.com: lets publishers put ads on their images
    11. Use http://cannedbanners.com/ to help make your own banner ads
    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    8 Responses to “116 Best Tips from SES London 2012!”

    1. Jessica Leilani says:

      I like the idea of using LinkedIn to find employees. I think that is a great idea.

    2. JWC says:

      Hi Kevin

      Thank you for sharing, few things stood out for me, and are helpful. e.g. Chango, or that most of what is measured in Social Media is garbage! Love it.

    3. I really like “SEO sales; ban words like XML sitemaps, robots.txt from a pitch – talk to them about the money, not detail”

      Don’t bother clients with difficult terms. Tell them how much their revenue will increase!

    4. JWC says:

      Hi kevin, Can you elaborate on this.
      “SEO forecast; Adwords volume, add 8% (other SEs), add 30% (KW variations), * by 65% (organic CTR vs PPC), * by 5% (CTR on page 1)”

      Could you upload a cookbook XLS of this set of functions as an example?

      Cheers
      I wasn’t at the SES

    5. BDR says:

      Some great one liners here. Love HITS = How Idiots Track Success
      How about INTERACT = I Need To Engage, Rank And Connect Totally!?

    6. Sofia says:

      HITS = How Idiots Track Success, i like this quote :)
      Thanks for sharing , Avinash has some wonderful tips on GA.

    7. i was shock in the conference when google plus was not focus by most of the experts. Every body was focuing on twitter and facebook pages.. and all are aware that future will be gplus.

    8. Maran Veriga says:

      I found your article very helpful. Is there a link between this article and Tips to Choosing Your Social Media Agency from Fresh Egg?

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