66 tips from BrightonSEO 2012

Posted by Julie McNamee on 30 Sep, 2012
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The Brighton SEO conference is a meeting of the UK's best online marketers. If you couldn't make it the September 2012 event , we've collected 66 tasty tips and ingenious insights.

SEO

1 - If you don't love what you've just done, it isn't finished.
Richard Baxter SEO Gadget

2 - Think of the simplest and most elegant way of explaining something.
Richard Baxter

3 - Learn something new once a week to keep yourself and your knowledge fresh.
Richard Baxter

4 - If you're an SEO, make yourselves indispensable – specialize.
Richard Baxter

5 - If you're an SEO, build your own website.
Richard Baxter

6 - You can rank in Google without links, just by being shared on social media, but only for a couple of weeks. You need to back that up with links from quality sites.
Philip Petrescu Advanced Web Ranking

7 - Use Changedetection to find out which mistakes your competitors are making and track what they're up to.
Autotrader @berianreed

8 - Look at your competitors' site architecture – are there any weaknesses?
Tony King Semetrical

9 - Know your own website like the back of your hand. What assets are there that you can use to your advantage?
Tony King

10 - Carry out a site audit - Wordtracker will of course help with this - to inspect the uninspected. Check your robot.txt, audit your xml sitemaps, domain management, redirection status, canonical setup.
Tony King

11 – Use the Robotto tool to check site downtime and set up alerts.
Tony King

12 – When planning an SEO strategy, keep in mind the cost of SEO and its related tools and apps.
Tony King

13 – Allow for seasonal trends when planning your SEO budget.
Tony King

14 – Don't forget to optimize your images. For a lot of products a large percentage of searches are coming from people looking for images of your product.
Tony King

15 – Hold read, debate and innovate sessions to make you more creative. Tony has the reading in the morning, debating over lunch and innovating in the afternoon.
Tony King

16 - If you're pitching as an SEO, know who you're pitching to – if it's the CFO have all the numbers at your fingertips.
Tony King

17 - Without good content you are only ever going to close the gap – you're never going to beat your competitors outright.
Rebecca Weeks, OMD Search

18 - Trying to optimize a rubbish site is like adding a good conservatory to a crappy house.
Rebecca Weeks

19 - Local links for local pages WORKS!
Rebecca Weeks

20 - Chasing the algorithm is a hopeless effort. Smart SEOs learn and adapt.
Rebecca Weeks

21 - Over the next 10 yrs people will stop visiting websites - they'll be accessing content on their phones etc. We should be designing for that.
Will Critchlow Distilled

22 - Search has moved from the general to the specific, eg when you look up a hotel you'll get lots of relevant information about that hotel on the search engine page. Map, restaurants nearby, reviews etc.
Will Critchlow

23 - Because people are consuming in different ways now, you'll need to open up your database to that by providing free or paid APIs.
Will Critchlow

24 - Google's Keywords tool has a mobile filter to see keywords searched from people's mobiles.
Aleyda Solis Orainti

25 - Fetch as Google mobile bot on Webmaster Tools to see how your site's viewed on mobile.
Aleyda Solis

26 - What's your content and product offer for a mobile audience?
Aleyda Solis

Social Media

27 - Your site should have high value assets (content) plus a churn of smaller conversations revolving around it in social media.
Anthony Mayfield

28 - Backtweets tells you which tweets have been shared and by whom so you'll know who to target.
Yousaf Sekander Rocket Mill

29 - Gain insights from social media with Datasift - for bigger agencies.
Yousaf Sekander

30 - The circular customer decision journey model from McKinsey and co could be today's new funnel diagram and shows a better way of selling. (You'll need to register to see it but it's free.)
Anthony Mayfield

31 - Nokia's social media strategy from Brilliant Noise.
Anthony Mayfield

32 - Find out what works for your competitor and who shared it. Rocket Mill's Social Crawlytics gives a list of top authors and shows which pages have been shared most.
Yousaf Sekander

33- The most common content sharing method is copy and paste.
Berian Reed

34 - Tynt will add a link to the text that someone has copied from your site. Newspapers use this technique and generate thousands of links a week from it.
Berian Reed

Advertising

35 - Follow the basic Bauhaus design principles when you're designing a web page – form follows function. Find out what the problem is that needs solving before you do anything else.
Dave Trott

36 – Ninety percent of £8.3 billion is spent on advertising in the UK every year, and studies show that 89% of it gets ignored
Dave Trott

37 – Only 10 in the audience at BrightonSEO remembered any advert they'd seen yesterday – out of 1,700 people ...
Dave Trott

38 -Why 90% of media doesn't work is because most people don't understand it.
Dave Trott

39 -To go viral, you need ICP (Impact then Communication then Persuasion). Although most advertising dies at impact, most companies spend their time on persuasion.
Dave Trott

40 – Complication is weakness and simplicity is strength.
Dave Trott

41 – Persuade people in their language – there's no need to use long words to try to make yourself look knowledgeable.
Dave Trott

42 – Creative people have a fear of the obvious and the customer has a love of the obvious.
Dave Trott

43 – It makes hard, commercial sense to be different – you'll separate yourself from the crowd. You may fail but at least you won't fail quietly.
Dave Trott

44 – Predatory thinking = applied creativity. It's what will give you the edge.
Dave Trott

45 – You can get away with a lower advertising budget if you target the opinion formers. They'll pass on the message to their followers.
Dave Trott

46 – Coca Cola is moving 20% of its advertising budget into inbound marketing. This will just be the beginning of a trend to spend more money on online marketing.
Anthony Mayfield Brilliant Noise

Usability

47 - Emotional/rational: How do we want people to experience our website? In a rational way, eg we want to present ourselves as being effective or able to facilitate. Or do we want to appeal to the emotional, as fun, for example, magical or encouraging. These two approaches will be very different and your site will need to reflect it with the use of text, pictures etc.
Stephanie Troeth

48 - Do you want to evoke an emotional reaction or a rational act?
Stephanie Troeth

49 - Example of good websites appealing to the emotions rather than the emotional are Nest the learning thermostat.
Stephanie Troeth

50 - Book tip: Designing for Emotion by Aaron Walter. If your website were a person, what would it be - his design personas
Stephanie Troeth

51 - When you're planning your navigation and where your content's going to go, try placing post-its on a wireframe on the wall or the floor.
Stephanie Troeth

52 - Ways to listen to the user:

a) Close-ended – good for refining and discovering patterns: usability testing, remote testing tools, heuristic evaluation.

b) Open-ended – good for finding out if people really understand your brand: surveys, card sorting, focus groups.
Stephanie Troeth

53 - Think about how your content, especially the headlines, will look like when it's shared.
Martin Belam Emblem

54 - Organize your content along the lines of how your audience will understand it rather than on who sits on what floor in your company's building.
Martin Belam

55 - Don't obsess about the mechanics of search engines and clever SEO tricks – obsess about your users' experience instead.
Martin Belam

56 - The amount of time it takes for a page to load is one of the things that will make your visitor start to trust you.
Martin Belam

57 - A tiny change in text or moving a button round a page can increase the number of comments or shares
Martin Belam

58 - Using responsive web design is the best option but not always practical for developing a mobile site. Another possibility is dynamic serving or having a parallel mobile site.
Aleyda Solis

Analytics

59 - Create a segment on Google Analytics for organic mobile traffic to pinpoint the specific behavior of mobile users.
Aleyda Solis

60 - What's your site's behavior in mobile search results? Look in Google's Webmaster Tools to see the top queries in mobile search results.
Aleyda Solis

61 - Use a filter with Google Analytics to find out which referral urls are linking to yours. (Ordinarily the most you get is a referral path which isn't specific enough).
Berian Reed

Content

62 - Content strategy should flow with peaks and troughs. Have a mixture of 'Big Bangs' and regulars.
Simon Penson ZazzleMedia

63 - Examples of the troughs are 10 word reviews, Top 5s, Top 10s and quick tips.
Simon Penson

Examples of the Big bangs are:

… the X Factor. It's surrounded by smaller shows so that the X Factor itself stands out.

… data visualisation. Have a look at the data visualisation periodic table for the different types and Chrome Experiments

… great linkbait eg Incredibox and Ross Kemp Folds
Simon Penson

64 – Reverse engineer your competitors' social/content strategy. Find out their mistakes and their successes and avoid or copy them!
Yousaf Sekander

65 – Content is not just king – it's a kingmaker.
Yousaf Sekander

66 – For infographics use your own URL shortener so that you have complete control over URLs and use your brand name in the shortened versions.
Yousaf Sekander

Thanks to all the Brighton SEO speakers and Kelvin Newman. Brighton image by Gillian Westgate.

If you think we've missed a tip, please let us know below.

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