Wordtracker took a trip to beautiful Brighton on the south coast of England to report on the latest tips and tricks from the search marketing professionals speaking at BrightonSEO. Here's the best of that advice.
1) SEO will never die, it will just change and evolve
Pierre Far, Google
2) SEO has no ethics board and no standards of practice, but it needs these to become a formal and well recognized industry.
3) Dig deep into your site so that you know it like the back of your hand - this will help you identify SEO opportunities.
4) Remember to switch off paid channels (PPC) during scheduled downtime.
5) Don't get hung up on rankings - if your call to action's better on position two you may still get more traffic than the position one site.
6) Bing confirmed they are giving greater weight to social signals in ranking - Twitter and Facebook.
7) A good social signal is the speed and fluidity of it getting passed around. It's not necessarily about the number of followers you have.
8) Google and Bing don't worry so much about people buying Twitter followers - you'll only lose them if you don't provide them with decent content, after all.
Dave Coplin and Pierre Far
9) Martin Lewis' site MoneySavingExpert.com is an example of a site with great content - they use images and tips, and phrase their text uniquely.
10) The first thing to think about on a new site is how the content is going to be shared. Worry about that before you worry about getting links.
11) Be white hat and don't buy links. Stick to the Webmaster Guidelines and you won’t be penalized.
12) Web 3.0 the semantic web is understanding the meaning of web content and social web participation.
14) Content includes words, pictures, video, audio, tools, data etc, ie the assets with which we communicate with our users.
15) Read "Content strategy for the Web" by Halvorson & Rach. It's the best book about content strategy for the web.
16) Be aware that in 2001 the creators of content were IT, SEO and early e-commerce sites. Now it's IT, SEO, e-commerce, customer services, brand, PR, CSR, the CEO, six different retained agencies, that bloke down the street, your gran etc ...
Launching a brand
17) Have a name to link all your brands eg Virgin or Nestle but don't necessarily do this if the product is strong enough to stand on its own eg Coca Cola's Vitamin Water which was strong enough.
18) Pick a name that doesn't mean something else but stands out from the crowd.
19) Looking for a branding agency? Look for credibility, location, price/time investment, ownership and the wow factor.
20) Your new brand name should be easy to spell, easy to pronounce, memorable, and differentiate you from the crowd.
21) Check that the TLDs (top level domains) are available for your name, and the social profiles. Is your new name protectable?
22) Don't launch a new brand on a Friday, in case something goes wrong!
24) Filter your results by need/want/like/don't like.
25) Use primary research observations, polls, questionnaires, online user testing, interviews and focus groups.
27) Google Think Insights is a free insights tool.
Microformats and rich snippets
28) Read all about rich snippets and microformats at Google
29) A useful microformat is the digital business card <p class="vcard">
30) Useful codes for more techie SEOs are scope, itemtype and itemprop in HTML5.
31) Use microformats rather than microdata/RDFa because they're simpler for simpler things, but microdata/RDFa for more complex or unusual items.
32) Recipes, dates, reviews, author hcards (contact details of people, companies, organizations, and places are useful microformats.
33) A 30% uplift in clickthrough rate has been seen using rich snippets but more typical figures are anywhere between 10 and 25%.
34) Google will remove your rich snippets for misuse of Schema markup (eg fake reviews) but in future you could see a loss in rankings because of it.
35) A check in the log files of a large website showed that 40% of Googlebot's time was spent on only two URLs. This meant that a lot of pages weren't being seen. If that's the case you should help the Googlebot focus and visit where you want it to visit.
36) The problems that could be causing this are on-site search, additive filters/faceted URLs eg "shoes?size=3&colour=green&price=10&brand=smith" and thin or similar content.
37) Embrace your log files to find out where the bot's going.
38) Check the bot's behavior and alter your internal navigation and linking where necessary. (Try flattening the hierarchies, for example).
39) Ask for a follow link from the word go when communicating with journalists and editors - say something like "Could you credit us with a link?" so you don't have to plead with them afterwards.
40) Discover the right and wrong ways of getting your stories out by searching for #prfail #prwin #journorequest on Twitter.
41) Use advanced search queries in Google to find specific things, eg:
Negative keywords- inurl:blog "golf" -vw -volkswagen
inurl:blog "keyword" AND "powered by wordpress" AND "name" AND "comments"
inurl: "http:// keyword.com/"
43) A black swan event is one that is surprising, has a major impact, and is later rationalized by hindsight (read "The Black Swan" by Nassim Nicholas Taleb for more detail). Identify areas of vulnerability in your campaigns to turn the black swans white.
44) Work for the search engines as well as users and you should be safe.
Although Kevin Gibbons was unable to attend BrightonSEO, he has recommended some great tools in his presentation
45) Find people on Google+ findpeopleonplus.com
46) Clean your Twitter feed with slipstre.am
47) Get started with microdata using schema-creator.org
48) Where a single author contributes to a site use rel=author. Where multiple authors contribute to a site Google says to verify by email, but using rel=author/rel=me is better and doesn't expose email addresses.
49) Use parse.ly to analyze authors.
50) Build up an authority but don't give out weird endorsements as your authority can be knocked down quite quickly.
51) Don't have an anonymous persona as an author - it won't work.
52) Will rel=author mean that journalism will come back from the dead? (Giving the authority back to the author, rather than to the site).
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