The Receptional team headed down to the seaside for another brilliant BrightonSEO.

This year’s event was bigger (and fuller) than any we’ve ever been too. But in the usual fashion, the topics covered were varied, with many speakers focusing on current concerns in the search industry, specifically the changing practice of building links.

You’ll find all of the best tips and actionable advice from the day all in this article.

How I earned loads of links by ignoring SEO

by Malcolm Coles

1. Create fun games – ‘Where’s Damascus?’ had 500k players in 2 days

where's damascus

2. Only between the hours of 9-4 on weekdays does desktop traffic outdo mobile traffic on news sites

3. Mobile traffic outdoes desktop traffic throughout the weekend on news sites

4. Make sure your content is readable on mobile phones

5. When designing infographics for news you need to think about the mobile users (HTML)

6. Mirror don’t like press releases with quotes, they prefer content that is popular

7. If you can produce content that is interesting or that goes viral, people will naturally link to it

8. Make your newsworthy content’s titles mysterious and interesting Upworthy make their writers produce 25 headlines

Deep Crawl Breaking Bad SEO: The Science of Crawl Space

by Tony King

9. If you’ve got a large number of URLs, you’ll almost certainly got duplicate content (where the same content can be accessed by different URLs)

10. To take ownership of your URLs, plug in as much data points as possible: Bing Webmaster Tools, Google Webmaster Tools, Analytivs, link equity from MajesticSEO and SEO frog. Crawl everything.

11. Make sure you’re not self-harming: check canonical implementation, all canonical pages should be linked internally and assess pages without canonical tags.

12. Check low value URLS. Are they driving traffic? If not, take them out of your crawl space. King also announced a new tool from Deep Crawl:

13. Understand the link profile of all pages. This will help you to understand the dilution of links and shared URLs Maximise URLs that receive great deals of traffic. Take out URLs that don’t receive any traffic and finally, optimise.

Crawl Optimisation for maximum impact

by Dawn Anderson

14. Dawn suggested a theory known as ‘crawl rank': a ranking metric for ‘no’ to ‘low’ PageRank pages. Pages crawled more often rank higher. If you can get ‘low’ to ‘no’ PageRank pages crawled, you’ll rank higher.

15. Crawl optimisation – download your crawl log to find out where the Googlebot actually goes. You might discover a lot of wasted crawl budget.

16. To avoid over indexation for a big site, check thoroughly name and categorise your XML sitemaps. Submit one at least each week.

17. Submit a section of your site as a site with an xml sitemap so you can really drill down and see what’s happening Soft 404s are one of the most common causes of over indexation

18. Ensure that dynamic variables/parameters are checked for validation

19. Favour flat and fat architecture. This way your site will be indexed and crawled efficiently and your link equity will not be diluted too much.

20. “Herd” Googlebot using robots.txt, nofollows, sitemaps and navigational paths and cross module internal linking.

The need for speed: How to make your website really fast

by Bastian Grimm Grimmdigital

21. Use Google Chrome’s web-based performance analysis using “Google factors”.

22. Try HeadJS – this will allow all javascript to go through the head of your site. It enables parallelizing of java Combine multiple small images into a one big image. This will save on HTTP requests.

23. Reduce HTTP requests by minifying CSS and JS files – remove unnecessary white spaces, breaks etc.

24. Try using tinyPNG files to optimise PNG files without losing quality.

The Habits that Land You Links

by Stacey Cavanagh

25. Attracting links is about being awesome, doing awesome stuff, creating awesome things

26. Our biggest challenge is creating lots of ideas Image link building is effective Setup Flickr account for all of your clients

27. Add Creative Commons licenses, use description to describe how to attribute

28. Try to rank images in Google Image Search Automated Reverse Image search to find non-linkers Moz tool to find non-linkers

29. Tell stories from survey data

30. When creating Content Curation add a layer of value (list of links may not be valuable on its own)

31. Do something real in order to get coverage. Coverage equates to links.

32. Build list of contacts (who’s written about you? Who’s written about your competitors? Who writes about your industry? Who do you want to write about you?)

33. Letters –> Phone Call –> Email when contacting people

34. Attention = Coverage. Coverage = Links

SEO Auditing Checklists & Processes

by Pete Handley from The Media Flow

32. Handley seen some evidence of manual penalties being applied to outbound links, because sites are being too liberal with their anchor text. Make sure you’re keeping an eye on your anchor text usage.

33. Stick the Google Analytics code into the custom filter in Screaming Frog to make sure the code is present on all pages.

34. Check for near duplication – the content might not be the same, it could just be that the title, decription and h1 are the same.

35. Revisit your map of target keywords to pages. This might show you that you, or your client, is missing content or landing pages.

Tips for great content

by Vicke Cheung from Distilled

36. Get a Pinterest account, get a mood board going. This will help you with your creative research

37. Add you designer to your board so you can collaborate and refine your ideas

38. Realtime board is a simple online whiteboard app. It allows cross collaboration in a visual way, which is perfect for creative projects.

39. Test your designs thoroughly. Try BrowserStack to make sure your designs are realised across browsers.

40. If you have the budget, invest in web fonts. Get a Typekit subscription – you’ll get access to fonts that are specifically for web use.

41. Make sure your images, typography and formatting are all consistent. Otherwise you’re content can be jarring to a user. And, if they are inconsistent it can lower trust.

44. Imagery and social shares – one size doesn’t fit all. To compensate, start off using big images that can maintain integrity when cropped.

Cool shit you can do with WordPress

by Patrick Hathaway

45. To recreate something as cool as The New York Times’ Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek, try using WordPress’ parallax scrolling templates:

snowfall

46. More exciting tips can be found on Patrick’s SlideShare presentation here: http://www.hitreach.co.uk/blog/brightonseo-cool-shit-you-can-do-with-wordpress/

Do links still matter in 2014?

by Dixon Jones

47. Google attempted to build a search engine without links but that didn’t work so well Matt Cutts said in 2012 that links will be around for years

48. What other metrics could Google rank content? Traffic? No because porn sites are popular In Moz’s latest survey to 120 marketers, 8 of the top 10 rank factors were link related

49. Pay attention to partial anchor text and internal linking as ranking factors Trust comes in context Links lead to authority objects (authority are not going to link to a bad place)

50. Links are about relationships

SERP Driven Case Study

by Rob Bucci

51. How do you tailor local search for a business without a bricks and mortar shop? You use different types of geo modifications for keyword searches e.g suffixes. so for auto insurance, a search using the terms “auto insurance ‘in’ UK has a in-suffix.

52. How can you compete with a Goliath brand with a strong local presence? Find out where they’re weak and start building local citations.

53. Also, search query data matters. Check for local intent in your data and keywords. But you’ll have to do your research in large volumes to really spot the opportunities.

Hacking the Knowledge Graph

by Andrew Isidoro

54. We are all entities on the web. Our references are compiled from a number of resources

55. Keywords aren’t enough any more. There needs to be more information surrounding what they mean

56. 1/5 of all Bing queries submitted are purely named queries.

57. Connect your accounts using rel=publisher. This will give a well-rounded view of where your accounts are so they can be scraped

58. Add yourself to freebase (a directory) but only share data that is useful and that you want to be cross referenced.

59. Entity recognition is here – this is evident with Google Trends.

60. Entity search could mean there is value in schema citations, especially for physical real life objects. Start marking up your data using schema now.

61. Check out Andrew Isidoro’s deck here:

 

Engagement and Branding as Ranking Signals

by Tim Grice Branded3

62. The “Return to search” part of Google’s algorithm monitors how long it takes for a visitor to your website to return to Google. This indicates how engaging and useful your website has been to visitors. If you have low engagement, check your underperforming pages in Analytics and cross reference with keyword data.

63. See how you can serve customers better, don’t just litter your landing pages with calls to action; the visitor might not want to buy from you just yet.

64. Understand your users’ engagement with your website by hosting a survey

65. Look at other websites, blogs, review sites and even your competitors to find out what your audience base want to see and what engages them.

66. The top ranking position used to require the most amount of links. That’s no longer the case. Google now looks at engagement metrics when ranking its search results.

67. For one company, implementing a solid content strategy which placed emphasis upon engagement helped to push them into the top three positions without ANY links. Their engagement levels increased by 200%

68. If you want to increase engagement on your website, it’s simple:

69. Make sure you’re putting your content in prominent places on your website.

Think Eyes…Not Just Keywords

by Adrian Durow

70. Keywords at the start of your Page Title got more attention in the search engine results as suggested by an eye tracking study

71. The results for authorship markup against normal listings for certain keyword searches were varied – some text listings attracted more attention by Links breed better with topicality

Link Prospecting: Step Away from the Search Engine

by Carolyn Jones

72. Use list blogs for link prospects

73. Use curated content links for link prospects

74. Checl out commenters’ websites –> likely to be commenting on something related to their blog

75. Use Followerwonk to find link prospects

76. Search Twitter chats and hashtags for link prospects

77. Search Google+ communities for link prospects

78. Search Facebook for link prospects – Groups, Events, Graph Search, Pages

79. Search Google News for link prospects (find who the people are talking about your topic)

80. Find link prospects by looking at which sites link to your competitors

Tried and Tested PR Hacks for Awesome Content Marketing

by Rebecca Lee

81. You want the domino effect with PR – start off with the story in the nationals and then the trades, bloggers etc linked to it.

82. Set up Google alerts to find out who’s talking about your product, or whether your story has already been covered

83. Phone call is better than email

84. Tell journalists how popular your story is (trends etc.)

85. People like to read stories about other people

86. Build up your relationship with journalists (send them products etc.)

87. Timing is everything

88. Give your story a human element

Harnessing the Power of Influencers

by Matthew Barby

89. Work with respected writers

90. Partner with niche influencers

91. Reddit is a very good analysis tool

92. Buzzumo great for finding what is popular

93. Build a content creation team of top authors

94. Engage with active niche communities

What I Have Learnt from Building A Bot to Crawl the Web

by James Owen

95. What do I want from a link?  Real site.  Real social following.  Quality content.  Relevant.  Built for Users.  Authentic.

96. Everyone follows the crowd

97. Vary link types

Native Advertising: The Secret Weapon of Content Marketing

by Pete Campbell

98. Content doesn’t need to be great, it just needs to be packaged well

99. Make content easily digestible

Make Money by Integrating Your Data

by Ali White

100. Have a framework before you begin

101. If we do a A/B test, does it make us more money (the right customers)

Competitive Intelligence – How to steal your competitor’s lunch

by Shaun Russell

102. Out with your competitors by stealing their strategies

103. Increase ROI by understanding how others are integrating their PPC + SEO

You are what Google says you are

by Nick Garner

104. People trust Google as much as they do traditional media

105. People trust Google more than social

106. Build up a positive story of your brand

107. Use SEO to rank that PR story (above) for ‘consideration’ phrases

These tips were collated and published on the day therefore, if you spot any errors, please let us know in the comments below!

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