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
1. Create fun games – ‘Where’s Damascus?’ had 500k players in 2 days
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
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”.
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
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
45. To recreate something as cool as The New York Times’ Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek, try using WordPress’ parallax scrolling templates:
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
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:
— Andrew Isidoro (@Andrew_Isidoro) April 24, 2014
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:
— Jenny Lyttle (@Jenny_Lyttle) April 24, 2014
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
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
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
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
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!