International Search Summit 2012 - London
Despite the typically British downpour, the International Search Summit went along swimmingly (excuse the water pun). Hosted in the gorgeous Business Design Centre in Islington, the conference was jam-packed full of experts in SEO, Link & Social.
A big Hello!
The day kicked off with a Welcome from Andy Atkins-Krüger CEO of WebCertain and Chair of the ISS. After a 'howdy and hello' Andy launched straight into his presentation A Checklist for International Search Success depicting the 10 Steps SEO professionals should consider when starting an International Search campaign. Some really interesting steps followed, including addressing issues such as translating keywords into different languages across different countries, building trust through localised pages and utilising the term 'First Impression Page' instead of 'Landing Page' and everything such a title encompasses.
Next we heard from Jack Porter-Smith who spoke on International PPC: Planning for Global Success and his brilliantly engaging slides (with due credit to his design team). Drawing from personal examples, we saw the value in seemingly simple action-points; such as carrying-through a discount from a Google Ad to the consumers 'Landing' or 'First Impression' Page and the effect on consumer satisfaction and website usability - increasing the likelihood of conversion. Measuring international success by adjusting the traditional metrics to include stats such as Return Rates, ATV and Aftercare Interaction was another brilliant point - it reminds us that this is a Consumer game and customer service and building brand trust internationally is paramount to overseas success.
International Cross-Device Search
Stanislas di Vittorio founder of eSearchVision followed Jack speaking on International Cross-Device Search & Conversion which gave interesting insight into a cross-device SEO approach. Advising that to split campaigns per device better measures cross-device tracking; as technology develops, consumer markets will utilise greater means of e-commerce and brands should be at the front of this online evolution, driving consumers to buy using new means rather than the other way around. Stanislas's presentation made some brilliantly insightful points on mobile and tablet devices and their measurement.
The Mysterious FTSE Company...
Bringing us all back into 'Search Mode' after a coffee break was speaker Guy Redmond who works for a mysterious, yet super successful, B2B FTSE 100 company. Funnily enough, his topic was a Case Study of International Search in a FTSE 100 Company covering the importance of Content Strategies and the inclusion of Social. This, being a Social Consultant, really got my attention as Guy made the fantastic point that without localising, monitoring and measuring your international social strategy, your Clients will not see the use of Social - no matter what you try and tell them!
Backlinks & Brand Rep
Our very own Dixon Jones followed next representing Majestic SEO. His talk on How your Backlink Profile can Affect your Brand, Reputation and Website Internationally gave some fantastic insight into the use of Majestic SEO's new map tool which launched last week. Dixon presented how Backlinks to your website, when compared with your Social influence, can give you potential access to new, global markets. It is definitely a tool I will be keeping an eye on in the future; another example of the importance of monitoring Social influence as an inclusive part of your Backlink profile.
Following Dixon was a fireside chat with Google's Pierre Far and Andy Atkins-Krüger. Although the chat was minus a fire place and polo-neck sweaters, it was a good opportunity to chat with Pierre and provide insight into Google search from a usability point of view.
So much knowledge makes you hungry...good job we had a cracking lunch to keep our energy up for the last instalment of speakers. I had a brownie that made me so happy I nearly cried. Yum!
Reputation Monitoring 101
Speaking straight after lunch was the insatiable Marty Weintraub on Multilingual & Multinational Reputation Monitoring. It was hard not to be infected by the vast amount of enthusiasm Marty gives to his subject and his injection of laughter didn't hurt either. What I took away from Marty's presentation was the seemingly never-ending way to utilise Search for Social and brand reputation - whether this is overseas, in a different language or at home.
A More Social Search
Bas van den Beld followed speaking on Social Search, Globally. Voted this year's ISS Medallion Speaker, Bas's talk was full of expert ideas taken from personal experience. He spoke about how to find the right Authority to promote your Brand using Social - that it is not a person you want to target, but who they are influenced by. I pretty much loved everything Bas had to say and his Medallion was well deserved. He still hasn't followed me back on Twitter though...(@SarahMBradley)
Make the Most from Global Agencies
Last, but not least, was Shahid Awan Global Head of Search at CheapFlights Media who spoke about How to Get the Most out of Your Global Agency. As a Receptional, I was really interested in Shahid's insight into working with multiple agencies for his global campaigns a tactic that a few in the room had also adopted.
After more coffee, the attendees were split into two Interactive Breakout Sessions - one led by Dixon on Link & Social and the other led by Andy on pure SEO. Although a bit slow at first, with most questions directed towards Dixon relating to pure SEO and Majestic the debate sparked some interesting opinions and predictions for the future of Social and Link Building - something our Link Building team would have loved!
All in all, it was a cracking conference and a brilliant opportunity to be in a room bursting at the seams (almost literally) with expert knowledge and a shed-load of talent in Search, Link and Social. Networking drinks in the Hilton afterwards didn't hurt either.