198 Tips, Tricks And Best Bits From BrightonSEO

198 Tips, Tricks And Best Bits From BrightonSEO

We’ve been at BrightonSEO – where the hell were you?

Yes, the Receptional team has been breathing in the sea air and basking fleetingly in the meagre seaside sun at this year’s BrightonSEO.

If you couldn’t make it, don’t worry. We’ve compiled a set of top tips from all of the speakers. Topics covered included, real-time marketing, trustworthiness of networks, local and mobile and much, much more…

Real Time Marketing for Any Brand by Oliver Snoddy (Head of Planning at UK Twitter)

1. Open platforms can be used to organise people in different ways. Tweets mean moments can be relevant, can be multipliers and can even be planned.
2. Stanley Milgram’s work on the ‘Wisdom of Crowds’ is as important and relevant to social media as it is to search – his theory taught us that attention is steered by the visible crowd.
3. There are now 15Million UK Twitter users – that’s a good enough reason to start using social media for your business.
4. Brands can scenario plan by mixing and tracking everyday, live and connected moments.
5. The power of connected experience drives behaviour change and can influence your market.

International Link Curation by Kevin Gibbons (Head of Client Delivery at BlueGlass UK)
6. Centralised strategy and international knowledge = success.
7. Algorithms change 6 months ahead of foreign languages.
8. Timing is crucial – have a wider overall strategy overlaying local knowledge.
9. HREFLANG can work well, especially in lower populated countries.
10. Understand the different market approaches and limitations – a one size fits all approach doesn’t work. Local search knowledge including search habits and native search engine habits is essential.

How do you Trust People and Pages You’ve Never Seen Online? by Dixon Jones (Marketing Director at Majestic SEO)
11. Measure Twitter followers against Klout scores to help your judgement of a person’s influence.
12. How can you scale trust across multiple digital assets? Look at the cross over between the user, the context and their influence.
13. Use Toolbar options like Alexa, SEMRush and Klout when looking at trustworthiness across networks – however these only cover one element of trust.
14. A link has more qualitative trust signals; look at a link’s relevance timeliness and influence.
15. Flow metrics – the information flowing into links – can help to scale the concept of trust, covering all of the important trust signals.
16. Links identify the context for working out how influential stuff actually is
17. You need independent data, such as third party data if you’re looking for where’s best to spend your advertising money.

Google+ for Brands by Adriano Accardo (Agency Industry Manager at Google UK)
18. Google+ is built around its users, taking visual content as it’s main development focus.
19. Utilise Circles to target your sharing more effectively; reducing timeline spam and being more relevant to your market.
20. Hangouts can be used to live stream your events, increasing the viewing and adding to the online user experience.
21. Gmail and Google+ profile integration encourages follower growth.
22. The SEO benefit of Google+ profiles mean that the user experience is greater; search results within Google are enhanced.

International Social & Link Building by Alessandro Brunelli (Content Strategist at Caliber Interactive)
23. The more relevant you are to people the more your content will appear on your fans’ Facebook feeds (EdgeRank).
24. It helps to know what’s going on at least 1 month in advance.
25. In the future Facebook will work more like a search engine.

Making Sense of Lots of Data by Peter A. Passaro (Founder, MD and Chief Data Scientist at NousPlan)
26. Massive data sets can support predictive analysis and even help us to understand Google.
27. Massive datasets can help you to see a level playing field across your data and even prove ROI (return on investment).
28. NLP – Natural Language Processing – this helps you make sense of consumer sentiment, keywords and named entities. Use them to make sense of what your market is saying.
29. Use Data Collections – Cluster your data in demographics to find out which ones your want to target – including verticals.
30. Use Data Collections: Look at the information flow between networks. You may find that marketing at one group may also appeal to another.
31. Social topics are now becoming keywords. This is the overlap between social and content.
32. Keeping an eye on real-time social topics will help your business to be current as well as preparing for search engine updates.

The Ins & Outs of Testing Social by Jennifer Sable Lopez (Moz)
33. When tracking and testing social media results, generalisations don’t work; use your own data from your own tests.
34. Check when your users are online by testing your engagement levels frequently.
35. Use Twitter Analytics; this can be found via Twitter Ads. It’s a great place to start working out what works for you.
36. Use SimplyMeasured for Google+ update data which gives you more of a comprehensive insight into the times people engage with your posts on Google+.
37. The general reach of any social posts gives you insightful data that shows that people are still seeing your post even though they aren’t ‘physically’ engaging.

The Other Search Engines by Jan-Willem Bobbink (International SEO Manager at Internet Advantage)
38. Google has 48 billion indexed pages, Baidu only 800 million.
39. To appear in Baidu: 1. Optimise for speed. 2. Prioritise content. 3. Optimise on-page elements .
40. Google struggles in Asia as Baidu is the market leader – even though Baidu still has a spam problem. They’ve recently targeted article submission sites and directories but they are still almost 3 years behind Google’s spam technology.
41. In Russia, Yandex’s webmaster section greatly helps with search engine optimisation. They even intriduced “matrixnet”, a ranking system which changes for every product and keyword.
42. Use wordstat.yandex.com for lots of keyword research data

The ins and outs of testing social by Jennifer Sable Lopez
43. For the best social media results, use your own data to find what works for YOU!
44. The general reach of any social posts gives you a better idea of the touchpoints of your posts even if not everyone engages with them.
45. If people engage with Photos more, post more photos.
46. Use Facebook Insights as a starting point for engagement tracking.
47. Test every change you make to your online content.
48. Use SimplyMeasured for Google+ update data which gives you more insight into days/times etc.
49. Check when your users are online by testing to see how often you get engagement
50. Use Twitter Analytics via Twitter Ads, It’s a great place to start figuring out what will work for you.

Video Hacks by Phil Nottingham (Head of Trolling and Memes at Distilled)
51. Three main goals for video: conversions and traffic, build links and social shares back to your site.
52. Know your customer conversions funnel for successful video optimization – this can help to pin-point corresponding pages in the sales funnel.
53. £1k video shopping kit is good enough to create a video – no more video equipment snobbery.
54. Use greaseproof paper over a tungsten light for a soft glow – super cheap!
55. Add grading and vignette to make raw video footage look better.
56. Good sound is more important than a good picture.
57. Use breezi for quick mobile screen mock-ups to add to your videos. They look more professional than anything you can try to do yourself.
58. Outsourcing: You can’t outsource your individual value and expertise. You need to be working in cohesion.
59. Build up a library of footage that you can re-cut and re-purpose footage.
60. Get video ranking with rich snippets – create a video sitemap.
61. Use SERP Turkey to see if your webpage will benefit from video rich snippets.
62. Create video transcriptions and insert them into the HTML as it’s valuable for users and this will also help with unique text creation
63. Build a large YouTube audience – use the YouTube keyword tool
64. Mark videos with low engagement as unlisted, as they can devalue your popular videos
65. Successful videos with YouTube Advertising – ensure you force engagement within the first 5 seconds
66. Don’t expect paid ads on YouTube to drive traffic – average CTRs of larger sites is quite low – It should only be used for brand awareness
67. How to make links on video sites link back to you – make sure it’s listed on your domain – WISTIA will make sure whenever somebody embeds your video it will link back to your site
68. Interview your clients – make them look good and they’re likely to embed it
69. Where shall I host my video? Get conversions – self host. Brand awareness – YouTube. Links and Social? Self Host and YouTube
70. Let business goals drive the technical and creative

Mobile Strategy for Small Businesses by Bridget Randolph (SEO Analyst at Distilled)
71. 25% UK consumers have used mobile to purchase something.
72. People are getting it wrong. They are setting barriers before visitors even get to the site.
73. You need a mobile friendly web presence.
74. Reach out to customers where they are.
75. Use responsive design, dynamic serving or seperate mobile subdomain.
76. A mobile website is not a strategy, it’s a starting point. Build up from there

The Rules of ‘The Game’: 6 Tips for Successful Outreach by Danny Ashton (Founder at NeoMam Studios)
77. One: Vulnerability – asking for feedback from experts is one way of beginning your outreach
78. Two: Honest Communication – In the long term this is the best way to build meaningful relationships. If you outreach your content as your own persona, being yourself, will start a path for a meaningful relationship with a publisher for the future.
79. Three: Affinity – It’s crucial for content outreach. You need to scope your affinities.
80. Four: Overcoming fear – Question your internal dialogue to find new opportunities. Trying something different with your outreach – like targeting a big name publisher – may change your perspective.
81. Five: Rejection – There are variables, don’t internalize it. For blogger outreach, often this is just part of the process.
82. Six: Confidence – be an expert and practice what you preach.

Design for Mobile… Responsive or Adaptive by Justin Taylor (MD and Founder at Graphitas)
83. Adaptive design will make a difference to design and content
84. Mobile search locally takes up around 40% of overall search
85. Mobile internet usage doubled between 2011 and 2013
86. Make the mobile purchase process as easy as possible to be successful
87. Mobile is the modern day gold rush, you need to be addressing mobile yesterday.
88. Design from consumers perspective – cut the clutter, consider circumstances, think about the required outcome.
89. Target your most popular devices – go to GA. Go to Audience, Mobile, Devices and choose top 10. Use Opera Mobile Emulator.
90. Use “click to call” and relevant information tabs to keep the attention of your user or they will leave your site and find another one.
91. Users are less tolerant on mobile, make sure your content is relevant to what they want.
92. Enhance UX with mobile specific HTML – e.g. disable autocorrect on name entries, give relevant key pad for relevant entry box.
93. Focus on the intent of users.

Actionable Content Marketing and Strategy by Tony Samios (COO at Caliber Interactive)
94. Step 1 – identify objectives: Understand your own content capabilities and competitors. Outline your benchmark – goals and KPIs and create timeframes.
95. Step 2 – understanding your audience: specify their content preferences. Identify personality profiles – are they cats or dogs? Look at their job title, age, qualifications, Check their habits, likes, dislikes and skills. Essentially, define prospects’ buying stages – their questions, actions and influences. Then create content to fit into this matrix. This will include a targeted key message.
96. Step 3 – identify gaps: discover key insights – look beyond their job description and give them content they need. Generate content by building ideas. Determine what each buying persona needs and this will help you to craft unique messages.
97. Outlining standards – make sure it targets keywords, writing style, alt tags, keywords and ensure consistency.
98. Monitor and measure trends over time and refine efforts.
99. Step 4 – Build an army of contributors – identify a workflow for them and measure it against the buying process.
100. Ensure you repurpose content wherever possible.
101. Step 5 – organise distribution: It’s ideal to promote content across channels and facilitate content sharing.
102. Build landing pages, map content and check potential “pain points” which could cause a negative user experience.
103. Create an editorial calendar
104. Step 6 – create a life cycle – budget, engagement and use social media monitoring tools. Measure your programme – engage in meaningful conversation and create compelling brand stories.

Managing Local Listings by David Whatley (MD at MiShop Local)
105. Local search can leverage physical address to help your brand.
106. You don’t need an address to appear in local search
107. Your address is based on the distance of the people who are looking in that area, rather than your physical location.
108. Use local listings to project your brand
109. Imagine a local directory as a pack of cards, you have a similar catchment area, you have different offerings, different categories.
110. Use the NAP anchor: Name, Address, Phone Number. These unique attributes tell Google you’re there.
111. Use good housekeeping by keeping local listings up to date.

Link Building that “seemed like a good idea at the time” by Paul Madden (Partner at MLB, Founder at LinkRisk)
112. Trash links you put in years ago will STILL BE THERE.
113. When you’re doing a clean-up – check forums, directories etc.
114. Unnatural links according to Google, but are actually legit. – legit forum chat, and a link in Yelp.com. Google isn’t necessarily doing a great job.
115. What are Google using to identify unnatural links – disavowed site content or quality ratings. Quality ratings may be the reason for discrepancies.
116. Penalty removal means EVERY bad link in most cases.
117. Clean-up does work – if done properly – remove, disavow, get rid of.
118. Don’t build links whilst your under a penalty – it’s like trying to eat a KitKat whilst brushing your teeth.

Effective AdWords Tactics for Local Businesses by Tara West (SEO & PPC Specialist at Koozai)
119. Use dimensions tabs data
120. You don’t have to be on mobile but its a good place to start!
121. Set mobile bid adjustments at ad group level.
122. Use weather bid adjustments if the weather effects your business.”
123. Use a free weather API!
124. Use AdWords conversion import.
125. Bespoke location landing pages add a fantastic personal element to your local search
126. Set a monthly cap on your ad spends to keep your budgets under control.

The Keyword is Dead; Long Live the Keyword by Stefan Hull (Insight Director at Propellernet)
127. Keywords generate real insight in a client’s business
128. Keyword research is reductive – it doesn’t reflect the integration of digital marketing
129. Embrace a range insights to glean a more natural form of communication
130. We need to be detectives – learning more terms helps you to learn more about your audience. Take a step back from a single keyword to gain a broader insight and analysis.
131. The stuff that falls through your content marketing “sieve” may help you with your themes for content – your audience may find it more appealing
132. Spreadsheets are boring – you’re reducing participation in your data.
133. Keyword research is not for the purpose of finding converting words – it’s there for finding genuinely interesting pieces of outreach.
134. Let’s not overuse (or misuse) keyword research – recognise that it is another form of insight.

Make your PR idea a National SEO Success by Keith White (Head of Marketing at The Eventa Group)
135. If you have an idea, who else can I get on board to get my idea out there?
136. Give your audience an incentive to sign up
137. Give journos a story of substance
138. Shocking/sexy gets talked about the most
139. Create relevant page on your website to gain the links
140. Look for other angles
141. You have to find the opportunities yourself
142. Commit the initial time/hard work for bigger payoff
143. Piggyback on national events

Increasing Prices without Losing Sales by Justin Deaville (Managing Director at Receptional)
144. Ask: your customers, people who don’t buy and your sales team.
145. Claude Hopkins taught us that the line between profitability and loss is very low in direct mail, you need to refine it to make it work – this is the same online.
146. The cost of acquiring customers is increasing. SEO competition is becoming less open. Most sites aren’t converting, both online and offline.
147. Monitor your conversion funnel – what do people do, what’s stopping them buying?
148. Ask yourself, who is the audience you want to be talking to? Remember, they are undecided, so by default they are a ‘no’; focus on the undecided and increase conversions.
149. Try and buy your own products. See what’s going wrong.

Next Gen Measurement in Google Analytics by Dara Fitzgerald (Head of Analytics and Insight at FreshEgg)
150. What are we doing wrong? Not every visit is equal. Users don’t just visit once and convert. Customers don’t only convert once. Why are we so obsessed with the last click?
151. We’re a multi-device world – Analytics is cookie based so, if one person visits three times it’s tracked as three different visitors.
152. How can we do it better? User segmentation, universal analytics, attribution and remarketing
153. User segmentation: create segments based upon the visitor and what the visitor does across multiple sessions.
154. Universal Analytics: sync offline and online data – see how they both contribute to conversions. We can also define customer metrics and dimensions. We can also track reliably across multiple devices. Also, use the measurement protocol – this can track any processes from any internet device.
155. Attribution Model Tools – Other touch points are given a share of the conversion or you can implement position based attribution.
156. Remarketing via Google Analytics – create campaigns based upon visitor data so you can get people who leave the site to come back.

Data and Content Production by Alan Cairns (Content Manager at Jellyfish)
157. Journalists make better SEOs
158. For data to be useful we need to understand our objectives
159. To get in the media you need to generate important/interesting content (instead of taking the journalists out for lunch!)

More Offline Leads from Online Traffic by Ali White (Head of Sales and Marketing at CallTracks)
160. Use mobile friendly 0300 numbers for responsive mobile sites for increased usability.
161. Get more from the traffic you’re currently getting by responding to customers in ‘real life’
162. Integrate call tracking with GA to track goal completion.
163. Don’t optimize for conversion, optimize for revenue.
164. Get more leads by starting with the basics: answer the phone. Phone calls and emails are different beasts, don’t treat them the same. Don’t assume people will leave a voicemail.
165. Ask yourself if you’re happy with the way your inbound enquiries are being dealt with, use tracking software to listen to your inbound calls and assess how well your team is doing.
166. If you’re using remarketing banners, don’t forget your phone number as research shows it improves CTR by 6-8%

83% of Online Customers Need Support to Complete a Purchase. Think About What Help Sources People Would Like to See by Lisa Myers (CEO at Verve Search)
167. The evolution of keyphrases shows that people are searching more and more using the longtail.
168. There isn’t a set “search” and “conversion” path – so why do we optimize like this
169. Understanding behaviour, targeting longtail, expanding the content, improving UX are what you should optimize for with on-page SEO
170. Care about the user experience – high quality design is imperative.
171. Navigation should be idiot-proof
172. Create content filters to capture longtail variations – eg. where are hotels near?
173. Stop spending all of your time on link development and spend more time on on-page optimization

Low Cost Link Building with Juicy, Juicy Data by Stacey Cavanagh (Head of Search at Tecmark)
174. Provide data, you’re the source, earn a cite (link)
175. Data doesn’t have to cost much

The Magic of APIs by Matt Beswick (Director at Hidden Pixel)
176. You need some manual outsourcing to check the site’s quality to see if they are the kinds of sites you want to link too.
177. Use link data tools such as MajesticSEO and assess backlinks to find link outreach.
178. Additionally, use Twitter profiling to work out what links they are tweeting and use that data for your link building.
179. Tracking link trends and backlink data means you can access the meaningful content people care about.
180. Use “Textwise” – it can find multiple link resources based upon seed sites and semantic profiling.

Download the API Data to Make Things Easier; Spreadsheets Take Time! by Tim Grice (Head of SEO at Branded3)
181. To rank organically, you have to have something to leverage e.g. be creative, content and a social media strategy.
182. You’ll only get editorial links if you actually have something good to talk about.
183. Your new link strategy – create something to talk about, promote it to a relevant audience. Be a part of the conversion
184. How to get influencers – pay a popular writer
185. Paid media = Earned links – pay to get your content in front of people i.e. on Reddit or StumpleUpon
186. Work with the right people – ask for an influencer’s creative input before you create the product.

Facebook Ad Optimisation by Stephen Croome (Founder at First Conversion)
187. The key with Facebook ads is create one ad for many.
188. Learn how to make Facebook ads at Facebook-studio.com.
189. Attract with an image. Experiment with images. arrows and colours can be eye catching.
190. Attracting clicks is easy; Imagery and targeting can get you clicks. Converting and generating leads is much harder. Make sure you Track the journey all the way to the end
191. Keep testing the best performers and experiment with them.
192. Competence with the mechanics of facebook ads accounts is relatively easy. Testing and experimenting is where the real learning begins!

How we Plan Editorial at BBC Sport by Paul Plunkett (Assistant editor at BBC Sport interactive)
193. BBC Sport gets 15.8m weekly unique users (15% from search engines)
194. 52% of the BBC Sport audience come via mobile/tablet
195. Headlines are still the king (55 characters) – getting as many keywords in as possible
196. Headlines change over days based on searches
197. The individual is often bigger than the event (example: Rafael Nadal searched more often than Wimbledon)
198. Plan well in advance.

(N.B. These tips have been collected on the day, so please notify us of any errors).

Seen something you like the sound of? Get in touch with us below and we’ll take your digital strategy to regions beyond Brighton!


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Zoe-Lee Skelton

Senior SEO Consultant

Zoe-Lee is responsible for creating Receptional’s content strategies. Her work has encompassed everything from performing keyword research to re-writing a company’s entire website. She has created successful content marketing plans for clients from a variety of industries, Zoe-Lee is analytics qualified. In her spare time Zoe-Lee enjoys writing her blog, photography and getting outdoors.

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