ThinkVisibility – September 2010

by Carla Marshall
Bronco - Digital Marketing Agency

Another week, another SEO conference – but this one was a little different as it’s closer to home and is starting to establish itself as one of the must-attend events in the digital marketer’s calendar. It was a very special event for Bronco too as we were one of the sponsors and most of the team went along for the day including Kean, who blogs about event here.  Because there were a few of us from Bronco, between us we were able to attend pretty much all of the presentations and I’ll try and blog about as many as I can here.

First of the speakers up was Mel Carson, Community Manager of Microsoft Advertising and star of BBC’s ‘Escape to the Country’ ;-). His presentation (Earning & Learning through Social Media) focused on using social networking and media to build relationships between B2B and B2C clients and how rewarding that can be in terms of traffic, links and information. Microsoft incorporate this into their general strategy by capturing the data generated by social media and making sure that it is incorporated into their internal and external communications.

Rob Kerry from Ayima talked the audience through SEO for International markets/International SEO with some fantastic tips regarding how different countries respond to TLD’s (the French love .fr and trust those sites much more than .coms) and how SEOs need to be aware of duplicate content issues across English speaking sites on differing TLDs. He also give some great advice on utililizing Webmaster Tools to guide Google into showing the correct Domain in the country you are targeting and to spend time and resources on getting good quality content written rather than try and translate existing content via such resources as Babelfish….

Lisa Myers from Verve Search gave an excellent presentation on SEO and Social Media and the fact that, in some sectors, it is still so hard to integrate the both. Facebook and Twitter are still perceived as the be all and end all of  ‘Social Media’  instead of the tools they really are and so many opportunities are being missed because of the reluctance to participate in the online community as a brand. Big takeway: It’s not enough just to generate linkbait – it has to be good and you have to market it!

After a lovely buffet lunch, where many cold drinks were taken, the afternoon kicked off with a site clinic that included Dave N, Karl Blanks, Keiron O’Donoghue and Michelle from Caboodle Design. 3 sites were picked out for consideration from an SEO, design, revenue generating and CRO point of view with some really entertaining results. You can see Dave’s notes here.

Next up was Jaamit Durrani with his excellent presentation on ‘Linkbuilding in Real Life’.  Linkbuilding is very hard work, especially if done properly, but Jaamit talked though some campaigns and showed how links could be generated using real life examples. I know that many people really appreciated this as so many linkbuilding presentations are theoretical and so difficult to implement on campaigns if you haven’t really got the experience or a good team behind you.

Paul Madden aka SEOidiot gave a hugely entertaining talk on the internet from a spammer’s point of view which gave a real insight into the tricks that people used to/still do get up to in order to drive traffic and links to their sites in order to generate revenue. Very illuminating.

Dave N finished off the day with his presentation on ‘How to Gain Ranking Dominance in Any Market Sector’. Top tips:

  • Do not over optimise your anchor text, especially on the home page as this is tripping Google filters on a more regular basis these days.
  • Google rewards Brand – and Brand mentions. Mix up your inbound links so you are generating the right percentage of brand to anchor text.
  • Build authority to your site or blog – with authority you will rank much quicker for your key terms and for relevant news.
  • Google wants what your customers also want – good, relevant, useful content.
  • Google check bounce rates – keep an eye on them.
  • Engage in Social Media – build communities, loyalty and a strong reputation.

Photo courtesy of Jackie Hole

It was an excellent day and Dom and the team at ThinkVisibility have worked hard to build a conference that continues to attract some of the best speakers – and attendees – in the business. I hope everyone enjoyed the day as much as the team from Bronco did.

You can find Dave’s slides on ‘How to Gain Ranking Dominance in Any Market Sector’ here and read more about Social Media, Spamming & SERPs from my alter ago.

Bronco - Digital Marketing Agency
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