Insights from SearchLove London 2013
If I was to pass one main message on from the two day SearchLove London 2013 conference it would be to make sure that any outreach you do fulfils a strong emotional need for your target audience.
The mind set of an seo company isn’t “how can we acquire a link?” but more along the lines of “how great can we make our content?”
We were shown multiple examples to prove that if you successfully tackle the latter, then the first will naturally happen and therefore you will increase your authority and presence within search – so search kind of becomes a second thought.
Quite a lot of the slides talked about skills and techniques about being creative with your content, not just in the writing, but the promotion of it too. People then went on to talk about how they look at generating traffic from a lot more sources than just Google or fellow search engines.
This was then emphasised with speakers using “referral Traffic” snippets from Google Analytics, rather than what keywords that are ranked for etc.
So, a very enlightening and refreshing two days to which I have loads of ideas to share with my clients.
What was discussed over the two days?
We were treated to 18 excellent talks, lasting about 40 minutes each. They covered a range of topics; from cultural considerations within web design as well as how to better promote your content.
Here is the list of titles;
- How to launch something new online at low/no budget
- What drives action online? Lessons from the Obama Campaign
- The new rules of big content promotion
- How to succeed at international SEO
- Google approved paid links; yes there is such a thing
- Lessons from an ontology nerd
- Learn to leverage the 99% of Traffic that aren’t customers
- 36 Tricks, tips and tools for baiting brand signals through content
- The future of search
- Telling Stories
- Culturability and psychology within design
- Graph theory; the most important theory in search
- What’s next with your mobile friendly website
- The lessons of communication by contagion
- How to win fans and influence others
- Goodbye spam, hello data
- 5 steps to persuasive web design
- Make your mark online; local business edition
Insight into some talks
I learned something from everyone and I came away with a ton of ideas that I can now work with client on to improve their on line brand.
Here is further insight into a few of the sessions across the two days;
Telling Stories – Danny Scheinmann
Danny explained that the best pieces of marketing, or content, are those that “tell stories”.
He went on to prove this with the number of views of the John Lewis 2012 Christmas promotional advert received, in comparison to the one Debenhams used. In all honesty I can’t actually remember the Debenhams one, which may have been because there was no story behind it? Probably.
So for me it’s quite simple; rather than just delivering “5 top tips” for things I’m going to look at working these into a story to engage with the emotion of the reader to help solve their pain.
Acquiring referral traffic through paid promotion of content – Will Reynolds
Will demonstrated how you could ethically pay for your content to be promoted in platforms like Taboola, so that interested writers could potentially pick it up.
If interested they would go back to their own websites and re-amplify your message which would usually send referral traffic back to your website, by the inclusion of a link.
It’s important to understand that you’re not paying for links (this is naughty!), instead you’re paying for the privilege to publish your piece of content within a credible and trusted platforms that influential writers look for inspiration and new stories.
The data that Will shared wasn’t focussed around the links, it was focussed around the TRAFFIC and clicks that piece of content brought, not once, but over a period of time.
Make better use of the traffic you have before going for more – Craig Bradford
I really enjoyed Craig’s talk. He talked about the importance of making the most of your current traffic, sometimes before going for more. After reading that you will agree that it’s quite obvious, but when was the last time you tried to improve your conversions?
He talked about Google Universal Analytics and how it can help track “people” rather than “sessions”. He then went on to explain why it was important to understand the true conversion rate of the traffic you have, understanding that if one person visits 5 times before making a purchase, the conversion rate is 100% (from the person) and not 20% (from the sessions).
This is a really important consideration because if you improve conversions from the traffic you have now, you should get better returns from the new traffic you draw in.
Make Your Mark Online, Local Business Edition – Will Critchlow
Will used a great example of the Hawksmoor steakhouse in London, who started their business in 2007 and their secret to success was that they just became really good at serving steak, funny that hey?
They used very simple marketing methods to draw attention to themselves; one of which was to introduce local businesses and influential bloggers to dine with them for free. The local businesses then came back for corporate parties and then bloggers starting writing online articles and features.
From this, they managed to catch the attention of extremely popular food and even news websites (including the BBC and Guardian) which then increased their authority and trust within search for the London area.
All the way through the talk, Will often made reference to the fact that Local businesses will always have a big advantage over big brands – and that is the ability to stay consistent with an extremely caring service delivery.