Wednesday the 20th March saw the first of Search London’s half day events taking place in Google Campus in London, an area widely referred to as the Silicon Roundabout. The event was set to focus on Entrepreneurship and Content Marketing, and, having been to a number of Search London events before, I knew that it wasn’t due to disappoint. If you don’t know, Search London is a long running and much revered London SEO meetup, ran by passionately by State of Search’s very own Jo Turnbull, amongst others. The half-day promised a line up of great speakers, including:
- Lisa Myers (Verve Search and State of Search Co-Founder)
- Kevin Gibbons (Blueglass UK)
- James Carson (Carson Content)
- and Nicola Stott (TheMediaFlow)
And according to the organisers the day promised to share:
- How to take the leap and kickstart your content marketing and execute effective tactics
- How to leverage existing assets to get links, kudos and traffic
- Practical ways you can build your brand online and why it’s so important
- Addressing these issues with a limited budget in mind
- As well as the ability to network with numerous like-minded and passionate SEOs
Dixon Jones kicked off proceedings by talking about MajesticSEO and discussing the topic of flow metrics and how influence flows on the web. MajesticSEO’s view of Trust Flow through links looks something like this: After this he uncovered a number of the great new features that MajesticSEO has on offer, many of these were demonstrated as part of Tools Weeks and you can read more about them here.
How to Execute A Killer Content Strategy
- Your mind is a floating iceberg – the more you can access this creativity the better!
- Rest your mind – “you will only be at your best when you are fully alert and awake”
- Remember to mix it up otherwise your creativity will suffer
- Keep an eye out for new ideas – “carry a notepad (or smartphone!), write down your ideas as soon as you get great ideas”
- Bounce your ideas off others – develop a chain reaction (always remember there’s no such thing as a bad idea!)
- Use the data you have (the Google Keyword Tool, Google Analytics and Google Trends are the oldest tools in the book, they are still seriously useful!)
- “Don’t limit yourself to one topic, it’s all about the angle” (Lisa stated that at Verve Search have found a huge amount of opportunity with content surrounding ‘green’, ‘technology’, ‘travel’ topics)
- Implement Rel=Author!
- Use those you have creating content both on-site and off-site – “Do you have a company blog? Publish on your site, as well as elsewhere…”
- “If you don’t like writing, then don’t!”. Think about images, infographics, videos, even drawings! These are all content types too!
- “Think like a journalist not a PR”
- Use social in your content strategy “this is why SEO and social was always meant to be together”
- Leverage the real world use content marketing and social for actual business
- Do your research! “For content outreach, make sure you write the way that your target does”
- Impact social influencers – Lisa mentioned the Green Deal Initiative, and contacting the local MP behind it, who subsequently Tweeted the blog post that they created!
- “If you work with a client and create content for them, get under their skin and work together!” Verve Search work so closely with one of their clients Miinto – an online boutique fashion site, that they openly create content for each other.
- When writing ask yourself 2 questions:
1. Why you?
- Do you love what you’re writing about?
2. Why Now?
- Current affairs
- Pop culture
- Google – Duuurrrr, it’s very obvious but use it
- Linkdex – Works best to manage the content outreach process
- BuzzStream – Great for prospecting and finding influencers
- Rafflecopter – Easily create giveaways & sweepstakes
The Importance of Building a Brand Online
By Kevin Gibbons of Blueglass UK Kevin started saying that he won’t be covering anything really to do with SEO or content marketing. Instead, he is going to be covering what he’s learned in 10 years of his career. Sit back and prepare to be inspired…
- Amusingly, according to Kevin ‘entrepreneur’ is more a role that unemployed people use…
- Reputation is all important “consider writing about what you’re learning, other people will be in the same position & want to read it…”
- Learning from others is SO important in this industry, approach those who influence you and try to learn from them (even work with them!)
- Kevin struggles focusing his attention (don’t we all!) he recommend watching this video from David Allen – Getting Things Done:
- Read a lot and continue to learn “but not about SEO, we get enough of that”
- Get time to relax “the time to relax is when you don’t have time for it” – Don’t burn yourself out!
- “Finishing one task is better than starting ten”
- Figure out what you do best, and focus on it. And do the same for your team! If you have a gap, then hire people to fill that gap!
- “A good work environment and culture will produce the best results”
- “Recognise what projects and circumstances your team performs best under and enjoys” – play to their strengths!
- “If you know what you want to achieve, you also know what to say no to”
- Lead by example – It’s much easier to get the message across if you’re doing it yourself
- Public speaking does get easier with time! It’s a great way of raising the profile of your company.
- Build industry relationships – Go out, meet people, exchange ideas!
How to Discover and Leverage Business Assets to Create Linkworthy Content
- For years Google have been telling us that naturally acquiring links (that means not paying for them!) will help benefit your ranking in search
- ‘Build it and they will come’ – that’s just not true…
- Creating great content is also not enough…
- Make engaging content doesn’t necessarily mean that people will engage with it…
- Making a video, does not mean that it will go viral…
- And no, not every piece of data needs to be an infographic!
Earning links is a 3 phase process
- For pretty much anything that you can think of, there’s probably trade press for it! (seriously, even the most boring things like concrete)
- 82% av. visibility drop from top 100 losers when Panda launched in the UK
- 3.1% of all queries were impacted by the Penguin update
- Took iAquire 2 months to get back into the index, after they were accused of buying links
- 73 – the position that Google Chrome found themselves in for the term ‘browser’ after they discredited themselves for a sponsored post campaign
- Why people link – Diversity > Audience > Endearing > Reinforces the brand story
What makes us newsworthy?
- Quantifiable – the ‘biggest of this’ or the ‘most expensive of that’
- Cult of celebrity – Celebrity endorsement of your product, this can be done without budget if you have a cause (think Jamie Oliver – for anything to do with healthy eating…)
- Emotive – This really resonates but it is not easy to do, it’s something that makes us feel good, or it can cause outrage (just think about RyanAir and their press activity – it’s all negative, but they get links for it! 😉
- Contagious by Jonah Berger – recommended read!
- Identify your USP – “is it your customer service the best available?”
Google Consumer Surveys
- Recommended Google consumer surveys that using the AdSense network to survey the web
- Set demographics
- Set screening questions (e.g. are you a business owner?)
- Survey questions
- Publishers get paid for users answering questions (everyone wins!)
Holistic Marketing Strategies: The Heart of Good Stories, lie in Data “It is such a cliche: Don’t just present data, tell a story. Yet it is rarely followed. We almost always present data.” Avinash Kaushik Mechanisms for telling a story:
- Data visualisations
“Rather than ‘big’ large volumes of data it’s actually about the third dimension – like velocity of data.” Ed Parsons (Google Head of Geo-Spatial Technology) TheMediaFlow Process for Earning Links Top tip: To ensure that you get the link,’ hold something back’ – then you can provide this as additional value
Story Telling, What it Means for Your Marketing & How to Sell It
- Amusingly, James managed to convince the audience that the Matrix, The Lion King, Gladiator, Star Wars and Avatar are all the same story. Don’t believe me, see the image below…
- These are examples of stories that are used an awful amount, known as ‘the Monomyth’
- All put forward the idea that ‘advertising is dead’ (or SEO, as James will happily talk about…)
- However, “Content marketing is not new, it’s just ‘remix marketing'”
- James recommended using Geckoboard or Leftronic for data analysis and proving content marketing is worth – but you must communicate this in a way that every stakeholder understands!
- This monomyth, or storytelling, can be applied to a marketers position…
- When selling content strategy – don’t focus on tactics, focus on the bigger picture… sell a vision!
SEO at the Heart of Google
As part of this event Jo Turnbull, who is speaking at SES New York with a talk called Screw Link Building, it’s Called Relationship Building took this opportunity to do carry out a little experiment. The experiment was called SEO at the heart of Google, represented by this SEO meetup happening at a Google owned building, according to Jo “…it shows Google does like SEO and they are supporting Search London. In the end the experiment had over 100 tweets (some of the most notable ones included below) and I had 650 visits to my website in one day.” So, as Jo will be putting it at SES New York, it’s certainly not about link building, it’s about relationship building, content marketing can be done on a budget!
Google sponsoring, supporting, and hosting an SEO event in London: seojoblogs.com/2013/03/20/seo… I love this. Bravo Google.
— Rand Fishkin (@randfish) March 20, 2013
— Paddy Moogan (@paddymoogan) March 20, 2013
— Russell McAthy (@therustybear) March 20, 2013
Google endorses content marketing for SEO event & hosts it at their venue seojoblogs.com/2013/03/20/seo…
— Judith Lewis (@JudithLewis) March 20, 2013
Also, in typical Search London fashion, the event was rounded up by a ‘meet the speakers’ evening meetup, with MajesticSEO kindly sponsoring the bar. As usual, it was a great event and I would highly recommend keeping an eye out for the next Search London event. Also, make sure that you check out the brand new Search London website [currently in beta]. Image credit: Monomyth