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SES San Francisco 2010: Developing great content

18 August 2010 BY

Now here we are – last session of the day titled developing great content and packed with four speakers (Wendi Sturges, Heather Lloyd-Martin, Rand Fishkin and Michael DeHaven). Let’s see what those four brought for us.

Things get started and Wendi of Yahoo! states that they still think content is king (yeez… that thing just doens’t want to go away!) and as they do have a lot of different content resources like Editorial, blogs, video, 3rd party content, Y! Original, etc. the care about those – but the bad thing is that today’s publishing process is way too complex – it requires many relationships and costs a lot of money. And also the definition of content is changing: Media, social and rich display needs to be considered.

Therefore one of the main goals must be to simplify the process – but still providing a massive amount of features like for Yahoo! this could be trending now, flickr feed, Wikipedia content, related searches, social streams, etc. To actually do this Yahoo! just announced a BETA to start a powerful content network and enabling this content syndication – so watch out for this one. We hopefully will have some more coverage on this theme later on.

Next one on stage is Michael – kicking it of by saying that “UGC is content that rocks“: It lifts conversion and also increases average conversion rates.

His top-3 SEO rules for using UGC are:

  • Append the most UGC to append it to existing pages for freshness
  • Create new pages that expose all UGC
  • Ask users to contribute

The third one on stage is Rand of SEOmoz, here are some of the points he made:

  • Define strong vs. weak metrics – and the results define what content you need, mainly important for “head of the demand curve”-keys.
  • Establish the optimization techniques needed: For example more root domains, anchor text variation, etc.
  • Match value to difficulty: What is worth which effort?
  • Widgets and badges are really nice for high diversity of root domains
  • Embedded info graphics massively attract links
  • Content and technology licensing is a good way to boost rankings for all parties
  • Link attraction targets with regular updates but using the same URL – like SEOmoz search engine ranking factors

Heather moves on mainly talking about the issues and things to consider with copywriting and content development – here are her key take-aways:

  • Make sure you answer what’s in it for the prospect! Like this is who we are, this is how we can help, etc.
  • Specific benefit statements – at-a-glance: Make it personal and explain why you are the company to choose
  • Leverage the SEO power: Generally make sure that keyphrases are in headlines and links – also write product descriptions manually (around 250 words), have product videos, etc.

And when it comes down to implementation, start out by focussing on 20% of the pages now and also the new pages. It’s OK to baby-step a content development campaign.

And that’s it for the day – hope you enjoyed the coverage on State of Search, we’ll be back tomorrow with day to at SES San Francisco 2010.

AUTHORED BY:
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Bastian Grimm is founder and CEO of Grimm Digital. He mainly works as online marketing consultant with a strong focus on organic search engine optimization (SEO). Grimm specializes in SEO strategy consulting, website assessments as well as large scale link building campaigns.