Day 3 and the last day of SMX New York saw a quieter crowd as the expo had packed up last night. We waved them all a teary goodbye. But there was still plenty of interesting sessions for those staying on at SMX. Here are a few highlights from the day.
Conversation: Is There Really “Advanced Link Building?
Matt McGee @mattmcgee was the moderator for the session which featured 5 great speakers. Adam Audette @audette, Rae Hoffman @sugarrae, Wil Reynolds @wilreynolds, Debra Mastaler @debramastaler and Roger Montti @martinibuster.
What is advanced link building?
It is a type of link building that lasts for the long term and adhere to Google’s policies.
- Some people associate advanced link building with something technical but it is not
- Link building is either easy or hard
- There is no advanced link building
Penguin – What are you doing differently now than before Penguin?
- Some of the speakers said they have moved away from anchor text linking a year before Penguin
- Some never been heavy on the anchor text
- Focus on natural links
- The process of distributing content different has changed, guest blogging has grown
- Before article directories were popular but it is not used anyome re don’t use that anymore
- It is important to look for partner sites, choose the good ones to work with
- It is more about where you are getting the links from
Increase brand links associated with a term instead of diversifying a key term. For example for those wanting to rank for “cheap widgets”, would vary the anchor text such as “the best cheap widgets” or “cheap widgets for your phone” but this is not carrying as much weight as in the past. Instead make sure the term “cheap widgets” is in your content and in close proximity to the link.
Any experience using press releases? Are they helping these days?
- Press releases as far as anchor text not carrying a lot of weight
- Do a press release if have something worthy want to get it out there
- Cannot depend on press releases but one of the ways of link building
- PRWeb and Businesswire – most press releases come out and hit in journalist site, they are ignored if not special
- Find people who have published news and go direct to them
- Publish something that is newsworthy
- Do not just think big either, many small businesses have local sites that they add news to
- It is ok to start small, build up
- Follower wonk – see who follows you and search for “writes for” and then contact them if they want to write a piece
- Also use Journalism Tweet and Muck Rack
How has social media affected link building?
- Use it more as opportunity for people who you contact
- They can find out more about you
- Great way to discover sources
- A lot of link building is about putting your content out there – using FB and Twitter to broadcast your content
What are your thoughts on Pinterest?
- Before it was popular to get on the home page of Digg.com
- The same thing is happening with Pinterest, don’t try and pin every product
- Pin regularly, space it out
Will they get rid of infographics?
- No not necessarily
- If someone is a genuine blogger and have anchor text then no they will not get penalized
- There is a legitimate way to link build links and infographics is one of them
- Google already have filters and always has to cut down and depreciate links
- Don’t do the same link building over and over
- Some people carry out too much guest blogging
- Infographic links would be devalued if that is all that you do
- Diversity is key
- There is universal search, you have to focus on all of the different channels
What is the future of link building?
- It is not linking, it is marketing
- If you want to succeed online, market your sites
- Have a presence with the different link building channels
- If there are videos outranking your static results, then make a video
- But it takes time and money so you need to make a decision on which channel to focus on
- Make a plan
- Invest your time and money on what is going to be your biggest return
Conversation: Where’s SEO Going in 2013?
Danny opened the session with the well known question “Is SEO Dead?” to the 5 speakers, Alex Bennert @alexbennert, Greg Boser, @gregboser, Duane Forrester, @DuaneForrester, Scott Gardener, @newmediascott and Rae Hoffman @sugarrae
Is SEO Dead?
- No it is not
- The search engines still struggle to parse content that is not text
- Danny has written many articles on this topic
- Search engines are challenged by thethings are built in the sites today.
- Ask all the people hit by penguin and panda if everything is dead
- SEO is about usability and user experience and if that is what you are focused on, you will be fine
- Focus on creating good content
- SEO is not dead, it is growing up, finding its home as a stand alone marketing concept
- More people are noting they are in marketing
- Concept of SEO is changing, it can be used for good.
People equate SEO is dead with SEO is spamming and that you cannot do.
How do you see the role of social in SEO?
- Social fills in the blanks behind SEO, it lets you know about the people personally
- It is important to use both social and SEO
- Are links still the most important signal? No, social is important but it is taking more of a tactical approach
- It is educational, solves that consumer need, amplify it through social
- A site has to earn the links instead of manufacturing the links
- Identify for smaller brands who are the smaller and influential brands and get in contact with them
- Social is a way to get other people to amplify about you
- Businesses doing well have integrated systems where social and seo are part of the same team – combine those strengths moving forward.
- Cannot forget about rich snippets and it helps to point out the content ffor the search engine.
- Understand marketing the physcology of making someone want your product, understand PR, also be a people manager – be a top notch negotitator
If you are in SEO, you should be a thought leader for your company, understand social and also know about technical SEO. Technical SEO is the more difficult areas where you really need to know what you are doing.
ROI of SEO
- Put a dollar sign to everything you are doing
- This is very important and it will shape where you invest and what to invest
- Think about how search supports your brand or traffic
- Search engines are not your friends
- They are a business – if they do not show your results in SERPs, and show someone else’s that is a business decision
How to Use Search Marketing as a Force for Positive Social Change
Rob Kerry @robkerry was the moderator for this session focusing on Ayima’s work helping to promote the not for profit organization RED.
Chrysi Philalithes, the Chief Digital Officer of Red @Chrysi spoke about RED and how they are partnering with many sought after brands with the aim to stop AIDs and stop the transmission of AIDs from mothers to their babies.
- RED create iconic red brands
- RED combine this with powerful red moments
- There are two main events every year – World AID’s day December 1st and 10 days in June.
- RED have turned 90 landmkars round the world red
Engage RED’s digital audience
- RED is the first not profit organization to reach 1 million Fans
- Founded in 2006 and raised over $195millin for the global fund
How does RED approach content?
- Participation not promotion
- Dialogue not monologue
- Inspiring not forcing
- Innovating not following
- Empowering not excluding
How to communicate with people
- RED is a very visual brand
- A picture tells a thousand words
- RED tells a story through photos and videos to promote different campaigns
- Videos help raise awareness such as the 40cents a day campaign to help promote life saving medicine
- Do the unexpected
Twitter turned their tweets red as part of a campaign which was raised RED’s brand awareness.
Check in – “Save Lives” campaign
- Partnership with Starbucks and Foursquare
- Every time someone checked in to a Starbucks in Canada and US, Starbucks gave 1$ to the global fund
- Users would get the “Red Rush to Zero” badge
- Goal – 250,000 in 10 days, reached it in 8 days
- Iver 350,000 check ins in 10 days
- Starbucks saw a 20% lift in check is on launch day
- Foursquare’s largest non profile campaign to date
- Tens of thousands of tweets and Facebook posts from people checking in and unlocking the limited edition foursquare badge
SEO for Red
David Burgess @davidburgess00 is an SEO consultant for Ayima who worked with RED on their SEO in the four areas:
- On site
- Off site
- General SEO
- Increase exposure of awareness via web with World Aids day Dec 1st and Red Rush June
The first area they looked at was the content for the partners and to make sure the content was well optimised. There was also an opportunity to increase the volume of SEO on page as it was all in Ajax.
The next was to ensure that the product content and descriptions are optimised. Ayima looked at the RED store and noticed opportunities to optimise it. They had to make sure there was unique content on each page.
Ayima helped Red with technical issues on their site, there was a lot of content on the page but it was not being read as it was in Ajax. Ayima also made sure URLs publishing on social channels are positively affecting their SEO.Through social media RED has a lot of traction.
Conclusion: SMX East was a fantastic event, there were great speakers. Look forward to SMX 2013!!