This session had three quick fire talks on what were the key methods of getting noticed through social media, mobile and local search and SEO. The three speakers were:
- Martin McDonald, Expedia Affiliate Network
- Niels Doerje, Tandler Doerje Partner
- David Naylo, Bronco
The session was aimed at SEO’s and webmasters and anyone who wanted to hear more about search marketing across the different areas of Performance Marketing.
Social Manipulation – Martin McDonald, Expedia Affiliate Network
Social media is harder to game than SEO. If you do try and game the system, through buying fake Likes and fake Followers, then you will end up with a ‘fake network typography’ that is very easy to discover. Chasing connection counts is a fallacy – even freely available plugins can display social connections fairly easily. For instance, you cannot falsify:
- Length of time for your followers.
- The amount of interaction between users.
So don’t bother! You can’t buy this stuff with the granularity that you need to make it effective.
Despergar.com are one of Expedia’s leading global affiliates – they also have 1.1m likes. How do they do this? They deploy tricks of the mind:
- Any call to action should trigger an emotional response.
- People instinctively Like and Share things other than your products.
- Move the conversation away from your products and services.
It’s not just Kittens though – here are some more pointers:
- Create problems, and offer a solution.
- Be different people are attracted to the strange.
- Aim low, address children first.
- Shoot for guilt, it really works.
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
- Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions
Local Search – Niels Doerje, Tandler Doerje Partner
Niels pointed out that in local search, Google Places was most likely going to outrank your site. Thus, it is vitally important to have your Google Places profile optimised. The key points were:
- 100% address matching of places site and website.
- 100% YP address matching with YP source.
- 100% telephone number matching of Places, website and YP.
- Your business should be listed in other directories.
- Get social signals from other platforms. Reviews outside of the Google network are strong signals.
Ranking Factors and Considerations in 2012, Dave Naylor, Bronco
This talk had some similarities to the earlier ‘You are the Weakest Link Goodbye‘, particularly through emphasising the need to grow brands in SEO. 2012/2013 will be a tougher time for affiliates in SEO. Panda, the Page Layout algorithm (Jan 19th, Oct 9th), DMCA penalties and exact match domain devaluing will hit many affiliates. Changing unnatural back link profiles in the wake of Penguin is crucial – if you receive a warning, remove the links. While you may ‘recover’ some rankings, these are likely to be lower than previously due to the links being removed.
What is still important?
On page factors:
- Good quality title tags, headings, unique content
- Good site structure coding and speed
- Good on page linkage
- Get better at keeping customers through newsletters ,offers and vouchers
- Get better at increasing conversion – split testing, tracking
- Get more referrals and recommendations
Off Page: Ranking algorithm is still heavily weighted to links, but everyone needs to be more careful. Always, always build quality over quantity. Top Tips – Link Building 2012 when purchasing new domains:
- Check Searchmetrics for drops
- Check content is unique and indexed
- Check PR flow through site
- Check number of outbound links
- Check relativity of in/outbound links
- Check if backlink profile is active
- Check Whois for age
- Check IP address for network
What to do Next?
- Ensure on page is exceptional
- Do a full link clean up
- Develop new link strategy for the future
- Become a Brand! Improve your presence.