Top takeaways from SearchLove London 2012

Posted by Paul Rogers on 30 October 2012

On the 29th and 30th of October 2012, I was lucky enough to attend the second ever SearchLove London conference, which is organised by Distilled.

The SearchLove conference covers a variety of topics related to SEO, including content marketing, link building, analytics & attribution, conversion rate optimisation and much more.

As always with the Distilled conferences, SearchLove had a great line-up of speakers, which can be seen below.

  • Wil Reynolds (Seer Interactive), Stephen Pavlovich (wish.co.uk & Conversion Factory) and Hannah Smith (Distilled) – Live site reviews
  • Justin Briggs (Big Fish Games)- The life of an in-house SEO
  • Guy Levine (Return on Digital) – The future of small business SEO
  • Mark Johnstone (Distilled) – Beyond linkbait : First steps to content strategy
  • All Speakers – Let’s get real (actionable tips from each speak)
  • Wil Reynolds (Seer Interactive) – Chasing algorithms: Think deviously, act angelic and never get hit by a penalty
  • Heather Healy (StickyEyes) – Do social signals actually play a part in search rankings
  • Mat Clayton (MixCloud) – Marketing hacks
  • Will Critchlow (Distilled) vs Rand Fishkin (SEOmoz) – Head to Head
  • David Mihm (GetListed) – The need to know of local SEO
  • Richard Baxter (SEOgadget) – How we build links at SEOgadget
  • Lauren Vaccarello (SalesForce) – Conversion tracking & online / offline attribution
  • Dave Peiris (SharkSEO) – The unexpected value of creating things
  • Lisa Myers (Verve Search) – International SEO – one size doesn’t fit all
  • Paul Madden (Automica) – Building an outsourced & automated infrastructure from scratch
  • Phil Nottingham (Distilled) – The building blocks of great video
  • Patrick McKenzie (Kalzmeus) – Eating CRO – Real world case studies for 20 ~100% increases in revenue

Here are my notes from the event (apologies for the slightly sporadic structure, I only made limited notes).

CRO / UX Takeaways:

  • Present a coherent argument to the user / new proposition
  • Best content doesn't come across on the homepage
  • Use on-site communication tools, such as Qualaroo and live chat
  • Look at ModCloth, they have really good product descriptions
  • Maximise product reviews on product pages
  • Utilise benefit bars
  • Don't have unnecessary steps in your checkout 

SEO Takeaways

  • When working in-house, it's really important to evangelise SEO
  • Getting input from your target audience can help a lot with infographic outreach
  • Providing exclusive content to editorial websites gets them more interested
  • Providing customised versions of infographics can get more buy-in from top sites
  • Creating sneak-peeks for product launches can generate links
  • Make sure you always have a landing page for things - can result in a missed opportunity if people talk about your product / campaign
  • Small companies think that an SEO agency is their web development agency
  • PPC should be on the radar for every SEO
  • The best type of content is the content that people want to read or they're currently reading
  • Small businesses should be targeting the longer tail terms, people who are aware but aren't ready to buy
  • Use Google suggest for content ideas
  • Use Mintel for content ideas
  • Use Google Analytics 'what' and 'how' keywords for article ideas
  • Look at what people are talking about at MoneySavingExpert to get ideas for content
  • Look at live chat transcripts to get ideas for content
  • Vocus is a PR tool that allows you to gain access to journalists within niches
  • ResponseSource allows you to see when journalists are looking for content
  • Infographics do not succeed if you know nothing about the topic, so work with someone who does
  • Show your infographic ideas to your friends and decide on if it's good by their response / reaction
  • Google registers lots of patents, but they may not implement them - and if they do, it might be in 10 years
  • Responsive infographics can often be more effective
  • Design Taxi - a resource that aggregates interesting content online
  • Use the #journorequest hashtag to see what journalists are looking for
  • Tweet archivist archives twitter searches
  • Think carefully about what your audience would find useful with linkbait
  • No good creative ideas have ever been designed by a committee
  • Searchga.me, hackerbuddy and grndctrl.com are great examples of creations that got links (by Dave)
  • There are 8.26 billion web pages online
  • ccTLDs are the best for international SEO
  • ccTLDs are best for physical locations - so if you have offices in different countries
  • You don't need to have hosting in the given country with a ccTLD
  • Use Google Webmaster Tools for geo targeting
  • Use seperate Google Webmaster Tools accounts for international subfolders
  • Use different sitemaps for each folder
  • Don't use ip redirection / detection
  • Only use the href-lang tag for indexation, it won't help you rank
  • Link development is the most important thing (apart from geo targeting) for international SEO
  • Use oDesk to automate SEO processes and tasks
  • Quix app is an auotmation resource created by Yoast
  • Video isn't content, it's form
  • Use JW player for indexable videos
  • Use the html5 video tag to get video content indexed
  • Video XML sitemaps are fundamental for rich snippets
  • Appliances Online visitors who watch videos are twice as likely to convert - they also spend 9% more money
  • Product videos are not sales videos
  • Use speechpad for transcripts
  • YouTube is the world's second biggest search engine
  • Advertising on YoiTube means you can add clickable links in video content
  • If you put video content on YouTube, put it everywhere

Local SEO Takeaways

  • 30% of all searches are local
  • 20% of desktop searches are local
  • 50% of mobile searches are local
  • Google wants to show everything they know about a business
  • 67% of results are blended since the Venice update
  • Google hasn't removed any of the previous ranking factors for local, they've just added to them
  • Geositemapgenerator.com - creates KML and geo site maps
  • Use schema.org to markup your local info
  • Crawlable store locator pages are important for sites with multiple stores
  • Links are still important for local search
  • Branded anchor text in local does seem to play a larger role
  • Locally-relevant sites and links from articles on local blogs are good for local SEO
  • Larger sites should be leveraging internal links (good local anchors etc)
  • A citation is a mention of your business name, address and phone number - or a combination of the three
  • The four sites that are the most important for local SEO are LDC, 118 info, companies house & market location
  • Niche citations are valuable (job listings are an opportunity for larger companies)
  • Look for duplicates for your business, then report a problem to Google (one consolidated listing will rank better)
  • In the US you can use Google mapmaker
  • Search for your full address to see what shows up
  • Google takes a long time to incorporate data into its local index
  • +local reviews are slightly more important than they were
  • External reviews are still really important for local SEO
  • Sentiment analysis: Google can look at how good the experience was for the reviewer
  • Reviews is a huge part of Google's local algorithm
  • Google are looking at most helpful reviews
  • Segment customers with Gmail addresses
  • Yahoo local is better for the everyday user to do a review - no login required
  • Incorporate feedback into your processes
  • Try and reach the Yelp elite users
  • Use advanced search operators to find users on social sites
  • Search for a business within an area on Gplus, results come from maps
  • Use google suggest for local keyword research
  • Look at regions of users who go to your contact page

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