Tag Archives: Conferences

Inbound Marketing presentation delivered at eTail Europe conf

Today I delivered this presentation at eTail Europe conference here in London, UK.

The title is “The future of SEO. Moving to a holistic inbound marketing strategy” with an earned media case-study thrown in for good measure.

I genuinely believe that in the future,  earning peoples attention will be the norm, rather than just pushing your way in front of them. By being, innovative, creative and “remarkable” then you will get more attention and loyalty than you could afford to buy.

In this presentation I try to lay out some history and context to the evolution of SEO and the changing search-scape. I introduce the new world of “inbound marketing” aka “earned media” or “content based marketing”.

Delivering this kind of campaign needs a lot of different skills. So, formulating a plan, organising “all of your brains” may need to organisational shift.  This stuff can be so much fun and hit multiple teams traditional objectives. SEO for links and social citations. For Social Media for Likes, RTs, shares, follows, subscribes. For branding, for PR,  to build loyalty and affinity with your brand. And many others.

The case study refers to My Destination’s Biggest Baddest Bucket list. This is a campaign that SeSoMe delivered as an internal agency. Working with so many throughout the wider business and the franchise network. The 2nd half of the campaign starts in July when the winners travel for a full 6 months living like a local and ticking off their bucket list.

If you want to talk about this presentation or SeSoMe, just let me know.

Thanks to Joao for taking this picture from the audience.

 

Photo credit Joao da Costa

Photo credit Joao da Costa

 

The Power of Online Marketing presentation 5th March 2013

On the 5th March 2013 I was invited over to Ennis in County Clare hosted by My Destination Country Clare and in association with the Ennis Chamber. I was invited over to talk about the power of online marketing and to tailor the presentation to talk to about practical things local businesses can do with SEO and Social media. I also threw in some stats about how powerful Virtual Tours, Videos and other quality content for your users and your rankings alike.

Take a look and let me know what you think.

When we arrived and arranged the conference room there were lots of big foamex mounted pics, mostly for the toddler group, but some strange circus marketing posters. I took the picture below to be an [admittedly arrogant] sign of things to come. How was it going to fail after seeing this?

Say no more....

Say no more….

Day 2 of SMX advanced London 2010

SMX Advanced London 2010

After my rant after day 1, day 2 followed as you would expect and on the whole I thought was much better.

I do really think that the word Advanced should not be used and the level of effort in organizing the event was a bit ‘credit crunch’ worthy. Next year will have to decide whether to attend, at least in the UK.

Day 2 was a day of social media and analytics.

The first session was titled “Proving Social Media’s Value”. The panel were from econsultancy, Freshnetworks, MSN adcenter & Bazaarvoice.

Linus from econsultancy cited some statistics, that 64% of companies can’t prove the ROI of social media, and that 65% in their survey were going to be doing more in 2010, than 2009! That is definitely my experience too. The resounding corporate favourite is Twitter, raising from 2008 of 3%, 2009 was 49% and now in 2010’s respondents want 81%. IMHO, mainly as it is easy and straightforward? There were comments on how corporates are trying to measure including just going for sales and clicks as these are standard web metrics that most can understand. But few people cite branding etc, but don’t measure brand recall like they would if they invested in a TV campaign!

The suggestion was not to measure the quantity of followers or FB friends. But you should measure the number of re-tweets, referrals and how influential these people are. You should treat the measurement more like display or offline media in terms of recall and attitude change. But the issue here is that people think SMM is like SEO is free ! Oh, how naive.

Charlie Osmonds analogy was to describe the situation the most corporates treat SMM as “a series of one night stands”, whereas “[you] should focus on long term relationships to existing customer and not new people”.

I then de-fluffed myself and moved over to the analytics track for “Bullseye! Reaching and Closing Your Ultimate Customer”. This was a session. The panel was from Google, Comscore and Facebook. Despite the title, it was not an analytics panel, it was about how to reach your potential customer.

There were some fascinating Comscore stats such as the total searches across Europe were up 27% YoY. But the standout was Spain, that is 56% up YoY. And the average number of searches per month is 122. But the UK is 144, Germany is only 101. And the American are only 108!

They also showed a map showing the volume of searches and western Europe which is so dominated by Google with 75% to 90% of all searches. And the final stat is that 28% of Europeans are already watching online videos.

Staying with the analytic theme I sat and listened to “Top Ten Customised Search Analytics Reports”. It was a pragmatic start highlighting the daily challenge of having too much data and the best thing to do is to “minimise the gap between data to knowledge”.

Things to take back to the office. Add in Pacing lines on progress reports. To check bounce rate by keywords

After recharging on caffeine, and with my attention focused at the front the session was “Social Media, Search & Reputation Management”.
The opening fact was that 98% of modern journalists go online daily. I think this was my favourite session of the day and could the potential for a future elaborated post.

Real time search is potentially a reputation management nightmare. It seems that the QDF and Caffeine updates in Google, seem to allow trending topics to appear in the 1 box and bypass the classic hard SEO work and history of that page/URL combo!

More to come on this topic in separate posts, once I can collect my thoughts and add some value. Plus, somewhere for me to keep these notes if/when I need to use them!

The final session of SMX Advanced London was “Social media: give it up”. This half inspiring and half aimed to keep your feet on the ground. Melissa Campbell on behalf of Distilled reinforced the legal aspects of social media. A similar comment to earlier really about back to basics when we learned to be marketers before we concentrated online. At last being a bit more ‘mature’ works in your favour!

Chris Bennet from 97th Floor shared some of his favourite techniques. The take-away for me is the idea of using infographics. And this could work alone side some other great material we have access to already. It is all about leveraging the assets you already have.

Overall, it was far better than day 1. But it has taken this long til posting as having to catch up with work and actually enjoy the mini-heatwave that swept through London.

Sifting for nuggets in tedium – SMX Advanced London 2010

SMX Advanced London 2010

Today was a hard and long day sifting through mediocre, lack-luster, single tracked ?Advanced? SEO at SMX advanced. The overall score was <50% of the speakers I would says were either good/enthusiastic or insightful.  I am afraid that I think the organisers should vet the speakers and their presentations before they charge a lot of money for this event.

I will be putting this on the formal feedback form too, so don’t worry I am not just blogging for my own ego and not prepared to give real feedback.  Today was just tired.  At least one of the presenters had references to the last time they presented the same deck which was quite a while ago ! To be able to speak at a conference and be an expert amongst peers should be a joy and not (by some of the faces & delivery) a chore!  It is easy to whinge – I guess one I day I should volunteer and put myself out there to be ridiculed.

But, to also give credit where credit is due, there were some nuggets.  And half way through SMX Advanced London 2010, I am still confident on what we are doing with the day job and have a few inspired extension ideas and things to do when I get back to office.

So, what was good?

The Day 1 keynote from Barack Berkowitz from Wolfram|Alpha was right-up-there to spark my inner geek.  I had seen and used Wolfram literally on its launch but not since. It is definitely going places. The idea of a fact engine, who has the ambition of “democratising knowledge” and providing answers must be a good thing.  And in the long term, I genuinely believe services like this will be a game changer.  There were some concerns/comments from the audience regarding where they get their data from and how they will monetise its service in the future.  Berkowitz answered the questions fully, which is refreshing from a speaker these days.  That much of the data is “curetted”, which he defined as chosen/verified by a team of scientists, academics or subject matter experts. That much of this is public information, obtained from official sources such as governments and some licensed from ‘expert’ sites e.g. weather services.  The monetisation question was explained as their next challenge and may include paid listings e.g. answers provided by advertisers and/or that the user could buy additional information behind their query.  So effectively micro-data buys rather than whole data set buying that is normally out of reach of the average individual/student. I am going to be looking out for their widgets which are coming soon. The data geek in me loved the way they dynamically charted traditionally non comparable metrics or something simple by charting comparisons e.g. life expectancy in UK versus France.

In the SEO ranking factors in 2010 session, Rand from SEOMoz referred to the patent granted to Google about the “the Random Surfer Versus the Reasonable surfer” as excellently written up last week by Bill Slawski on SEOBook’s blog.

This re-inforced the view that I and many others I know have had that not all links are treated equally. It makes perfect sense, and the equal distribution of “rank” or “link juice” which we have observed and tested is in their thought process too.

The other question posed publicly was whether the audience thought that social media affected the SERPS.  Eventually a conscensus that I can subscribe to was proposed that it does.  That a trending topic may affect the settings, the ones on the search bar where you can choose freshness over established ranking.  So, a trending topic, may play with these filters and you will find that established text based listings may be replaced temportarily by references that have no history or inbound links; but may be from a site that has still has domain rank.

It is always good to Andrew Girdwood go on a rank about “link building” and how this was wrong and how it should be “building links . The whole panel agreed that building relationships with sites was the future of ethical link building, and people who are just doing link building were doing it wrong !

There were a few cheeky little tips on how to automate spam by a few of the speakers.  Who obviously supplemented those comments that it was a bad thing to do.

I hope day 2 is a bit better.

2010 SEO Conferences

Which are the major SEO Conferences in 2010? Well, you cant attend them all and the budget to send the team is progressively thin, so what to attend and who should go. Here are my list of contenders for twenty-10.

April 2010

May 2010

June 2010

August 2010

September

October 2010

November 2010

SMX London conference May 2009

SMX Conf logo

SMX Conf logo

I only went to day 2 of the conference this year.  And I was pleasantly surprised at some of the great discussions.

4 out of the 5 sessions I went to were useful and the ‘Give it up session’ was fun to close the day.

Over the coming days, and after my holiday I iwll try to be inspired from the talks, apply my own opinions and experience and make some more notes for this site.

EConsultancy’s Digital Cream March 2009

I have to say, its been a first in a long time that I have actually enjoyed an networking and discussion event.
This is an invitation only event and as you say you can go you specific what topics you are interested in.

The day is broken into 3 x 1 ½ hour round tables of 8 to 10 professionals on a selected topic. The table is sponsored by a company and that is how it is free to all of us. Luckily the tables I was on the sponsor did a few shameless plugs – but had enough humour in that delivery not to be intrusive.

I was on three sessions:
1) Online Copy, Content onsite and ePR
2) Social media and how to monetise it, and
3) SEO

It was a who’s who of digital marketing and on the whole there was a good mix of experience and learners. Each bringing something unique to the table.
The rules are that no comments/case studies or people can be cited directly, in a bid to aid open and frank discussion.
But I thought I would post a few comments which are a mixture of my thoughts and collected observations.

1) Online Copy, Content onsite and ePR

Most people are working on improving onsite content. This is in terms of entry pages, working on conversion and for purely old-school-doorway pages. And the more conversion orientated are using content to aid and remove fall out from action orientated paths on site.

There was general consensus that those who are working in multi-lingual sites were struggling with translation versus localisation. And we having to accept what they were given due to time or resource constraints.
It was clear that there are so many definitions and tactical uses of content throughout every organisation. But on the whole, everyone believed in quality content. But varied in whether they thought they had any or were going to get some!

2) Social media and how to monetise it

You cant monetise social media at the moment was clear from all. And that all people that we spoke to described their activities as ‘dabbling’ rather than a full on deliberate strategy.
The best practice was fairly well agreed that companies need to Listen first before they jump in.

And when trying to spark conversation or form opinions that identifying key influencers is essential.
One company was proactively searching for keywords in Twitter and when they found a potential customer with a problem their company could solve they would intervene, supply the solution and get that satisfied individual to buzz about their company. Which I think is genius.
Measuring of Social media varied by company. Some didn’t measure at all. And other were using existing or classic KPI to judge its success.

There were some interesting discussion how some retailers are allowing their customers to contact them through more informal channels. And this allowed them to work with angry people and fairly often turn them into advocates.
There was a discussion on how employees who use social media ‘could’ damage a reputation or get them or colleagues into trouble. And there was insight into how some companies are putting in social media education programmes!
We all agreed that we would need to learn when a company should ‘Shut up’ in social media before they alienate the crowd.

3) SEO

This was a good and lively table. I enjoyed this discussion a lot. The conversation meandered from how to work with agencies to brainstorming specific concerns/dilemmas some of the participants are having today.
The topics were varied and to write this up would take more patience than I actually have. All in all it was fun.

Overall, I enjoyed this event, picked up a few tips and meet some interesting people. Well done EConsultancy. Can’t wait til next year.

 

London SEO Conferences 2009

If you are a SEO, what conferences will you attend in 2009?

Here are a few.  I will add more if I intend to attend.