Posted March 9, 2011 11:15 am by with 6 comments

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SES GraphicThis year London SES was held at the Queen Elizabeth conference centre in Westminster. The London show attracted attendees from all over the UK, Europe and Asia making SES a hub for both European and international SEOs. The 2011 event showcased some excellent speakers who covered a range of topics from link building to conversions.

Here are our 35 top tips from the London show.

1. Content Marketing:

Lee Odden at London SES

“You need to understand what your customers want. What do they want to consume? What do they want to learn from or share?”
Lee Odden –

“Rich content can open doors for influencing customers and clients, it can draw in business, attract talent and save costs on recruitment. It can also make money from marketing partners”
Lee Odden

“Segment your audience. Define their personas and build content for those persona types. Use social platforms they use such as Facebook or Twitter”
Lee Odden

“You have got to be patient with content marketing …you have to stick it out. A few articles or a few videos won’t tend to attract thousands of visitors. It can take a blog a year plus to gain traction. If you set up a YouTube channel you will need to build up lots of videos gradually”
Lee Odden

“Think of ways that you can connect with customers as if there were no search engines“
Lee Odden

2. SEO:

SES session

“Site speed is important – avoid code bloat. Use pingdom to check site speeds for competing sites and get an average…you don’t want to be the slowest”
Dave Naylor –

“Overcooking anchor text can kill you in Google. Use your brand and domain name as links, as well as natural phrases like “click here” to mix up your anchor text”
Dave Naylor

“Google is looking at click through rate (CTR) for organic results. Your CTR wants to be equal (ideally above average) in comparison to competitors…a good call to action in the title can increase the click through rate”
Dave Naylor

“Links are the most critical and most difficult part of SEO. Google values links, Google penalizes link buyers and getting the balance right is hard”
Dave Naylor

“The Perfect Link uses relevant anchor text, pointing at a relevant page, from a relevant site”
Dave Naylor

3. Link Building:

Patrick Altoft SES

“The more brand links you have, the more brand/ authority you are likely to have in Google. For smaller clients – it can be an idea to build brand links for 6 months to build authority”
Patrick Altoft –

“Links are the most important ranking factor. If your site is well optimized then you should spend 90-99% of your time on link building”
Patrick Altoft

“How we do competitor analysis? Take the 20 top keywords and get the top 20 websites for each key phrase. We make sure none of the competitors are duplicate, then capture all the links for all the competitors”
Patrick Altoft

“Figure out how many brand links you need and get them. Then get anchor text links”
Patrick Altoft

“My advice is never ever to use a link network to buy links…we turn them off and we have never noticed any ranking changes. So my advice is turn off any link networks if you’ve got them”
Patrick Altoft

4. Affiliate Marketing:

Matt Wood at SES

“Be transparent in your activity and have a USP. If you’re not unique replicate and be smarter”
Matt Wood –

“To be a good affiliate marketer you must add value – not just for Google but for your partners too”
Matt Wood

“Plan to be big from the outset”
Matt Wood

“Think about joint ventures …I think they are good…especially if a skill gap exists”
Matt Wood

“Affiliate marketing can be a risky business…especially if you rely on Google. Diversify – have multiple niches. Don’t rely on Google traffic”
Matt Wood

5. Conversions:

Session at SES london

“Conversions are killed in 3 areas 1/ Not understanding prospects 2/ If people can’t get what they want on your website or can’t find it 3/ If people can’t be persuaded to use your company. In that case you need to gather the objections they have”
Ben Jesson & Karl Blanks –

“Think of ways you can become more than just a store. Can you create a community with your customers so they won’t want to defect to another retailer because they won’t want to leave your community”
Ben Jesson & Karl Blanks

“Two major mistakes Ecommerce sites can make is not capturing contact information from people who are browsing and not having a well optimized thank-you page to either up-sell from or to refer a friend”
Ben Jesson & Karl Blanks

“The ideal website would be to take what a real sales person says/ does and put that online, because a real sales person will always out convert a website”
Ben Jesson & Karl Blanks

“Get people to check things on your website. Ask them to try and use your shopping cart – it will help remind you about things you have missed”
Ben Jesson & Karl Blanks

6. Analytics:

SES expo hall London

“What Google analytics shoves into your face when you first log in may not be the useful KPI to your business. But average order value is a phenomenal KPI value to have…. not conversion. If you have a long sales cycle conversion rate will be less useful”
John Marshall –

“A bounce rate of 50% is quite common. Under 50% is good. 70% is quite bad. Anything above 70% is really bad”
John Marshall

“People who are successful at analytics get results and can make tons of money…but you need to use segmentation”
John Marshall

“Asking website users questions, is one of the most important ways to get insights you will never get in Google Analytics. Use a survey tool like 4Q to achieve this”
John Marshall

“A few caveats about conversion metrics…If you have access to more than one tool your metrics will show different results. You will get more lift and meaningful improvement from the 98% that didn’t buy rather than the 2% who did”
John Marshall

7. SEO Tools:

Jimm Boykin Session London SES 2011

“With Spokeo you can find out a lot about people with the tool. You put in a name or email. This tools is useful for link building discovery to get contact information. For competitive intelligence this tool is pretty scary”
Jim Boykin –

“With you can type in a search phrase. It’ll give you demographics about who is typing that search phrase and will also show you a previous query and next query. This tool can be good for SEO, content production”
Jim Boykin

“SEM Rush identifies your traffic and gives it the Adwords value. It can also show how many phrases your website ranks for in the top 20 and it can show where traffic comes in based on URL and keyphrase/ value”
Jim Boykin

“Clictale is the other 1/2 of what you need for analytics. Clictale shows mouse tracking, click heat maps, scroll reach, conversion analytics and more”
Jim Boykin

“Blekko is useful to show a site’s most trusted backlinks. You can also use slashtags to limit the results to return under certain criteria such as /people /date /blogs /forums. Its also possible to search a URL and track other related sites for adsence code like: /adsense. Blekko can also compare sites and show inbound links, unique domains and how many reciprocal links exist. You cab also find people who are copying your content with the duplicate search”
Jim Boykin

Note: Gareth Davies has worked in SEO since 2002 and is director of the SEO agency GSINC Ltd. Thanks to Gareth for bringing us this great wrap up!

  • Thanks so much for these awesome tips!

  • This summary of tips are fab!! Some of these such as the speed tests are great elements to spend some of you’re time on, especially if your site is constantly in the slow section.

    Although im not sure how much I agree with the “click here”??

    • Your link profile will appear much more natural if you mix it up a bit. If all of your links are keywords it is going to put up a red flag. It is absolutely important to have links using your domain name as well as things like “click here”. The link still passes juice and makes everything look kosher.

  • It’s amazing what you can learn from different perspectives just by visiting different blogs. I never had a strong basis of what the bounce rate should be with Google Analytics and I feel great now that I know.

  • Thanks for the great tips, especially like the tools. Wish I had been there this year, some great speakers!

  • Erik van der Veen

    Thanks, useful insights and tips!

    By the way: it’s ClickTale instead of Clictale.