35 Killer Tips from London SES 2011

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 – www.toprankblog.com

“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

SMX London – Converting Paid Traffic & Search Engine Stats

Analysing and Converting Paid Traffic

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Andy Atkins-Krüger – WebCertain

In his session Andy looked at the range of ways both a PPC and organic SEO a campaign could be broken down to measure how effective each stage was performing. Aspects such as number of visits, pages views, dwell time and bounce rate were all seen as important elements to measure.

Andy also suggested that rather than take the traditional approach of looking to only improve the final stage of the shopping funnel (i.e. optimising the buy page) improving who gets onto the website in the first instance was equally important.

So to recap, whilst people typically look to the shopping cart for initial conversion improvement—Andy advocated starting at the other end of the chain and at keywords.

New Marketing Fundamentals by Brian Fetherstonhaugh at SMX London 09

Brian Fetherstonhaugh, Chairman and CEO—OgilvyOne Worldwide

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Once again SMX London was held at the rather grand New Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden. Unlike the typical chilly days of last November Spring was in the air and to begin the conference Brian Fetherstonhaugh of OgilvyOne took to the stage in front of a packed conference hall to deliver his keynote.

Brian began with addressing the concept that search was the holy grail of marketing. And even more so in a time of recession—the industry itself was still growing at a rate of 10-20% a year! He then told attendees that whilst OgilvyOne had worked with some top brands including American Express, Sears, Ford, Shell, Barbie, Pond’s, Dove and more. But as Brian pointed out, David Ogilvy was kind of crazy! “He was an “interesting and nutty guy”.

SEO, Usability & 15 Stupid Things You Can Do to Your Website – SMX West

Michael Stebbins—Market Motive

Whilst not technically a session I was fortunate enough to hear Michael Stebbins of Market Motive present a little mini-presentation in the Expo hall, which grabbed a lot of people’s attention. I was away from my laptop but managed to type up notes on my iPhone.

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His presentation was titled: 15 stupid things you can do to your website:

1. Using lots of JavaScript menus so search engines can’t crawl your website properly.

2. Using stupid keywords—ones that are too competitive or no one is searching for. Michael suggested picking mid-range keywords and work your way up.

Ask the Link Builders Q&A – SMX West

The ‘Ask the Link Builders’ session was a Q+A style panel at SMX West this year and consisted of Rae Hoffman, Debra Mastaler and Roger Monti.

Q: How do you keep link building white hat?

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The general consensus was to stay away from things that go against Google’s terms of service. Debra Mastaler recommended going easy on reciprocal links, site wide paid links and not to be too obvious in what you are doing. Rae Hoffman advised the audience to avoid buying links especially from major networks and to keep anchor text in the inbound links natural. So varying the words used was a good idea.

Optimising Images for Search Engines – SMX West

The following is a special report from SMX West 2009.

Peter Linsley—Google

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First up Peter Linsley of Google ran through some of the concepts behind Google images and also factors that may influence ranking of images on Google which included some of the following:

  • Number of referring sites—so whether the image is used on more than one website is a key metric in Google’s ranking Algorithm.
  • The text around the image and the kind of words contained is also a factor taken into account by Google.
  • Also placement of image—and whether it is above the fold

Peter also suggested that other dynamic features were in play. For example can a user comment on the image via a comments box? Or whether the image could be rated somehow.

Legally Speaking – Legal Stuff for SEMs – SMX West

A session on the legal aspects of search and domains was an interesting addition to this years’ agenda. Moderated by Sarah Bird and featuring a selection of legal experts, a range of topics relating to search and affiliate marketing were placed under scrutiny.

Travis Crabtree – Looper Reed & McGraw, P.C

First up was Travis Crabtree. Travis outlined the 2 key criteria that must exist for a case to exist in respect to ‘misuse of Trademarks’. Those two things were either a use in commerce must occur, or that there must be consumer confusion. However differences did exist between California courts and those of New York.