What’s Working for SEO in 2011: A Review from London SMX

Gareth Davies of GSINC Ltd covered SMX London last week and filed this report.

With the latest Google Panda update, and the issues some webmasters have faced as a result of the update, attendees at this year’s SMX LONDON were looking for answers to what’s working for SEO in 2011.

The panel consisted of Mikkel deMib Svendsen, Christine Churchill and Max Thomas.

SMX London panel

SEO Has Evolved:

First up was Mikkel deMib Svendsen. Mikkel began by reminding attendees that when it comes to SEO, things are very different in 2011 to what has gone before.

In the 1990’s SEO was relatively easy…simple algorithms meant that SEO was mainly about on-page factors and search engines had very few (if any) people dedicated to fighting Spam. Today the search engine algorithms are very complex, and there are huge teams dedicated to fighting Spam.

13 Quotes of Note From SMX London

SMX hit London this week and Marketing Pilgrim writer Gareth Davies was on hand to capture 13 of the most notable quotes by this year’s speakers. So here they are.

1. Why does page speed matter?

“Because Google has announced – let’s make the web faster”

Richard Baxter – Seo Gadget

2. Twitter advertising

“Promoted Tweets with no targeting cost…$80,000 a day!”

Martin Macdonald – OMD Group

3. Bing

“Bing sucks at broad matching. Don’t expect Bing to recognise broadly matched synonyms like Google”

Daniel Ruby – Chitika

4. FaceBook

“Facebook exists to keep people on Facebook…they only give lip service to Bing”

Daniel Ruby – Chitika

5. Bing/ Yahoo traffic

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

paid-traffic-andy

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

brian-featherst

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”.

SMX London – Blow Your Mind Link Building Techniques

After a great London SEO event the night before at the Freemasons Arms, it was somewhat surprising to see such a packed room first thing in the morning. Rob Kerry from Ayima who organised the previous evening’s social event was up bright and breezy moderating this first session of the day. After a light-hearted introduction from Rob, the first person up to present was Lyndon Antcliff.

Lyndon Antcliff – www.cornwallseo.com

Lyndon talked the audience through a particularly well-known viral news story he worked on this year. The case study was a ‘13 year old credit card fraud story’. He dissected the story for the audience to help folks understand what makes a piece of content viral and then highlighted the importance of using ‘psychological hooks’.

SMX London – Empowering Search Marketers – Cool tools from Microsoft

The first London SMX in 2007 was a great conference– so the 2008 event held in the New Connaught rooms in Russell Square had a fair bit to live up to. However in spite of a recession there was a good crowd in attendance and the conference attracted many attendees people from all over Europe.

To kick off the event Chris Sherman reminded us that we there were a lot of positive changes happening in the current search space. Search engines themselves were finally opening up – particularly so MSN & Yahoo.

So Chris suggested we were now witnessing an end of the ‘us v them’ mentality that had long seemed to exist between the search engines and online marketers.