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.

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.

15stupid-things-454

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.

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.

ECommerce Search Marketing Tactics

The session on search marketing tactics served up a strong panel of speakers. As a result a range of interesting ideas were addressed from common sense optimization tips, to leveraging shopping feeds . . . and even Twitter.

Ethan Griffin – Groove Commerce

First up Ethan’s shared some ECommerce optimization tips with the audience, which included some of the following:

  • Use the H1 tag
  • Use unique product descriptions (don’t just copy and paste supplier info into the web pages)
  • Pay attention to internal linking issues
  • Don’t bury folders/directories so that pages appear too deep in the site
  • Have the most important content at the top

In respect to SEO activities and links Ethan recommended that webmasters still submit to directories, consider creating separate blogs to drive traffic, use social media and leverage online PR.