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5 key SEO takeaways from BrightonSEO

A summary of SEO approaches for 2014

Last Friday saw the latest installment in the bi-annually free SEO conference, BrightonSEO.

BrightonSEO

Lots of ideas and content were discussed - far too many to cover in one post - but I thought it was worth putting together a short list of the top 5 cost-effective SEO snippets raised by the speakers.

1. Data for low cost link building

Link building is not just about hiring an agency, producing lots of inane content, or posting back-links from forums.

Data is a key instrument in your link baiting toolbox (and it needn't mean big budgets).

Use data to find a niche interest, tell a story, back it up with data, and create news.

Readily available source suggestions:

  • Surveys - ask a question and use the results to create content
  • Analytics - spot a trend of interest and write about it
  • Freedom of information requests - incorporate information that the public (and bloggers of course) care about into your content
  • Existing information - update information already in the public domain and make it 'sticky.

View Stacey Cavanagh's SEO slides  here

2. Cost effective video production for SEO

On the same vein as low cost link building ideas, video does not have to be expensive. There are ways of creating video of value cost effectively and it playing a valuable part of SEO strategy.

But first, establish a need for a video and address it only if video is the best format. Use it if it helps you to achieve your business objectives.

Phil Nottingham's slide deck is worth a read for other practical video SEO tips.

3. The evolution of on-page SEO

We know that off-site SEO techniques are important, but to balance the last 2 takeaways, we were reminded of the importance of on-page SEO.

Creating content around the 'hero keywords' that once drove the traffic is not enough. Search behaviour evolves and therefore so should content strategy and its role within the organisation.

Users behave differently, using more specific and longer phrases, so 'expanding' and 'filtered' content that deserves links is key.

Lisa D Myers' onsite SEO presentation is a good
reminder that it mustn't be ignored at the expense of off-site link development.

4. Mobile-friendly local marketing

We know that mobile users tend to want local results, but still SMEs are still not taking full advantage of low-cost local marketing techniques.

Why? Perhaps because they don't know how to? Expense?

Cheap local marketing practices that affect local search rankings:

  • On-page optimisation for locations
  • Completed local listings (Google+ Local, Yahoo! Local, Bing Local, Yelp to name a few)
  • Local link building e.g. working with regional press
  • 'NAP' citations - name, address, phone number
  • Images - shop front image on your Google+ Local page 
  • Structured data
  • Social profiles
  • Reviews and recommendations
  • Consistency of all the above

Bridget Randolph's local search slide deck here.

It's also worth looking at Mi.Shop.local's slides.

5. Getting the most from social SEO

Sharing optimised content is an effective traffic driving strategy, but knowing what, when and how often to post to social networks is not a dark art. At least, not when you have data.

Always test social with your own data - use tools such as Buffer, Follower Wonk and Simply Measured for optimal scheduling time, identifying when your followers are most active and obtaining engagement data.

A few key tips for testing:

  • Test different content types and review the engagement data to determine what to post more of
  • Try location tests for posting to different audiences
  • Find your influencers with tools such as Google Ripples, True Social Metrics, Social Engage, Follower Wonk.
  • Review who is no longer a follower and determine why (too many posts etc.).

Once the data is digested and understood (and not before) adjust your posting schedule.

View Jennifer Sable Lopez's slides from BrightonSEO here.

The Ins & Outs of Testing Social + Lots of Tools from Jennifer Lopez

If I have grabbed your interest? Register for BrightonSEO here.

By Rhian Harris (was Simms)

Rhian Harris is an online marketing all-rounder and guest blogger for Smart Insights. With over a decade of experience of all digital media and ecommerce from utilities, travel, charity and retail sectors, Rhian is now a digital marketing consultant working with businesses to deliver and optimise their performance on any aspect of their strategy. IDM qualified, Rhian also contributes to the Econsultancy blog and other expert websites as well as her own business, Consult&C Digital. You can connect with Rhian on LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter and Facebook.

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