If you don't know it, Think Visibility, "#Thinkvis" is a great "unconference" set in Leeds which has grown from 80 to 250 attendees; not bad for a Saturday. I attended the first conference which I liveblogged and was back for the fourth over the weekend. Thanks to Dom Hodgson and the other organisers for putting together a great lineup of speakers which featured the SEO nitty-gritty you don't see at other conferences.
So straight onto the topics.
These are the sessions I've covered, I've included the slides where possible:
Rob works for an agency specialising in international SEO. To start with he covered the basics which I get asked often, so it's good to hear the answers from a specialist.
Q. Are ccTLDs (.de, .fr) still essential?
Rob says not anymore with Set Geographic Target in Google Webmaster Tools - buy this doesn't work so well for non-Google engines, e.g. Yandex. But Rob ran through the pros and cons. Says the cost of management and link-building to ccTLDs can outweigh the benefits
Q. Are subdomains (http://de.domain.com) a good approach?
Not generally - not recommended since need a link development campaign since don't take much benefit from the parent domain.
Q. Is it necessary to host in the country?
Don't need to get too hung up on it. ccTLD tends to override the hosting.
Proxy hosting can be used to target local markets?
Q. How is it best to target US, UK, Canada and Australia?
I get asked this a lot and see problems where content is the same. It has to be identified as unique content.
Translation - has to be local translators, e.g. for south
"Put yourself in their shoes" How do potential linkers search, which sites do they use?
She call's these the "Linkerati" or "buzz-builders" i.e. find your specialist bloggers, Twitterati and speak to them
Q. How should I approach approach linkbaiting?
These are Lisa's tips on linkbaiting - getting people to link to you through attracting links.
Avoid what most people do wrong - create great viral content, but don't tell other people about it. So the outreach is critical.
But of course, the creative, idea must be the "dogs bollocks" according to Lisa. "All the tweeting, digging,buzz building,social networking seeding in world will NOT work if idea is rubbish"
Host the content. Loads of examples where link source is in Facebook or YouTube.
Q. How should we approach article marketing?
And article marketing - syndicating your content to other sites
She ran through the process:
Again, do your research to find the right sites. Best to target 10 quality high traffic, authoritative sites than 100s of smaller sites. You may only get 3 but these will be more worthwhile and will refer traffic and generate awareness.
Have something to trade - has to be tailored - not a generic press release. E.G. Locks company offers discount against first order. Prefers competitions and product giveaways to product reviews
Avoid the linking site ranking above you, so best not to include main target keyphrase in targets
Need to think creatively and put in the effort to find the site owners, but worth it.
"4. The rub their faces in it manouevre".
Specific to this example - develop a theme, i.e. work with a community to share.
Also mentioned commenting in Dofollow blog comments. Have example of Fast Blog Finder - but it's blog spamming software, so not giving a link, especially an affilate one.
[Aside: Also discussed at thinkvis, but not recommended by Jaamit, another black hat technique is taking high performing competitor pages and spam them with software like xrumer but with same anchor text]
This wasn't a serious suggestion for corporates was it? Interesting software to see what your up against though.
Quite a claim, but Dave's probably the best person. We got good snippets as always and general strategies, but not enough for market dominance - the guidelines and tools in @Jaamit's talk were more up my street.
1. Some shortcuts
Buy keyword domains if you can afford it, even to block out competitors
Building a brand - you need brand traffic to help compete
Make sure you don't over-optimize backlink text on target keyphrases without brand-terms
Tailgate existing brands
2. Some longcuts
Don't focus on narrow head terms - most traffic potential is broader
Use analytics to find out CTR for your keywords (the GWT doesn't work) Also highlights weakness in Google Keyword Tool
Experiment with title tags for CTR
Understand the link landscape for your industry
Co-citations to natural links
Get mainstream news coverage
By Dave Chaffey
Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of marketing publisher and learning platform Smart Insights.
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Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. To learn about my books, see my personal site Digital marketing books by Dr. Dave Chaffey.
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