Last year I was lucky enough to speak at SMX Sydney on the main stage to talk about the subject of Effective In-House SEO where I talked about my time working for Virgin Mobile as a lead SEO. This year I have decided to attend as a general guest. It is going to be interesting seeing the conference from a speakers point of view and then from an attendants point of view.
* For those who do not know I have also decided to set up my own consulting business and also work direct with a few select businesses and start ups via http://professionalseo.com.au
Now I have looked over the agenda for next Wednesday and Thursday and have picked out the speakers I will be seeing.
Day 1 – 3rd April
1. Optimising Humans! The Art of Data-Driven Social Marketing – Marty Weintraub (I have seen Marty present before in videos he is great, so this will be an interesting presentation.)
2. SEO Tools of the Trade – Andre Weyher (I know Andre quite well, I have actually interviewed him here on my blog and shared many beers with him over the last year, lets see what he has to say.)
3. eCommerce SEO, How to Avoid Common Pitfalls – Jon Quinton (I have read some of Jon’s SEO posts in the past, he seems to be quite decent, have never met the guy so we will see what he has on offer.)
4. Successful In-House SEO – Motoko Hunt (I presented on in-house SEO last year, so lets see what is on offer in 2013 from Motoko Hunt)
5. Google Webspam – What are they looking for? – Brian White (It will be interesting too see what Brian White has to say in his session, may have to ask a few questions)
Day 2 – 4th April
6. Behavioral Psychology Meets Web Marketing – Rand Fishkin (Been using SEOmoz for years, know Rand is capable of some great ideas so hope he pulls out the goodies for this presentation)
7. Conversion Rate Optimisation for SEOs – Richard Baxter (Have seen Richards posts on numerous sites in the past so it will be good too see what he has on offer.)
8. Advanced WordPress Optimisation & Security – Bastian Grimm (Have been told by a few European contacts at Bastian is the man to see in regards to WordPress optimisation, as I run like 30 sites on WordPress it will be worth seeing. So lets see what he has on offer.)
9. Programmatic Optimisation – Bill Hunt (Have been told that Bill Hunt is worth seeing as he has a wealth of knowledge on SEO so will be worth checking out from an in-house SEO point of view)
10. Ten Link Building Tools, How to use them to get links – Paddy Moogan (Paddy Moogan is well known for link building, and as I have been doing link building for 8+ years it will be good too see what he has to say.)
11. Link Building Post Penguin – Richard Baxter (Will be good too see what Richard has too say about link building.)
12. SEM + CRM = ROI Heaven – Mark Vozzo (Have seen mark present in the past, he knows his stuff. If you want to see a data driven and informative presentation, I advise you check out Mark Vozzo)
Two other speakrs I will try and see if time allows are also: Dejan Petrovic (Day 1) & Akiva Ben-ezra (Day 2) (both worth seeing in my eyes as they are very experienced SEO’s)
I will also be attending the following networking events:
I have have been doing SEO for over 7 years, and for the last 3 years and 6 month I was working as an Enterprise SEO at Aegis Media. When I first started at the company it was called Mitchell Communications Group, it was Australia’s largest media buyer so naturally we have the largest brands in Australia. Coming from a SME SEO consulting area and running my own web properties it was defiantly a change moving into the corporate area and I learned a lot of fantastic skills a long the way.
I was the first SEO employee in Columbus Search (a division within Aegis Media) for any one who does not know Columbus Search is Australia’s largest PPC company by spend. So naturally all the clients were spending multi-millions on SEM each month but the SEO spend was limited so my task was to help grow a world leading SEO team. Now when I started at the business in 2009 the perception in the wider business was some what negative towards SEO, people didn’t get it. So my job was to change that perception and then assist with growing a team and making SEO sales within the wider business. Further to this I helped set up the SEO team for Aegis and grow the team from having 1 staff member in SEO to over 15 bringing in great amounts of revenue for the business and also driving results for numerous clients.
Now after 3 and a half years working on the Enterprise Agency world I have decided to take a career change and work direct as a consultant for SME’s and start up businesses. The main driver behind this was that each month many people contact me asking me to work direct with them, usually I have been very busy and unable to take on all these contacts/business. I also felt as things were changing in the business it was time for a change and was time to do something new. Taking a leap of faith from a very stable job which was well paid and had great benefits to do your own thing is a huge risk on itself but I can mitigate this by already having numerous income sources.
What this means is that I will be offering my *SEO *Link Building *SEO Strategy *Social Media *Content Marketing services direct to your business. I have already taken on a few clients direct from a consulting of view with room for more. Further to this I will also be working on several other projects which have been on going for a while and I can see fantastic opportunity from, So exciting times ahead feel free to contact me if you are looking for help with your SEO & Online Strategy today!
Last year in November I decided to team up with a good friend of mine in the digital space to run a monthly Online Marketing focused event in Sydney. The event is called “Online Marketing Sydney” which can be found here: http://www.meetup.com/Online-Marketing-Sydney/
Currently we have run 3 different events see below:
I have decided to put together some tips and advice for people who are looking to potentially set up their own meetup:
Benefits and Tips of running a meetup:
1. Networking with like minded online marketing professionals: Their is nothing better then having discussions with people who work in the same field as you.
2. Setting a monthly event where you can meet up with old work mates: running a meetup is a good chance to re connect with old work mates who have moved on to new jobs. You can set a monthly date to invite them all down for a few drinks and have a chat about how their new job is progressing.
3. Helping others with Online Marketing questions and giving back to the community: I have done a whole bunch of presentations at other Meet ups over the last four years so its a great chance to give back to the community.
4. Meeting people with different skill sets so potentially learning something yourself.
5. Try to run it on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday: I have found from experience that people do not want to be at work related events on Friday and on Weekends as that is more a time for relaxing and catching up with friends outside of work.
7. Get a co-organizer: If you are sick or away on business the meetup can still run with the other organizer of the event taking control.
8. Build social properties connected to your meet up: It is a good idea to build properties on social networks like Google+, Twitter and Facebook to drive people to your meetup.
9. Promote your meetup in the weeks before it runs: It is a good idea to run some promotion on sites like linkedin and on industry specific sites before your meetup is run.
10. Send out an email blast in the days leading up to the meetup: and also one the day before to remind people the meetup is on tomorrow.
11. Get to the meetup early: if your meetup starts at 6 pm always try to arrive 10 minutes early as people will always turn up to events early.
Recently I have been going to a few events in the Australian market, at every event which has an SEO component I always see people asking the same question or making the same statement that “SEO is dead, content marketing is the way” or “SEO is dead social media is the way of the future”. that been said every time I log onto Facebook I am heavily targeted by “SEO is dead” advertising like this:
Whilst I agree that SEO has changes over the years I believe people need to be more educated with SEO, gone of the days or low quality scraped content website with corner cutting SEO, the SEO that will work in today’s market is high quality SEO which has a technical element. To prove the skeptics that SEO is not dead in 2013, I have put together a small case study with some example form a client in the SME space I have worked with over the last year.
So around a year ago a mutual business contact who runs quite a large website contacted us for some SEO assistance. The current agency they were using was not providing the results they were hoping for any more and they were also concerned that they were not receiving monthly link building reports and having 100% transparency in the work in which was been completed, there were some concerns to the websites SEO strategy moving forward.
We started consulting with the client to help them fix the ways of their current SEO strategy and to implement a more advanced SEO strategy moving forward.
10 key elements we implemented on this project to yield positive SEO results and to increase traffic by over 400,000 unique visitors a month (comparing January 2012 and January 2013) were:
Strategy 2. Removing links from link networks which were pointing to the client – many people do direct to webmasters of link networks to remove link networks we consulted with the client to work out who the prior agencies were and to go direct to the agency to have the link network taken down, I would not advise any to use a link network as it can be a sure fire way to destroy you link building strategy.
Strategy 3. Removing other dodgy links which involved a general link clean up, you might have to run link detox software on the site www.linkdetox.com if you consider the link profile to be large, in the case of the site we were dealing with it was quite an extensive link profile. As the disavow tool https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main?pli=1 was not available when we needed to remove these links we had the links removed by contacting webmasters directly, my advice in this process is to use a girl’s name on the email when you contact webmasters they are usually males who will warm to the chance that a girl has emailed them, believe me I have tested this methodology numerous times over the years.
Strategy 4. Implementing better link building targeting 20% targeting the home page and 80% targeting lower level sub pages and sub category sections on the website with anchor text targeting brand heavily. Too many SEO’s only focus on driving links to the home page you need to build your link building strategy around diversification to lower sub level pages.
Strategy 5. Further link building from government, social, higher quality PR, outreach and also blogging.
High quality link building takes time, this is why outreach and building quality personas for your niche is crucial, If you obtain one high quality government link it can be the same value as building say 50 lower value links, hence the time invested in focusing on quality far out weights low quality.
Strategy 6. Looking at the current PPC strategy the client was using and finding opportunities from the PPC front which can be utilized for SEO. PPC should be one of your strongest areas for collecting keyword data which can be used for your SEO research. Also you can take a top series of PPC converting pages and created SEO based landing pages for these terms.
Strategy 7. Implementing mark ups onto the site such as Google Rel=Author, don’t get me wrong the correct mark ups can work very effectively in driving additional traffic, especially if you are using a blog where many of the authors have 100’s if not 1000’s of pre-existing posts. Implementing a large scale Rel=Author set up can work very well. Another important element is also implementing price and rating information an example can be seen below:
Strategy 8. Cleaning up many elements of the site architecture is also another highly important area, when you do a large scale piece of keyword research for a website also remember to implement sections of the keyword research in the sites navigation. Also look for articles on the website which are highly popular and cross promote content internally on the website. Internal structure of websites is still highly important and if you are not
Strategy 9. Working with the content team to effectively implement a further content strategy.
Content strategy is huge and if you are not investing considerable time into working with a content team you are missing it out, ideally each month you need to meet with the content team at least twice to talk about content ideas you wish to implement on the website in the near future. I would build a content calendar and look for upcoming events and also holidays. For example you can build content around all the popular holidays and events such as: Valentine’s Day/ Easter/ Christmas or even any sporting events such as the World Cup. Also look at other competitors in your market see what they are doing which is working effectively and implement a similar strategy. Another important point when developing your content strategy is to join it back up with your SEO efforts.
Strategy 10. Working to make some on site tweaks and fixes with the developers.
Working with the development team is also a huge part of fixing up a website, after you complete a comprehensive website audit you are going to need to work with your developers to get changes implemented, if you do not have a good relation with the developers changes may take a while to be implemented on the site so always remember to keep the developers on your good side.
These 10 changes were just a small section of a wider range of fixes and strategy which was completed for the website, overall many things were done.
The result of the ongoing high quality SEO services provided by my team yielded:
So as you can see from the above analytic’s analysis that SEO is far from dead, and if you employ a high quality strategy and high quality methods it is not going to be dead for many years to come.
So over the past week, a song by Baauer call Harlem Shake has been causing a stir on YouTube and other video sites, the track itself was released over 10 months ago I remember finding it and thinking this has a really nice tune to it. Now further to this companies have made a whole series of 30 second clips.
Offices, Firefighters and even late night tv are doing a remix of the track which has gone viral:
I have ut together a list of my to 5 Harlem Shake remixes below:
Number 1 – College Humor
Number 2 – Fire Fighters Version
Number 3 – Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Number 4 – Kids in a bedroom
Number 5 – Tailor + girls in Studio (probably the best one yet)
It just shows how a piece of content can go very viral and mainstream.
So if you have been reading the search news today I am sure you have read a article or ten about the new Facebook graph search which will be rolled out around the globe in the next few weeks, some users are lucky enough to sign up to the beta here: http://www.facebook.com/graphsearch
So what’s so interesting about this product is that it changes the way people do search on Facebook. Firstly Facebook will redesign the UX of the top half of the site to push more search use (see image below of this change, using my own account as an example)
Further to this Facebook will then push people to search the following areas more on the site for some of the areas below:
– Search for Friends
– Search for Photos
– Search for Restaurants
– Search for Games
– Search for Music
– Search over quotes and status’s I have liked.
What I think this opens up is a whole new area for people doing localized search, so if you do not have a brand page set up for your local business you will be missing out on traffic.
It will be an interesting space over the next 12 months to see how Facebook develops this product further.
So over the last few years I have been using Google Images to drive traffic to a numerous number of web properties for my own projects and also for client related project I work on.
An example looking at one of my personal websites from last year we see some decent levels of traffic coming in from Google Image search!
Now you may ask how do I get more traffic from Google Images? Well here are 10 decent tips to get more traffic from Google images:
Tip 1. Always make sure you name the file of the image related to the product, example an image of Sydney call it sydney.jpg, you can also be more detailed in the way you name images, but only be descriptive with images to name them what they are do not go overboard naming images with words which do not relate to the image.
Tip 2. Always make sure you use ALT text on high quality images, you do not have to go and label alt text on every single button on your website, but if you have a high quality image make sure that you use a descriptive ALT text on the image.
Tip 3. Track what your competitors are doing on Google Image search, this is a decent tactic to see how many images on Google your competitors have indexed type in the syntax “site:competitorurl.com” for example. (to do this you need to switch your version of Google to the basic search version, see below) Also search for images which are high in traffic and review the page content around that image look for the common factors which equate to ranking for the specific image, reverse engineer what your competitors are doing.
Tip 4. On the page where you have the image make sure that you have detailed information which is related to that image, I have noticed that pages where they are content rich and related to the specific image perform well.
Tip 5. If you want share the image URL via 3rd party sites for example you can upload the image to new websites and link back to the main URL as a “source”. This way you can build image links to the image as image attribution.
Tip 6. Use reverse image search to find people who are taking your image content and ask them to link back to the original image source or page source page where the image is hosted. A great service to do reverse image searching with is Tiny Eye – www.tineye.com
Tip 7. From my testing medium-higher quality image work better for image search listings. It is advisable to make sure that you use images which are not distorted too because if you want people to share your image content then it has to be high quality.
Tip 8. High level of social sharing from an on page element can have a positive impact on the image SEO for the website. So be sure to implement social sharing of the image for example Facebook Like buttons, Twitter Tweet button and the capability to share the image on image sites such as Pinterest.
Tip 9. Keyword Research for image search is another tactic you can implement, you can use the image trend/ related terms in Google Trends under the image search section: http://www.google.com/trends/
Tip 10. Be sure to tag images with watermarks always, I have noticed with some web properties I own if people steal your content and share it on social networks you can still get direct type in traffic from the image.
Recently SEOmoz has released some data for 2012 to show who had the most trafficked posts and who were the most active users on the community. I have noticed that for 2011 and also now 2012 that I was the 2nd most active community member for both years by sheer number of contributions to the SEOmoz website.
See image below for rankings during 2011:
See image below for rankings during 2012:
It has not been easy to achieve these above results, it involves hours and hours helping out members on the SEOmoz community and building a presence in the community. I have met numerous people at events and conferences who have mentioned that they have seen me commenting on SEOmoz which is good.
So I hope every one had a fantastic New years and Christmas, it feels like it went too quickly in my eyes.
Over the christmas period I was lucky to receive a gift from SEOmoz recently for helping out on the community for the last few years and been a top community member here: http://www.seomoz.org/users and thought I would share an image of the great gift I received:
The gift contained:
– 2 x SEOmoz stickers
– 1 x SEOmoz ruler
– 1 x SEOmoz drink bottle
– 1 x SEOmoz t-shirt
– 1 x SEOmoz key ring
I would like to say thank you to SEOmoz for the gift and I hope to contribute more to the site in 2013, I will be writing a new blog post soon for the site.