Over the weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Think Visibility search conference. For those of you who don’t know Think Visibility is a UK equivalent to an SMX … well kind of anyway. It was a one day conference with a line up of quality speakers covering subjects from affiliate marketing to blogging, SEO and general online marketing techniques.
I went to the conference a little sceptical to be honest thinking I wouldn’t really learn anything too ground breaking but was surprised at a few little gems I picked up, not to mention the vast amount of networking on offer.
I am not going to go through the whole day in this post but I am going to share a few points that made me think a little and have inspired me to share
The first speaker was Joost de Valk and he really wanted to impress on the audience the need to make our sites load faster. He talked about various methods, like making images smaller and even hosting and images and videos on a different domain, however what he really emphasised was caching.
Now ever since I have been running this blog on WordPress I have used the WP Super Cache Plugin. Many people do not cache until their visitor rates significantly increase, however Joost advised to do it right away as soon as you start your blog.
Even though there is no direct evidence to suggest caching helps rankings, Matt Cutts has mentioned the positive impact of fast loading sites and has even suggested before that sites that load slowly may lose rankings.
There is a more important reason to decrease your page load speed and that is to retain your visitors, if your page is taking over 8 seconds to load you could be losing visitors who are impatiently surfing for information.
Can You Write For Search Engines??
Julian Sambles from the Daily Telegraph spoke next and basically presented the success the Daily Telegraph has seen since implementing SEO techniques. There wasn’t really anything new in the presentation but one thing did stand out to me and that is “there is no such thing as writing for search engines”.
Why do I think this?? Well Google does not define what searches are entered into it’s search box, people do, people show us SEO’s what keywords they are searching for, we simply optimise for searchers not Google, all Google do is simply provide the platform for webmasters and searchers to connect. If no one was searching on the keywords SEO, I doubt any site would ever optimise for that keyword, all webmasters are doing is trying to provide searchers with the information they are searching for.
I hope that makes sense.
The Daily telegraph actually publish different headlines on their website than what they do on the actual newspaper, this has resulted in a 1 million increase in visitors every month.
Anyone who says just write natural compelling content, is basically telling webmasters to miss out on potential traffic. I say “write compelling content with searchers in mind and the keywords they are using”.
Judith Lewis was one of my favourite speakers and not just because she handed chocolates around , I liked her presentation because it contained simple straight forward advice on getting more search traffic to your sites. She spoke a lot about images, videos, news links and even a little on press releases at the end, which caught my attention a little.
Judith emphasised the need to use images and videos to maximise our search potential as they are playing a big part in the search results. Images and Videos can now appear within the top 5 spots for a given search term and obviously attract the searchers attention. Optimising images and videos is pretty straight forward, focus on headings and URL’s as well as putting images on a separate page and ensuring it’s a high quality image.
You can also try to add a textual description and adding keyword rich tags to videos.
News results are also playing a big role on the first page of Google and either end up in 4th or 10th position, not for every result but for a significant amount.
I mean just look at a search for the keyword “SEO”;
As you can see optimising news articles can be very lucrative but how do we get them into Google news? Well we subnit our sites here, however submitting your site to Google news provides no guarantee of inclusion but maybe worth a try.
Judith suggested issuing press releases, now I do this every now and again but only for links as any traffic from them has always been minimal. I have come to the conclusion that I may need to start using paid services like PR web, even though $200 can seem kind of pricey it may maximise distribution and traffic.
You optimise a press release in the exact same way you optimise a page and don’t forget your anchored backlink!!
I also published an article on writing a good press release at the beginning of the year.
There were loads more speakers and search marketing tips available, I may include some more bits of advice in future posts. All I can say is that the conference is well worth attending and long may it continue.Line Break
Author: Tim (294 Articles)
Tim Grice is the owner and editor of SEO wizz and has been involved in the search engine marketing industry for over 7 years. He has worked with multiple businesses across many verticals, creating and implementing search marketing strategies for companies in the UK, US and across Europe. Tim is also the Head of Search at Branded3, an SEO agency in Leeds.