BrightonSEO in April was bigger and better than before. There were so many tips and take aways that can be implemented immediately. Here is a recap of some of the content marketing and link building tips.
Out with the Old, in with the Niche: Content for the Moments That Matter
On the main stage was Marcus Tober. He said that the General Ranking Factors have ended and it no longer applies. He will explain the reasons why using data. Marcus also said that page load time is highly relevant. It has a positive effect on the user experience even more so now than ever before.
- On average word count is getting longer, but is this applicable to all industries.
- That is why Searchmetrics started talking about niche ranking factors in 2016.
Niche Ranking Factors
- Niche give us precision
- First thing we need to think about is micro data
- niche vs niche
- You cannot generalise the microdata
- Recipes use lots of micro data.
- Does schema make sense for Dating? Probably not.
- How does micro data look in your industry?
- Content is not just text, it could be white page, it could be video.
- Divorce, Fitness and wine content.
- Pages that rank well in the fitness space have lots of videos.
- But this is not the same for divorce or wine.
- You do not get fit by reading, but you do by doing, hence why in the fitness industry, videos work well.
- It is important to have one long paragraph or structure it well.
- In the wine industry, they do not use a lot of text or paragraphs.
- Depending on your audience, structure your text differently.
- In the divorce Industry, they want a lot of text and structured well.
- Does this ranking factor affect the industry? Is it a ranking factor.
- Dating vs divorce
- Dating has a super positive correlation with social signals.
- But if look at divorce, no one wants to share divorce content. That is why all ranking factors in the past do not work. Need to look at your industry.
- The number of images you need to use in your content, depends on the industry.
- For example in the Furniture industry, they like lots of nice images.
What can you do based on the ranking factors?
- Content specialisation in your niche is very important.
- Foe example about.com started in the mid 1990s and they produced a lot of content.
- They built a lot of subdomains on about.com eg guitars.about.com so really built a huge monster around these categories but over the years, they dropped in visibility.
- So they know you need to specialise. Brands for different purposes. Eg lifewire for electronics. content.
Update your content
Getting rid of content – deleting content is hard. You are deleting what you have, but getting rid opens up new possibilities, Google can crawl your content Don’t cannibalise instead, capitalise.
How to Unleash the Power of Unique Content
Eleni Cashell gave a great presentation about duplicate content. Eleni is the UK Editor from Hot Courses.
Eleni said that anyone can implement this strategy (she will say in the presentation). Before Eleni started, the content was provided by the universities.
There were two problems with this:
- Not great for consistency, confusing for users
- Universities in particular, had a v small marketing team, nothing provided was unique. Therefore there was duplicate content.
Why is duplicate content so bad? 29% of the internet has duplicated content.
Content that sits on more than 1 URL..
Why is it bad?
- Google finds it confusing, they do not know what version to include or exclude.
- They do not which version to rank.
- Search engines do not like to send traffic to same content to duplicate URLs.
- At Hot Courses, the wrong version on the content was ranking – they got this wrong.
Unique content is king
- You need it long and unique.
- It is the most important to have, written specifically for that article and for that place.
Where is the duplicate content coming from?
- You will get it from your clients.
- Press releases – they go to thousands of other people, so if you do not make it relevant to your audience, then it will be duplicate content.
- Product descriptions:
- Freelancers – slightly less likely but can happen. They are probably pitching to more than just you.
- Use copyscape.com to see if you have duplicate content.
How can you make sure you don’t have duplicate content?
- Just don’t have it. It is as simple as that.
- Another way to stop duplicate content is redirect to the canonical URL.
- Pick the primary canonical URL and use cross domain canonical link elements
- Redirect duplicate content URLs to the proper ones.
Clean up your content
- So do an audit – go through your website, what is duplicate and what is not.
- Assemble your team, you need someone in content and sales.
- A point of content is anyone who provides the content for you.
So five step started pack
- Comms – how you going to communication internally and externally about the content
- Create – what are you going to do? Rewrite it? Who will write it, who will do this?
- Who does it affect? – who will be impacted the most and how much money do you need, do you need any more people to help? People it affects is crucial to the success of this. How does Eleni know this? She gave hers 2 weeks notice and they were so made.
- The worse ones were the people who did not understand, so needed to have a good comms plan.
Now write clear and concise and strict guidelines. Circulate this internally and externally
- Give people a deadline and then if you do not hit the deadline, then tough. Project needs to keep going.
- Set clear rules about what they can and cannot do.
- Make it clear that it will benefit – make v. v v clear.
- Have a single point of contact.
- Also have a template, so can have feedback, allow people toc come back to you.
- Shout about the content.
- Keep an eye on the traffic, It is not an overnight success. Hot Courses had a 107% increase in entrances. And now the team is all behind her.
- But have regular chats, communicating about this will have successful strategy
- Get your kick ass team
- Form game plan
- Create guidelines – make strict and easy
- Tell clients/agencies
- Create a shared doc everyone can use
- Promote and be proud
- Keep eye on traffic
- And evolve it
Steve Rayson & Giles Palmer – How Metrics and Data Drive Content Effectiveness
Steve Rayson and Giles Palmer from Brandwatch and BuzzSumo respectively talked about how metrics and data drive content effectiveness.
Brandwatch took over BuzzSumo last November and Steve and Giles are working closely together. They shared some insight about content from their Content Trends 2018 report.
- The majority content is not shared.
- Social sharing is going down. The Median shares halved since 2015.
- An average article was shared 8 times in 2015, in 2017 it was just 4.
- Only 5% of content get more than 343 shares.
- Companies need to share their own content.
- Getting someone to link to your content is getting harder.
Why is this happening?
- Growth in content publication and competition
- Content views have fallen
- Content saturation of popular topics.
- Get in there early. As content competitive increases, the average shares decline.
2) Rise in private sharing
3) Facebook algorithm changed and fall in engagement.
Facebook keeps changing algorithm. Referrals from Facebook was getting higher and higher. Was driving more traffic to publishers. Google now sends twice as much traffic to publishers than FB.
- People said Social was important, but now with the decline in social referrals, SEO becomes increasingly important.
- Different content has different purposes, eg conversions. People link to stats. Wikipedia get links cause it is referenceable. There has been a considerable drop in the number of viral blog posts. The Buzzfeed content has seen its engagement down by 60% in 3 years.
- Research content is more ever green, why would they link to your content. What content does well?
- Buzzsumo blog – the content is now longer. They do not publish as many articles as before. They write really good pieces about research and what is happening in the market place. They drive a lot of links.
- You need to write the right content for the right audience and think about where you will be sharing it.
- Linkedin is more B2B, there has been a growth in Linkedin Sharing.
Implications for Marketers
- Build your authority, early
- Be clear on your objectives for content and social media
- Social may be better for engagement then referrals
- Build your audience and direct distribution models
- User generated content
- You need a promotion strategy
- Focus on high quality content to gain shares and links
- Less might be more
- SEO is more important than ever
- Linkedin may offer opportunities for B2B marketers
Crawl Budget Optimisation in a Mobile-First Index
Mark Thomas shared his presentation on crawl budget optimisation, the outcome is that you want to have more eyeballs on your content. Crawl budget optimisation is still worthwhile to pursue in a post mobile first.
Mark went through three steps:
- Audit Mobile Site
- Optimise Crawl Budget
- Grow Organic Revenue
How can you optimize crawl budget ?
First up is you need to talk about how to optimise mobile site
- The internet and search universe is not just a matter of the pages you have live today.
- Crawl budget is driven by 2 factors, crawl demand (knowledge about website) and the amount of which Google request to server.
- There is a fine budget given and need to make sure this is used effectively.
- Google has told us a lot about Mobile first, switching to the content for mobiles.
So what will change?
- The crawler Google will use will no longer be desktop. Instead it will be mobile. 80% of activity was from the desktop user agent before.
- Now moving forwards, the index will be driven by the mobile version.
- But don’t worry, they will transition the site slowly. If you read into things then in migration period, every SERPs is an experiment. For the interim period, there is a mixture of the index being presented.
So look at:
- Server logs – is it coming from the desktop agent? What will start to notice is certain days Google will be going to do tests.
- Crawl as a moble agent so you can see
Audit your mobile site
Step 1 – Understand how mobile crawlers view your site
- Use Usability reports and chrome tools,
- There is a misunderstanding that if you have a responsive site then everything will be fine.
- There are lots of structural indicators, many more duplication.
- Structured data gets removed. So check this.
- HTML will be the language in the browser.
- Comments count towards the content on the page.
- And also this migration is not completely out of your control.
- Google chosses the timing of the migration. But you can validate and check.
Step 2) Optimise Mobile Crawl Budget
- Prune content
- Clear internal redirects
- Avoiding inconsistent signals
- Audit your canonicals
- Understand the architecture of the site (so cut down the waste)
- Make sure you are accessing your site from a mobile perspective.
Step 3) Grow Organic Revenue
- Mark went through a case study where they migrated to mobile first and were able to cut a lot of waste.
- One month before the migration they had 17.5% indexable pages crawled
- One month later, they had 33.4% indexable pages crawled.
- They also say a 46% increase in growth
Looking at the results from Mark’s presentation it is important for both organic revenue and for your company as a whole to perform a mobile audit which lead to you optimising your mobile crawl budget.
For further details, please see Mark’s presentation on slideshare.
Mobile First Indexing
I always love Barry’s talks. I did not want to miss his latest presentation about Mobile First Indexing.
Barry Adams is the founder of the award winning Polemic Digital. Barry shared with the audience some tips on mobile first.
- You might be used to the desktop version, but the mobile version might behave in different way even if it is responsive. SO take the time and walk through the site as if you were a mobile user.
- Are you hiding any content around tabs and clicks. This is important.
- Look at the source code of the site
- Stuctured data, do you have this?
- Or any dynamic serving content?
- Hreflang tags, this is something that gets overlooked every time.
- It needs to be present on desktop and mobile version. On mobile it needs to be pointing to the mobile version not the desktop.
- Overlays – on the mobile screen you cannot have the close button cause it is not on the screen, so that is not a good experience. Do not have an overlay.
- Pagination –Do you use pagination meta tags, what URLs are there on the mobile version?
- Internal link structure – good way to visualise desktop vs mobile
- Subdomain is seen as separate website.
- Configuration – basic stuff how site is strudtured. Don’t let Google ccrawl internal site search.
- DO YOU HAVE A sitemap? Check if this works differently. Crawl your site map with mobile user agent.
- Redirects, check this as well for mobile
- Make sure your server can handle all this.
For the full presentation, please visit slideshare:
Big Links for £0
Laura Hogan from Rice Media shared her tips on links you can generate without spending money.
She loves links but hates spending money. It is not as hard as you think to generate links without spending, there are many tactics to use and not an infographic insight.
Here are just a few:
- Unlinked brand mentions
- Journo requests
- Case studies
- Interviews and Opinion Pieces
Unlinked Brand Mentions
- Set up these alerts to be able to get them. Get google alerts.
- Only check the best results once a day.
- Find out who wrote about you and contact the journalist.
- Check the links that you have already too, some may be broken, so ask them to fix it
Journo requests – time is important.
Get some automation in. Laura shared with us some sits to use:
Source bottles, journalis.mco.uk
Get tweetdeck set up and start monitoring hashtags, it is free
- Play it safe and stick to good events.
- Oreo dominate news jacking.
- Action – keep your eyes peeled, don’t jump on negative things
- Rice media found that uni case studies work the best.
- Universities want people to have case studies of how went to uni and the benefit.
- Plus you get to brag on Linkedin.
- It is a good tactic but on going.
- V good for statistical releases and hitting local press.
- You can request all this information from museums, hospitals, schools etc.
- But could take 20 working days to get responses from this.
- It Is worth the wait though.
Action – execute an foi campaign but plan ahead as it will take a while
PR and News
- Most common but you need a good spin and story. Birthdays are great but no one cares if you are three. Eg mark your 30th anniversary as a business.
- If local and trade are sole traders are your audience, promote your talent. Eg team is growing.
- For nationals – think outside the box. Eg Anne Summers. Got coverage every where. They used the wooden dolls you have in art school. V funny, sense of competition.
Listings and Directories
- It is manual and time consuming but can get links
- Accommodation and events on gov sites. Most gov sites allow you to submit events, pick the nearest council.
Dicscounts you can offer for members of group?
- Rice targeting 100 gardening societies, had 20% success rate.
- Not fancy but right personals and right customers.
- Worked very well for them.
- Action – consider networking
Interview and One Pieces
- Find your hook. Once you get in one publication, others will follow.
- OR Make yourself an expert in the industry and use it for coverage.
- You do not need to spend money or infographics.
- Try these tactics
Loved Laura’s presentation, you will too, below is the link to it on slideshare:
Effective Link Building for ECommerce
Marie Turner shared her effective ecommerce link building techniques.
- ECommerce Fundamentals
- Building an Effective Link Campaign
Effective Ecommerce Link Building
Girls are often searching for “jeans and a nice top” so an ecommerce fashion brand Marie spoke about put this on their page. It worked so well. The site generated a lot of links and traffic from it.
Matt Cutts created a post in 2014 about the decay and fall of guest blogging. Are people doing this now?
It is not about tactics. It is about working what your customers want and use that to build links.
For example if you are a hat company and selling hats. Riding hats, many people do not get the right size hat. SO have a size checker. Who else is interested in this? horse maagzines and high contextual links.
Top 4 helpful assests of all time
- Seriouseats nacho generator. They got 6,000 organic visits a month
- Clarks shoe checker – they have 2.700 visits a month. Rankings 1st for measuring kids feet. 1,400 shoe fitting queries
- Amara – Home-inspiration – 10,000 organic views a month
- Ranks 1st page for home inspirations and regular links from collaborators.
Also the wall paper calcularor – 3,000 organic views a momnth 1st page for wallpaper calcularot, 1200 queries for “how do I meansure wallpaper”. And has 50+ links
It works because it is useful.
How to build a campaign for customers
It will take a while but it does not have to be expensive
- Get buy in from everyone, customers, customer survey.
- Also buying in from people who want the links from.
- Get internal teams together.
- Work with teams – do gantt chart to see where peope on holiday and get people block off time
- If you are measuring at the end, then you are failing. Monitor and report during the campaign.
Some great tips from Marie, here is her presentation:
The Ray Stantsz Guide to Real World Link Building.
Greg Gifford shared his tips on link building with the BrightonSEO audience. He warned us that this would actually be an anti link building session. Most link building sessions do not help.
- Most of us do not work with huge sites trying to get more links. Most of us work with small business that have less than 100 inbound links.
- In Local SEO , we link build in a different way.
- We do not care about DA or Trust flow, a local link it is good for you.
- We do not care about follow or no follow
- We build on links based on real world value beyond SEO.
- Local links are hard to reverse engineer because they look like abad links when you run them through the SEO tools.
- Local links are hard and complicated.
- You can get lots of lower authority local links for less effort than for one high authority link.
- Take advantage of relationships that you already have. Figure out what is already going on. Look at relationships already been formed.
- Take advantage things already doing like sponsoring.
- Need some ideas for awesome local links: – look at this URL
- Highlights from Sept’s link ideas:
- Local meetups – look for people looking to meet. Or look for people that have meetups, but need a sponsor.
- And also ethic business directories
- Neighbour hood watch websites – will get referral traffic over.
- Also child seat installations. Most people do not put child seats in correctly.
- Also use Google searches (cityinurl:sponsorships)
- It is not hard to build links, it is easy what to do for daily grind.
Here is the process you should be doing:
- Ask the right questions when onboarding a client.
- Things they are already doing give you lots of data and ideas
- Then find lots of clean up opps where only need to follow up with a little outreach
- Then you ned to five in and go heavy with the research
- Pull a list of your invalid links
- Use multiple link tools, Moz, Majestics and ahrehfs and SEMrush
- Pull all four then put into excel and then dedupe. This gives best view of the link profile.
- Then pull your competitors links and again with multiple links
- Start looking for link opps, what do they have that you do not have.
- You need unique links to win, BUT going after competitors is good way to start.
- If someone is linking to them, then it would be easy for you to get a link
Greg ran a super bad ass link workshop and he recommends use Greg’s worksheet.
- Don’ t forget to pull links from similar business in other cities.
- Use the tactics that Laura and Marie do.
- Create a spreadsheet of Link opps.
List all details on each opp, like site, cost timefrance, contact info.
You must have contact info now before you do the outreach.
- Decide which page on your site each opp will target.
- Don’t want all links going to the home page.
- Then when you are done then it is time to decide which links to go after.
- Then once did this, lock them down with the outreach.
- If you are sending an outreach mail, please keep it simple. They do not understand what you are doing. Don’t mention the link right away.
- Then rinse and repeat every two to three months. Also pick up the phone.
So many great tips, read more of them on slideshare:
<iframe src=”//www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/key/x4ZZRhizUw3w56″ width=”595″ height=”485″ frameborder=”0″ marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” style=”border:1px solid #CCC; border-width:1px; margin-bottom:5px; max-width: 100%;” allowfullscreen> </iframe> <div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”//www.slideshare.net/GregGifford/the-ray-stantz-guide-to-real-world-link-building” title=”The Ray Stantz Guide to Real World Link Building” target=”_blank”>The Ray Stantz Guide to Real World Link Building</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”https://www.slideshare.net/GregGifford” target=”_blank”>Greg Gifford</a></strong> </div>