SES London 2014 – Day 1 Takeaway: 52 Stats, tips and quotes from #seslon

 

I’mma keep this to the point…

Keynote – Bruce Daisley of Twitter: Running In Real Time: Bringing Campaigns to Life by Marketing in the Moment

  • Superbowl 2013 – 25 million tweets yet Oreo managed to be timely, current and humorous and stand out with “you can still dunk in the dark”.
  • 80% of Twitter usage is on mobile – 70% of which at home
  • 25% audience purchased via twitter,
  • 50% use twitter to give them latest news, personalised news
  • 15.2 million tweets on the #grammys hashtag
  • •#pharrellsHat was a talking point
  • Mobile click stream analysis – 94% of twitter users shop on mobiles,
  • 56% of twitter users are influenced in what they purchase by what they see on twitter
  • •37% visit twitter before and or after shopping on their mobile
  • 1 in 3 say that twitter has a direct influence on their purchase decision

Session 1 – Building B2B: Judith Lewis and Krista LaRiviere

First Speaker – Judith of Decabit Consulting

  • High sharers convince low sharers to buy your product
  • 43% of people in the UK are prompted to purchase after online interation
  • If using multiple accounts, keep a uniform look to retain company image and to be recognisable as a single entity
  • Free your teams with a centrally governed set of rules, empower them with structure

Krista, CEO of gShift labs

  • 58 million tweets per day
  • 18 minutes is how long a tweet lasts (average lifecycle)
  • Content industry is $44BN dollar yet people are producing a lot of crap on this basis
  • Smarter content is based on data

Session 1 – Big Data Uncovered: Dixon Jones and James Murray

First speaker is Dixon Jones of Majestic SEO

  • According to Twitter on an average day approx. 500,000,000 tweets per day.
  • Compare that to Majestic who crawl 2,000,000,000 pages a day, but see 7,700,000,000 a day
  • Storage, CPU and bandwidth (transporting the data) are the scaling problems
  • “Only collect what you need and crunch it quickly.”
  • Average page size 320 KB = 600 terabytes of data
  • Approximates to 600,000 hours of video
  • Hadoop – becoming opensource option of choice. Used with R and MongoDB – good tools of choice for data crunching in cloud.

James Murray – Experian

  • If you were to put each individual data point Experian have, into an Excel you would be able to cover Paris
  • 2 exabytes of data created online every day
  • Customer behaviour is changing due to connected life, user sophistication and mobile tech
  • 11% of consumers are using a tablet as their main device…. Er hello retail websites???
  • 8,300 social networks and forums
  • Your customer only sees the brand. They are channel agnostic. Splitting teams by expertise creates inherent disconnect

Session 2 – Content Strategy

See here for a detailed write-up

Session 3 – Influence the Influencers – Lee Odden

Main speaker – Lee Odden of TopRank Marketing

  •  64% increase in content marketing budgets in the uk
  • Consumer publishing extends over 240 million blogs
  • 34% increase each year in companies blogging (though eveyrone is doing the same stuff, to get “more hooks in the water”)
  • 94% UK marketing function use content marketing
  • 39% highly effective use – 72% (B2B) 45% (B2C) are investing more
  • Influence is not having 50-1000 twitter friends

There are four types of content classifications according to Odden:

  • Evergreen (timeless, always relevant)
  • Curated (take whats current and input it in a newsletter > monthly eshot)
  • Repurposed: making ebooks of above
  • Co created = participation marketing, find common goals, go to your own community

 

Lisa Myers and Cheri Percy
Lisa Myers of Verve Search and Cheri Percy of Distilled

Session 4 – Unlocking the Secrets of Mobile Video, Cheri Percy and Jon Mowat

First speaker is Cheri Percy of Distilled

  • “in design, there are no more ‘hero sizes” – Mashable CTO. E.g. design is platform agnostic
  • By 2017 85% of the world wil have 4G devices
  • 51% of 2013 web traffic came from a mobile device (Cisco)
  • Do not neglect YouTube analytics
  • No. shares x total engaged views/1000 gives a manageable engagement score
  • Vine – explore tab for loads of trending topics
  • Share your first post on Vine with hashtag #firstpost (community convention)

Jon Mowat of Hurricane Media

  • Stories are told in narrative beats
  • Start with “the deal” and reach a “conclusion”
  • 62% of 18-32 YO prefer to check their phone in any “downtime” (as opposed to sit and think)
  • 37% say they check their phone if there’s a lull in conversation
  • Campaign need emotional and logical beats (but be careful when using together)
  • YouTube is a destination not a stopover. Only 1% click-thru to site from YT!
  • Don’t be afraid of the Pro channel and keep your brand films up to date inc. deleting old films

 

What Online Marketers Can Learn from the Arts Sector (and vice versa)

I recently had the opportunity to attend a conference on digital engagement in the arts sector. The conference took place in Brighton and was hosted by Culture24.

Culture24 is a non-profit organisation with a mission “to support the cultural sector in reaching online audiences”. The conference was in some sense a launch event for their newest research, in the form of a report titled Let’s Get Real 2.

[Quick sidenote: The first Let’s Get Real report was released in 2011, and became the starting point for an 11-month research project which brought together 22 cultural organisations to learn about “the practical use of technologies to gather data and how to draw meaningful insights from this”. The result of this research is the Let’s Get Real 2 report.

The full report can be downloaded from the Culture24 website.]

But what I want to talk about today is how we, as SEOs and digital marketers, can learn from this research coming out of the arts sector and use it to help us do our jobs better. So I’ve put together a few  general takeaways from this conference which resonated with me, and which I’d like to see us SEOs and online marketers thinking about more:

1. your target market is an ‘audience

One of the recurring buzzwords of the day was ‘audience’. I know that we as marketers do sometimes use the term ‘audience’ to describe our target market, but how often do we think about what that word means?

Consumers and customers seek you out in order to satisfy a need for a product or service. This is not engagement, this is purely transactional.

Audiences, however, come to see and hear you because they are interested in what you have to say and/or show to them, and in some sense they want to engage with that. For performing artists, the audience is an active participant in the performance.

Continue reading “What Online Marketers Can Learn from the Arts Sector (and vice versa)”

Ins and Outs of Running an Independent SEO Conference or Meet-up

If there’s one thing I love about this industry it’s that we are not backwards in coming forwards. Whilst there are a number of fantastic conferences run by larger organisations, dedicated event and publisher groups there is no shortage of people that are creating, organising and growing independent or not-for-profit conferences within this sector. I wanted to find out about the challenges these (often volunteer) conference organisers face and if the benefits to them or their business match the time and effort put in. I asked the following group of indy conference and event organisers for their thoughts on the same topics:

Dan Harrison, who runs SotonDigital

Sam Noble, who runs Digital Females

Gus Ferguson who runs OMN

Jo Turnbull who runs Search London

Kelvin Newman who runs BrightonSEO


White Liger Woodbaby by ~Dream-finder on deviantART

The Paid or Free Dilemma

Jo: I have not considered charging people for Search London, nor would I want to as it would go against the principles of Search London which is a place where people can share information freely. It is important to keep Search London open for all, which means not charging a fee. There are many conferences with great speakers but due to the expense, many people miss out and cannot attend.  I am lucky to have some of these fantastic speakers talk at Search London.

Gus: I’m determined that the OMN events, such as they are now, will remain free, or virtually free. The main issue with this is that it’s virtually impossible to judge how many people are going to turn up as there’s no commitment further than a click on an RSVP button from members. This is a challenge as there’s a legal capacity in most venues, so if we set the max limit too high, and everyone turns up who RSVPs ‘yes’, then we could be in trouble. As the group grows bigger we’ll potentially implement a token charge that will go straight behind the bar. Maybe. Who knows? I don’t have a tip about this as I’ve not got it right yet.

Dan: We had over 100 attendees booked at the May SotonDigital event. 50% didn’t turn up. I think that free conferences are not valued compared to paid ones. As an organiser, this is very depressing, it’s like saying “you know all that hard work you did? yeah, I don’t really care”. About 10% (of non-attendees) apologise with some decent reasons for not attending. Makes me wonder about the other 90%!

Kelvin: We’ve always been free for the main event and I can’t envision that changing anytime soon. As soon as you charge even a single penny you change the relationship between attendee and organiser. It’s tricky to make the sums add up but not impossible, before I spend a single penny I need to ask myself what does this really add to the conference? is this something the attendees or sponsors will value? And it’s about spending the money in the right places as well.

Getting Bums on Seats (Or Fannys, for our American Readers)

Sam: Having a free event you will always struggle to get a 100% turnout on the day, so I always overbook the event and work to a 40% drop out rate. I don’t know what the ratio is like with other free or paid events but this seems to be about right for Digital Females.

Kelvin: We’ve fortunately never had a problems getting people along to BrightonSEO, with a sell out in less than an hour for every conference. But it never ceases to amaze me how many marketing events are poorly marketed. We understood very early on that scarcity makes people value the tickets more, so we push that, each conference will have it’s own angle but it does need a marketing strategy, not just a book it and hope approach.

Jo: Once you have the fantastic speakers and you have announced the event (sending out emails or publishing on your blog), getting bums on seats is not that hard.  It is very important to have a venue in a central location making it easy for people to attend, otherwise you will not attract many people. I always Tweet about the meetups I host via Linked in and I also advertise it on my own seo website. When I attend other meetups in the run up to mine and where relevant, I mention to those I speak with during the night, that I am running an event and ask if they would like to come along.

Gus: OMN was originally run by someone else, and called the Online Marketing Networking Group on Meetup, had about 100 members at its height. They ran events on Saturday’s to which only 3 or 4 members would turn up. So there’s tip number one, don’t run professional events at times that most people consider leisure time.

My main business, Quad, has offices on HMS President, which as well as being a pretty unique place to be spending my working life, is also one of the best events venues in London, and I was already considering setting up an event to take advantage of the space. So, when the disheartened organiser of the Online Marketing Networking Group stepped down, I took over the group and OMN was born. Tip number two, get a good venue.

Sponsorship

Sam: We have only run four meet ups so far so finding sponsorship hasn’t been too difficult. The first event was sponsored by Koozai to help get it off the ground and subsequent meet ups have been sponsored by Linkdex, Manual Link Building and Distiled. The last meet up was sponsored by Distilled and I was able to secure this sponsorship because we had Hannah Smith talking and we also helped push SearchLove and DistilledU in exchange.

Dan: This is tricky, as it’s tough to ensure sponsors get value. Invariably, it’s about visibility, but I’ve found that sponsors are only interested in sponsoring once the event is popular.

Kelvin: Being a free event we’ve never had the luxury of ticket revenue so we’ve had to build great relationships with sponsors, that means understanding what they want and helping them achieve it, as wanky as that sounds. In our case for the conference it’s the sponsors who are really are customers not the attendees so we try our best to put as many of the right people as we can in contact with them. And try and charge a fair amount for it.

Jo: It can be difficult to confirm sponsorship.  It is important to have the speakers confirmed, a date in mind and a venue with the costs before you ask for sponsorship. I am hosting my next meetup on Tuesday 18th of September and I pleased to say that MoneySupermarket are sponsoring the event.  I did book the venue and arranged the speakers before I had spoken to them about sponsoring.  However, for my last Search London event for the year which takes place week commencing October 22nd, and where Craig Bradford from Distilled will be speaking, I have yet to confirm a sponsor. If you are interested, please get in touch with me via Twitter.

Attracting Quality Speakers

Kelvin: We’ve never had a general call for speakers, for two reasons. One it makes you lazy as an organiser, the temptations there just to choose from those people who present themselves to you. Some of our most successful ever speakers have been the people who wouldn’t have put themselves forward for an SEO conference in a million years they only got involved because we asked them two. Secondly you’ve got to realise a lot of your friends and social media buddies are going to want to talk at your event, there’s only  limited slots and often they won’t be the right person for the gig even if they’re a great. Anything I can do to avoid that situation is good in my book.

Dan: I’ve found that inviting as many people as possible to speak allows you to choose the best range of topics that suit the audience. Give yourself a choice from a range of talks. Most potential speakers are aware of how they can boost their profile by speaking at a well-attended event.

Gus: We set an event for a couple of months in the future and reach out to industry connections, such as SEO chick extraordinaire Nichola Stott, (Author Note: I swear I did not pay him to say this) who we knew had a lot to offer the online marketing community and membership grew steadily. Tip number three, it’s all about the topics and the content. Get great speakers, talking about topics that are popular and you’ll get an audience. OMN is now a 2000+ strong community of London’s best and brightest online marketers, supported by a blog with a growing following and we’ve big plans for the future.

What Attracts People to Your Meet/Conference? 

Jo: The topics and the speakers are the most important factors in attracting people to Search London.

Sam: Networking with like-minded individuals in an environment that people feel comfortable in, then after that the speakers.

Kelvin: I think our price point as always helped us, we instantly wipe out the biggest objection people would have to coming to an event. Originally I think the party was one of the main attractions but I think that’s changing over time, now we’re lucky to have such a huge audience its becoming one of the places where there’s the greatest likelihood of you bumping into someone within the industry you know or who you would like to meet.

In which ways do you benefit? (If you do benefit?)

Gus: OMN is purposely kept separate from my main business, Quad, as I’m very conscious that I don’t want it to be seen as a sales event, although on the occasions that we sponsor the bar I’ll put a sponsor message in a group email, and this normally generates a few enquiries into our content marketing services. It’s about building genuine relationships

Sam: I didn’t create Digital Females to benefit me individually; it was set up to help increase the number of females attending some of the larger conferences in the UK. Many of the larger conferences are very much male dominated and I know there are a lot of females in the industry that don’t go attend them at the moment and I want to see this change over the next two years.

Jo: People have often asked this question. I enjoy arranging the meetups and meeting the speakers and the attendees. Everyone talks and works online, but it is nice to meet in person and also share knowledge with others. The search industry constantly has new updates and Search London is one of the ways to get real “how to” knowledge to stay ahead of the news and implement best practice for your websites and clients.

 

Kelvin: We benefit financially, BrightonSEO is slowly but surely becoming a ‘proper business’ in it’s own right. It’s no big company yet but if it brings in more than you spend it’s much easier to continue investing emotionally into the project. It’s been great for the profile of the city and me individually, I’m much better known as a consequence but I could have achieved a similar effect with much less effort if that had been my aim.

What I enjoy the most is seeing the friendships, business partnerships and successful careers that have been built to some extent as a consequence of BrightonSEO, someone came up to at the last event and told me how a freelance contract he’d won at the event had the potential to change his business. That’s hugely gratifying, seeing speakers who spoke first t BrightonSEO presenting all over the world is hugely gratifying, seeing things like Dave Trott’s book sell out on Amazon after speaking at BrightonSEO that’s gratifying too!

Dan: I generally get more visibility in the area which in turn benefits my own business profile, but I’ve found it short-lived. I’d need to keep running events to maintain it. However, there’s been no new business as a direct result.

Why Should Anyone Consider Organising an Independent Conference or Meetup in their Area?

Kelvin: What are you going to do differently, just being in a different location isn’t really enough, also don’t under-estimate how hard it can be to get sponsors or ticket sales, I’ve known of at least one event that was launched under blaze of publicity and if my sums are correct will have lost a bucket load of money. That doesn’t mean it won’t go on to be a huge success but if the people behind it thought they were going to make a huge ammount of money after event one they were mistaken. I think most people are better of starting small, Think of the smallest the event could possibly bean and make yours smaller. I think there’s a brighter future for someone who sells out a fifty person event than someone who sells a hundred tickets to an event that they thought would attract 250.

Dan: It’s great for the community, but be aware, it will eat up your time, far more than you’d expect… although it depends how much effort you put into it.

Gus: Running OMN takes a LOT of time. Managing the members, the event, promotion, speakers, sponsors,  door people, cloakrooms, etc. could easily be a full-time job for someone, and in the very near future it probably will be. I don’t make a profit out of the events, and for me it’s a labour of love. It’s a chance to give something back to the community that I love being part of, that provides my income and feeds my passion for digital marketing. Tip number four, be prepared to put your reputation on the line and give up evenings and weekends. If anyone reading this is interested in starting a Meetup/conference of their own, sign up to OMN, come down to the next event and grab me at the bar for a chat, or get me on Twitter @GusQuad. As I say it’s a passion of mine so I’m more than happy to discuss your plans with you and help if I can.

Sam: It is a great way to get people together but I would recommend looking around first to make sure there isn’t something already running. If there are already conferences or meetups in your local area, you need to find a specific niche that you can start to run with. If there isn’t anything in your area, go for it! It gives you a real sense of achievement when attendees come up to you after the event and say how much they learnt from enjoyed the event J

I‘d really like to thank Sam, Kelvin, Dan, Gus and Jo for taking the time to respond to my questions. One of the clearest points that each of these guys have stressed is that even though there are indirect or sometimes direct financial reward as a result of running these events, on the whole there is a huge amount of consuming time, effort and energy required to make these events a successful learning experience (and usually a whole bunch of fun.)

If you have ever attended, spoken at or simply joined one of these events for the fun networking, I hope you will join me in thanking these guys for their very hard work.

Thank you!

The Official SES London Networking Party

Next week Search Engine Strategies (SES) is in London, and seeing as 80% (actually it’s more like 70% but Julie is always in London in spirit) of the SEO Chicks are based in London quite a few of us are speaking and attending. Judith is speaking on day 1 and 2 on the subjects: “Introduction to SEO” and “SEO is dead, long live SEO” respectively. And I have two sessions on day 1 covering “Key Link building strategies” and “SEO means business”.  Nichola and Annabel will be attending and covering the event for Stateofsearch.com and Hannah will be covering the conference here on SEO Chicks. So, if you see us around the conference centre, please make sure you say hi, and preferably emulate how you look in your twitter avatar (we don’t see “real” people often and find it difficult to grasp that people don’t look like their avatars).

Continue reading “The Official SES London Networking Party”

The WINNER(S) of the SEO Next Generation Competition are..

We have had some fabulous entries to the SEO Next Generation competition, it has taken us a while to read through them all and score each entry. There were some hilarious, thought provoking and truly original entries, and we would like to thank everyone that entered for their time and effort. Our white, grey and one slightly blackish hat goes off to you.

THE WINNNERS

Soooo, get to the point I hear you all say, who won? Well, that’s the thing, we couldn’t really agree on ONE winner so after much deliberation and one phone call to our friends at SES London (who VERY kindly gave us another FULL Conference pass to SES London) we hereby announce the JOINT WINNERS:

Continue reading “The WINNER(S) of the SEO Next Generation Competition are..”

SEO: The Next Generation – WIN SES London Tickets + Mentoring with the SEO Chicks

We have put together a truly galaxy class competition for all SEO cadets out there. Have you been in SEO LESS than 2 YEARS or WANT TO GET IN TO SEO? Then YOU are the next generation SEO, and WE would like to help you become the best SEO cadet that you can be.


The enterPRIZE:


1 FULL CONFERENCE pass to SES LONDON 2012 (21st-23rd February)
AND access to ClickZ Training Academy (Monday 20th February). Courtesy of the guys at SES Conference Series.

3 Months MENTORING with the SEO-Chicks!
YOU will have access to ALL of the SEO-Chicks to help you with any questions or guidance you need. You will also get to meet a bunch of us (Lisa, Nichola, Judith & Annabel) at one of the days of SES London to discuss your mentoring plan.

Continue reading “SEO: The Next Generation – WIN SES London Tickets + Mentoring with the SEO Chicks”

SMX 2011: Social Signals & Search

A particular current obsession of mine and a topic on which I have about three gigs in the next month, so really hoping for some interesting thinking on this subject.
Panellists are; Bas van den Beld of State of Search, Cedric Chambaz of Microsoft; Marcus Taylor of SEOptimise and Jim Yu of BrightEdge.

Bas van den Beld

Google are clearly seeking to define user intent which is of course a difficult thing to do. Quite often user intent and be inferred by UX data, e.g. rich snippets vs ordinary results will give richer data feedback.

Don’t think that Google doesn’t “get” social – perhaps not in the network sense but later PageRank iterations incorporate “social” elements (link popularity).

Continue reading “SMX 2011: Social Signals & Search”

SEO Chicks is 4 years – Dude looks like a lady!

Can you believe SEO-Chicks.com is 4 years at the end of May? We launched officially at the very first SMX Advanced in Seattle on June 2nd 2007, myself and Julie pranced around Seattle wearing our SEO-Chicks t-shirt proudly, with no perception or plan of what we were going to do next. All we wanted to do was have our “own place” where we could chat about search and it grew from there.

As we launched the blog at SMX Advanced we thought it would be appropriate for SMX to be the place where we announce our very first EVER male blogger on SEO Chicks. And the “honour” of being the first male SEO Chicks blogger goes to: Sam Murray. The lovely Sam (or shall I say Samantha) isn’t actually at all feminine so we had to give him some help to “doll up” (oh my god I laughed so much):

Samantha Murray

Although, Sam is not the first dude to be wearing an SEO Chicks t-shirt though, in fact, none other than Rand Fishkin was the first to “cross dress” as an SEO Chick back in 2007 when we first launched (Sorry Rand, I bet you thought this was all forgotten..)

Randine Fishkin

Thanks to the SMX crew, Sam will be covering the SMX London conference along with Nichola Stott . You can also follow Sam on twitter: @SamMurray

Happy birthday SEO Chicks!

And the WINNER of the SMX and ISS pass is……

ThomasBarker Thomas Barker works as a Digital Marketing Executive at Lynch Buchanan and has been doing SEO for 1 year, he has also started doing some freelance SEO consultancy.

Here’s what Thomas had to say “I just wanted to say thank you very much for the tickets to SMX London next week. It’s a great opportunity for somebody like me who has only been in Search for about a year and doesn’t have the backing or funds to attend the industry leading events. I’m so thrilled about it and hope I can make the most out of this great opportunity the amazing girls at SEOChicks have given me!”

We like him already. Congratulations Thomas, looking forward to meet you next week!

WIN a ticket to SMX London AND IIS 2011

As the SEO-Chicks are blogging partners of SMX London we have bagged ourselves ONE FULL CONFERENCE pass to SMX London next week, but not only that, the ticket would also give you full access to the fabulous partner conference the day after: International Search Summit.

In addition the winner will also get to post a blogpost of his/hers experience as the conference on the SEO Chicks blog (along with a link to their blog and/or twitter profile).

How YOU can WIN?
We have given away tickets in the past where people winning the ticket only went to one day of the conference, so THIS time we want to give the ticket to someone that really really wants it and will attend the whole conference. We would like to help an “SEO Jedi in Training” to find their “force” and hang out with other SEOs. Therefore we specify that the chosen winner can’t be an already known name in the SEO industry and has to have been in SEO no longer than 2 years. The winner will be picked this Thursday (12th May)!

So how can you win? Simply retweet the following:

RT @SEOchicks Calling all SEO “Newbies” WIN a FULL conference pass to SMX London and ISS next week http://is.gd/pKlTHn #SEOJediInTraining

Obvioulsy you don’t need to to be a newbie to retweet, any help spreading the word is appreciated. Good luck!