Manchester SEO mini conference

SEO ManchesterManchester SEO folk were gathered in force last Friday for the first Manchester SEO mini-conference. Organised by Pete Young and sponsored by Manual Link Building and The E Word the event was held at the Hive on Lever Street. A top SEO gig with more than 150 Manchester SEO, copywriting, internet marketing and digital professionals showing up for a half day of juicy SEO insight and opinion.

Arriving fashionably late I managed to miss most of Nichola Stott’s presentation. What I did see seemed to revolve around calculations relating to Google UK search spend. Lots of very big and very small numbers intercoursing – I think the answer was 42.

Press Releases and Google News

Next up was Barry Adams. Senior Internet Marketer for Search at Pierce Communications in Belfast. Barry gave a splendid heads up on the SEO benefits of Google’s much overlooked Google News.

Two words of advice – ‘Do It’. You’ve got 2 options….

One – Build your own hugely expensive and resource hungry news site. No thanks. As someone once almost said…’Life’s too short to stuff a keyword.’

Two – Take the path of least resistance. Write killer press releases and distribute them through the likes of PR Web and Business Wire. Don’t mess about with the quality. Quality rules. If you need a hand I know just the Press Release ninja you should talk with.

As a star burst way of generating traffic Google News has got to be a given in any organisation’s online marketing efforts. Sure you may only get a limited top end profile (3 days max was Barry’s estimate) but what a blissful three days. Go for it.

See….. Press releases aren’t just linkbait – they can rank in universal search too. Attacat Hannah covers the presentation in her Optimising for Google blog post.

The Psychology of Link building

Kelvin Newman, Creative Director at SiteVisibility hit us with the brain stuff – A skip through the psychology of link building no less. As entertaining as it was thought provoking. That I’d used the Dan Pink TED talk and the candle problem in a recent piece of work made me feel very grown up indeed.

The take aways?

1. It’s people who link, not websites
2. People do stuff cause they want to, not necessarily because you give them cash
3. Collaboration normally trumps competition
4. The words you use really, really matter. As a copywriter this one can’t be emphasised enough.
5. Don’t make inclusion contemptibly easy
6. We assume people will agree with us
7. People take different things from content
8. People naturally like to conform to the norm

Attacat Ben Rogers has posted his notes here.

As an aside. Kelvin referred to Rand Fishkin of SEOmoz for his SEO guruness. My question. Why does Rand always seem to take 7 minutes 35 seconds to say what would take most other people less than a minute? Am I missing something? I appreciate SEO is a canny old game but is the guy seriously thinking transcript? As someone in the SEO know perhaps you might be able to help me.

Onwards.

SEO Forecasting

Last on the bill was Neil Walker of SEO Mad and Just Search. Interesting stuff. He went through the leaked AOL data that showed the clickthrough ratios on top 10 search positioning and used this as the starting point to explain the timescale on ROI kerching machine that he’s built.

About first page positioning…

  • First place positioning wins over 40% of all search traffic.
  • First place wins as many visitors as second to eighth place combined.
  • You can multiply your opportunities to convert by a factor of 3.5 compared to second position and 14 compared to tenth.
  • In the top 2 positions there is 23 times more traffic compared to positions 10-5
  • Only one on ten searchers will look beyond the first ten search returns.
  • Given the choice between a crap site at No 1 and a conversion optimised site at No 10 take the site at No 1 then hire in a great copywriter and UX/web design team to get it humming.

Cursed/blessed with an Excel fetish he’d crunched the client campaign numbers to work out conversion rates, traffic levels, when and how much cash will flow

Tie this in with some good looking graphics and you’ve got yourself a tidy deal closer. Check out Attacat Hannah’s Forecasting for SEO blog post for more info.

Great session people. Thanks. Looking forward to SAScon 2011

Thanks for the photo Tathagata

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