PubCon Key Takeaways – November 8, 2011

As Pubcon 2011 wraps up, it's difficult to reflect on the past 72 hours on so few hours of sleep. Last night, we attended Alan Bleiweiss' Epic Dinner with 120 attendees. It was fantastic. He did an incredible job. Afterward, we went to karaoke and watched several of our own rock the mic and the dancefloor.

Content

Keep your content fresh, quality and with purpose. More than any other the focus in discussion today revolving around content had to do with creating it with the user in mind. If your content doesn't serve any other purpose than optimization than it isn't going to produce the ultimate SEO results.

  • Google is no longer "page focused" but "site focused." – Greg Boser
  • We need to change the idea of keyword research to the concept of "content research." Google is smart enough to equate phrases and allowing you to rank simply on relevance, not exact match. - Joe Laratro

Social Media

The way the SEO world views social media as an ranking influencer seems to have taken a roller coaster ride over the last few years. Finally it seems we are discussing HOW social can influence rankings rather thean IF it does. 

  • People are becoming the primary focus of search, as opposed to links in the past, and the speed of shares, amount of shares, length of time something is being shared, etc. are some of the indicators the search engines are looking to understand. - Rob Garner
  • A 1:1 ratio of Twitter followers will work against you for any automated algorithm written to judge quality. – Joe Hall

Keyword Research

Tools, tools and more tools. And the best yet, the majority of them are free. The takeaway from discussions on keyword research and targeting is that a good SEO does not just use one tool. The strategic use of tools to build out a strong keyword list and then set priorities through a filtering process will drive stronger results.

  • Quite whining about the lost keyword data in Google Analytics. – Will Reynolds
  • Research your competitors! What do your competitors say they’re about? What do they blog about? Compare that to the “Website: feature” in the keywords tool. - Laura Lippay
  • SEO's always target the head terms and forget about the long. SEM does just the opposite. We need to marry this data to get the best results. – Will Reynolds
  • Name your products like your customers do, with common keywords. – Rob Snell

Reputation Management

The topics covered today around reputation management touched on processes in monitoring more than any other. Monitoring and maintaining your brand before a crisis hits, monitoring the most relevant phrases (brand, product, executive names) as well as monitoring social interactions and mentions.

  • Implement the 80/10/10 rule. Focus 80% percent of your time on owned web properties, 10% of your time on web properties you can control (flickr, facebook, youtube etc.) and 10% on web properties you can influence. – Andy Beal
  • Look Into Incorporating social media policies for your employees to ensure they are not fueling the fire by responding to complains and creating more content. – Tony Wright

Site Structure

  • To create the best information archictecture company and website goals should be the first item identified. - Kristina Schachinger
  • Increase site speed by having less calls mean faster loading, limiting your use of multiple javascript libraries and avoid making IDs and classes when possible. - Jon Henshaw
  • Microdata (schema.org) should be used because is up to date (based on HTML5), an accepted standard by the major search engines and can improve SEO. – Tony Wright

Resources mentioned:

html5readiness.com

schema-creator.org

caniuse.com

css3.info

Link Building

Branding and diversity were certainly the focal point of link building today.

  • Brute Force is Dead! Building exact match links will no longer be the biggest factor. The biggest percentage of your links should be branded. – Greg Boser
  • Canonicalization is a hint, not an absolute. You are better off using the noindex, follow or rel="next" rel="rev," or the robots.txt to manage content and resolve duplicate content issues. - Jill Sampey
  • Exact match anchor is no longer the way to do link building. If anything. Branded partial matches are usually best. – Greg Boser
  • Don't just look to acquire links from HTML pages. PDF is a great option as well. - Stephan Spencer

Resources mentioned:

linkresearchtools.com

ubersuggest.org

soloseo.com

Conversion

  • Don't forget the secondary conversions. Actions are conversions, subscribed to RSS, Email addresses, social subscribers. – Joanna Lord
  • Don’t use captcha to avoid spam for forms. It helps to control spam but it stops conversions. Create a blank hidden field and if there’s data, verify it because no regular user will fill it out. - Brad Geddes

 

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