SES London takeaway for newbies
A couple of weeks ago, I attended SES London 2011 and found that several of the speakers’ points of view differed dramatically on various topics of discussion -Apart from those who were talking about specific products or latest developments (i.e Jens Munch on Google Local), evidently strategies that could be successful for an industry or client- may not apply for another on a different vertical; however this ends up being very confusing for newbies on the search front or small business owners that have not taken the step towards optimising their sites.
For instance, if you attended the talk about ‘SEO Through Blogs & Feeds’ where Mikkel (deMib) and Andrew (BMM) discussed sitemaps, you would have learned that both have completely different approaches -I would definitely encourage you to try a combination by yourself. Let’s say you have a website that has been live for a few years, and all the pages have already been indexed, then there might be very little value in taking the time to create the sitemap and submit it to Google WMT; however, if there are quite a few pages that have not been indexed, then you should definitely take the time to do so. The same will apply with any other assets that you have on your site, PDFs, Videos, Images, etc.
On the last statement, I am definitely with Paddy @ Distilled who suggested digitising all business documents/assets on the ‘Digital Asset Optimisation’ presentation. Let’s assume you work in the retail sector, images and videos of your products are invaluable as these improve user experience, let alone the fact that they could generate traffic themselves with universal search. Press releases, product specification documents (as PDFs), reviews, testimonials, podcasts, everything counts when reaching new audiences, and business owners and marketing department must be aware of the importance of sharing this information as this is the key in today’s globalised world.
In the end, the main takeaway is ‘it’s all about trial and error’, which was brilliantly discussed on the ‘Conversion Clinic’ session by the guys at Conversion Rate Experts: make some changes to your website, test the results, make more changes and keep on testing. Same with link building: submit your press releases, pictures, videos, pdfs on different platforms -didn’t work as you expect? Just keep on trying new things, rename your files, change the titles, descriptions, evaluate your keywords… Just make sure you have clear goals and benchmarks when testing! If someone already knew the magic SEO formula, then everybody would agree at these events.