#SESTO Day 1 with @billhunt, @linkbuildingjon, @jimhedger, @aaronleven

So I’m back at SES Toronto for another year. Day 1 was a fun and informative, as usual. Here are some of my notes from my 4 favourite speakers of the day:


Mining your search keywords & social data for new revenue opportunities

Bill Hunt, SES Advisory Board; President, Back Azimuth Consulting

  • What people talk about in social is different from what people search for
  • When are they talking? Align your paid search to match chatter is social media
  • Make sure you add the keywords you’re trying to rank for to your social media campaigns
  • Identify influential social media sites including blogs and forums for link building
  • Being mentioned by authority influencers on Google + leads to a significant boost in search
  • Understand the context of your keywords so you’re not attached to negative / toxic keywords
  • Use your site search questions to create content
  • To boost your conversions make sure your snippets match the keywords being used
  • Look at under performing keywords – look where you’re ranking in the top 5 but aren’t getting 5% of the clicks – these are low hanging missed opportunities
  • Take your top paid keywords and try to rank organically for them – it’ll save you money


Link Building that Makes Sense

Jonathan Ball, VP Business Development, Page One Power

  • Imagine a world without Google – if Google did not exist where would you put your links?
  • Try to get local links – partner with local organizations and associations
  • Go with relevancy first – white hat link building follows relevancy, not page rank
  • Use a relevancy tree to find related keywords and websites you can link build from
  • Use offline strategies to build links… call people, meet with them! People link to people
  • Think about building links where it’s for the betterment of mankind – it has to be valuable for everyone
  • Use guest posting to add helpful content to other websites that are related to yours
  • Link building is a 2 part process – find target set, get a link on the site
  • Use a strategy – guest post, badging, resource links, 404 link building
  • Be convincing, persistent, real
  • Give love!
  • Blogging – vital to white hat link building – difference between site that is alive and dead
  • On your blog you can also interview experts in your industry instead of creating all the content yourself
  • Create a blog post asking a number of experts the same questions and post the results
  • Keywords to look for: “keyword” + news, experts, associations, forums, blogs, trade shows, events, classifieds
  • Guest posting is his favourite kind of link building – find target sites, email blogger, promote it!
  • Write testimonials – every good business transaction, send them an unsolicited testimonial and picture
  • Make a glossary 
  • Always call people if possible – success rate goes up 20x
  • Write content for DIY sites – they are hungry for content
  • Forums – be careful, go slowly, actually care
  • Give stuff away – contests, giveaways, scholarships
  • Put reviews on your site and promote them
  • Go crazy! Ie. the world’s largest table of elements


From Strategy to Execution: Conversion Optimization

Jim Hedger, Writer & Broadcaster, Digital Always Media

  • To consider: where are visitors coming from? search? paid search? social media?
  • How are visitors accessing your content? mobile? desktop?
  • What do you want your visitors to do? fill in a form? talk to you? buy?
  • Is there a regional or local strategy?
  • Design 3 landing page templates, circulate and debate each one, alter templates as necessary
  • Deploy newly created landing pages in an A/B/C test 
  • Use Google Analytics –> Content –> Experiments to run simple tests, the numbers don’t lie
  • Phone calls count – make sure to measure them as part of your conversions
  • Track 2 kinds of data – incoming – where the the click originate?, outcome – what did the visitor do?


From Strategy to Execution: Conversion Optimization

Aaron Levenstadt, Founder / Chief Digital Advisor, Digital Shift Marketing

  • Look at bounce rate segmented by landing pages segmented by source of traffic
  • Helps you to identify if there is a disconnect between search terms you’re optimizing for and the content on the website
  • Process: build a search map, use on-page and off-page optimization, monitor the rank, produce relevant / shareable content, monitor changes in the ranking
  • “Content isn’t king anymore – it’s more like the emperor.” – Matt Cutts
  • Content is at the core of our online identity, and the future of search is the relationships created between content 
  • Create a days purchase report – how many visits does it take to get someone to buy?
  • Email me when price goes up can get as many people to sign up as email me when price goes down
  • Look at visitor loyalty report – how many people come to your website more than once?

That’s it for Day 1 – stay tuned for Day 2 coverage tomorrow!

About the Author

I #Believe in entrepreneurs.

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