Mostly all morning I was going around and visiting the expo's and making some good contacts. I had a really good time chatting with Aaron Wall from SEO Book. He is a really down to earth guy and very easy to talk to. He also was asking me how I felt about his rants politically. I personally don't mind because that is what a blog is all about. It puts a person behind the information and makes it easier to want to keep reading because you are really getting to know them.
11:35 Search Blog and Reporter Forum
(It was an open forum so this is from everyone - Aaron Wall, Mike McDonald, Barry Schwartz, Andy Beal, Lee Odden and the man Rand Fishkin
Main topics of the forum:
- Article links and if they matter? Where do the links end up? Are they archived? Ways you can get them to be more dominant is to del.icio.us them (the actual URL where the article is posted) or Digg them.
- Be the FIRST to create a wikipedia about your business and topics.
- Separate and know your audience - the web 2.0 and regular (older) web browsers.
- Think of top 10 lists that you can blog about (even if you have a boring topic) make it funny, or try to make someone mad for the controversy)
- You can Digg your own stories, but be careful and make sure they are worth Digging because they will be buried anyway.
- Mixing up articles for different crowds and groups of people.
- Leverage blogs and other bloggers to promote your stuff and start to establish relationships.
- Hire some other blogger in your field to be a guest writer.
- Remember a blog is a conversation so be personal and let the readers get to know you.
- Newsvine.com is great for article archives so use them.
- Complain about other companies services to get your blog noticed and get people linking to you based on that.
- Reputation Management (reverse search engine optimization) or Brand Management
- Make a corp Squido "about company" page for brand management
- webmasterradio.com (search for seo rockstars)
- ning.com (a community for marketers) so find niche social sites to be a part of rather than a "big" myspace type site.
- facebook.com ( a new myspace social networking site)
- Wordpress plug in musts: "threaded comments" and "technorati" quick links are a must.
- marketingpilgram.com has a top 10 list of wordpress plug ins for marketers.
Overall this was a great forum with tons of info and good to hear the top dogs out there are human and do shady SEO tactics sometimes for testing etc. Keep it real and do your best to provide good service and your blog, website will excel.
1:30 - 3:10 Purchasing Links:
Philippe Lang from LivePerson.com talked about much of nothing. Basically another pitch and commercial for his company.
Alex Bennert from Beyond Ink talked about a ton of great things including:
- Have a sight search utilities on the homepage.
- Check your log files for errors on pages
- create a custom 404 page with simple information like - contact, search and a homepage link
- Sites don't convert because of lack of credibility (ie, contact us, names, departments, addresses etc)
- People will not wait more than 8 seconds for a page to load.
- Make sure everything on site is consistent.
3:30 - 6:00 Search and Research on a Rail
Mostly talked about brand positioning and the "brand experience" and to be aware for what people need. You could implement focus groups and interviews. Also think about surveys and polls to create better information. Most people when visiting your site wonder "what business are you in?" so make sure that is clear when they first visit you. This was not a terribly "exciting" session, but mostly made me realize how important branding is.