SES London 2015 – SEO for the Skilled Mechanic

I’m speaking at SES London in a few weeks so thought I would give a preview of my talk

My topic is on loss of site visibility and I will be covering the following:

  • How to examine where a site has lost visibility
  • Capturing the right information to maintain leading results
  • What causes common SEO issues and how to remedy them
  • Which tools work the best for diagnosing SEO issues quickly

Tools to help diagnose a loss in visibility

I will look at the following:

  • Tools which will help you udnerstand the whether the loss is brand or SEO related
  • Tools which will determine the device most affected
  • Whether this loss is down to an algorithm update
  • Tools to determine whether your loss is down technical or content issues
  • Tools to determine whether your visibility loss is specific to you or industry wide

seo tools







Actions you can create from your analysis

  • Technical SEO actions
  • Content actions
  • Link Acquisition

seo actions







Finally I will talk about communicating your strategy

  • How your analysis will link to an action
  • What resources you need
  • Your timeframes

seo tools








Tickets are still on sale here

My Top 10 SEOs

Having worked in Digital for more than 5 years (always with the focus on Search) I have worked with/ learned of/ connected with lots of different people (some I’ve actually met in person!).  So thought I would put together my top 10 people in SEO.

10:  Leanne Johnson (Head of Social at Skype)

Not strictly an SEO expert but my manager at Bigmouthmedia and her intensity, attention to detail and drive is something I’ve tried to apply to my work and these kinds of skills have improved my ability at SEO.








Follow Leanne @LeanneLJohnson

9:  Erik Brignall (Global SEO Manager at British Airways)

Worked with Erik at Bigmouthmedia, this guy is insanely knowledgeble in all matters SEO & easy to get along/work with .   Working in the same team as Erik was one of my highlights of BMM, found his support of Bolton Wanderers & crapness at Fifa amusing.








Follow Erik @Whitespider

8: David James (Head of SEO at Direct Traffic Media)

Remember playing football with David and someone asked him whether he was good in goal and he replied “no, why?”.  Your name is David James!!  Another expert I worked with at Bigmouthmedia and on a project in-house, one of the best in the country.








Follow David @davidsmjames and here

7:  Annie Cushing (Independent SEO Consultant)

An expert on how to use analytics to gain additional data & insight on your SEO which can then be turned in actions.








Follow Annie @AnnieCushing

6:  Bill Slawski (Search Director at Go Fish Digital)

One of the big players in the industry, early on in my career I asked for advice via LinkedIn and his SEO group on LinkedIn and got some great tips.  Owns one of the most interesting SEO blogs out there.









Follow Bill @Bill_Slawski

5:  Asaad Dookhy (SEO + PPC Lead and Manager at Decathlon)

Yeah, I’m putting myself on this list.








Follow Asaad @28Asaad

4:  Matt Ridout (Head of SEO at Farfetch)

Worked with Matt at Bigmouthmedia & when I was there I recognised that this guy is at the level I want to reach.   Matt is excellent at all aspects of SEO and I believe he is one of the top UK SEOs.









Follow Matt @mrridout196

3:  Dan Petrovic (Director at Dejan SEO)

One of the few SEO blogs where you can get real takeaways, enjoy Dan’s Googe Plus Hangouts & enthuasism for testing new theories.








Follow Dan @DejanSEO

2: Rand Fishkin (Founder of Moz)

There isn’t one person who works in SEO who doesn’t know who Rand is!









Follow Rand @randfish

1:  Matt Cutts (Head of Webspam at Google)

Pretty sure he doesn’t know the full picture but if anyone comes close its Matt.  His videos are invaluable for meetings/presentations!








Follow Matt @mattcutts

Choosing a Brand Name

When starting a business SEO normally is an after thought but why not think about SEO from inception?  This article looks at SEO considerations when choosing a brand name.


Could you brand start with an ‘a’ so they appear top on most directories and other lists.  The higher your link on the page the better.









4-5 Letter Name

Keep it snappy so you can maximize character limits in title tags and meta descriptions.  Thus you can have better CTA’s which result in better CTR plus short URLs are good.




Catchy Names

Use a name which is intriguing/unique so people are more inclined to mention it and use it links to your site.  A memorable name means it’s easy for someone to type it directly in the address bar and including the URL fits in offline advertising.

1 Word Name

Makes it easy for using in hashtags and social sharing.  Also prevents your name from being abbreviated which could be a problem with incoming links.





Easy To Spell

The brand should be easy to spell so avoid buying up domains of misspelled variations.  Asos is perfect, impossible to misspell!  Also if the misspelling is highly searched for it creates a problem for brand SERP domination.




Target Region

Use your country tld and research what your name means in other countries.  Conduct some user testing to find out words people associate with your chosen brand name.

Avoid Exact Match Domains

Not because of The Google EMD update but because they tend to be boring, imagine if Twitter decided to go with ?






Tweet: Read this article

Google Doing Stuff

Few things which has caught my eye recently:

Getting rid of Instant Preview due to low usage and pushing G+ with the option to share the URL:


Conversions added to Google Analytics Real Time:


Sleeker design in Google Adwords:


Pulling what seems to be the brand tagline in Google US:


Combined Google Direct and Wikipedia, but interestingly the logo is pulled from a neutral site.  Perhaps the logo on the John Lewis site wasn’t the right dimensions.













G+ redesign includes; enhanced photos, multi column layout and related hashtags:


Parallax Sites and SEO

Your designer has been on Pinterest too much and wants to implement a parallax design ….










Here’s how to convince them to stop for the sake of SEO:

Loading speed

Google likes the quick sites and is a ranking factor.  Parallax sites are image heavy and take ages to load.

Key content

Traditionally you place your most important content above the fold but will parallax sites all content is on one page so there is not fold thus important content is at the bottom of the page.

Pages indexed

The whole site will be in the index as one page so if you are targeting a highly competitive keyword then you may not have any organic visibility and will get nothing on the long tail.  You could try and rank for multiple keywords through supporting keywords in the title tag, H2’s and diversifying your backlinks but it is difficult.  A site with many pages has the a chance of each ranking for various keywords.


If your site offers one thing then it’s fine but it’s likely you would have multiple topics e.g. clutch bags, tote bags and the best way to target all these topics is to create a separate page for each and optimise through Meta tags and deep linking.

Ignoring Google Plus is Stupid

It has been nearly been 2 years since Google + launched but still remains an underused channel for brands.  Whilst most have a presence now, many don’t post regularly or with unique content and sort of just do it because they feel they have to.

Digital Marketers were skeptic because of the failure of Google Buzz but the rumored SEO benefits and commitment from Google got us a bit more interested.  Marketers failed to see the difference between G+ & FB and whether it is the right demographic (Google Plus is mainly used by males from a technical background).

Conspiracy theorists stated this was the next stage in Google owning the world’s data.










This article looks at reasons why Google Plus should be embraced more:

Doing something innovative bring success

Topshop is the perfect example, partnering with G+ Topshop gave its viewers a ‘360’ take on its Autumn/Winter 2013 show at London Fashion Week.

  • Model Cam allows viewers to ‘be the model’
  • Be the Buyer app allows users to create their own mood boards
  • Be the Creative allowed users to ask the in-house team questions on Hangouts
  • Content hosted on G+ and streamed live on YouTube
  • Models keeping diaries on G+













And they say no one adds to their circles?!  I haven’t looked at the number of followers before but it’s likely that fashionistas wanted to be part of this so added Topshop (and may have created a G+ account especially as there are many silhouettes accounts).  It would be interesting to monitor the growth from now on.

Is Facebook Getting Boring?

In December Facebook lost 600,000 UK users and the recent News Feed revamp and Graph Search is hardly exciting the public.


Facebook users over the last months (via Social Bakers)

Less people on Facebook mean less people to market to.

Google Plus on the other hand is growing and has something like 400 million active users.



Competitive Advantage

Prada for example have pretty much done nothing on G+ but still 4K people have added them to their circles.  Imagine the number if they were active?



Listen in on people’s conversation, great for research and targeted content.  Probably a bit creepy though!


OK fine you can monitor conversations on Twitter and Facebook Group but it’s still another source of information.



Who doesn’t want that?  Recent posts act like a real time company update and keeps audience on the results page longer.  No issue in G+ taking away some traffic from the main domain as it’s intriguing for people who haven’t heard of Google Plus and I’m sure the person will end up on the site if they want to.


Facebook and Twitter can’t offer this, great way to engage with your fans directly.  Remember how happy you are when a brand/celebrity tweets back at you, actually speaking to them multiplies this and creates more brand advocates.


We’re All The Same

Posts on G+ are just not interacted (comments and Plus Ones) with as much as Facebook yet.  Don’t let that put you off.