I’m Leaving SEO to Start a Career in Modelling

** Sorry, modelling industry! This was an April Fool. See my AF from 2014 here. **

The other day I announced the launch of Cardiff SEO Meet. It’s generated a bit of PR interest (due out next week), and in addition to being asked to pass on info about the meetup, I was asked to provide a photo. Rather than to simply pass on a picture of the logo and call it a day, I decided to get some proper photos done. Joe of Eyes Open Media kindly took some photos of me in Welsh ICE‘s courtyard.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I hate how I look in photos (this is one of the only photos I’ve ever liked, which is why it was my avatar on Twitter, LinkedIn and almost everything else for 5+ years…). Joe’s done an extraordinary job, but I’m a self-critical git who hates various facial features.

Steve Morgan Cardiff SEO Meet photo 1
Steve Morgan Cardiff SEO Meet photo 2
Steve Morgan Cardiff SEO Meet photo 3

  • Uneven eyes? Check.
  • Crooked teeth? Check.
  • Horrendous bags under my eyes? CHECK.

But then… from out of nowhere… one photo bowled me over:

Steve Morgan Zoolander pose photo
Oh my.

Let me just zoom in on that:

Steve Morgan Zoolander pose (close-up) photo
That look – that Zoolander-style pose – made me realise something. I can do this. I can do this for a living. No more keyword research. No more inbound link building strategising. No more 301s, 404s, canonicals or hreflang. I am a born model.

Just so long as I do that pose. And only that pose. Ever.

…But I’m confident that I can.

So here I am, making this announcement via blog post – just like Jonathan Colman did years ago when he announced his move from SEO to UX. I hope that you will support me in my journey to modelling stardom.

Username Taken? Alternatives to the Dreaded “1” at the End

Recently I fell in love with an Irish folk band called The Gloaming. I later found their Twitter profile, and quietly cringed when I saw their handle: @TheGloaming1

@TheGloaming1 Twitter screenshot
@thegloaming is already taken by a Taiwanese lady who tweeted three times in 2011, never to tweet again (as I type this). Claiming inactive Twitter accounts is a whole other kettle of fish that I won’t be covering today – that’s not the purpose of this post. What I wanted to talk about instead is what The Gloaming could’ve done instead of simply sticking a “1” at the end of their username, which looks really, really outdated and technologically naïve…

If you have a business/startup name that’s already been taken on Twitter (or perhaps the .com TLD as well/instead) and you don’t fit the criteria of Twitter’s inactive account policy to claim it, hopefully some of these suggestions will help you out.

Alternatives to “TheGloaming1”

“TheGloaming” is 11 characters long (without quotes), and Twitter’s username character limit is 15 characters. So they have an extra 4 characters to play around with. They could consider dropping the “The” and/or chopping part of it (e.g. “TheGloaminMusic” is 15 characters, but removing the “g” at the end of “Gloaming” looks naff IMO), but I think it’d look best if they keep the “TheGloaming” element pretty much untouched and simply add words/initials around it. Such as:

  • Reference of band/music – e.g. @TheGloamingBand
  • Genre – e.g. @TheGloamingFolk
  • Country (initials) – e.g. @TheGloamingIE

Click to read more!

Introducing… Cardiff SEO Meet

Cardiff SEO MeetCardiff has a lot of awesome stuff going for it. Meetups and communities for entrepreneurs. Meetups and communities for designers. Meetups and communities for web and software developers. Meetups and communities for digital folk. But there’s nothing specific to SEO. Wait for it… Wait foor ittt… Until now!

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Cardiff SEO Meet. A few months ago I asked about a dozen or so SEOs native to South Wales for their thoughts on running an event of this type (a huge, HUGE thank you to everyone who responded – I owe y’all a drink!) and teased on State of Digital that I would put something together in the beginning of the year. Unfortunately I got pretty busy and couldn’t get anything sorted until now, but better late than never eh?

Got questions? Good, ‘cos I’ve got answers!

Topic? Err… SEO. Well, SEO and stuff related to SEO, so I’m happy to introduce elements that aren’t strictly SEO but are closely related to SEO, so other digital marketing topics. BrightonSEO started doing this a few years ago and it went down really well.

Who’s it for? Everyone is welcome. Whether you’re a part-time or full-time SEO working agency-side, in-house or freelance, or a digital marketer with another specialism (e.g. social media, email marketing, etc.) with an interest in SEO, or a small business owner or blogger who wants to learn a bit about how to do it yourself, I’m hoping that there’ll be something for everyone. I’m going to try my best to balance the talks and topics so that nothing’s too beginner and nothing’s too advanced, so that everyone can get the most out of it.

When? Once a quarter, with the first one starting in May. I’m hoping to finalise and confirm the date in the next few days, so keep an eye on the Meetup page for the details. I’m aiming for either a Wednesday or Thursday evening towards the end of the month. Then the same again in August, then November, then February, and so on…

Once a quarter? Why not monthly? Honestly? I don’t know if there’d be the demand for monthly. Plus I don’t want to be a position where I struggle to find speakers for the events (which is what happened to Unified Diff). If I’m wrong though then I’m happy to bring it up to bi-monthly, and then monthly. But let’s see how the first few go first, yeah?

Where? The upstairs of the mighty Urban Tap House in Cardiff city centre, which is fairly close to Cardiff Central Station and various car parks (including St David’s 2). I adore their burgers (they even have tasty gluten-free options!) so it’s a delight to be able to host it there.

How much? It’s free entry.

What’s the format? In addition to talks, I have the idea to run public site reviews, where people volunteer their sites to be audited and we (as the audience) offer advice on what to do. I don’t think anyone’s ever done it before – and I completely realise and admit that that might be because it’s an absolutely horrendous idea…! But we’ll give it a go in May and see how it goes. The survey suggested that a lot of people are interested in the idea, and I think that it’d be a good way to learn a few handy SEO tips as a group.

Who are the sponsors? Well, seeing as I’ve set it up and have been paying for all the costs myself… me (or Morgan Online Marketing to be exact). And Computer Recruiter.

How do I keep updated? A dedicated website* is on its way (when I have time to throw them together), but in the meantime, please join the Meetup page and/or follow @CardiffSEOMeet on Twitter.

* For the time being, cardiffseo.events redirects to www.meetup.com/Cardiff-SEO-Meet/ – yes, with a 301 redirect (I double-checked)…

I have more questions! Tweet me, leave a comment below or start a discussion on the Meetup page, my friend. 🙂

Lastly, I just want to say a big thank you to the event organisers and communities in South Wales for inspiring me to run something myself, especially Cardiff Start, Unified Diff and Cardiff Blogs – you guys rock. I used to put on events at uni and wanted to get into event management when I left uni but accidentally stumbled into SEO as a career path instead, so it’s good to be able to do this again. Feels weirdly full-circle, y’know? Anyway, I should probably end this blog post because I get philosophical or something…

See you in May!

The @mention Placement Fail (the Biggest Mistake I STILL See on Twitter)

Many moons ago, when this blog was only a couple of months old, I published a list of all the things I see people getting wrong on Twitter. One of the points (#1 on that list) ended up having its own dedicated blog post a year later.

Nearly 4 years later, it’s still the most common mistake I see on Twitter. I call it the @mention placement fail.

What is it?

If you put an @mention right at the start of your tweet, it’s treated as a reply rather than a standalone tweet. This means that it won’t show in your followers’ timelines, unless a) it’s RTed by someone else that they follow, or b) they also follow the other account being @mentioned.

It might not seem like a big deal, and it might feel like I’m picking on people who aren’t doing Twitter properly (I’m not, by the way – or at least I don’t mean to be). But it can be a big deal: it might mean that some of your tweets aren’t even being seen by your followers. And they could be important tweets, such as big announcement tweets.

An example of how it looks (and why it’s bad)

I was following the #recruitershortlist hashtag the other day as the Recruiter Awards 2016 was being revealed, and noticed that the mistake had been made by @RecruiterAwards. In all honesty, most of the time that I see this mistake being made is during an event or activity where time is of the essence – if you’re sending out a lot of tweets out-and-about or on-the-go then it can be easy to tweet it without noticing it or realising. Heck, I’ve probably done it myself at least once during my tweeting history. So it’s just something to watch out for and to try to avoid if you can help it.

Here’s a screenshot of @RecruiterAwards’ timeline with replies:

@RecruiterAwards screenshot (with replies)
And here’s their timeline on their main profile page (without replies):

@RecruiterAwards screenshot (without replies)
Notice how the tweets starting “@Empiric_UK, …” and “@Coreatlanticltd, …” appear in the first screenshot but not the second. This is because the @mention is right at the start of the tweet and therefore they’re being treated as replies, not standalone tweets. If you were following the #recruitershortlist hashtag (as I was on the day) then you would’ve seen those tweets (like in the first screenshot above), but if you weren’t and you were following @RecruiterAwards normally and only browsing your main timeline, then those two tweets wouldn’t have appeared (like in the second screenshot above).

Click to read more!

Deconstructing the Worst Article I’ve Ever Seen

"Dear lord..."Ladies and gentlemen, we have reached peak BuzzFeedification.

By “BuzzFeedification” I refer to the recent onslaught of articles that fit BuzzFeed’s style (i.e. full of GIFs and memes) and/or follow the get-as-many-ad-impressions-as-possible model, which has been adopted by many publishers at the moment – more and more by the day, it seems – in an attempt to get that elusive click.

I came across one article that ticked all the usual boxes…

  • Unnecessary multi-page image listicle? Check.
  • Memes? UGH. Check.
  • Goes on for much longer than it needs to in order to try and accrue more ad impressions? Oh god yes check.

…and is simply one of the most frustrating and pointless articles I’ve ever read. The things publishers will do to get you to click and get you to view ads is becoming laughable.

The article and site in question (which I’ve nofollowed because I sure as sh*t don’t want to give them any SEO love)? “A Woman Makes A Shrine Of Her Used Condom Collection” on Rebel Circus.

Let’s take the time to dissect what’s wrong with this absolute sh*tshow:

They’ve turned a simple one-page story into an unnecessary multi-pager

Below the heading and opening summary, there’s a small paragraph about the ‘collection’ and an image of said collection. Below that, there’s a ‘Next Photo’ link:

RC Fail - page 1
Ok, fair enough. So far so good – no harm done.

The inclusion of the ‘Next Photo’ link led me to believe two things:

  1. It’s a multi-page image slideshow article (or whatever the technical term is), but more importantly,
  2. That there’d be more photos of the collection – and more information.

Click onto page 2 and you get this:

RC Fail - page 2
…An image of a record collection? Alrighty then.

Click to read more!