Articles Tagged with Events

Offline (Face-To-Face) Networking For SEOs: My #maximpact Guest Slot

#maximpact Hangout screenshot
#maximpact Offline Networking logoI’ve been a huge fan of Max Minzer’s #maximpact series of Google+ Hangouts On Air ever since I first discovered and joined in on one back in August last year. Since then, I have become a regular attendee, alongside the likes of the mighty Steve Webb (a.k.a. US Steve), Barrie Moran and Tony Dimmock.

43 episodes and nearly a year later, I was delighted to be asked to be the main speaker on a topic close to my heart: offline, face-to-face networking for SEOs. The Hangout took place this past Thursday (24th July).

During the Hangout we talked about:

  • My networking approach, which is not to sell – just getting to know people, listening to them and answering any questions that they have. “Anti-sales is the best kind of sales.”
  • Going to events on your own. What’s best to do? Try and go where you know someone is going, or bring a friend with you.
  • How networking doesn’t have to be seen as your traditional business networking events. Networking is what you make of it. You can network at social meetups (just so long as you don’t just sell, sell, sell – that’s sleazy). Just give people help and advice.
  • Researching events before you go – e.g. finding out who else is attending.
  • Networking at events where you’re also speaking, especially in terms of keeping calm or not acting too aloof or egotistical!
  • Networking at conferences, of both the SEO and non-SEO variety.
  • Not being one of those networkers who tries to leave a conversation the moment they realise that the person they’re talking to isn’t a potential customer/client – it’s not about selling to the person in front of you, it’s about getting to know them and vice versa. “You have no idea who knows who.”
  • Using social media (especially LinkedIn) for following up and keeping in touch with people after you’ve met them in person.
  • How to handle ‘hecklers’, i.e. people who have a negative impression of SEO when you meet them.

Here’s a link to the event page on Google+, which contains a few comments as well as a video embed, which I’ve also included below:

I also have an interview with Max in the works (similar to some of the interviews I’ve done before), which I hope to publish very soon.

The Business Of Web Design Conference 2014 – An SEO’s Perspective

Yesterday I attended The Business Of Web Design 2014 (#tboWD), which was held on my doorstep in Cardiff. Although I am not a web designer, I could see from the conference’s talk topics that a lot of it would relate heavily to SEO freelancing – and I was right.

The question “how much does a website cost?” is so similar to the question “how much does SEO cost?”, when you’ve not even been told the prospect’s industry, their goals (e.g. whether they want to rank for a really tough keyword or a few less competitive keywords) or even the URL of the site. Determining how to price yourself as a consultant – whether it be on a basis of time or the potential value/ROI offered to the client – is applicable across both industries. And getting a client to say “yes” to things can be just as tricky in SEO as it is in web design.

In addition to eight fantastic talks, there was a panel Q&A at the end, and to my terror (but also delight), the wonderful world of SEO was debated. I spent the first few minutes of my recent unified.diff talk tackling the subject of SEO’s terrible reputation – especially in the eyes of the web design/development community – and have previously blogged about how one of the best compliments I’d ever received was from a highly-respected local developer. Fortunately, while there were some stirrings of the typical “SEO is evil” type talk that we’re so used to seeing, I was really surprised and pleased to discover that the debate was handled really well. I’ll go into more detail below.

(Note: for those where it says “[Slides TBA]” for now, I’ll update the post with the slide deck embeds as-and-when they all become available.)

1) How much does a website cost? – Sean Johnson

[Slides TBA]

Sean Johnson photoSean (@seanuk) kicked things off with the question from prospects that often causes the most chagrin: “how much does a website cost?” Why? Because the answer is always: “it depends!”

What’s your industry? What are your goals with the website? Do you need eCommerce functionality? Does it need a blog? This applies to SEO so, so much: What’s your industry? What are your goals? Is the site brand new? Is the site even live yet? Has SEO work been carried out before, and if so, were spammy tactics involved? How can a web designer or SEO quote effectively without knowing that type of info first? The answer is: not very effectively. Not very.

Click to read more!

Choose Your Own Adventure – SEO For Web Developers: My unified.diff Talk

unified.diff 1st slide screenshot
Last week I spoke at unified.diff, a monthly software/web development meet-up that’s made its home at the wonderful FoundersHub. It was a good and busy crowd.

I was sandwiched between interesting and entertaining talks about the Robotic Operating System and JSON Schema. Additional photos can be found here.

And here are the slides…

For my talk, I decided to challenge myself. I took on the Choose Your Own Adventure format – they were a bunch of books where you decided the journey of the character. Do you climb the mountain (go to pg. 33) or dive into the cave (pg. 38)? You chose the cave? Oh no! You were eaten by a bear! Go back to before that happened (pg. 29), and so on. I remember having a Sonic The Hedgehog CYOA book (in fact, I think it was this one).

Click to read more!

How To Market Your Live Music Bar Online

Intro from Steve: After my first guest post publication, Mike – who I’ve known on Twitter for a while – asked if he could publish one as well. Given its subject matter, I couldn’t say no. I used to work at a live music bar a lifetime ago (The Musician Pub in Leicester, if you’re ever in the area), so this post struck a chord (oww, sorry!) with me. Enjoy!

Following the Live Music Act 2012 (which allowed venues with a capacity of less than 200 people to put on live music without a license*), it seems a growing number of bars are taking advantage and starting to book live bands. With the growing number of options for live music lovers, how do you stand out and persuade potential punters through your door?

The following tips will help you to stand out against your local competition and dominate the online arena.

*Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-19783855

Get a Google Places Listing

For any local business, a Google Places for Business listing is essential – not only will your business show up in Google Maps enabling people to easily get directions to your premises, but it will also provide searchers with an ‘at-a-glance’ overview of your address, contact details and opening hours direct from the search results page.

Click to read more!

A Trick For Stopping Event Hashtag Spam

Have you ever been following the hashtag of an event or conference on Twitter that has become popular – maybe even trended – for it to suddenly become inundated with irrelevant tweets like this?

#BrightonSEO (marked) screenshot

This happened at BrightonSEO and its #BrightonSEO hashtag, which I attended a few weeks ago. According to a few attendees, the event’s hashtag trended, possibly even on a national scale (can anyone confirm?). Eventually, probably as a result of the trending and the hashtag’s popularity, the spam started trickling in, with the hashtag getting hit by spammers now and again throughout the day. At one point, I think there might’ve actually been more spam tweets than normal/genuine tweets. Obviously it was ruining the hashtag, making it harder to read and follow with so much useless noise jumping in and interfering.

The perfect solution

However I noticed a pattern with the tweets and therefore a fix. All of the spam tweets used the same URL shortener: 00ey. It’s certainly not a popular URL shortener – I’d personally never seen it before – and so I realised that there was a way to follow the hashtag without the spam but also without risking missing out on or eliminating anyone else’s tweets, i.e. those of the actual attendees.

Instead of doing a search/column for #BrightonSEO, I tried #BrightonSEO -00ey. The difference can be seen below:

[#BrightonSEO] & [#BrightonSEO -00ey] screenshot(Click to enlarge)

Spam gone, proper tweets kept.

I presented it to the other conference-goers via the hashtag, getting a few mentions of thanks and a couple of RTs for my troubles, which is always nice!

The not-so-perfect solution

Hash symbol imageSometimes you might not get so lucky, and the spammers might use a more common URL shortener. This happened with #OiConf and #smwb2b, which took place more recently. I didn’t attend the events, but I saw people complaining about the spam that the respective hashtags were receiving. Unfortunately, in both cases, the spammers were using bit.ly instead of 00.ey.

However, it was still possible to do a fix, this time with [#OiConf -bit.ly] and [#smwb2b -bit.ly] respectively, but this obviously would’ve meant that if anyone else used a bit.ly link then their tweets wouldn’t show up, either. That said, in my experience, most people tweeting at a conference aren’t necessarily always also tweeting links (they might just be tweeting things that the speakers have said), so you might only lose out on <10% of relevant, non-spam tweets.

Again, I presented them to the attendees via the hashtag, receiving thanks and RTs in doing so. You can see the difference between [#OiConf] and [#OiConf -bit.ly] here.

Help your fellow attendees

So the next time you’re at an event and the spam tweets start flooding in, look for a pattern. If they all contain the same URL shortener, including it in the search criteria with a minus in front of it will exclude any tweets containing it.

Try it out, and if it works, be sure to tell the other attendees! They’ll love you for it – seriously!

[# image credit: Tom Magliery]