By Sean on 22 May 2017
Good day to you SEO fans (Does SEO have fans? Well, the fact that you’re reading this says ‘maybe’). On Saturday, 5 May, I had the good fortune to be allowed take to the BloggerConf stage for the second time in the space of a year. To me, this indicates one of two things: either I didn’t do too bad a job of it the last time of asking, or that there is a serious shortfall of people willing to speak about SEO on a big stage in front of a large crowd here in Ireland and they invited me along out of sheer desperation. Personally, I prefer the former explanation, but others may disagree.
In any case, the slides from my talk are below and there’s a transcript of sorts below that again (wouldn’t be doing my job properly if I didn’t include some nice, crawlable content in my own blog posts now would I?). There are also some interesting ‘further reading’ articles linked to at the end for those who can’t get enough of that wonderful SEO knowledge, as well as other speakers whom I saw at BloggerConf and would strongly recommend checking out.
Just as an FYI, I got some negative feedback on this particular presentation as it did not contain any pictures of dinosaurs (as my last BloggerConf talk did). As we all know, dinosaurs make everything better, but I decided to go for a Rick & Morty theme (if you don't already watch that show, I strongly suggest that you rectify that immediately) this time around. What should my next BloggerConf theme be? I’m very open to hearing suggestions on Twitter.
What is SEO?
“Search Engine Optimisation”
It is the process of getting traffic from the “free”, “organic”, “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines.
- Controlling Your SERP Listings
- Duplicate Content Conundrums
- To Link or Not to Link?
Taking control of your SERP listings
- Page Titles
- Should be 50 to 70 characters
- Keyword near beginning- Brand to the back
- 100 characters or less
- No funky characters (?!$€^&*¦¬)
- ‘Slug’ should be 4 to 6 words
- Meta Descriptions
- 100 to 155 characters
- Searched keywords will be bolded
- Include a Call-To-Action if possible
- Helpful Tools
- Yoast SEO & SEO Mofo.
Is duplicate content Still A Problem?
- Google very rarely gives out manually duplicate content penalties these days.
- Instead, they are handled algorithmically, with duplicate content deemed a negative ranking signal.
- If using Press Releases for content, you’ll rank better if you put a fresh spin on it.
- The more unique the better.
- If you want to syndicate your content to another site, make sure that they point a Canonical Tag to your original, preferably with a backlink.
Internal linking: Best practices
- It helps spread authority to the pages you want to rank
- Click-through helps the linked pages rank better for SEO
- It also increases users’ time spent on site and total number of pages viewed
- Try to be varied in terms of anchor text and include a variation of a targeted keyword if possible.
- Automating internal linking is seen as being spammy by Google.
- Internal links should open in the same tab.
Linking to other sites
- External links should open in a new tab.
- Linking to relevant & authoritative sites can have long-term SEO benefits.
- Linking to irrelevant / poor sites can be a negative ranking signal.
- If there is a commercial interest in a link (e.g. it has been paid for), it should be set to ‘no follow’.
- According to the ASAI, Affiliate Links must be disclosed.
Other BloggerConf speakers
While I wasn’t able to stay for the full BloggerConf day, I did get to see a few really good speakers. No doubt, there were a lot of other excellent talks that I didn’t see, but these were the ones I enjoyed the most, so would be worth giving a follow on the ol’ Twitter machine:
- Darragh Doyle: Easily the most well-known ‘internet community manager’ in Ireland, Darragh’s Twitter feed is always full of interesting, informative and fun stuff. He also curates the Dublin.ie website and @Ireland Twitter account. He does all of this in addition to his day job, leading to the persistent rumour that there are in fact four of him, such is his ability to seemingly be in several places at one time. He MC’d the workshop I was talking at and, as always, did a bang up job.
- Dorcas Réamonn: Dorcas’ BloggerConf presentation revolved around 12 ‘Must Have’ tips for all bloggers. She managed to delve into SEO and keyword research which was a nice segue as my talk was directly after hers and took some of the ‘heavy lifting’ away from me, which was nice. I’ve seen Dorcas speak a couple of times now, both at BloggerConf and at the National Union of Journalists, and she strikes me as being hugely knowledgeable about all things related to digital marketing. I’d love to see her do a longer, more in-depth talk – a headline act for November’s BloggerConf maybe?
- Gavin Lawlor: For the sake of disclosure, Gavin is a co-worker of mine here at Wolfgang digital, but don’t let the trashy company he keeps put you off, this guy is a social media prodigy and has an extensive knowledge of all things tech on his blog, The Digital Dub. Gavin did a great "shooting from the hip" social media Q&A which was one of the surprise hits of the day.
- Niall X Murphy: This guy I like a lot, and only partially because he reminds me of myself (regular readers will know that my narcissism knows few bounds). Niall is the founder and head honcho of Scannain.com, which is arguably Ireland’s best website about all things related to film. A champion of the little guy, Scannain dedicates as much time and energy to local, up and coming filmmakers as it does to the big Hollywood blockbusters. Niall discussed the benefits and challenges of managing a group blog, a topic which is often overlooked at many blogging conferences. As someone who has managed a group blog in the form of Geek Ireland, I really appreciated this talk.
- Emma O’ Farrell: What kind of a sick human being would I be if I didn’t give a shout out to the forward-thinking mind who put BloggerConf together in the first place? With a background that includes journalism and presenting TV shows, Emma has been there, done that and seen it all – who better than to run a thriving bi-annual conference? Oh, and she’s accomplished all of this before hitting the age of 30 – not that I’m jealous or anything…
Like I said, I didn’t see all of the talks at BloggerConf, so am probably missing out on mentioning some excellent speakers. Be sure to tweet BloggerConf about who your favourites were. I’m sure Emma and co. will appreciate the feedback.
We’re Looking for an SEO Trainee
As I briefly mentioned at the end of my BloggerConf talk, Wolfgang Digital are actively looking for an SEO trainee. That’s right, I’m looking for an apprentice of sorts (or a ‘dark disciple’ if you will) whom I can teach the ways of the Force to. It’s a six-month, paid position with plenty of room for growth and development. It’s actually the same job I started out at Wolfgang with.
For more info give the job spec a read.
For those of you who want to learn a lot more about SEO, but don’t like the idea of hanging out with me for 6 months, Wolfgang Digital run an in-depth, half-day long course which teaches attendees about all sorts of interesting SEO goodness which they can use to get their websites in spick and span order. Consider my BloggerConf talk a brief demo of the Uni course.
Further Reading & Learning Opportunites:
Not interested in spending money on learning SEO? Well, we have a few more articles here which should give you a few extra pointers and hopefully help you get that blog of yours ranking nicely.
Check these out:
- BloggerConf: Writing SEO-Friendly Content For Blogs
- The SEO Down-Low: The Latest SEO News & Developments
- The Content Marketing Slope Of Enlightenment