SEJ Summit 3 Takeaways

3 Takeaways From London SEJ Summit 2015

Search Engine Journal & Searchmetrics recently held their first ever event outside of the USA and we were lucky enough to be part of the 200 people invited to attend.

Focusing on all areas of online marketing, the London SEJ Summit 2015 had an excellent panel of speakers including Pierre Far, a Webmaster Trends Analyst from Google and Mr Search Metrics himself, Marcus Tober.

What was stand out about this conference was that each talk was structured to give you 3 Takeaways; so sticking with the theme here’s our 3 Takeaways from London’s SEJ Summit 2015:


Before You Start Doing Anything Positive, Make Sure The Negative Is Cleaned Up

David Naylor - Spot a failure

This point comes from Dave Naylor’s excellent opening talk.

Websites will naturally generate a number of Technical SEO errors over time, but before you start doing positive SEO work, you really need to put the time into getting these errors fixed, as they’ll more than likely have a negative impact on the positive work you do.

Technical SEO errors can be anything from 404 errors, to 301 redirects or an unclean URL structure. As Dave states, the best way to attack Technical SEO is to ‘Spot an error and fix it early!’

Backlink reviews also come under this umbrella.  Here at Ricemedia, we take a preventative approach with our clients and frequently review their backlinks, as we know that low quality and spammy backlinks can naturally appear: especially on the back of a big content outreach campaign.  As much as you want to focus on building new quality links to your site, you need to keep an eye on your backlink profile, to ensure that there’s nothing to hamper your new positive SEO efforts.

TL:DR Actions

  • Ensure your site has a clean bill of Technical SEO Health
  • Review your backlink profile


Keywords Are Dead – Long Live Context!

Marcus Tober - Back to Relevance

Marcus Tober started off his talk with this amazing movie pun… who doesn’t love a pun… and Back To The Future!

One of the most common SEO questions asked is ’Are Keywords Dead?’.  We recently blogged about this here; but when it comes to content it’s safe to say that Keywords are no longer King, Context is.

Marcus used an example of content discussing boiling an egg: 4 years ago you could have stuffed this content with relevant keywords and job done, you’re on page one of Google.  Today that isn’t the case: in fact keyword stuffing is more likely to have a negative impact than a positive one.

Instead, you need to focus on the context of what you’re writing about. So when boiling an egg, a reader may also want to know what items are needed, how long it takes to boil an egg and also boiled egg recipes.  By adding this context to your article, not only are you answering your reader’s questions (and ranking for a wider range of phrases!), but you’re keeping the reader on the page for longer, which is a big plus in Google’s eyes.

TL:DR Actions

  • Answer questions in your content
  • Think about the wider context when writing content


There is just One Web Accessed From Different Devices

Pierre Far - Mobile

Our final takeaway comes from Pierre Far’s talk.

We need to stop thinking of the web as separate parts for desktop, tablet, mobile and apps; as the web is really just one web accessed from different devices, at different times.

How we consume the web, can be different based on device too but this isn’t due to the device, it’s due to the context behind the visit – so bear this in mind when creating content.  For example, around 50% of emails are read on mobile devices, so having emails that are aesthetically pleasing and easy to use on mobiles is a must.

Finally, be prepared to adapt as your user’s usage habits change.  Just because 70% of your traffic currently comes from desktop, it doesn’t mean it’ll always be this way.  Have a plan in place so that you can react quickly to consumption changes.

TL:DR Actions

  • Think of why a user is on your site
  • A user’s needs may change so prepare to adapt
  • Make the user journey as easy a possible

Online Usage Facts

For more information about SEJ Summit London 2015, follow the hashtag #SEJSummit.  You can also find all the slide decks from the day here.

Should you have any questions about the services we provide, then please talk to us.


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