After the overwhelming success of our first SEO surgery, back in December 2013, we were very keen to revisit the concept in 2014. As such, our Spring Surgery at the Doubletree Hilton in Manchester Piccadilly was hotly anticipated and, without blowing our trumpets too loudly, we think it was even better than the first one!
Boasting attendees from a variety of sectors, all based in and around the North West, we again looked to provide an informal and engaging atmosphere for the discussion of current (and future) search marketing practices – in a bid to help the uninitiated start their journey whilst still providing more advance support for those who knew the basics (and beyond).
On a fairly blustery and wet day in Manchester, the Skylounge was not, possibly, given the chance to shine; nevertheless, the venue was still sensational with great views over the city and pitch-perfect catering and support – everyone seemed suitably impressed.
Our Marketing Manager, Kristian Petterson started the day with an introduction that took in the history of SEO to demonstrate the direction of search marketing in the future – one that demands joined-up thinking across copywriting, link growth, technical optimisation and social media engagement to ensure the development of authority is supported from all sides to establish both brand and ranking success.
James Clarke, the Head of our Technical team, then delved under the hood to give a masterclass on how to maximise the Holy Trinity of Technical Compliance – Visibility, Readability and Authority. He took everyone, gently, through the coding of Google’s authorship, along with facilitating the journey of Google’s spiders across a site with sitemaps, robots.txt, full site tagging, rich snippets and link sculpting, finishing with examples of the biggest issues a Tech Developer can face and how to help them!
Our Managing Director, Hannah Jackson, then took over to exhort everyone to take full advantage of Google Analytics with examples of how it can transform a company’s online strategy from guesswork to a science. All wrapped up with a Dolly Parton quote!
After lunch, Greg Cooper, the CEO of Digital State Marketing, brought everyone’s attention back to realities of business with a presentation on how a considered content development plan will make you money. Building on the theme of authority development, he reminded all the delegates that without a body of output, a site cannot expect to be heard (and gain authority through engagement) and, as such, content work needs to be a balance of driving rankings and driving authority. As Greg said, “You can’t sell anything if no-one can find you!”
To finish his presentation, Greg then provided some practical advice on how to establish the foundations of a successful content development plan – a thread of which was the active engagement with social media.
The arena of Social Media was then the subject of our next presentation, given by our Manchester Office Manager, Sam Dunn. Whilst Sam did stress the importance of using your social media avenues as a source for content outreach development, the main focus of his presentation was a demonstration of how important it is to get your attitudinal drivers in place when you use social media – with some great examples of how both large and small companies have got it brilliantly right… and horribly wrong… simply by not devoting enough time, effort or resource to treating the medium with respect and using specialists rather than generalists to manage their engagement. As Chi Finch said…
Lastly, Kristian was back (in his role as Paid Search Manager) to give a presentation on the “Magnificent Seven” ways you can elevate a PPC campaign from good to great. With an emphasis on granularity and iteration and a few practical tips (not to mention a Steve McQueen gif into the bargain!), he had everyone raring to get back to their Google Adwords campaigns and make an immediate difference.
The day flew by for us – with questions, digressions and discussions making each presentation lively and informative – and, judging by the comments from the attendees, it went well for them also…
Great presentation yesterday @smg_uk. What you don’t know about SEO, probably isn’t worth knowing!!
Suffice to say, we can’t wait for the next one. If you were one of the delegates, thank you so much for making it a great day; and if you weren’t, we hope you’ll be tempted to join us for the next one – watch this space!
In the meantime, please give us a call (or tweet us) if you have anything you want to ask or discuss.