We can today confirm that Morgan McKeagney fromIQ Content and Andy Headington of Adido are confirmed as speakers at this year’s Mini SAScon and the theme is ‘Mobile and Local’. We’ll announce the full programme later this month.
Tickets for Mini SAScon are on sale here and are selling out like hot cakes so make sure you get yours ASAP.
The high demand for this event will come as no surprise to anyone who has attended previous Mini SAScons, as the programme is always packed with great speakers.
Mini SAScon is a half day “search, analytics and social media” event and is a spin off the main conference. Profits from the main event are used to subsidise tickets, ensuring it is accessible for a wide range of delegates.
Registration starts at 1.30pm and the event closes at 5pm with a lively ‘social’ somewhere (Christmas drinks anyone?). Mini SAScon is sponsored by Manual Link Building.
We’ve recently been working closely with Econsultancy on some top secret planning for SAScon 2013.
It just so happens, that the Econsultancy team are also heading to Manchester soon to run an event, and we thought that it would be ever so nice to highlight this latest project which is happening in November. Here are the details:
Digital Shorts, 29 November, 9:30am – 4:00pm Macdonald Manchester Hotel, Manchester
Digital Shorts is a short, sharp medley of talks by some of the leading thinkers in digital marketing. And this year, it’s themed around social media and content marketing.
It’s all about providing you with the freshest insights, the need-to-know intelligence and the most useful best practice techniques you can take back to the office and use straight away.
Tickets cost £99 (with a 20% discount using your unique code DSS200) and attendance includes lunch and networking drinks afterwards.
Katie King, Managing Director of Zoodikers Consulting Ltd will take you through the social media legals and how to stay on the right side of the law.
Kevin Gibbons, Founder of SEOptimise and Quataro, will talk you through how content marketing can be worked into your other marketing activity and how to get real results.
Nick Watt, who uses his 17 years’ experience in digital to help brands connect with their consumers, will show you how to become a ‘content curator’ and to capitalise on utilising social content without spending a fortune.
Jon Munro, Managing Director at Cinch will explain how to leverage content to achieve your marketing objectives, drawing on his own experiences in the travel and tourism industry.
To use your unique code:
1. Visit econsultancy.com/events/christmas-shorts 2. Click on the gold ‘Book Now’ button 3. Enter your details 4. Click on the blue ‘I’ve got a promotion code’ link and enter code: DSS200 5. Select ‘Checkout’ 6. If you’re not already an Econsultancy member, sign up for free and continue to payment.
We’ve announced our new keynote panel which includes three of the biggest brands in e-commerce.
James Hamlin from ticketing company Seatwave, Martin McDonald from online travel firm Expedia and Ben McKay from Moneysupermarket will take part in a panel which is chaired by SAScon founder, Richard Gregory.
This panel of leading brands will provide their take on the digital marketing industry and set the tone and agenda for the rest of the conference.
The speakers will address ‘big brand’ expectations for search and social media in 2012. Other issues will be put to the panel including: what effect has mobile marketing had on business? In what way is social media impacting the bottom line? What is the true impact of multichannel campaigns both on and off line? And finally, the role of gamification in digital marketing will also be covered as part of an action packed itinerary, which should leave no stone unturned.
SAScon is focused on providing senior brand marketers with actionable insights and intelligence to help shape their marketing strategies.
In Expedia, Moneysupermarket and Seatwave we have three of the biggest online businesses in the UK, so if anybody can set our industry’s agenda it is this panel.
SAScon takes place over two days later this week (17-18 May 2012) at The Hive, Manchester, and tickets are on sale via the SAScon website, http://www.sascon.co.uk/.
Barry Adams is the senior internet marketer for search at Pierce Communications in Belfast. When he’s not helping his clients achieve online world domination, he writes blogs for State of Search and Search News Central as well as the occassional rant on his own blog www.BarryAdams.co.uk
Barry is a SAScon veteran, having spoken at their previous three events. At this year’s SAScon Barry will be part of the Retail market focus panel chaired by Kristal Ireland and also featuring James Hamlin from Seatwave. Barry will do a short presentation on maximising customer potential in online retail utilising that most ancient of online marketing channels: email.
Here are his SAScon Six…
Don’t follow hypes
Whenever you read about the latest app, new social website, or exciting new technology to hit the internet, always put things in perspective before you eagerly jump on the bandwagon.
Put your client first
The first thing you should be contemplating whenever you want to use a new channel or tactic is ‘what’s in it for the client’? Never do something just for the sake of doing it, even if it’s the hip & trendy thing to do.
Distrust industry ‘thought leaders’
The people who are most famous in any industry – especially SEO and social – are usually the ones that have a vested interest in being and staying famous. That means they usually have something to sell. Keep their commercial interests in mind whenever you read expert advice, and you’ll soon be able to spot the gaps in their logic.
Try stuff out
Don’t just use tried & tested methods. Don’t stick to ‘best practices’ because someone else told you to. Try stuff out – preferably on test sites rather than client properties – and see for yourself what works and what doesn’t.
Break the mould
Following the rules religiously is rarely the most effective method for achieving success. The biggest winners are those that are willing to do things differently.
Or, more specifically, get industry veterans drunk. Catch them at a post-conference social event and buy them a few beers. Chances are they’ll share interesting tidbits with you that would otherwise never be shared.
Digital entrepreneur Mark Kuhillow launched mobile technology company MymCart earlier this year to help any small business create a transactional mobile website affordably and quickly; tapping into the growing m-commerce market in the UK.
He previously founded R.O.EYE in 2004, now the UK’s largest affiliate management agency which has clients including eBay, Santander and Google.
At SAScon mark will be presenting some slides which talk about the benefits of an HTML5 presence.
Here are his SAScon Six, a sextuplet of ways to create an effective mobile website
1. Ensure your mobile traffic gets to your mobile site. Place a visible link on your website home page so mobile users can click it to get the correct version, or better still install a ‘sniffer’ code which auto detects mobile devices and diverts them to the mobile friendly site.
2. Be selective with what you include in your mobile site. Over-complex features that are mouse-friendly but not finger-friendly will frustrate mobile users. For example, add a post code look-up feature rather than asking mobile users to type out long addresses.
3. Offer a link back to your full website. A mobile user may need to or be happier using the full site to get what they want.
4. Test handset coverage. Not everyone has an iPhone!
5. Speed is of the essence. Design and build the site for a quick experience, bearing in mind mobile users may not always have the fastest internet speeds.
6. As with traditional ecommerce, install your analytics package, monitor users’ behaviour and modify and enhance accordingly.
Steve Lock is currently the Product Manager for Analytics SEO and the UK Co-Chair for SEMPO. Steve is an experienced search and social practitioner who has worked with a healthy mix of startups and large brands. During his career he has lectured in the UK, spoken at numerous conferences and been featured in .net Magazine, State of Search, Webmaster Radio and many more…
At SAScon Steve will be talking about cutting edge search technologies and efficient search campaigns.
His presentation will include insights from some automation related projects we have been working on with our clients at Analytics SEO as well as from his own personal experience on getting SEO recommendations implemented.
Here are his ‘SAScon Six’.
1. Link building after the Google Penguin update
Some of the world’s top link builders are now no longer asking for specific anchor text links during outreach to ensure randomisation and more natural links (they let the targets choose editorially how to link to them). After the recent Google Penguin update, experienced practitioners like Tim Grice from Branded3 are recommending a minimum of 15 anchor text variations per page including a strong bias for links containing branded anchor terms.
This is solid advice as I have been lucky enough to work on sites that have had millions of pounds invested in traditional marketing disciplines, before any SEO has been considered. Some of these sites had over 50,000 natural backlinks and they almost never attracted any keyword rich anchor text links, not even one!
Just before some of the recent updates hit at Analytics SEO we were seeing sites that were optimised far too aggressively with very few links that had branded anchors or natural looking link profiles. One of the first things I would have looked for over the last few years, if I had been part of the Google webspam team, would have been ratios of branded / non-branded anchor text when looking for spammy link building practices.
2. The SPDY protocol for blisteringly quick webpages
Keep an eye out for the SPDY protocol from Chromium, an experimental project (related to Google Chrome) for lightning quick web browsing. Not many people are speaking about this, but it could very well be the next big thing. Demo sites (especially when using AJAX) load blisteringly quickly like nothing I have seen before. Faster web pages can not only rank better, but have been proven to drastically increase conversion rates. If I had an e-commerce site I would be all over this! You can read more about it here.
3. Peter Gloor (MIT) predicting the future from mining the social web
I was blown away and one of the most surprising insights from his talk was the fact that much of his research and software he uses is freely available through the ICKN here. Imagine being able to go back in time and invest heavily in Google
4. Alternative search engines every SEO should be using
Some of the most actionable techniques I have been recommending recently include using Duck Duck Go and Blekko as sources for link prospecting. Both of these emerging search engines do a great job of returning less spammy link prospects than Google, as the lower quality sites target Google so heavily. As a result it can potentially make your link building outreach so much more efficient. Blekko through its slashtags also offers powerful SEO insights, it has to be one of the most underrated SEO tools available today and its free!
Paul Rogers from GPMD has also been experimenting with reverse image search engine Tineye and opportunities to leverage it for analysing banner adverts and affiliate campaigns. I have made my slides available about these tactics and some advanced search queries for SEO here.
5. Authorship is likely to change the way authority is calculated on the web
Authorship I have been saying for a long time will probably revolutionise SEO, and finally with the help of chaps like Tom Anthony from Distilled these ideas are becoming more recognised. Tom also released an awesome and free tool available on his personal blog called Author Crawler. The tool helps to analyse relationships between authorship markup and link data.
I am likely to be speaking about authorship in the cutting edge technology session at SAScon, and may even drop in some Justin Bieber slides to illustrate the problems with blurred authority signals that authorship markup helps to solve for major search engines like Google.
6. AJAX could become the leading technology for both UX & SEO
From early tests one of the biggest surprises for me of late is that AJAX could indeed turn out to be the dark horse of the search marketing world. Google has come on leaps and bounds in terms of crawling and indexing content delivered via AJAX. Early signs are that it could turn from being one of the least SEO friendly technologies to one of the most SEO friendly. Not only is it being handled far better, it is also lightening fast, and generally offers a superior user experience versus most of the traditionally recognised SEO friendly options.
Bas van den Beld is a Web/search strategist, trainer and well-respected blogger. Bas is well informed about what’s going on in the world of Internet and search marketing worldwide and especially Europe.
Bas is the founder of Stateofsearch.com. He consults with several types of companies (Fortune 500 organisations like KLM, New Media businesses and many more) on implementation of strategic Search and use of Social Media. He provides training in Search Engine Marketing, Social Media in the organisation, and Social Marketing related topics.
Bas is a panellist on the ‘Is There a Place for Blackhat SEO in modern day SEO campaigns?’
In his presentation he will be looking at how psychology influences the way search engines work. People are ‘vulnerable’ for certain incentives and the search engines know that and are focussing on these incentives. Bas will explain which ones they are and how you as a marketer can use them.
Here is Bas’s SAScon Six, a sextuplet of tips, recommendations or things to watch in Search and Social (for use in a blog post on the SAScon website)
1- Think even more from the perspective of the people you are targeting
2- Work on authority
3- Psychology will tell you what you should do in the SERPS (see his presentation to understand this)
4- Try taking the next step and not just following the trends
5- Watch out for Yandex and Baidu
6- Network and talk to industry peers as much as you can!
I am Samantha Noble, the Digital Marketing Director for Koozai, a UK based digital marketing agency specialising in SEO, PPC, Brand and Social Media. I have worked in the online industry for seven years now and have a real passion for online branding.
I’ll be SAScon panellist on the subject of Reputation Management in a Digital Age.
Imagine this: you have spent months or maybe even years developing your brand online and you have finally reached the point where you feel you are getting the recognition you deserve.
Good feeling isn’t it? However, over a short period of time some negative comments about your brand have appeared online. You haven’t been managing your brands reputation correctly, and over time the negative mentions that have gone unnoticed have a detrimental impact on the performance of your business. More negative comments appear and sales and enquires start to drop. Game over…..!
During this presentation, I am going to talk through the importance of reputation management in a digital age and provide you with useful tips on how to ensure your brand is represented in the best possible light. This includes elements of brand monitoring, brand protection and page 1 domination.
To whet your appetite, here is our ‘SAScon Six’, a sextuplet of online reputation management tips:
1. Dedicate ample time to manage your brands online reputation, this is an area of digital marketing that should not be ignored
2.Dominate Page 1 of the search results for your brand name now
3. Engage and deal with all brand mentions, positive and negative
4. Register your brand name on ALL the social media properties using a service like Knowem to save time
5. Use the new Social Graphs in Google Analytics to monitor your brand and how people engage with your content
6. Create good, unique content to raise brand awareness and entice more mentions
A new session called “How Social Media & the Internet is Changing the Media” has been confirmed for SAScon2012.
Martin Bryant, the managing editor of the Next Web will be chairing a panel that includes James Carson, digital marketing manager of Bauer London Lifestyle, former Sky journalist Neal Mann (AKA @fieldproducer on Twitter) and Sarah Hartley of the Guardian’s n0tice project.
The Next Web has been at the forefront of digital technology and media since 2008 and has an influential audience consisting of more than 5.1 million monthly visits and over 7 million monthly page views. Bryant has been involved with the blog for several years and, along with founding Manchester’s influential Social Media Café, is well placed to chair this panel.
James Carson is responsible for overseeing Bauer Media’s online titles including Heat, FHM and Grazia, while Neil Mann played a pivotal role in shaping social media strategy at Sky News. Sarah Hartley has been a journalist for many years and now looks after the Guardian’s n0tice project, which is being touted as a solution to the challenges faced by regional news outlets. All understand the pressures that traditional media business models face in monetising content.
These new panellists join 32 other experts who are all renowned thought leaders in the search, analytics and social media space. The keynote speaker is Bruce Daisley, UK Director of Twitter.
This latest panel has been added at the request of marketers who want to further understand the role the media has on brand profile, social media and search engine visibility. Digital marketers know that the media is an important part of the online ecosystem and this session should help to highlight its importance to all types of brands.
SAScon runs over two days (17-18 May 2012) at The Hive, Manchester, and tickets are on sale via the SAScon website, http://www.sascon.co.uk/.
We want you to leave your suggestions for questions in the comment thread of this blog post and we’ll pick the best.
Bruce (@brucedaisley) will answer the best questions and we’ll post his response here on the SAScon blog. As added incentive to participate, the author of each selected question will ‘win’ an SEO friendly link from the SAScon blog to their website.
We are really excited to have Bruce on board and we can think of hundreds of questions to ask him, but we wanted to see what you, the SAScon community, wanted to ask him.
Get involved. But keep it polite!
Please also note that tickets for SAScon are available now via the SAScon website