48 hours as a #Linklove speaker
Don’t worry, it’s not really about sex. I am not going to cover the whole event as loads of other people have done that already, I am just going to give a very brief run through of the day at #linklove 2013 and add some takeaways stolen from other posts far more in-depth than this one.
I thought it might be interesting to see a bit of what goes on behind the scenes of Linklove; I know this is my first one and it would be far more interesting to see pictures of Rand or Wil eating breakfast or dancing with the hairdryer before the conference… but you’ve got me.
3.15: On the Train to London Town. Finished my notes (they look smart) and yes that is sellotape.
4pm: Arrived in London a bit shattered and having drank far too much tea. Nervous already as Lynsey contacted me to say that I had saved my Deck (slides) in the wrong format. Eeeek …
4.38pm: Arrived in the lobby of the beautiful Montcalm Hotel and was offered a hot towel. Lovely. I was also curious as to the bar co-joining the hotel as I had seen taxidermy animals in there from the from the taxi as I arrived, and anyone who knows me knows I like a bit of taxidermy.
4.43: After a short, what seemed like 15 mile round-trip, I arrived in my room and instantly began to test out everything: kettle, hairdryer, slower, TV, a weird smoke blowing device that was intended to convey calm.
Ooh lovely bed, but what’s this? Can we see the toilet through the wall……. ? “The mind boggles?” it’s like Amsterdam.
Ooooh free Slippers!!! – Check!
Tried to use shower and stood under giant roof shower nozzle – “Crap!”
6.15pm: Ready for speakers’ dinner, and so left to mingle and eat good food. Decided to wear a dress; something I have not done for many moons. My jeans tried to talk me out of it… but I explained the situation and we are fine now. The meal was superb; the poor Hungarian girls I was sat with had ordered black Pudding without knowing what it was, so hilarity ensued. Lynsey and Lauren, who are the backbones of Linklove, did not stay for the meal, but instead went off to organize things for us, including leaving a thank you card and chocolates in our rooms “hope to hell my underwear was not lying around floor ;/”
11.00PM: Back at the hotel and it took me an embarrassing 28min’s to find my room… made worse only by a very drunk man following me around like he was auditioning for the walking dead. I kept saying “shoo, don’t follow me, I’m lost”.
7am: Out of bed and practicing through talk in the mirror.. taking advantage of the free tea and coffee and (soya milk) in room. The fear levels made it impossible for me to enjoy breakfast.
8.48am: Arriving at Linklove
9.10am: In the Linklove conference hall ready to see Wil Reynolds – SEER Interactive speak. He was full of so much energy that it took my nerves away for a bit. I felt a surge of both pure panic and warmth… “I was ready” unfortunately I was on last.. so this was short lived.
9:00 am – Duncan does the intros
Duncan Morris – the Founder and CEO is such an unassuming and lovely man, he is the man behind the whole damn conference along with the Lynsey and Lauren who worked their buts off to keep everything running smoothly.
9.10 – 9:40am – Wil Reynolds – “Head Smackingly Simple: Post Conversion Link Building Tips”
Wil is a superb character, I think the audience was a little cold with him at first but you can’t help but get carried along with his enthusiasm and skill and he said ‘shit’ a lot
Wil Reynolds Takeaways -
Wil goes recommend using Littlebird
Wil advocates G+ Ripples as a great way to see the bigger influences who you need to connect with and this in turn.
Twtrland, here you can see how many retweets your tweets are getting
Wil talks through the benefits of G+ Data
CircleCount is another great tool to do just this.
Nudge by Richard Thaler – read the book
“Ask yourself, who do your link targets link out to? Wil recommends searching links through domain searches in Bing. Who are your targets? Who do they link out to? Use SEOquake to run them through Screaming Frog and you will learn about the sites people you want links from are typically linking out to.”
9.40-10.10am – Lyndon Antcliff – “How do I Get Them to Link?”:
I have known Lyndon for years and always admired his take on Linkbait and his successes, i feel at times that his talk lost a few of the audience members, but he gave some great insights into the human mind and linkbait.
Lyndon Antcliff Takeaways -
‘think like the Economist but make content like the Sun or the Daily Mail’ when it comes to your link building approach”
The primal brain loves a good headline because its about something that’s fundamental to us.
The subconscious – The bad boy of the brain. This compartment can perform 11 million processes at once. It handles your emotions and memory as well as the act of linking impulse buying. All purchases are made on an irrational basis and linking is kind of like a buy in process as well and so it has that element of irrationality.
Conscious brain – This is more subverted and in fact, most of our decisions are not conscious.
Read Alan Carr’s book on comedy for inspirational ideas about link bait.
Book recommendation from Lyndon is Robert Cialdini’s Influence: Psychology of Persuasion.
10.10-10.40am – Hannah Smith – “23,787 Ways to Build Links in 30 Minutes”
Hannah is great, she knows her stuff and she punches it down your throat in such a polite way that you are startled and happy all at once. Her talk was great with a load a superb tips to takeaway and use. The idea of asking for an image credit rather than an attribution link for infographics was inspired.
Hannah Smith Takeaways -
“Stop talking like an SEO”
Do not ask for an attribution link, you want an image credit for your images.
Don’t write once and move on, become a regular contributor.
You don’t want a guest post you want a byline; yes, this does require more commitment.
Leverage your existing assets and create new assets to leverage.
Use Rapportive for finding emails in Gmail.
Use Boomerang for scheduling email reminders in Gmail.
http://www.tineye.com/ – does not handle large images though (like infographics) shame
Twitter chats: I was chatting to some lovely folks on the day Iain Bartholomew @iainbartholomew being one of them (he has done a very honest write-up of the day that is worth a read) http://www.perfectlyplausible.com/linklove-2013/
11:00-11.30am - Ian Lurie – “Enterprise Link Spam Analysis”
Ian was the techies’ sex machine; the air was palpable with excitement at this point.
Ian Lurie Takeaways -
Check out Google’s Prediction API if you are interested in knowing more about machine learning.
Machine learning is very real and is improving all the time
The context of your links is important and Google is very sensitive to context so consider this when cleaning up your link profile. Don’t just delete the link if the page looks spammy but the context is very relevant.
Ian introduced http://isitspam.portent.com/ as a tool that can be used to see if a link is spammy or not
11.30-12.00pm – Richard Baxter - “How to Build Agile and Actionable Link Data Reports. With APIs”
I have to admit that Richard lost me somewhat and i am sure i had seen the same talk a few times.
Richard Baxter Takeaways -
SEO Tools for Excel to super charge your SEO analytics skills.
Find anything about APIs at Programmable Web.
Sharedcount.com have an API that gives you the number of social shares for a URL.
12:05 pm: I had a headache and had to go get a headache tablet and a massage
12:31 pm: DINNER – I ended up not actually eating anything as i was so nervous but i did host a table – this of course is not me its Duncan. I met some cool people on my table for ‘risky linkbuilding’ – and we talked about a few ideas, i actually wish we had had more time – if any of you guys are reading this, drop me a line OK
1.28pm: Red Nose Time. I have added an arrow to the people who did not wear noses, as they make me smile . Mediaworks did wear the red noses.
1.30-2:00pm – Rand Fishkin – “How to Transform Your CEO into a Link Building, Social Sharing Machine”
Rand is a force of nature, I think he could talk about the inner workings of a Dyson vacuum cleaner cylinder head and still be sexy and that’s coming from a lesleybean. He gave some great insights into how CEO’s can use their power to promote their business and also make staff part of the culture not just making them fit into it.
Rand Fishkin Takeaways -
SEOmoz spend $700 per month on cupcakes and $700,000 on Amazon Servers! Both are considered essential to the success of the business.
As a CEO become a marketer like these examples. Be a proactive industry contributor, do guest posts, get involved.
Empower your marketing team with development resources so they can leverage their efforts too.
CEOs amass favours, ask for links and shares by calling them in.
Embrace authenticity. People care more about why a company exists than what it produces. Wealthy people want to be hipsters now and have the latest cool thing that no one else has.
As SEOs we can encourage our client’s CEOs to use this influence and benefit the outcome we are trying to achieve.
2:00-2:30pm - Ade Lewis – “Small Business SEO for £350 per month”
I love Ade, he was a Linklove virgin like me and I enjoyed his presentation as it was no nonsense, concentrating on affordable campaigns that work.
Ade Lewis Takeaways -
Identify orphaned pages and 404s then fix them. Use SEOmoz tools.
Use Buzzstream to find and manage outreach link building prospects.
Improve the site speed using Google Page Speed Tools.
Teapot have built an Link prospecting Tool to help you find linking opportunities
Check out Matt Beswick’s Guide to Outsourcing if you haven’t done it before.
Ade recommends using Text Broker for content but it takes a while to find the best writers at the best prices
2:30-3:00pm – Claire Stokoe – “Out of 5 million infographics only 1.3% will give you an orgasm in 0.3 of a millisecond”
I swore – a lot… a lot!!! but it was great and I did not need my notes. Think it took me a bit to get into it, but once up there, I felt fine. What I wanted more than anything, was not go in on the defensive ‘yes people think infographics are a bit of fad’ but I don’t and shouting that at someone will only enforce their negative approach… so I swore at them in a friendly way
Claire Stokoe Takeaways -
Infographics are visualisations of data, not just a collection of pretty graphics
Go to Colour Lovers for effective palettes
Use Reddit for promoting infographics
Identify outreach targets on LinkedIn and join the groups they are in
Always have at least three outreach target audiences for your infographic.
Get credibility by association.
Test your infographic before publishing
Walk the viewers through your infographic.. hold their hand through it
The header needs to tell the WHOLE story
Make them SCROLL!!!
2 more peeps worth a mention
@mrkylemitchell (who offered me headache tablets)
3.05 pm: aaaaaaaand RELAX!!!
3.20-3.50pm - Will Critchlow – “The Future of Link Building”
Will is an intelligent and fun guy and this presentation did not disappoint, the first ‘Linklove is dead’ opening had a few people gasping. But it was a thoughtful look at how linkbuilding is changing and how to experiment, which i am all for.
Will Critchlow Takeaways -
Link building is not dead but don’t do crappy link building because it can be harmful.
Concentrate on getting the best most relevant links and forget about manipulating opportunities for a quick win.
Check out Scott Cowley’s Ugly Infographics Pinterest Board for some great examples of what not to do.
Check out Jamie Steven’s slide deck on Technical Skills for Marketers if you need more technical oomph!
Things to do – to learn more skills -
Get together with a few colleagues from departments you don’t normally work with and debate a Harvard Business Review Case Study.
Contribute feedback to an open source project. It doesn’t have to be a very technical response, it could be pointing out a typo but do it. Use things like GitHub.
remove someone from a digital photo, you’ll learn some useful photo editing skills and it’s fun too!
film and edit some video. Use your smart phone and an app. Try to make it look good and put it on YouTube.
initiate a live usability test. In a coffee shop offer to buy a coffee for someone in return for them doing a live test on your website
Write a piece for a publication you previously bought (tip: it doesn’t have to be about marketing, it can be about motorbikes or gardening) and try to get it published.
4:00pm – Me and Wil with the @BloomSEOMonkey
3.50-4.20pm – Q&A with the speakers from the afternoon sessions
Rand and Will Trying to figure out how i get my hair to do that.
Answer to the infographic sources question – http://www.mediaworks.co.uk/where-do-i-find-free-data-to-create-awesome-infographics/
Another top tip list for designing infpgraphics – http://www.mediaworks.co.uk/the-breaking-bad-formula-to-make-infographics-that-are-the-bomb/
4.20-4.50pm – All Speakers – “Let’s Get Real”
My joke was “don’t wear heavy wool under bright lights” ;/
One thing i should have mentioned was how to show up TOP in Reddit via paid ad’s.. this works really well, kicks the ass of FB and Twitter ad’s.. def worth a try. This is a super page by the oatmeal on how to do it.. http://www.reddit.com/ad_inq/
5:30pm – LinkLove 2013 Conference,London-AfterParty
I don’t drink so this is my slim line tonic face, pictured here with the lovely Dan Hoggan Head of SEO (it was not a flattering picture – thus the mask) at Mediaworks and Jonathan Birch who works on the Links team.
6:30pm – Train back to the North doodling – Siobhan in the office on a starbucks mug (artwork by Jonathan Birch)
6.45pm: A doodle of Rand by Dan made me confront his similarity to Wil Wheaton.
8:00pm – More doodling by all of us – this is Dan
11:00pm – Home to this -
Thanks to http://www.strategyinternetmarketing.co.uk/roundup-of-actionable-tips-from-distilleds-linklove-2013/ for the awesome takeaway list that i copied
Posted by Claire Stokoe on 25th March, 2013