The February LondonSEOMeetup had a high bar set after the successful event in January, but it equally drew a large audience with a stellar lineup of speakers. It was a diverse event, with everything from Britney to Aristotle, SEO puns to Google News – and even some homemade game show buzzers. Once again, I headed to TechUK with some fellow Blue Array-ers for beer, pizza, and a hell of a lot of learning from our four speakers: Victoria Olsina, Enrico Chiodino, Dom Hodgson, and Patrick Langridge.
Victoria Olsina, Basic SEO B*tch
Throughout her career, Victoria has developed and implemented digital marketing strategies for a number of corporate clients, including Barclays, Telecom, and New Zealand Tourism. In her spare time, you can find her doing stand-up comedy in different clubs around London. She’s hilarious, trust me.
In her talk, Victoria talked us through three basic b*tch techniques for earning Featured Snippets with longform content.
Key takeaways from Victoria’s talk included:
- Boost your topical authority by having pages that mention your niche and creating more content around it.
- On content length: your standard word count should go from thinking that 300-500 words is best, to saying that 2,000 words should be the minimum. As a rule, in-depth text makes for better content.
- Utilise People Also Ask boxes to help optimise for featured snippets. For paragraph snippets, ask the question from your chosen PAA in a subheading, and immediately follow it with a 48-50 word paragraph answering it. For table or list featured snippets, use the relevant formatting.
- Make sure you add a relevant image, otherwise Google will pull one from elsewhere.
You can find Victoria’s slides here.
Enrico Chiodino, Post-Aristosomething representation of reality and websites
Before joining Blue Array, SEO Director Enrico had been working in SEO for around ten years in three different countries: Estonia, Italy, and the UK. He’s always ready to rise to the challenge of speaking about SEO (the real trick is getting him to shut up!).
Author’s note: Prepping to write about Enrico’s talk included staring at twelve seemingly abstract slides for thirty minutes before giving up and waiting until the night to write about it. Worth it.
Key takeaways from Enrico’s talk included:
- As human beings, we tend to want to categorise things in an attempt to understand them, and this can translate directly into Information Architecture and site hierarchy.
- Despite this, the brain is not hierarchical. It jumps across ideas seemingly at random, and there’s not really an explanation for this.
- “The reason we do this is because our brain follows Aristotelian splits… our way of thinking, our reality, surrounds us. They had a way of splitting reality, of categorisation. We tend to do it because we can’t accept the fact that we might not know things.”
Find Enrico’s slides here.
Dom Hodgson, The SEO Game Show
Following some pizza and beer, we settled back down for our third speaker (kind of) – Dom Hodgson, the presenter of the brand new SEO game show, The Knowledge Panel (it’s essentially SEO Jeopardy, but ITV needs to pick this up, stat).
Dom has been building software for the SEO industry for over ten years. After working agency side, client side, and even owning a sweetshop – he’s settled into his roles as CTO of Kerboo.com and CEO of Little Warden. If he’s not building websites, he’s almost definitely planning a family Disney adventure or doing something stupid for charity.
Our highlights from The Knowledge Panel:
- Dom’s amazing Disney princess suit.
- A 418 status code means “I’m a teapot”, which baffled the contestants and the audience alike.
- There’s plenty of room for SEO puns, with categories like “Chrome Alone”, “Avengers: On Page of Ultron”, and “The DaVinci Status Code”.
- Our winner was Alex, with -400 points. He won a Big Ben money box, and a ton of bragging rights. Alice, who came in fourth place, won a half-eaten bag of Percy Pigs.
As Dom didn’t have any slides, please consider donating to his fundraising page instead!
Patrick Langridge, Dealing with Rejection (From Google News)
As Head of SEO at Screaming Frog, Patrick sets the strategy for the agency side of the business. His talk showed us the journey from being rejected to accepted by Google News, and the ins and outs of the Publisher Center Content Policies.
Key takeaways from Patrick’s talk included:
- Improve author bios, including relevant information like education, experience, portfolio, contact details (particularly social media), and headshots. Be sure to add a shorter author bio to each article, with their job title, contact details, and a link to their full author page.
- Ensure that there is consistency between AMP and non-AMP versions of pages.
- Add an editorial policy outlining your principles, process, and credentials.
- Migrate all genuine news content to a /news/ subfolder – and produce more original content (e.g. original investigations, fresh news, breaking stories).
- Patience is key. They don’t always reply right away, make sure you don’t preemptively report an old rejection.
- Don’t be afraid to use Google help forums and leave your own comments.
Find Patrick’s slides here.
That’s it for February’s LondonSEOMeetup – thank you to everyone who attended and helped us demolish all the pizza and beer in the world, and thank you to our speakers! If you’re gutted you missed out on this month’s event (you should be), don’t forget to sign up for March’s meetup on our website.
See you next month!