Sam Crocker, Lead SEO at Distilled – Using Competitions in SEO
As part of the ‘link building’ thread, Sam showed us an example of an equipment hire firm running a photography competition as a way of not only building community but of getting valuable links from mainstream and niche publications. A great tip he mentioned (if you’re going to ask for links) is to always ‘pre-heat the oven’ – build a relationship before asking for a link, don’t go in cold.
Sam also emphasised that you need to be clear why you’re running a competition – for links, for engagement or for exposure? Each have different indicators for success and outreach. If you use Twitter to promote your competition, be sure to use the standard hashtags like #comp #competition etc. If all else fails a brand can always sponsor a competition. He also mentioned standard competition listings sites as not great quality but ‘no brainers’ in the style of good old directory sites. One of the questions for Sam was ‘what kinds of things make the best prizes – apart from the obvious, like ‘win an iPad’?’ His reply was ‘one that encourages people to return to the site after the competition has ended.’
Online free bets website Big Bonus Bets outlined how they increased there click through rate from Twitter be using emoticons and images.
Simon Dance, SEO Manager (UK) at Cheapflights – Linkbuilding & CM
As one of only 2 clients (as opposed to agency types) in the room, Simon gave us a particularly interesting talk, sharing a fair bit about how Cheapflights runs its SEO activities (although he carefully made the point that all views expressed here are my own and not the company’s). Some of the tools he mentioned were :
Highrise, a useful contact management tool when keeping track of bloggers, Backpack (also for managing tasks) and Buzzstream, all tools for “building links in less time”. Simon also reminded us of the need to get on the phone and have a contact and follow up strategy (actually it may have been Sam who said this as it’s not clear from my notes!).