ThinkVisibility 3: our favourite takeaways

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ThinkVisibility 3 took place more than a week ago. If you haven’t come across the ThinkVis conferences before, we recommend that you check them out. They cover “the items that usually get left out of the web process”: speakers have included top honchos at the BBC, Telegraph.co.uk and Yahoo! (as well as yours truly), and the subjects covered range from SEO and social media to conversion rate optimisation. For a flavour of the (sold out) conference and the after-party, see our video:

Joel and I were fortunate to hear some inspiring speakers, meet some interesting people and pick up lots of new tips and ideas. This isn’t so much a review of ThinkVisibility – plenty of in-depth reviews have already been posted – but over the past week or so we have had the opportunity to begin turning notes, thoughts and talk into action. So I’d like to share some  the tips and ideas that are already proving useful in our day-to-day work at Tinderbox Media. It is my intention that in the future, Corporate Blogger will be covering some of these in greater detail, but here’s the overview of our favourite takeaways:

1.  The value of citations in Google Local. (FYI: citations are distinct from links. They are online mentions or references to your company.) Tom Critchlow, the head of search marketing at Distilled, drew upon plenty of real-life examples to show us how citations improve results. One of his top tips? Add an address to your company profile that is 100 per cent identical to the format and structure of the address in the local search listing. Hey presto: whenever that profile appears online, Google recognises it as a bona fide citation.

2. How to increase our productivity by making use of online project management tools. Sarah Carling of Bloom Media gave a talk on SEO project management and introduced us to Tom’s Planner. This is an online scheduling and collaborative working tool, which ticks all our boxes (quite literally). It is shiny and new, still in beta (which also means that for now it is free) and we are already putting it to use.

3. One of my favourite talks of the day came from Andrew Burnett, who spoke about building a website’s presence on social news websites. One of the reasons why I enjoyed this talk so much was because I came away with a fresh perspective on some of my everyday online haunts. You know what it’s like: you spend so much time on certain websites that you stop really “seeing” them, or viewing them as sources of inspiration. I am in the habit of reading every single UK newspaper online on a daily basis (hangover from journalism days), so I sat up straight when Andrew showed us some of the ways in which these publications successfully showcase their “golden posts”, encouraging clickthroughs and submissions to social news sites.

Oh, and I came away determined to find a WordPress plugin for thumbnail images to accompany related posts. This being ThinkVisibility, when I mentioned this mission to a fellow attendee at the after-party, it turned out that he had recently made a plugin that did just that. Result!

4. Another takeaway from Andrew’s talk: an app called trak.ly. It is like bit.ly, but with added benefits – especially if you’re a Digger.

5. Using your company’s USP as linkbait. Paddy Moogan , online marketing campaign manager at Pin Digital gave an overview of various link-building techniques, with a particular emphasis on those links that are hardest to get. His talk was packed full of interesting gems, but Joel’s brain began whirring when Paddy mentioned the how a company’s USPs could provide excellent linkbait. An example of this could be a company with strong environmental credentials, held up by ‘green’ bloggers or websites, as an example of best practice.  Seems obvious really, but the obvious is often overlooked.

6. 1.5 million businesses search on YouTube every day. Just one of the points raised by Iliya Vjestica, online marketing manager at Magnitude, that left us with food for thought. We are doing increasing amounts of video for B2B clients; it looks like we’re heading in the right direction, which is reassuring.

7. Paul Carpenter, of Bronco, spoke about how to use Google News to improve online visibility. Thiswas one of Joel’s favourite talks of the day; there is too much here to summarise, so we’ll let Paul’s slides and notes do the talking.

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Our favourite reviews of ThinkVisibility3:

David Towers liveblogged throughout the day. Brilliantly.

“It’s in the North – we can’t all attend SXSW or SMXWest so to have something like this on the doorstep is a joy.” – Sorbet Digital

“It is different from a usually conference in that it is held on a Saturday – so you tend to attract a crowd who are genuinely interested in their work.” - Pin Digital

“The event is a pretty intimate affair, with around 150 people attending.” – Dan Harrison

“I really liked about the conference were the afternoon slots when you get to see people who haven’t spoken before.” -  Piggynap

“As well as the sessions themselves, Think Visibility provides a great networking opportunity and it was great to see some familiar faces”Zath

(Thumbnail image credit: sk8tegeek)

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Hello! We are Karyn Fleeting and Joel Turner . We are both directors at Tinderbox Media: a digital PR agency specialising in business blogs, which is based in North Yorkshire, UK. On Corporate Blogger we write about our observations, experiences and ideas drawn from working with our corporate clients on various web-based projects.

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