For me, one of the real highlights of working in the SEO industry is the community that’s been built, and continues to thrive for a number of reasons. I’m writing this post on the back of having been to a SEO meet-up recently where I met some more really cool SEO’s so just want to share a few reasons why you should get out and about!
Debate & Rationale
As SEO’s, we’re all about the conversation and debate it seems. A SEO’s mantra seems to fall among the lines of ‘if you’re not reading, talking and testing – you’re not learning’. We’ve therefore become quite a sociable bunch as we strive to learn more and more about how search engines work.
As a SEO, how much do you share?
SEO-ing a site involves an astute awareness of who you are competing against (both the websites and their SEO activities). But in order for people to live and learn, there naturally needs to be a degree of sharing, as research and results are mulled over. But this raises the question: how much should you divulge to other search marketer’s?
You know that the less others know, the greater the competitive advantage and the greater the returns on your own efforts. It’s all about making the playing field as uneven as possible, right? Well, I kinda disagree. Let’s take an example…
Categorical Proof that Anchor Text should be no more than 55 Characters
Some pretty awesome SEO’s have carried some pretty awesome tests in their time. In this instance, we see that Shaun Anderson tested the number of anchor text characters that pass through to the next page. He arrived at the result of 55 characters. But important to highlight is that he shared the methodology and thought-process behind the test.
55 characters was the result in this instance, but under different testing it could be different depending on the inherited trust of the site, the search engine algorithm at the time, the number of links already passing anchor text to the page, etc, etc…The point I’m making is that maybe others have different experience from testing in a different way, and this, in my opinion is also worth sharing.
Pay attention to the Methodology
I often think that testing SEO hypothesis in environments where all things are equal is a very tough task. I’ve had conversations with a number of SEO’s about how they would go about testing a certain theory, and they almost always provide different answers regarding their methodology. As we know, if the methodology differs, so might the outputs. With this in mind its clever thinking to share results and methodologies.
Prevailing Logic can be Illogical
Challenging prevailing logic can be a great thing in science and art, and as we find ourselves in an industry that crosses these borders let’s keep on challenging it. And I think there is a great deal of this that has naturally been developed in the online SEO community. As seen in PPC too, those words ‘test and learn’ can play such an important role. Sharing experience, resources and contacts via meet-ups adds huge value to your skill-set and naturally your clients.
An SEO meet-up is a chance for a beer and a whole lot more!
Having had some really great chats with a load of guys that I met at the recent Manchester SEO meet-up (namely Peter Young, David Lindop, Dan Alderson, David Towers and guys from Greensplash Design and EWords) I’m running high on the value of such events as it's always a great a great chance to share ideas, contacts, talk methodology and enjoy a curry!
I’ve also had a chat with a very well respected SEO, 4eyes from SEOCircuit in the hope to revive this SEO meet-up site for people to post events in all areas of the UK – beyond London and a simple LinkedIn SEO group. Raising the profile of SEO meet-ups and making them more accessible should really add value to the industry in my opinion – so if anyone has any ideas, please share them below!
SEO Meet-ups allow you delve deeper
Ultimately, it’s in these conversations that you dig a little deeper, and gain a much deeper insight in to what can really matter when learning about creating greater search engine visibility for your website. If you’re not in to networking or feel you’re too busy, I’d really still encourage that you find a SEO meet-up your area – it’s probably one of the most time-saving and economical ways of developing your sites in increasingly competitive SERPs! Give it a try!