17 Actionable Takeaways from ThinkVis

Stuart Shaw 10 years ago

ThinkVis is one of the fastest growing digital marketing conferences in the UK and its ‘underground’ feel makes it ideal for new speakers to share their knowledge outside of the usual sphere of circuit events and ‘household names’.

That means that it is a great event if it’s new insight you are pursuing and Zazzle Media is now a regular, attending with one purpose and one purpose only: To curate and share the very best insight for everyone else.

Our own James Perrott attended the latest one this weekend in Leeds and below is his roundup of the best bits….

The Speaker List:

Barry Adams, Pierre Communications – SEO for eCommerce (Slides HERE)

Jon Quinton, SEO Gadget – Link Building Lessons from Swiss Toni (Slides HERE)

Anna Lewis, Koozai – Website Analytics 60% of the Time it Works Every Time (Slides HERE)

Dan Harrison, WP Doctors – 25 useful tips for WordPress (e-book HERE)

James Carson, Bauer Media – Saying stuff is dead… is dead (Slides HERE)

Pierre Far, Google – Understanding Google crawling and indexing

17 Actionable Takeaways from ThinkVis…

1. “If in general all your content ideas are awful – go with it as they’re the best ideas" – Stephen Pavlovich, Conversion Factory

This was the quote from the creator of Wish, a proponent and investor in great content marketing. His point is that often the ideas you think are bad turn out to be the most shared, visited you have created.

2. Faceted search is great for internal link semantics – Barry Adams

Faceted search for all of you that are unsure is the search metrics that are on the left hand side of a category page (For example, brand names, price ranges, colours etc). Block via Robots.txt the end URLs, but these faceted search methods increase semantic value.

3. Look at your sites internal search, it’s a great source for keywords – Barry Adams

This is a great tip for eCommerce sites, you might originally be focused on keywords given to you by the client – however look for hidden opportunities using this method.

4. Don’t 404 temporarily out of stock pages, have a countdown to when they’ll be back in stock and show relevant products. Display e-mail so customers can get in touch – enhance UX. – Barry Adams

Don’t 404 temporarily out of stock pages, as you will lose customers and returning customers. Put information or a countdown as to when these products will return to the store, with an e-mail for customers to get in touch. If the product is permanently out of stock, use the same method – but if it continues to be out of stock use a 301 redirect to the most relevant product or category.

5. Build a filter for Google Shopping in Analytics – There is a great SEOmoz post on this by Sjors Peerdeman - Barry Adams

Ensure if your site is visible in Google Shopping to integrate this with Analytics to keep track on the exact figures being sold in this area.

6. Put social sharing on checkout so they can show off to their friends – Barry Adams

Integrate social into the purchase funnel and checkout of an eCommerce site, this will increase conversion due to this instilling confidence into the users from previous customers. Also, this is very good for brands as ‘real people’ are promoting their brands via social media.

7. Put Followerwonk URL into Google docs and scrape list and sort – Jon Quinton

This is an indispensible way of making better use of Followerwonk - a great tool for outreach. However, this is a long process if you want to do the job properly. Using the method Jon Quinton suggested, it makes it much easier to filter out the inappropriate information and finding the hidden gems that are produced.

8. Take care when attempting to scrape the Majestic API – Jon Quinton

This is a good tip for all of those people using Majestic SEO a lot. Its output is hard to work with at present due to the API being .xml. That means it doesn’t format! Keep trying however is the message from Jon, it will just take some figuring out!

9. EVERYONE is using Fiverr

I’ve not personally come across Fiverr before, but after seeing all the tweets in the #ThinkVis stream – EVERYONE is using it. It’s appears to be a fast, easy and cheap method of getting great original content for clients sites.

10. Use SEO Tools for Excel – Anna Lewis

These tools on Excel pull in data from Analytics, making CRO work that much easier by having all your data in one place.

11. Use Gravity Forms on WordPress – Dan Harrison

These give you a much broader range of questions to make the user fill in when contacting or registering via a WordPress website. All the information is stored on WordPress, so it can be exported to Excel or Google Docs.

Also, if you use the Developer License you can incorporate a PayPal payment and User Registration to be mandatory for the form to be completed.

12. 2% of people who like Facebook pages, interact further – James Carson

Great fact, this is worth looking at if you have a very heavy Facebook focused social campaign.

13The fact that Pinterest has grown 4000% doesn’t mean your company has to devise a marketing strategy ASAP. - James Carson

If this information were thrown in front of MDs, they’d nod their head and tell you to build a presence BUT this is the wrong approach. The total size of the audience is still relatively small. Don’t follow the crowd and be a sheep, use your head and analyze which are the best opportunities. Don’t waste money on areas that are being hyped about, just because they’re being hyped about. Find real figures and find out how creating a campaign in this area would help.

14. There are now THREE Google bots as of January, one solely focused on mobile sites – Pierre Far, Google

It’s time to start looking at the mobile versions of your sites as the smartphone market continues to grow. There are now 3 Google bots and 1 is solely used for smartphones.

15. Google is REALLY confused that hardly any Webmasters are using e-mail forwarding from GWT as they’re sending out a lot more e-mails – Pierre Far

Pierre really stressed that Google are trying to help Webmasters out by sending more and more useful warnings and messages about sites to Webmasters via e-mail. The problem is, hardly anyone is using e-mail forwarding in GWT.

16. Google is using the ‘most relevant’ content from a page to use as a title to display in SERPs – Pierre Far

Pierre stated Google’s algorithm is finding more relevant title tags in relation to the users search. IE. Title tag is ‘Home | Companies Name’, this was changed to ‘Home Accessories’ by Google because the search by the user was ‘Home Accessories’.

Pierre stressed that there is no need for webmasters/SEOs to be mad about this as it increases CTR.

17. Events, Products, Software, Applications – USE rich snippets wherever possible on a site – Pierre Far

Pierre said even if your page has a 2/10 rating, keep rich snippets on the page and be HONEST to the user.


We hope you enjoyed this blog, rounding up Think Vis - this post was written by James Perrott, a SEO Consultant at Zazzle Media.

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