Make better choices with Jono Alderson. Historically SEO has been a game of tactics, as the industry grows up it's becoming about strategy - conferences like Ungagged don't discriminate between different types of approaches. Stop thinking about how do I recover, and think about how to capitalize the next opportunity. Small businesses have a real opportunity because they can change unlike bigger companies. Watch this video to find out what benefits smaller companies have in SEO. Companies are looking outwards with SEO, which is data driven. Do you play to your own KPI's? Think bigger! How many tabs will people open from one search result? Google says that they don't track about Authorship, we think different at Linkdex. Find out more about Jono Alderson at UnGagged, here Transcript: Q: Please introduce yourself, and tell us why UnGagged? JA: So I'm Jono Alderson and I'm head of insights at Linkdex, so I spend a lot of time thinking about where search is going and the kind of tools and processes that marketers and SEOs and PRs and other types of people need in order to make better choices and find better opportunities today and into the future. Underneath all that, I'm kind of secretly a bit of a hardcore techie and a huge Wordpress fan, and I'm talking extensively at UnGagged about Wordpress tips and tricks and technical approaches to really squeeze out serious levels of performance to improve speed and user experience and a hundred other things, so that's really exciting. Why UnGagged? I think historically SEO has been a game of tactics. There's been a thousand and one options and ways to do things and everyone's had their favourites and opinions and options, and increasingly as the industry grows up it's becoming more about strategy, and that requires an understanding of all aspects of how things work and can be done and to take blends of different approaches, so it's really important that there are conferences like UnGagged which don't discriminate between different types of approaches and don't focus, say, solely on content marketing or technical and just open up the floor to allow everybody to pool their experience and knowledge. Q: What are your top tips and priority actions for overcoming issues associated with any big Google algorithm roll outs? JA: I think that's the wrong way to look at it. I think that we've trained ourselves to look for the minimum viable effort to apply in order to get away with doing whatever we're doing, and again, that's born out of this idea that we've all been stuck thinking tactically, and actually none of the big algorithm changes that have come over the last few years have come as a surprise. We knew that thin content was only going to work for so long. We knew that artificial link building was gonna have it's day. The only question was when, and actually if we stop thinking about "How do I recover from the latest issue or how do I avoid the next issue?" and actually think "How do I do better marketing? How do I capitalise on the opportunity from doing good stuff rather than how do I calculate what I can get away with?" then we're all in a better position to be more successful and to mature the industry and there's certainly no shortage of options for ways people can prepare for things like SSO becoming possibly a more significant factor and, obviously with mobilegeddon recently, better mobile adoption and a thousand and one other things that are likely to hit in the next few years. Be prepared for them now, don't wait until it's too late. Q: How can businesses with smaller budgets and resource best respond to big updates? JA: So small businesses have a real opportunity because they can change and that's unique to them, it's the thing that big businesses can't do. If there are opportunities, whether they be tactical or strategic, if there are markets, if there are new-emerging places where they can play, they're in a position where they can change their entire model. They can reinvent their product, they can reposition the way they communicate, they can change their identities, they can align to consumer needs and be consumer-centric with a level of agility that established and large companies simply can't achieve because they have overheads, they have bureaucracies, they have departmental silos, they will struggle to react in ways that smaller companies can - and especially now with the increasing speed that we see in changing landscapes and new forms of media evolving and new social platforms, small companies are really positioned to be able to win. Q: Are you aware of any gamechanger developments on the horizon that in-house or consultant SEOs should be aware of? JA: Yes, increasingly some of the companies we're working with at Linkdex are looking outwards with their SEO rather than inwards. They've stopped saying "Where do we rank for these keywords?"and they've started saying "When a consumer searches, what do they see, and who are all the people in that space, and what are the ten tabs that they open and what reviews do they read?" and they're starting to think about SEO as the management of that entire experience, and their SEO strategy might involve purchasing native advertising on mutual reviews to point people to more positive content. It might involve building relationships with bloggers to displace negative content. They're thinking on a scale which dwarfs the way we've been thinking about SEO for decades and feels a lot closer to conventional PR and marketing, but it's data driven. And as soon as they start waking up, the giants of the world like the Coca-Colas and the Microsofts, when they start getting this right, we'll all be blown away. Q: In your niche or sector, what's the most annoying SEO misconception? Please feel free to set things straight! JA: That we have to play to our own KPI, so the thing I see that really limits people's success, especially in larger organisations is that departmentalism in silos create behaviours which don't aim high and don't chase the real rewards, so people in SEO teams will be KPI'd on getting rankings for specific keywords or generating certain amounts of revenue from increasing product sales. Actually they need to allow themselves to have permission to think bigger - to think "How do I capitalise on new opportunities? How do I challenge my CEO for budget to change the way we think about content? How do I actually mobilise the tech team to fix somebody's legacy issues and migrate to that platform?" It's challenging to do that and it's scary because people's salaries and bonuses and reputations within organisations are tied to how well they're perceived to be doing. But there's so much opportunity out there for people to stick their head above the parapet and just aim a bit higher, but we need to allow ourselves to do that. So, the thing is they don't just click on one result, if you rank first you get thirty four point whatever percent of the click curve, it's not that simple. So especially for complex, considered purchases or purchases where the consumer isn't an expert in the field, they will open ten tabs, they will open every single one of those results, they'll look at and compare every single one, they'll do this on three devices over two weeks over multiple sessions. And all it takes is for one of those to have a two star review, doesn't matter where you rank, doesn't matter how many visits you get, it's understanding that entire ecosystem especially with more complex purchases.The place where this maybe doesn't apply so much is really small, transient purchases, things that are spur of the moment, but for anything where you've got to think about it you don't just click on the first result. And the whole idea that each position only getting a certain number of visits and that being the way the universe works is completely flawed. Q: Current favourite SEO tool or platform? Or can you give us the inside track on any sexy SEO related platforms, tools or developments coming soon? JA: So, I would get shot if I didn't say Linkdex, but I'm quite happy to, so we've got some really, really cool toys. We recently won best innovation something or other at the EU search awards for our entity search system, which is really cool. Google may say that they've stopped caring about authorship or at least they've stopped tracking it. We think differently, we think it's still really important. Our belief is that they no longer need the markup that they relied on, they now understand it well enough and actually the whole concept of human beings writing web pages and the idea of authors having authority and being important is really key, especially for things like outreach and understanding what people care about, so we've built software which allows you to explore and browse round the author's connected to domains and their rank and keywords and to see that author's universe. Outside of that we've got some really cool stuff we're doing in labs, we're doing mass language analysis for huge sets of keywords, so we can say things like these types of people look like they have high purchase intent or these people are asking questions and you can start to analyse your performance through slices in ways that we've never been able to as SEOs before.