Microconf LogoMicroconf Recap 2018

SEO Tasks That Produce Results

Dave Collins

Founder, Software Promotions

Making the web more sarcastic since 1997. Slightly aged father of two amazing lunatics. I specialise in SEO, web-sorcery and occasional compulsive lies.

New Milton, England
Dave Collins

Check out Dave's summary of his talk - you can also schedule a call with him!

Usual SEO Formula:

boring + non-urgent + time consuming
+ unlikely to work + might even blow up in your face
= never going to happen

Dave Collins

Dave has worked on SEO for over 20 years!

But Dave, I've tried SEO and it doesn't work, so it's clearly dead

SEO isn't dead, you're just doing it wrong. Not paying attention to SEO will kill your business.

People like to point to ads on google search results and say search results are all about paid ads, but most google real estate is actually there for organic results.

Googling Experiment

Can you imagine if users had to pay $0.05 per google search? Let's see how well google does with different levels of searching:

  • ✅ Level 0: dog
  • ✅ Level 1: jack russell
  • ✅ Level 2: jack russel smiling
  • 👎 Level 3: black and white jack russel smiling (google starts to slip here)
  • 🚫 Level 4: black and white jack russel smiling next to a baby (google doesn't know what it's doing)

Once searches get past Google's level of expertise (~level 3), the results start slipping.

Exercise 2: Find "Dave Collins"

Despite google's claim of returning images that are visually similar, it's actually all about text.

The fore fundamentals of SEO haven't changed at all in the last 20 years. Google needs our help - it's a partnership.

SEO Action Plan

Task 1: Low Hanging Fruit

How will google feel about bland meaningless copy, like "websites are becoming more and more common every day"? Bleh.

Here's the low hanging fruit.

Google Search Console has four important parts you should be checking on a regular basis:

  1. Crawl Errors: anything google finds that causes a problem, like a 404. This is bad for google and you.
  2. HTML improvements: massively underestimated. Highlighted in Google's search engine optimization starter guide
  3. Index Status: select all the boxes and make sure everything makes sense.
  4. Security issues: should always read "we haven't detected any security issues with your site's content". If not, stop everything and fix it.

Task 2: Keywords

  1. How would your friend describe your page?
  2. Run these phrases through google - would your page make sense in this context?
  3. Use your imagination!

If you were looking for microconf, would you search for "conference for startups", "entrepreneurial conference", or "entrepreneur conference"?

Turns out "entrepreneurial conference" has the highest search volume!

Here's another example:

  • seo service (1x)
  • seo services (6x)
  • seo training
  • seo is dead

You have to use the tools, don't just guess what you think the most popular keywords are.

Task 3: More compelling content

If you have more than 10-15 pages of content, you don't need to write new content purely for SEO. It's more about making better use of what you have.

TODO: see low hanging fruit in spreadsheet?

What do people also ask? Reflect these ideas back at google!

What do people also ask? Reflect these ideas back at google!

See the world as google sees it. You can also use tools like ahrefs.

Get into the minds of the people searching. Look at the pain points, ideas, and themes of people searching for your stuff.

Task 4: Use the Right Tools Correctly

These tools wont' do the work for you, though

Task 5: Feed the mobile index

Google is moving to mobile-first indexing. Your index will be based on the mobile version of your website.

Rolling out mobile-first indexing has quadrouple speak, but basically says Google will care a lot more about mobile indexes.

Responsive is not mobile-friendly. Check if your site is actually mobile friendly with Google's Mobile-Friendly Test

Bonus Tip

If you click on a website and get a page with a bunch of SEO nonsense, you're going to bounce, which is a super strong indicator your site sucks.

7 Rules of SEO

  1. Don't talk about SEO
  2. Fix the machine: don't just look good, work well
  3. Invest time in keywords
  4. A different approach to content
  5. Use the right tools
  6. Embrace mobile first (check your website). If you pass, Dave will let you buy him a drink.
  7. Humans before spiders.

Every once in a while, one of these seeds will fall in the right place and build something amazing.


When google gets a 404 on one of your page, how do you tell it it's gone?

Redirect it to the closest fit or use robots.txt to block it.

Look for high impressions and low clicks?


Free "Microconf 2018" eBook

I'm sending out a beautiful PDF eBook of notes from every MicroConf 2018 Starter and Growth talk – both Speaker and Attendee. Want a copy?

What your friends call you