Think Visibility SEO Conference – Sep 09


It seems like ages ago that the PoLR team were driving down to Leeds for the first Think Visibility conference. In fact it was only 6 short months ago and so, on Friday night, we found ourselves off on our second roadtrip of the year down to sunny Leeds for the second round of Think Visibility for 2009.

Determined not to make the same’ 3am start mistake’ that we made in March, we set off on Friday to be there ahead of schedule. It worked and we managed to get through the conference without the sleep deprivation induced deliria that hit us all before!

Once again, thanks to The Hodge and all the @thinkvisibility team for organising it.

Interested in going ot the next one? Then check out

Anyway, once again we left with loads of ideas to try so here’s a round-up of the talks I made it along to.

WordPress SEO Strategies – Joost De Valk (@Yoast)

The day kicked off with Joost De Valk giving tips on optimising WordPress blogs. Topics ranged from loading times (and how to reduce them) to enhance users’ visits and get them to see a fully loaded site to reduce bounce rates. I was scribbling like crazy during his talk and am in the process of trying to implement one of his tips on this blog already – hopefully I will get it working soon!

Big Site SEO : The – Julian Sambles (@JulianSambles)

Julian took us through some of the issues that were addressed and processes followed while the Telegraph developed their online presence since 2005. Interesting to hear from someone who has moved through the transition of the traditional press to digital and come out of the other side. Good to hear a non-teccy point of view and to hear about how the Telegraph went about training journalists on the merits of SEO.

Maximizing Universal Search – Judith Lewis (@JudithLewis)

An SEO Chick in the room who brings chocolates – Yay! for people who love chocolate and like to share 🙂 Anyway, about her presentation…Judith was discussing ways in which to make the most of all the other ways to get people clicking through to your site over and above the standard text search results. Lots of tips and tricks to maximise search results and facts to back it all up. I hadn’t realised YouTube was the second largest search engine but there you go, you learn summit new every day.

Debunking the ‘F-Pattern’ – Fiona Thomson (@fiThomson)

After the talk on eye tracking in March I was looking forward to hearing this presentation and it wasn’t disappointing. Fiona showed the results of several eye tracking studies and discussed each one to help us interpret what we were seeing. It was amusing to hear of one example where the website designers had either been incredibly lucky or incredibly sneaky in causing users to skip the small print! A few points she made will definately make me think twice in future when designing websites.

Have Blogs Gone Wrong? – Tom Smith (@Everythingabili)

Another crazily drawn talk from Tom Smith. This time it was about considering effort v’s reward when working with social media (or any website really). How to think selfishly from the users perspective and how they could go about judging whether yet another new social media site is worth the effort to sign up to. If not, why not? What could be done to make it easier and more attractive? Great examples were used in the presentation and as with his talk in March, he had everyone laughing!

A panel was put on as entertainment through lunch where I only narrowly escaped being decapitated by a flying t-shirt. I only hope that if that bit’s on video then no one can lip-read…(well, I got a shock!)

Unfortunately we had to miss the last talk which was Accessibility and Disability: A History of Innovation from Arthur Ortega and I stupidly never checked the schedule in advance so also missed Zoe Piper’s talk on How to Win at the Content Network which I was annoyed at but I’ve since found her slides online so shall be getting tucked into them in the near future!

Think Visibility

A post-conference coffee by the canal

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  1. Pingback: Burn Down Easy » Think Visibility was Awesome

  2. It was good Paul, we missed your smiley face though 😉 Chocolates we’re very nice (but then I’m female, any chocolate is good).

    You should try the FOWD tour next time too : – was really good today

    • Paul
    • 14th September 2009

    Sooooooo jealous, I was watching the live stream on Twitter with the #thinkvisibility tag and noticed Al Carlton’s tweet about Judith Lewis plan to hand out chocolates – looks like it worked a treat, hopefully get along in March 🙂

  3. Pingback: Think Visibility Conference Review (Sept 2009)

  4. Oops sorry – changed to @yoast now!

  5. Thanks for the kind words! Btw my twitter name is @yoast, @jdevalk is my “old” one 🙂