The season of events and trade shows has started again. For us at Universem, this means examining the wide range of Digital Marketing events and deciding which ones we prefer. SMX, SEO Camp Paris, Brighton SEO, … most of the events on our list are more international events. My task was therefore to look for an SEO event that takes place in Belgium.

SEO Benelux gives the answer here. Started as a Facebook group founded by Mathias Noyez, SEO specialist at WiSEO, it is growing into a multifunctional platform for SEO professionals in the Benelux, with alternating “meet-up events” in Belgium and the Netherlands from 2018. The meet-ups are running always around a certain theme within SEO and often take place at a location that has a clear connection with this theme. For example, the first meet-up in Belgium with the theme of SEO migrations took place at Combell, which offers services for hosting and domain names of websites.

Everything about SEO migrations at Combell, Ghent

SEO migrations is still a very hot topic, since there are endless options and situations in which a website can be. However, the SEO Benelux meet-up on this theme only lasted one evening. The topic was therefore split into two presentations.

Dirk Ceuppens started the evening with a work schedule for the technical side. He explained a whole timeline with step-by-step informative tips for each phase in the migration project. One constant throughout this process? Continue to crawl the website: before, during and after its launch. Good preparation, fed by data and setting clear goals is evident. Working as quickly as possible with real content on the website in development and realizing that the more things you change during the migration (CMS, design, content, site structure, etc.) the harder it is to determine the effect of these changes afterwards are things to keep in mind.

Then it was Dave Lorrez’s turn, with a presentation that focused more on content and its inventory. A migration may not be technically the best time to revise the content of your website, but in practice a large-scale technical change of the website usually also leads to new ideas for its content. Questions such as how much content there is on the website, which types (text, images, pdf, …), which content is still useful and which to retain, were central here.

The answer to these questions is not always easy. If an export of all pages from the Content Management System is possible, this is the best option to get a full picture on all web pages. But Google Analytics also provides useful information when establishing which pages are the most popular and / or achieves the most conversions. It is therefore a matter of doing the best we can in each situation and remember that in addition to html pages there may also be other content on your old website that is popular and useful for the new website (think of PDF files).

During the last part of the evening, a panel was set up with Herman Maes (dailybits), Rens Vanhoutte (TVH), Frederik Vermeire (Wiseo), Jeroen Stikkelorum (Chalet.nl) and Steven van Vessum (ContentKing). Two tips to remember there:

  • In a situation where a website has too much content, it is not always easy to justify to the customer why some content is being removed. In this case, it is important to emphasize the creation of high-quality content and traffic that fits in much better with the chosen target audience.
  • A certain transfer of knowledge and good communication about the functioning and effects that a (wrong) migration can bring about is also recommended.

Interested in how a SEO event from Universem works? See also our after-movie.

SEO events to the next level with bol.com in Utrecht

Everyone can not be present at every event and especially at a popular event such as SEO Benelux where the tickets are booked really fast (among other because the entrance is still free). After the first event in Belgium, a second edition followed, at the bol.com headquarters in Utrecht this time. Is it too far or not the right timing for you? No problem: the big advantage of these events is that they are available via Livestream on Facebook. And the presentations given during the events are also fully available on the website.

It was also the case for the event in Utrecht with the theme “SEO at scale”, where everything was around optimizing large websites with a lot of web pages and content. The first speaker was Felix Peeters, online marketer at bol.com. He emphasized that good cooperation between the different teams (content & product specialists, UX, IT, …) is crucial and can be optimized with the focus for your customers. He illustrated this last point with a case concerning “Natural header language” in which the header structure of a page is automatically linked to the search behavior of the customer, via the generation of natural language. As a final tip, he helped to focus on scalable and adaptable SEO improvements.

The second presentation of this evening shifted the focus to project management. How can a SEO project for a large website be managed properly? Marloes Zweers of Reprise explains that, just as with SEO migrations, it is in many cases a matter of communication. Connect with the right stakeholders within the company and adjust the communication so that they also understand the value of SEO for their interests. Training the different teams participating in the project and giving specific optimization advice to their skills is a second strategy.

Once again the evening was closed by a panel that could also be followed through the live stream. The most important tip here was setting priorities, both with regard to which type of optimization to perform first, and with regard to which pages to improve first. Pro tip: know what is popular and works well with the visitors of your website to set these priorities.

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