Last Friday several members of the Found SEO team headed down to Brighton for the UK’s largest search marketing conference BrightonSEO. We split up throughout the day to attend different sessions and reconvened on the seafront at the end of the day to share our favourite talks and takeaways from the day over some well-earned doughnuts.
Raymond Olaibi – Junior Technical SEO Executive
The talk by Dominic Woodman about matching consumer intent to pages and templates was the best talk I attended during the day. Even if this talk was more targeted towards on-site optimisation and perhaps not for what I do on a day to day basis (Tech SEO) – I believe the practicality of the session was what made it my stand out talk of the day.
Being my first time at BrightonSEO I felt like there was perhaps a lack of practical sessions, I was looking for something that not only gave me some good insights but also gave me a series of steps that I could have taken away, reviewed, and implement into my work or add into my arsenal of tools in case the need to use it ever arose.
Dominic did exactly that, and he perfectly highlighted how SEO is not only about links; but is important for webmaster to have a well-defined information architecture to fully understand customers, know what the competitors are doing and have a clear view of what people search for and what is currently being provided. Once a clear information architecture is created, webmaster will be able to effectively target consumers to the right pages; by fully understanding what their intent is and providing a page which matches that intent.
I won’t go into the nitty gritty of the steps he shared but I strongly recommended for those people looking to improve their on-site optimisation and increase their organic traffic to go through Dominic’s BrightonSEO slide deck.
Ellie Hubble – Copywriter
Other than being viciously mauled by a seagull (but the less said about that the better), BrightonSEO did not disappoint. The talk which I got the most from this year was definitely Rebecca Brown’s session called “Why you Should Scrap your ‘Content’ Budget Line”.
One of the hardest things about working in content is actually justifying its worth and proving its efficacy. Rebecca’s first two big points were that there’s “too much theory around measurement” and “not enough tangible advice on how exactly to forecast content spend”. It’s impossible to pitch content to a client if the ROI is hazy at best.
Rebecca’s solution to this industry dilemma? To use content to service a channel. “Budget should only be allocated for content when your forecasting and strategy proves there is a need within one of these channels”. The content can then be tied directly to the performance metrics of the channel it sits in.
I’m not a religious person but I’ve never wanted to yell “preach!” so much in a crowd of strangers. Content itself isn’t the problem. Copywriters, content strategists, editors, designers – we still all have our place. Content is crucially important. This talked hammered home though that it’s not the things that we do so much as the way that we harness them.
To quote Rebecca, “content isn’t a strategy, it’s a tactic. We need to start creating content for the right reasons, within the right channels and only if there is a proven need for it as a tactic.”
Rebecca’s talk has given me a lot to think about that I’ll apply to my own content and strategy approach.
Davin Gall – Content Strategist
This was my second time at BrightonSEO and I’m always interested to hear people’s views and approaches to content marketing. The talk that I enjoyed the most was by Allyson Griffiths called ‘Why micro-influencers aren’t the solution to a case of marketing FOMO’
I think that this talk really hit the nail on the head in terms of influencer marketing and the fear of missing out (FOMO), I feel that most brands are jumping on the bandwagon of influencer marketing because their competitors are active in the space but do they have any idea how to do ‘influencer marketing’ properly?
The term influencer is pretty broad but it’s basically anyone that has a large active audience that engages with them, this can be across any number of platforms and includes bloggers, vloggers, instagrammers the list goes on. Brands want to tap into these audiences due to their huge following, unfortunately influencers are now well aware of this and are charging HUGE prices to promote brands – £75k for a Facebook post anyone?
Bring on the micro-influencer with a smaller but just as engaged audience that costs brands a fraction of the price, however there’s always been difficulty trying to attribute the actual value of this form of marketing.
An interesting statistic was that despite $570m being spent on influencer marketing on Instagram during 2016, 57% of brands say they did not have a way to calculate influencer marketing ROI. Allyson suggests using an approach of mission, matching, measurement and maximise to target influencers correctly and help attribute ROI effectively.
I won’t cover mission and matching as I feel the really important areas are measurement and maximise. Currently brands look at metrics such as engagement, traffic and reach but it’s hard to attribute these back to business’s bottom line. Another method is to measure tracked campaign links, brand sentiment or sales uplift but always remember to look at what your original campaign objective are. Lastly, maximise your campaign by using influencer marketing to help drive direct response channels and implementing things like bespoke landing pages, these are likely to improve conversion rates and data capture can also be included.
The presentation goes into a lot more detail but after the talk I felt as if I had gain a little nugget of content marketing knowledge, I now look forward to being able to put this into practice. If you’d like to check out the slides the link is below:
Philip Gamble – Technical SEO Manager
My favourite session came at the start of the day with APIs to Search which focused on the creation and use of dashboards and the Google Search Console API.
In his session Yiğit Konur from ZEO spoke about Connecting APIs without Coding Skills to Create Your Own Dashboards. Custom dashboards enable performance to be segmented and monitored across different areas of a site.
Yiğit introduced the KNIME data analysis platform which can be configured to connect to multiple data sources importing, filtering and processing data using a drag and drop interface
Use of Google Tag Manager triggers to manipulate the HTML DOM to enable changes to be made directly on websites without development resource was also covered. This could be particularly useful if faced with long development queues or when wanting to introduce changes at short notice or only to certain areas of a website.
Kostas Voudouris from Maxus focused on the insights which can be derived from the Google Search Console API. This offers strong potential to both save time and inform ongoing and future SEO activity.
The free Search Analytics for Sheets Chrome extension enables Google Search Console requests to be scheduled to store data in a Google Docs spreadsheet, perfect for if you want to extend a record of historic Search Analytics data beyond the current 90 day limit.
The Search Analytics report within Search Console is a tremendously valuable source of search demand and intent data. The keyword, impression, ranking and click-through data available provides opportunities to identify instances of keyword cannibalisation, locate content gaps or find opportunities for quick wins.