BrightonSEO Key Conference Takeaways - September 2015 Edition | White.net

BrightonSEO Key Conference Takeaways - September 2015 Edition

By Farah Ali / September 18, 2015

The team from White.net have touched down in Brighton! We have joined together to attend the UK’s popular digital marketing conference BrightonSEO. We are covering the most exciting sessions/talks, taking notes so you don’t have to.

For those unable to attend the conference, our live blogging will keep you updated around the world of SEO so you don’t need to feel you are missing out. Key takeaways are also always helpful to refer back to once you’re back in the office, allowing you to refresh your memory.

If you have any questions about any of the topics covered at the conference, leave us a comment, we are always more than happy to share our insight and thoughts.

Here is the important bit! What topics are you interested in? Follow the internal links below to navigate easily to areas of interest to you…

Onsite sessions

Jon Earnshaw: Is your content working better for someone else?

Key points:

  • 37% of global marketing budget is spent on content
  • Creation of content wont work effectively without curation – you need to make sure you keep an eye on your content
  • Have you noticed a drop in visibility? – check the SERPS
  • A glass ceiling is created by the theft of web content
  • Stealing content can cause peaks and drops in traffic volumes which is a continual process – but the person who steals the contents ends up in the better position

What should have been done?

  1. Be alert to the initial flux
  2. Explore the historical data from SERPS
  3. Identify the offending URL/Website
  4. Carry out a scraper report

Don’t turn your back on content

  1. Make it unique
  2. Rule out cannibalisation
  3. Delve into the SERPS
  4. Has someone taken your place?
  5. Monitor resellers and channels

Chris Green: Cannibal Content – Stopping Your Website From Eating Itself

Cannibalised content are web pages that compete with each other in search or web properties that you own, resulting in content that eats itself. Is your content competing with itself?

  1. Be aware of cannibalisation
  2. Look into the right tools to fight cannibalisation
  3. Do something about it

Is the content that overlaps duplicate content? The answer is yes and no. Cannibalisation can be pages talking about the same thing in a different way.

Have the right tools in place to track your content and its performance. For example:

  1. Rank tracking – use this to track URLs for specific key words over time
  2. Google analytics
  3. Check ranking shifts against organic traffic
  4. Search analytics reports

Time to identify the cause:

  1. Screaming frog – carry out a full crawl
  2. Majestic – carry out a backlink audit

What’s ranking and why?

  1. Canonical tags
  2. Internal linking
  3. Off-page signals

Put it all together!

  1. Rank tracking – two pages ranking
  2. Site audit – what are your pages targeting? Are there overlaps?
  3. External signals – what is the cause?
  4. Reflections – what are you dealing with?

How do you fix it?

  • Change your site structure
  • Change or add internal links
  • Give your preferred page
  • Give more love (marketing wise!)
  • Have keyword targeting.

After all,

  1. Prevention is better than a cure
  2. Linking signals are hard to change
  3. Sister sites and brands don’t go away over night
  4. Restructuring sites can be a nightmare

Do it right the first time! How to do it right?

  1. Through keyword research
  2. Identify primary and secondary terms
  3. Assign to sitemap
  4. Be logical in how you do keyword mapping

Take a step back and look for potential overlaps e.g sub categories with little difference such as B2B and B2C areas on your site talking about the same terms and services.

Pete Campbell: From SERPs to Markup: How to Increase Your Earned Traffic.

Google works to finds the answers to what you’re looking for before you ask the question.

  • By 2019 162 billion queries will be on mobile devices and 62 million on desktop
  • Apps are becoming increasingly influential over a browser experience e.g snapchat discover
  • Google saw a fall in searches last year – mobile had a role to play in this

Increase earned traffic by:

Micro data – form of html markup to inform google about the context of your web page. 66% of 100k top websites don’t have micro data which can be used to increase click through rate and lower bounce rate for example, open graph (social media) and schema (websites).

  1. Organisation schema
  2. On site breadcrumb
  3. Site links search markup
  4. Article schema
  5. Product/aggregate rating schema
  6. Open Graph Tags
    • Can control the description, image, title etc, can use CTA button e,g, shop now.
    • Meta tags – twitter firstly needs to approve twitter card markup and then you can also use twitter card analytics to track performance
  7. Google now cards: Structured data in email campaigns

Social Content Sessions

Charlie Williams – Understanding Your Audience; Agile Thinking & Our Content

  • Content that connects with our audience is the only way to stand out for increasingly similar products/services
  • By putting the audience first, we can connect with our audience to also build better content experiences
  • Tell stories about your products; this can be about the users experience of your product and service
  • Think in topics (bucket lists) rather than optimizing for individual keywords
  • Agile thinking + SEO, keyword research, UX & content strategy = a content development environment
    • Agile thinking gives a framework, an attitude, to why we want to take bits of SEO, keyword research, UX, social media & content strategy, to develop great content
  • What can we learn from agile? Fixing one content issue at a time, and having user goals as our primary focus
  • Questions, questions, questions – every search is a question, those who answer them best get the most credit, so find the questions your audience is asking
  • Where to find the questions our audience is asking? Google Suggest, Google Trends, competitor FAQs, Quora, user-centric keyword research, surveys (ask your audience to tell you their questions!) and user testing (especially of competitor websites)

Google tells us that ‘a question can take you anywhere’ and this is exciting because if we can answer, it can take the searcher straight to us.

All in all agile thinking helps SEO in two ways:

  • Focus on one issue at a time
  • Help us understand the audience, so we know what to target

Stacey MacNaught – Your Content Is Awesome – Now What?

When you are working on a piece of content a good idea is great, but you can’t ignore promotion. Without promotion, your piece will get nowhere. Outreach alone does not count as promotion.

To be successful you need to learn a variety of things about your industry and your audience which you can do by following these steps:

  1. You simply need to ask yourself, what does success look like?
  2. Conduct research into how your audience behave and what their interests are. Once you know this you can start to test your messaging across the different social platforms, to see how your audience respond before you roll out the full campaign
  3. Find out who your influencers are and organise them into tiers so you know the difference between your major and minor influencers
  4. Develop a “cracking” headline that will get you noticed

Why people share content

There are many reasons why people share content online, but do you know why?

Understanding these reasons will help you to develop the right types of content and enable you to promote them effectively. Stacey recommends taking a look at a study by New York Times which looks at the reasons why people share online.

Promotional tactics

Outreach is only one promotion tactic but this alone does not count as promotion. There are a number of tactics you can employ to promote your content:

  • Paid press release distribution
  • Paid social and content discovery
  • PPC for content promotion – most advertisers do not target “research” terms – it means you can get incredibly targeted and cheap traffic
  • On-page SEO for content

Hannah Thorpe – Ideation to Impact: How to Create and Sell a Digital Marketing Asset

There needs to be a process behind your ideas:

  • Take notice of your commander’s intent – what does the business need to achieve?
  • Carry out effective research
  • Carry out industry content analysis
  • Use your creativity
  • Sell!

Industry analysis:

  • Work out who your influencers are, and organise them into tiers, running from the *top* influencers, who need the most personal attention, through to small bloggers, who have a smaller, niche influence
  • Work our where the gaps in the market lie
  • Does your audience actually care about the gaps?

How to sell your idea:

  • Reinforce your commander’s intent – it is crucial to tie the idea back to the business first and foremost
  • Show why you chose your idea – don’t just explain the data behind the idea you chose, show the data which made you pass-up the chance to follow up other ideas to explain your process
  • Make it look good – don’t go designing the entire campaign (that won’t work!), instead, create something compelling that looks great!
  • Encourage discussion and debate around your idea

Christoph Cemper – How To Measure Real Success Of Content Marketing

Christoph takes a look at the metrics that really matter when running a digital marketing campaign:

  • “Social signals measure only distribution”
  • “I can like 50 posts per minute, but does that mean I’m engaged?” – probably not.
  • Links = user engagement
  • Comments = user engagement
  • Downloads = user engagement
  • Clicks and views = user engagement
  • User engagement = an impact metric
  • Measurement splits into two areas:
    • Take ‘buzz’ and ‘impact’ (distribution and long term impact)
    • You only understand the value of a piece of content by looking at buzz and impact together

Christoph put forth the argument that in order to measure success, you need to understand the relationship between ‘buzz’ and ‘impact’.

Digital PR Sessions

Tanya Korobka: How to Master Digital PR?

Digital PR is ultimately about connecting people and building relationships.

Superstar PR

  1. 84% of people trust recommendations from friends
  2. Relationships are like spider webs – they continue to grow. Every one of your personal contacts can introduce you and connect you with more people
  3. We connect with people through their vulnerable/weird selves
  4. How do you keep personal connections? Be helpful, give not take

Promoters

Social media = niche interests e.g. reddit rather than traditional media

Writers

  1. Get attention, replies and conversation
  2. Got a good story? Make sure you have good email subject lines, use words such as opportunity, people love this word

Takeaways

  1. Everyone you meet has the potential to change your life
  2. Don’t be an annoying business person be the real weird you
  3. Be generous and helpful (you’ll get back in return what you give without having to ask – give not take)
  4. Mobilise people through movements they are passionate about
  5. Care about customer stories not your brands stories

Lucy Freeborn: What we can all learn from the content strategies of premium brands

  1. Define the reason for engaging in specific channels so consumers know what they are going to get from brands
  2. Coherent content strategies across website and channels, making sure messaging is connected
  3. List of guidelines you follow when on social media. For example: 3 filters you stick to on Instagram
  4. Make sure the people you’re working with have the same language and feel e.g. bloggers
  5. Use different content across social channels. Make each unique and give a reason for people to follow you across all platforms

Ask yourself this:

  • Do you know what type of content your customer wants?
  • Have you worked out what you want your content to do?
  • Are you ensuring consistency across your brand?
  • Are your PR and digital content teams talking to each other?
  • Are you maximising e-commerce functions within the social media? Data capture, rich pins etc.

Razvan Gavrilas: Dominating Organic Search using Cutting-Edge SEO Analysis

Increase your SEO visibility by carrying out analysis:

  • Keyword research
  • Large scale localised top 10 SERP extraction
  • SEO visibility analysis

Links:

  1. Link prospecting
  2. Create campaigns to attract high quality homepage links
  3. Can easily overtake competitors due to link diversification

Content sharing audit:

  1. Social shares extraction
  2. Social visibility calculation
  3. Google ranks vs sharing correlation

Social mention is a helpful brand monitoring tool.

Matt Roberts: Inspire investment in PR

PR is about reputation! 

What do SEO’s want PR’s for?

  1. Angles
  2. Outreach
  3. Journalist influence
  4. Links

What do PR’s want SEO’s for?

  1. Visibility of PR content
  2. ROI justification
  3. Content strategy
  4. Technical SEO

SEO’s need to know when their own entity should rank, understand the value of content and what it should say.

PR’s need to plan, to help manage those moments that impact reputation and what searchers do next.

  1. Reputation and consumer behaviour is front and centre
  2. Set goals and become strategically aligned with one another both, SEO’s and PR
  3. Tell a cohesive and data driven story

Data Sessions

Anna Lewis (Wiggle) – Making sure your analytics makes money

5 key areas in analytics:

  1. Analysis
  2. Tracking
  3. Reporting
  4. Insights
  5. Testing

Work out which one will help you move forward:

  • Accuracy and understanding
  • Goals and KPIs
  • Choosing effective strategies
  • Balancing dev insights and service provision
  • Testing and optimisation

But first, avoid making a decision based on flawed data!

Top tips for avoiding mistakes:

  • Test installation – make sure the data coming in is correct
  • Use debugging tools
  • Check reports for issues
  • Get multiple eyes on it
  • Review regularly

Common GA errors:

  • Filters
  • Multiple tags
  • Sampling
  • Cross domain tracking
  • Campaign tracking
  • Property level settings

Top debugging tools:

  • GA debugger
  • Tag assistant
  • Event tracking tracker
  • Google tag manager preview

Check you’re making money:

  • It’s not all about sessions
  • Understand business objectives
  • Line your metrics up with bottom line
  • Segment to ensure you don’t miss details

Implement a method for choosing analytics priorities

Choosing priorities:

  • Potential
  • Importance
  • Ease of implementation

Test, but know what you want to achieve:

  • The more you test, the more you learn
  • Testing proves your theories
  • Helps you choose future directions

Key points:

  • Make sure everyone’s on the same page
  • Share your definitions of metrics and dimensions
  • All reports need keys and descriptions
  • Reports should always have commentary from the relevant team
  • Make sure you know the direction you need to go

Kristina Baus – Data Driven Digital Marketing Strategy: How to do it?

Why do we need to analyse data?

  • Data driven marketing strategy is extremely important
    • 64% of people feel they need to be connected to the internet at all times
    • 4% – the average no. of touch points before a conversion
  • Almost everything will be connected with the development of the internet of things
  • Measurable data is actionable data
  • Too much valuable data is being ignored
    • Data companies analyse only 12% of their total data
  • Data driven marketing spend is constantly increasing

How should we approach big data analysis?

  1. Determine how data-driven you are as an organisation at present
  2. Determine what drives your decision making
  3. Establish what data you need to collect to support your decision making process
  4. Collect the data
  5. Analyse the data and think of the data in the view of the customer experience
  6. Roll out your customer focused information
  7. Measure ROI
  8. Repeat and improve

Analysis Examples

The amount of data collected is increasing and we need to understand to how to analyse and create the right strategies for our clients.

Content Sessions

Shelli Walsh: How To Have Ideas for Creative Content

  • Content marketing has been around for over 100 years, it isn’t a new thing
  • Content is not king, concept is king
  • Don’t limit your ways of thinking to create ideas
  • Be a lateral thinker – remove limits, it doesn’t matter if you are wrong

Brainstorming:

The six thinking hats – Helps you generate ideas thinking from 6 different perspectives

The why technique – Keep asking why, never stop thinking like a child

Combine ideas – For example, the mobile phone and camera were two separate devices. Apps such as, snapchat and Instagram would not be around if these concepts had not been combined

Anyone can learn thinking skills!

Cathal Berragan: Lessons Learned on the Way to Half of a Million Twitter Followers

Starting with a Twitter page that isn’t getting many followers?

Cathal came up with an idea to create a twitter page about exam problems, gained a lot of followers which led t0 companies such as Spotify and Tippy Tap approaching him. He has featured in the press including Daily Mail and Buzzfeed.

Hi advice?

  1. Your profile shouldn’t look like a book
    • Humans crave visual content
  2. Make sure you are always online in order to communicate with your audience
  3. Don’t give your social media profile to an intern
  4. Don’t develop ‘cool dad’ syndrome. Your content should be natural and reactive i.e. the people who run your channel should run their own channels well

Pippa Moyle: Merging Your Business Into The 24 Hour News Cycle

  • You have 3-5 seconds to engage your audience
  • Think like a journalist – create content that would be in the news cycle

4 Vital qualities of a journalist:

  1. Know your reader
  2. Produce good quality content
  3. Follow the news
  4. Keep thinking about your reader

What’s the secret?

Know your audience and get the thinking right!

Paul Madden: A Systematic Approach to Managing Relationship & Links

  • All about the people and the relationships with the right people
  • Outreach – reaching out to the right people after creating your content
  • The aim is to build a network of influencers in niches, that can benefit all future projects

How to find the right contacts:

Use tools such as, Buzzumo and Ninja outreach to connect you with the right people.

  • Outreach by email is common but it makes it hard to gain that personal interaction
  • Social media allows you to relationship build (although it is a long game)
  • Think like a salesperson – every conversation gets you closer to your goal
  • A lot of us use email but in order to be noticed you need to do what is over and above what everyone else is doing, such as having a conversation over the phone
  • Set a goal for each communication
  • Decide what broad niches you want influencers in and connect with those people

Key steps:

1) Build inventory of relationships before project

2) Foster relationships over time so they come to you

3) Unless you go the extra mile you will lose out on that race

Paddy Moogan– Reverse Engineering Successful Content

Keep in mind;

1) The story

2) The data

3) The production

Brainstorming:

  • Brainstorming and idea generation is difficult for most of us
  • Brainstorming ideas needs structure and guidelines
  • Not all ideas are good ideas

Brainstorming consistently is the hardest part!

  • Some ideas fly but you don’t know why
  • You only learn by doing stuff
  • Look for trends

Brainstorming and the idea generation stage:

  • Create a brief for everyone involved in the brainstorm, this should be the goal
  • Should contain themes, data, visuals, guidelines and constraints
  • Find your content competitors i.e. for travel, targeted keywords such as cheap flights, cheap holidays
  • Look wider than your direct competitors. Sometimes these are the people that do things really well
  • Look at those with a bigger audience as well as direct ones
  • Find visuals, don’t over think this. Look at ones that have been created. Think about if you can  do it better

Tools:

  • Buzzumo has a feature for content analysis to look deeper into websites.
    • You can gain useful analysis from this
    • You can also get an average number of shares per post, but you need to have realistic expectations
  • You can find out what posts work well and create a word cloud by using a tool called word up. Ask yourself can you do any of these aspects better?
  • Huballin, Google’s keyword planner and Brandtale are tools useful for keyword research
  • Statista.com can be used for data sourcing. If you can’t find data online get your own e.g. google consumer surveys

Kelvin Newman: How to have less rubbish ideas

The majority of what I am going to tell you is not new but this should help you to start thinking differently about things that you should do, that you might not currently do.

  • You will have better ideas when you understand your context and when you create reliable methods and the right environment
  • The web is a network – too often we talk about link building. It is important to understand the quality of the link and who is linking to you as well as the context
  • Everything happens in context – what might be a good campaign for others might not be right for you
  • Use fusion tables as a way to visualise link relations giving you an interactive/visual snapshot of your site
  • “An idea is nothing more or less than a new combination of old elements” – James Young Webb
  • A new idea can be generated through remixing ideas

You will have better ideas when you understand context and have reliable methods.

Farah Ali

Digital Executive

Farah joined White as a Digital Executive in 2015, having graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2014. Farah has her own Beauty and Fashion blog (www.farahkali.com) and has a keen passion for Digital Marketing.

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