BrightonSEO key conference takeaways - April 2016 edition | White.net

BrightonSEO key conference takeaways - April 2016 edition

By Farah Ali / April 22, 2016

The team from White.net are back in force at the popular UK digital marketing conference BrightonSEO! We’re covering the most exciting parts of the conference so you can spend more time listening to the speakers, rather than having to take those pesky notes on your pad, tablet or laptop.

If you haven’t been able to make it to the conference, you may also find our running commentary helpful so you can stay in the loop with what’s new in the world of SEO.

When you’re back in the comfort of your office make sure to revisit this post so you can refresh your memory about the key takeaways from the day. And please feel free to drop us a comment if you have any questions about what was covered at the conference as we’re always keen to share our insights and opinions.
We will be updating this post as the day progresses

Now for the important stuff – what conference topics do you fancy reading about? Click on the internal anchor links below to find what you need quickly…

Crawl Session

Dawn Anderson – Hunting for Googlebot, the quest for ‘crawl rank’

Dawn’s talk was very interesting, but quite deep and contained a lot of research, therefore, the presentation had to be more of n overview of what she found. Dawn had a hell of a lot of information on her slides, so it is worth checking them out.

  • In 2013, The internet increased in size by 1/3 – surpassing 1 billion websites
  • Search engine capacity is limited – they are therefore becoming a lot more selective. Becoming about Googlebot crawl efficiency and prioritisation.
  • Google’s URL Scheduler becomes a more important aspect of the process – decides which URLs to crawl, in which order, and the regularity of return.
    • John Mueller confirmed this: “URLs are not all crawled in order…”
    • John Mueller also confirmed on Twitter: Crawl budget allocation is per IP, therefore, if you share hosting, you will be sharing a crawl budget with other sites.
  • Reading into Google’s ‘Critical Material Content Change’ patent shows significant changes/freshness of page content is an important factor in crawl prioritisation/regularity.
  • AJ Kohn (Jan 2016) – “I see evidence that getting pages crawled frequently improves their ability to rank” (paraphrased)

Tips:

  • Be consistent in internal linking strategies, emphasise which parts/pages/sections of your website are important.
  • Embrace the ‘410 Gone’ status code so that Google embraces ‘importance’

Future Proof

Nicola Stott

  • Generation Z instantly connects to the digital world
  • Millennials – people who will use social media
  • Generation Z prefers messaging apps i.e. snapchat, whatsapp – still using social media
  • Messaging is taking over social media
  • Young adults spend 25% less time reading content than any other demographic
  • Generation Z does not care about your site they only care about the ‘cool product’
  • 40% of all consumers will be in gen z by 2020

3 core areas of focus:
Faster:

  • Time to result is the 3rd most critical metric
  • Page speed insights can be used to identify speed performance
  • rel = reconnect, prefetch, pretender these are understood by chrome and safari (top browsers, SERP uses pre-render in the first result because its a guarantee that will a user will click on the link
    can improve your site hugely in terms of speed

Across all devices:

  • Generation Z more likely to use a smartphone out of all devices, iPhone is top, android follows 2nd
    need to connect users straight to the object quickly
  • How to speed up mobile performance- the amp project (removes 3rd party javascript) – accelerated mobiles pages project ( for further info) – wordpress plugin for this and available on the yoast plugin
    mobile isn’t just about the website, it’s about apps too

Take people direct to objects of desire:

  • App indexing is not being done by anyone in the UK – how do we do this? one url across all devices. Cocopods is needed to connect with IOS9
  • Buzzfeed – 75% of content views from sources other than its website – 21% from from Facebook- the majority of traffic from snapchat
  • Rise of the personal agent – better voice recognition e.g. siri
  • Be fast, be mobile and be everywhere

Mel Carson – discoverable, shareable and memorable

Personal branding – started a business in modern marketing and personal branding, wrote a book about pioneers of digital.

When we think of a brand its way more that just a logo. Seth Godin “a brand is a set of expectations, memories and stories”. Brand is about the experience, brand is about teams e.g. football team, SEO teams, Social teams.

People want to see personality they want to see that you have a life, boundaries of personal and business have blurred the lines because of social media.

Mel Carson – “Personal branding is the ongoing practice that is defining your professional purpose” what is your purpose? what are you motivated and passionate about, that is something people should think about and take seriously.

Be discoverable – for your name, what results come up e.g in Google, also what you are about the skills that you have

Be shareable – what you’re blogging/vlogging, tweeting and sharing

Be memorable – may not need your expertise but something about the first two points that make someone remember you

What brands should do:

  • Build relationships
  • Emotional connection
  • Future loyal fans

90% believe and trust with people who are friends, family members and real people

27% of time is spent on social media every hour

Personal branding sweet spot: (don’t have to have all these things)

  • do-er
  • writer
  • speaker
  • socialiser

Your content should be:

  • Authentic
  • Useful
  • Relevant
  • Actionable

Our personal brands are no different for company brands.

Own your own name – people within this industry should have their own website (wordpress or squarespace site). It’s your own media.

Invest in a professional photo – date from photo feeler suggests a professional profile can make a better experience.

Make your out of office work harder – add links, call to actions and make it stand out from the rest.

Create a social media ratio – people ask should i have a separate account for professional and personal e.g. 60% professional and 40% personal – helps to show you are relatable and a real person with a personality.

Get your LinkedIn profile up to date – people will google you so you want to show yourself in the best light. Make linked your living profile.

Make your business cards stand out – the quality of the card, be creative. Be social by design. You do this with content but do this for yourself as well.

Keep up communication

  • You’ll see an increase in engagement if you start sharing stuff
  • Increase mentions within the industry through niche press and digital publications
  • Requests for you to speak beyond your niche to raise your profile

Personal branding book by Mel Carson available on amazon

Deep diving into featured snippets – Rob

Increase in page rankings when you have a featured snippet – makes the user believe that you know what you are talking about and that you are reputable. You don’t have to rank at number 1 to appear in a featured snippet or be top of the SERPS.

Many types of snippets and there are many types of SERPS

3 types:

  • Paragraph snippets
  • List snippets (bullets and numbers)
  • Table snippets (highly structure data like sport scores)

27.58% have snippets with images

Higher search volume the more likely to appear in the featured snippets

Influence of word count – longer tail – sentences and questions. How do i? type questions.

  • Jargon words get triggered for featured snippets
  • Instant answers for what you need to know – its a mobile phenomenon

How to earn more featured snippets:

  • Analyse keyword opportunities (semrush, GSC, STAT) – look for target keywords to prioritise
  • Create content targeted at snippets – look for ideas that make sense to your vertical but that are natural at the same time for example, question and answer content.
  • Slice up content with sub-heads, lists and tables (h1,h2 tags, lists, tables)
  • Polish your existing snippets, for example, if you have a recipe that is displayed in a featured snippet you can edit content on page. if using steps you can add further steps for cooking the recipe

Successes Session

Arianne Donoghue, Icelolly.com, @ariannedonoghue

What it’s like having GA Premium?

(also called Google Analytics 360 Suite)

Why choose it?

  • data continuity from Standard GA (free version)
  • Google invest, develop and improve the platform often
  • Cost: cost is front loaded – no additional costs for extra attribution models etc.)

Disadvantages:

  • slow (its processing a lot of data) although speed is comparative to Adobe etc
  • (Not Provided) still exists

What’s different?

  • GA standard limits 10 million hits per month
  • GA Premium allows 20 billionn hits per month
  • More segments allowed
  • Integrates well with Double-click (impression data, view-through data)
  • Extra data driven attribution model available
  • Product support teams 24/7
  • Can go direct to Google or via a reseller (this can have the benefit of extra support, training, set-up)

Fundamentals

Sonia Mazzotta – Getting into google news and why it is worth it

The window to the world is covered by google news, but it is really hard to get into Google news

Top mistakes when applying:

  • inconsistent – not aligning with the brand
  • no contact details
  • unprofessional

What are the SEO benefits?

Exposure can lead to the following:

  • Increase in traffic
  • Reputation
  • Brand awareness
  • Increase in backlinks

It also enables better control of brand reputation on SERPS.

You can integrate Google news within your content strategy by doing the follwing:

  • Setup article with keyword at the beginning of headline
  • Promote immediately across social
  • Increase CTR with high res images
  • Always make sure you are staying ahead of Google trends
  • Make sure you mobile is friendly
  • Accelerated mobile project – recently launched and is creates a faster user experience that is streamlined and fast

Exposure is the goal!

Rachael Dines – Fundamentals of Video SEO

  • People spend 60% watching videos on youtube year on year
  • Videos rank and are blended within search results
  • If you can’t rank for text you might be able to rank for video
  • Video increases time on site by an average of 2 mins
  • A video is worth more than 8.1 million words
  • Titles should be at least 5 words long.
  • Put a video on your site first then share it out, google finds the video being on your site first more credible
  • Use the keyword within the file name itself

Tips:

  • Promote it everywhere you can, including the word video can help increase traffic to the site e.g. social media, email
  • Get people to rate your video
  • Make sure your content is great

Andrew Halliday – Server Analysis

Don’t build a great site on rocky foundations, instead ask developers for server analysis data.

Things to consider:

  • What bots are looking at your website
  • Add bots you don’t want to crawl your site – add to robots.txt file

What makes a server log different to screaming frog and deep crawl? Well, it tells you what bots are doing on your site, allowing you to find out quickly which pages google isn’t crawling as an example.

Screaming Frog now has a new tool called SEO log file analyser.

Raj/Paul – Local data

Smartphones have changed the way consumers interact with the world.

  • 53% of UK consumers believe that phones are the most important tool for purchase research
  • 85.5% of sales in the UK take place locally, also very similar in the US
  • Local search opportunity is real and immediate
  • 89% of the UK market share is Google

Make sure that all details are correct e.g. addresses, phone numbers, opening hours. When the wrong data displays to users this can lead to a lost opportunity and revenue. For example, easter Sunday opening hours for retail shops.

Key elements:

  • Make sure you have the right schema markup (schema.org)
  • Make sure there are internal links to nearby locations

Summary:

  • Find a centralised solution
  • Own the delivery of rich content (google my business, landing pages)
  • Location specific information
  • Continually work to improve

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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