sun, sea, and SEO
Our SEO and PPC Specialist, Laura, headed off to the sunny south coast of Brighton to catch up on the cutting edge of SEO last week.As a digital agency, we love nothing more than to keep up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in the constantly evolving digital world. So we got Laura to share her favourite parts of the event with the rest of us…
Brighton is a wonderful place, and SEO is a wonderful subject; coupled together they make for one great event. For those who don’t know, Brighton SEO is a biannual search-marketing event and it’s the place to be if you’re an SEO fan. The line-up never fails to impress, bringing together some of the most experienced and respected talent in the industry. It’s a time when SEO enthusiasts flock like keyword-seeking seagulls to beautiful Brighton, enjoying the fish and chips, getting some fresh sea air, partaking in a few drinks but ultimately focusing on the event that is Brighton SEO.
As someone who’s been in the SEO industry a while, I can honestly say that I love Brighton SEO. It’s such a great opportunity to meet fellow SEO peeps and get to listen to the top SEO celebs like Gianluca Fiorelli do their thing!
For those of you who weren’t lucky enough to nab a ticket, which isn’t surprising considering they sold out in just 4 minutes, here’s our rundown of what you missed.
First on the agenda was content marketing, this talk took place in the busy dome concert hall. The key takeaway from this session was the importance of creating content that helps your target audience. It’s important that you understand your target market and use the data available to curate content that is both relevant and useful to users. You should aim to answer their problems with blogs and FAQ articles focused around common pain points, as this builds trust and authority within your niche. You can use forums and social media to see what your target market is talking about; keep your eyes peeled for opportunities to help.
Also covered in the morning session was the importance of measuring content. We’ve previously written about the importance of using your website analytics to unearth the value and potential of your website. We can’t stress how important it is to have Google Analytics set up on your website, and best of all, it’s free to use! This will allow you to monitor everything from the average time spent on each page to your most successful content. You can also see where users are leaving your site, investigate why, then find new ways to keep them engaged and ultimately, to convert.
Some technical areas of SEO and content were also covered, such as avoiding duplicate content. Essentially this is similar content that targets the same or close variants of a keyword. For example, duplicate content may occur if you had two pages targeting ‘cheap holidays in France’ then another page for ‘great value France holidays’ then another page for ‘bargain holidays France’.
The problem here is that it’s unlikely that the content for each of these phrases would be unique and they’re competing against each other, it’s not of any value to have all this similar content spread out in this way.
Rather than spreading your content too thin, you should think more about groups of keywords that mean the same thing and focus on making your content as valuable and helpful as possible for those keyword groups. This will also help avoid onsite search penalties such as the Google panda update.
Overall, the session reiterated how important it is to produce interesting and useful content, which also aligns with one of Google’s quality guidelines:
“Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.”
Next up was the social session at the dome studio theatre. Nowadays, most people realise that social media and SEO go hand in hand. Social media is constantly evolving and it has phenomenal potential for business owners. This session looked at the power behind social and how it can change perceptions. Social media can make or break a brand; one snooty reply to a customer on Twitter can leave your brand in ruins if it picks up momentum in the ‘Twittersphere’. Similarly, a good deed on social media can easily go viral and generate good exposure for your brand. In particular, it was nice to recap on some of the prominent brand success that’s been happening on social media, like the old spice campaign.
There was also a focus on what’s next for social media. With Facebook investing in artificial intelligence and the development of Facebook M, Siri and Cortana, it was interesting to look at how these platforms are gathering user information, intent and purchase behaviour. With social media evolving at a pace that will see us living Jetson-esque lives in the very near future, it was also interesting to discuss the importance of keeping social human, rather than getting carried away in all these technological advancements. Avoid over-automating and interact with your followers as much as possible.
After a quick break, it was onto the paid advertising session which provided advice on how to get the most out of your PPC account. This included some great advice on how to effectively optimise your PPC account to encourage healthy click through rates (CTR) and quality scores. With PPC, it’s vital that you make sure that your keywords and adverts are effectively targeted so that they encourage clickthroughs. Likewise, it’s also important that you review any keywords which aren’t performing or generaring the results that they should be. Some of the best advice was to create separate PPC landing pages for sites and to effectively optimise these pages to encourage conversion. This can be done by including something as simple as a quick contact form and/or a clear call to action.
Last up, although first in any SEO campaign, keywords. International SEO celebrity, Gianluca Fiorelli reminded us in this developing industry that keywords still matter.
What has developed however, is thinking more about the meaning and intent behind keywords through tools such as Google planner, trends, suggest and internal site search, which all give you insight into what people are searching for, what questions they need answering and their interest in topics over time.
It’s also important in modern keyword research to consider the meanings or intent of a word in different countries, such as chips – as in fish and chips on Brighton beach, and chips – as in crisps in New York.
Another consideration is to look at your competitor to see what keywords they’re using. Maybe they’re not actively doing SEO and focussed more on PPC, which could give insight into which mediums work best in your industry.
Bye, bye, Brighton
I had a fantastic time at Brighton SEO. For me, the best part of the event was seeing how much SEO has evolved over the years, and how it’s still continuing to push the boundaries of digital. Despite the technological advancements of the industry, I particularly love how the customer’s needs remain at the forefront of SEO. Funnily enough, this coincides nicely with one of our main guiding principles: think like a customer! Creativity was a key word used at the latest conference and, as a creative agency, here at Uprise we have creativity by the bucket load!
If you’re interested in attending the next event then don’t forget to register for tickets. You’ll have to be quick though, as they sell out fast. In the meantime, if you’re curious about all things digital marketing, then get in touch!
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