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8 Easy-To-Implement Actions From Friday’s BrightonSEO

8 Easy-To-Implement Actions From Friday’s BrightonSEO

Posted 27/04/2016 by Stephanie Fenton

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed after attending a conference like BrightonSEO. This year was no different, with a wide selection of fantastic talks covering the full spectrum of SEO and digital marketing.

From the content covered during the day, we’ve pulled out eight actions we think you should be prioritising:

1. Optimise your content to increase your chance of getting into Google’s featured snippets

According to Rob Bucci, featured snippets can increase your organic traffic to a page by 20-30%. Google is also more likely to display featured snippets on high volume sentence-type queries with strong user intent.

To increase your chances of being included;

  • Use tables, subheadings and lists to break up your content. This also makes it much easier for the user to digest.
  • Use matching queries in the H1 or H2 tag.
  • Create articles based around answering the target query.

2. Ranking factors are changing as a result of RankBrain and are becoming much more user-centric

As a result of using RankBrain, Google now has a much better understanding of user intent. This means that search marketers also need to put more effort into understanding users and their problems. For example, if a user is searching for a phrase including ‘ideas’ then they most likely want to see images and inspiration rather than a page aimed at selling. It’s no longer enough to optimise your page title, meta description, heading tags, etc. and expect to rank – you need to give your visitors exactly what they are looking for.

Ranking factors are no longer the same for each industry, query or location. Searchmetrics will be factoring this in when they release their 2016 ranking factors analysis later this year and will include specific ranking factors per industry.

3. Monitor your competitors’ page speed

We all know how important page speed is, however we tend to forget that Google is comparing our page speed to that of our competitors. We should be monitoring the speed of pages that sit alongside ours in the SERPs and making sure that we are serving content faster.

4. Protect your site from negative SEO

Create and submit disavow files proactively. Scrapper links are not automatically ignored by Google, meaning they could put your site at risk of a penalty.

Claiming your company name,, etc. can help to protect against fake link removal requests from competitors.

5. JavaScript is going to be used more and more so you can’t afford to ignore it

JavaScript isn’t going away, in fact it’s going to be used more and more, so as search marketers we need to find ways to work around it. Start looking more at server log data to make sure that pages are being crawled. And check whether the generated document object model works instead of just looking at the page source. If Google can render the content then it can index it.

6. Identify gaps in the SERPs and allow certain filters to be indexed
Size and colour queries can have a high volume, especially when it comes to women’s fashion. If you have a good amount of stock for certain popular long-tail queries you can take advantage of this demand by allowing your filters to be indexed. There are a few considerations if you’re going to allow this:

  • Be careful not to create duplicate pages – only allow a filter to be indexed from a single route.
  • Make sure that there is enough stock to warrant a listing page – don’t create lots of thin pages listing only a single product.
  • Empty pages should be removed from the index and redirected to the parent page
  • Make sure that your filter page is given a unique H1 and meta content.
  • Make sure that your filter page is included in the sitemap.

7. Have a strategy for out-of-stock pages

Out-of-stock product pages are bad for user experience and can be a waste of crawl budget on large ecommerce sites. All sites should have a strategy for out-of-stock pages depending on how long a product is out of stock:

Few Days

Leave the page live and link to similar products from the page

Few Weeks

Canonicalise to the category page

Over A Month

Canonicalise to the category page


Remove page and put a 301 redirect in place


8. Know your audience’s personality type

You need to better understand the personality traits of your target audience to increase the impact of your messages. Once you know who you are targeting you can use phrases that are more appealing.  For example, phrases such as safe, protection, security are attractive to someone with a low level of emotional stability in their personality. For extroverts, phrases such as strong, active, attention are more appealing.


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