Tips From BrightonSEOConferences & Events
Last Friday, rather than head down to BrightonSEO, Venditan took advantage of the live stream kindly provided by sponsors, Authoritas. This streamed all the talks from Auditorium 1 in real time allowing us to watch from the comfort of Venditan headquarters. Apart from the slight jealousy when seeing all the delegates sunning themselves on Brighton beach, this was one of the best BrightonSEO conferences we’ve ever listened to. Search is currently going through some huge changes so many of the talks were focused around future-proofing for businesses. Here are some of the most interesting tips and statistics we picked up on the day.
The Future Of Search
- Voice search is on the rise and will account for 50% of searches by 2020. The knowledge graph powers voice search and so businesses need to make sure that they are doing everything they can to show up.
- Reviews are key for voice search - if your brand doesn't have enough reviews you’ll never show up for phrases such as “best” or “most popular”. Plus 87% of consumers won’t even consider a business with a low number of reviews.
- Businesses need to stay in control of all information about their brand listed on third party websites. Brands have 2-5 times more views on sites such as Google Maps and Facebook than their own websites.
- Rich snippets, generated using structured data, are taking over the SERPs, especially on mobile. Brands need to ensure they are taking advantage of all available structured data markup for the best visibility in search.
- Over the next 3 years $30 billion is being invested in Microsoft Hololens, a headset that brings high-definition holograms to life within the wearer’s vision.This kind of technology is going to really take off in 2018. Immersive visuals will no longer be novelty but will transform retail as we know it. Brands need to think about how this kind of technology could be beneficial for their customer experience and advertising. Widespread adoption of this technology is incredibly close to the future and something which big players are already investing heavily in.
- Every year there are 160 million new internet users meaning there a huge amount of opportunity for retailers. Lots of businesses however are missing opportunities when they internationalise by translating their websites word for word and not optimising for local markets.
Key action points
- Optimise your websites structured data.
- Claim all third party listings such as Google My Business, Facebook and Yelp.
- Make sure your business is collecting customer reviews for your products and services.
- Think about how immersive visuals could enhance customer experience. Make sure this is worked into your roadmap.
- Take advantage of growing markets but don’t forget to optimise.
Content & SERPs
- 80% of content produced every year is waste that is doing nothing but polluting the internet. Rather than creating something new, brands should clean up and optimise existing content. Get rid of long form content and update it with imagery, lists and easy to digest formatting.
- No one can be an expert on everything - brands need to specialise when creating content.
- Brands should be creating content for each stage of the buying cycle - awareness, consideration, transaction and customer relationship.
- User intent is the most important thing to consider when creating content - it’s at the heart of all Google algorithms.
- Marketers need to be aiming for position ‘0’ with their content. Position ‘0’ is made up of 82% paragraph, 11% list, 7% table. To get in this spot, headings need to be optimised, structured data needs to be in place and long form content needs to be broken down. Marketers should target phrases that they already have page one rankings for, and that don’t have any PPC in the results.
- Google makes 600+ changes to its algorithm each year but still can’t understand content the same way that a human can. Factors that Google uses to determine if a page satisfies the user intent include CTR from the SERPs, traffic, returns, session duration, frequency and navigation.
- As CTR is a ranking factor, meta content needs to be designed for users not search engines. Marketers should be writing meta content in the same was as they write paid ad copy.
- Lots of ideas never make it past the idea stage. Marketers need to think lean and start small - they need to find the shortest path to validate ideas with experimentation. This way they can find out what does and doesn’t work more quickly. Once they’ve found something that works they should then sell it into the business to roll out on a bigger scale.
Key action points
- Clean up old content - optimise it for search engines and users.
- Identify suitable phrases and aim for position 0.
- Include more answers, lists and tables in your content.
- Focus on user intent when creating any new content.
- Improve CTR but make sure that the content on your pages serves user intent.
- Think small with ideas to get them off the ground.
- Rather than incentivising bloggers with money, offer skills and time. This can be far more valuable. This could be offering to write for them, offering SEO consultation, graphic design, web development or social consultation.
- Create ego bait that includes potential link sources, for example 30 best wedding venues, 30 best travel bloggers, 30 best restaurants, and share it with the sources. Promote this content on your newsletter and social channels. If brands are going to do this, they need to make sure they have more followers than the bloggers.
- Brands need to be protecting themselves against negative SEO - 45% of SEOs say that they have never uploaded a disavow file.
- Link audits need to look at all the backlinks but no single source has all the backlinks. When auditing links, combine data sources to get a fuller picture. Redirects and canonicals can still carry negative SEO.
- Nofollow links are still valuable - think about the users these links could send to your site.
Key action points
- Incentivise bloggers with your skills and time rather than money.
- Actively protect against negative SEO by regularly auditing links and updating your disavow file.