99 SEO Nuggets from the BrightonSEO Conference

99 SEO Nuggets from the BrightonSEO Conference

BrightonSEO is a one-day search marketing conference that brings together some of the world’s leading digital marketers.

Receptional’s Managing Director, Justin Deaville, was there and he picked up 99 scorching hot tips and suggestions for improving your SEO.

Future-Proof SEO

SEO SUX: How and Why UX Must Be Front and Centre to Your Technical Strategy

By Nicola Stott Managing Director, the MediaFlow

1. Generation Z internet users (those born from 1995 onwards) have an internet attention span of 8 seconds (that’s 1 second less than a goldfish)

2. Generation Z is less interested in cool websites than previous generations. They are more interested in cool products

3. Generation Z is more likely to use their phone than anything else. Social, games, photos, sharing and shopping are the most popular activities (in order)

4. 40% of consumers will be from Generation Z by 2020 (that’s just four years away)

5. There are three ways to engage more effectively with your visitors – speed (faster pages) device coverage (you want to be available on all devices) and user journey (take consumers straight to what they’re looking for)

6. Tech: There are modules available for Nginx and Apache servers that will automatically optimise your website for speed

7. Use HTML 5 attributes to speed up your page loads. See: ‘How I sped up my site 68% with one line of code” by Mike King. Google describes this as Preconnect, prefetch, prerender

8. Google’s AMP project (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is a new way of speeding up your mobile pages. It strips out javascript from web pages and prioritises speed, which is particularly good for mobile use

9. There is a WordPress plugin available for creating AMP pages

10. It is possible to get Google to index all of the content in your apps. Almost no-one is doing this so it’s an opportunity to attract more traffic

11. There is a testing tool so you can check that your content has been indexed correctly

12. Buzzfeed draws more than 75% of content view from sources other than its website (says John Peretti, their CEO). Facebook contributes most – next is Snapchat, it contributes 27% of views

13. In the next 18 months personal assistants (those on your phone – the likes of Google Now, Alexa on Amazon and Siri on Apple devices) are likely to start affecting user behaviour

Discoverable, Sharable & Memorable: How to Make a Better Impression through Personal Branding

By Mel Carson Founder, DelightfulCommunications.com

14. Your brand is the experience other people have of you

15. The people you work with want to see a bit of personality

16. Personal branding is the practice of defining your professional purpose (what gets you out of bed in the morning?) and being able to articulate your experience and value to your target audience – through digital media and in person

17. What are the goals of your brand? Be Discoverable. Be Sharable. Be Memorable

18. Forrester (the brand consultancy) provide a framework for brand building

a. Build a relationship

b. Differentiate through emotional connection

c. Nurture loyal fans

19. We spend 27% of our time on social media (according to Experian)

20. The science of great content: it should be Authentic, Useful, Relevant, Actionable

21. Buy your domain name and build a website you control. Your site should rank in first position on Google for your name

22. Invest in a professional photo for your social profiles

23. Make your out of office messages work harder. Add links and calls to action. Make it stand out

24. Label your photos with your name, so they can be found

25. Make your business cards stand out. Keep them clean and uncluttered. Always have them on you. These little elements help with memorability

26. Make LinkedIn a living profile

27. Mel’s book, Pioneers of Digital, is a great read about personal branding. It costs just £0.99 on Amazon and takes less than an hour to read 🙂

Deep diving into featured snippets: How to earn more and rise to the top of the SERPs

By Rob Bucci Founder and CEO, STAT Search Analytics

Rob’s talk was about structured snippets – and how to get Google to use your site’s information in its snippets. The image below shows an example of a snippet

Google structured snippet

Google shows a snippet for the search ‘what is the minimum wage’

28. Appearing in a featured snippet gives your content a credibility boost

29. It can give you a ranking boost. You don’t need to rank in first place to get a rich snippet featured at the top of Google’s results

30. Rich snippets always contain a citation link which means searchers are able to click through to your site

31. Roughly one-third of keyword searches feature a rich snippet (according to a stats survey)

32. There are several types of snippets – including paragraph snippets (which make up 80% of those shown), table snippets and list snippets

33. 28% of snippets include an image

34. There’s not a lot of overlap with Shopping results, Places results or other ‘modified’ search results pages

35. Snippets tend to appear for high-traffic terms

36. Financial and maths words are most likely to trigger a snippet – eg. terms such as ‘average’ or ‘salary’ generate snippets as Google can provide a definite answer

37. To get a rich snippet listed for your site

a. Find keywords that show a snippet where you already rank on first page and have a good level of engagement

b. Create content to target the snippet results you want to rank for

c. When possible, use a single page to answer a single question (single-purpose content)

d. Slice up your copy with subheads, lists and tables (so Google can easily understand the information)

e. Polish your existing snippets for higher click through rates

Success and Analytics

Why marketers need a great A.S.S.(that’s an audience segmentation strategy)

By Rhys Jackson Analytics Manager, RocketMill

38. You can segment your audience into ‘pots’ such as Ready to Buy, Researching and Unengaged

39. Beware of averages. You probably shouldn’t be targeting average audience members

40. The Pareto Principle (the 80:20 rule) suggests you should focus on the 20% of your audience that will generate the greatest profits

41. Use Facebook Insights to understand your audience. Upload a list of email addresses and Facebook will feed back a demographic profile

42. Facebook will also help you identify similar audiences that you can promote to

43. Data is everywhere. For instance, use info from the Office for National Statistics

What it’s like having GA Premium?

By Arianne Donoghue Digital Marketing Manager, icelolly.com

44. Google Analytics Premium (also known as Google Analytics 360) has been used by icelolly.com for the past year. Arianne outlined her experience of using it

45 .GA Premium is slow (because it’s processing so much data), but no slower than other premium analytics packages

46. GA Premium allows you to analyse several billion visits a month. It uses a much larger sample size so reports are more accurate

47. GA Premium integrates with DoubleClick and Google BigQuery

48. It doesn’t solve the ‘not provided’ problem. There is still an absence of organic keyword data

49. You can track up to 200 custom dimensions

50. Could GA Premium be right for you? Ask:

a. Do you need the capacity?

b. Do you need the integrations?

c. Do you have the resources to make the best use of it?

d. Do you have an unusual business that needs extra data analysis? E.g. do you use call tracking for large numbers of calls?

Engagement Rate Optimisation: How and Why to CRO All the Things

By Stephen Kenwright Director of Search, Branded3

51. Stephen was talking about the metrics you might want to use for link building. He noted that 80% of B2C marketers plan to create more content in 2016, regardless of its effectiveness (that’s according to the Content Marketing Institute)

52. We want to build links that:

a. pass PageRank

b. generate trust, and

c. attract traffic

53. You can measure link building success through: the number of contacts built, the number of social shares and the amount of traffic generated (as well as the number and quality of the links built)

54. Link earning: if you’re speaking with a journalist give them a reason to link back to your website. So, hold back some information to publish on your own website

55. Prepare lots of press materials so that each journalist receives targeted content

56. If you’re using data, make sure it’s in a format that’s easy to provide to journalists

57. Some 76% of journalists feel under pressure to get their stories shared socially, so make sure your content is shareable

58. Make your content that is sharable by:

a. Including images and video

b. Being brief etc. See below:

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59. Make sure every link you create is Tweetable by your CEO. That way, you’ll be driving social traffic

60. An expert needs an author page so that journalists can link to it

61. Survey data needs a full write up/downloadable PDF that journalists can link to

62. Can you get links to highly commercial landing pages? Not often

63. Infographics don’t give journalists a reason to link

64. Instead of asking for a link, ask journalists for a credit

65. When forecast ask: how many journalists will we contact? What are the likely success rates?

The trend is your friend – 10 examples of how bad SEO decisions can kill your upwards trend on Google

By Juan Gonzalez SISTRIX’s Smilie, Sistrix

66. Juan spoke about obvious SEO problems to avoid. First, don’t get a manual penalty

67. Don’t build spammy links, you’ll be hit by a Penguin penalty

68. Keep your promises. Duplicate or spammy content will attract a Panda penalty

69. The 4 Ps – price, product, place and promotion determine success in SEO, just as in any other marketing channel

70. Transferring your site to a new domain or introducing new site architecture is high risk. Without proper SEO you’re liable to lose a lot of traffic

71. Content marketing is nothing new. Content has always been the most important part of marketing

72. SEO is 50% avoiding mistakes and 50% coming up with great ideas

Under the hood of client/agency partnerships

With Dipesh Pattni Head of SEO and Content, PHD Media  and Jamie Peach Head of SEO, House of Fraser

73. Top three barriers to successful SEO:

a. Lack of internal resource

b. Lack of keyword data.

c. Lack of in-house expertise

74. Agencies need to understand the business; have goals that are aligned with the business; be able to deliver independently; produce good quality creative work

75. It takes time and feedback to make this work

76. The client needs to trust the agency. Agencies should understand that the client can’t always implement recommendations (for lots of different reasons) and come up with an equally powerful alternative

77. Retainer or one-off project? One-off projects have the advantage that they can be really focused and there is less risk for the client. However, a long-term contract allows the necessary time for the development of a strategic partnership

78. Contract length tends to be longer for SEO than other marketing channels. It is worth considering 24 month contracts as SEO is a long-term investment

79. KPIs should be set collaboratively. Ask:

a. Are the KPIs achieveable given the scope of work?

b. Can the KPIs be measured effectively?

c. Are the KPIs aligned to the business goals?

80. Communication. Stop hiding behind technology and start spending time with your client/agency

81. Creativity can be a process. A successful creative process relies on client and agency working on creative together

82. When creating content, ask:

a. Is the idea on brand?

b. Does the idea have virality?

c. Who/what is the target audience?

d. Is there sufficient interest in the theme?

e. Has the idea been done before?

f. How will we promote the idea and to whom?

83. Creating a case study is a great way for an agency’s client to show off their work inside the business

84. Take time to review how the relationship is progressing. Challenge each other to be better

Growth and Gamification

How to grow the hell out of your agency

By Cosmin Negrescu CEO, SEOMonitor

85. One of the biggest challenges for small agencies is deciding what to specialise in. You may have to fire your clients

86. As an agency, it’s important to know the profile of your clients. Who do you want to work with?

87. When marketing your agency, not every enquiry is a good one. Qualify your leads. What is the SEO opportunity – is there a real chance of growth?

88. Your churn rate – how quickly you lose customers – will be a key factor in determining the long-term profitability of your business

Putting the fun into the fundamentals: Gamifying SEO in large organisations

By Nancy Scott SEO Consultant, Cancer Research UK

89. Cancer Research – more than 75% of the site’s traffic is organic. Two million people a month arrive at 20,000 different landing pages. The charity has 600 content editors

90. With just two SEO experts in the business – the challenge has been to engage other teams in the business. Otherwise, SEO fundamentals fall by the wayside. So the SEO team turned SEO into a game. Teams have incentives to compete against each other

91. The SEO team created interactive dashboards to measure the SEO bread and butter – broken links, duplicate content, etc. and gave access to the 600 content editors

92. The dashboards track results over time, so the SEO team can identify who needs support. Everyone else in the business can also see who’s doing a good job with their SEO which helps accountability

93. There are prizes for solving SEO errors and improving traffic levels. Content editors have become an SEO machine

94. The game is a useful way of showcasing successes from within the organisation. It shows that SEO success is possible

95. Lessons learnt:

a. Train, train, train

b. Celebrate success

c. Make it easy (make sure your CMS is easy to use, don’t use spreadsheets)

d. Make it fun

Content

The Secret Psychology of Persuasive Content

By Natalie Nihai, web psychologist, speaker and author

96. The aim of content is to grab (and hold) the attention of the right people. Then provoke the desired emotional response. Then get them to take action

97. Decision-making is inherently emotional. Where thought conflicts with emotion, emotion wins

98. Trust is the single most important ingredient in successful ecommerce relationships. More than 81% of millennials expect companies to make a public commitment to good corporate citizenship

99. To engender trust you have to understand and mirror your audience


This post was written and edited on the day of the event. So please forgive any spellling or grammar mistakes. If you spot any, please feel free to email justin@receptional.com

Justin Deaville

Justin is Managing Director at Receptional.com and was previously chief executive officer (CEO) at Wordtracker.com.
With 20 years marketing experience, Justin has worked with a variety of the UK’s leading brands. These include the Ramblers, the UK Foreign Office, Paddy Power, Ladbrokes, the National Farmers Union, Ernst & Young, and many others.

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