The first Brighton SEO of 2017 was kicked off on a gloriously sunny day by the beach! The day was filled with numerous talks split over various stages, with talks on SEO, data measurement, advertising, social media and much, much more in between. A few of the SocialB team were lucky enough to attend again, so we studied our speaker schedules and headed off to our separate destinations to hear our chosen talks.
Up first for me were the International SEO talks, a subject I’m keen to learn more about as I develop my knowledge in the digital marketing world. Emily Mace presented first with her talk on how to get International SEO wrong in 5 steps – at least I’d know what not to do! So, here are Emily’s 5 points
- Don’t assume the English language is universally ‘OK’.
- Don’t take shortcuts or take a cheap route when translating.
- Don’t assume your bestsellers in the UK will sell elsewhere overseas.
- Make sure your Hreflang tags are solid.
- Don’t forget your key SEO elements.
We’d add a 6th point – ‘Don’t underestimate Google Analytics and Search Console’. This should be number one ideally, as these are the first places you should be looking at to ascertain whether you even have the traffic levels and search queries from the countries you’re looking to target. Inspired by this talk, I wrote the blog ‘Are You Ready To Take On International SEO‘ to kickstart your own considerations.
The day went on with great talks on e-commerce websites, SEO audits and search data, but what really stuck out for me was the keynote presentation. Ogilvy Change founder, Rory Sutherland, came onstage and blew us away with his talk on ‘Innervation’. Nope, you didn’t reach that wrong, ‘Innervation’ is Ogilvy Change’s way of bringing about a fundamental behavioural change for brand’s campaign efforts. They use their expert knowledge of behavioural science (they have a team of in-house psychologists and behavioural researchers), combine it with creative thinking and the evidence of real world application to bring about what they call ‘unseen opportunities – evidence-based, effective behavioural interventions’. It was a fantastic talk that really got me thinking about the science behind how humans process information and make the decision to buy a company’s products or services, which we should all be taking into consideration when working on our marketing efforts, for ourselves and for our clients.
We have picked out three of the slide decks from presentations that we attended on the day. Of course, there were many more fantastic presentations, but we have highlighted these three due to their excellent content & key messages.
Greg Gifford – Advanced Local SEO Tips to Help You Murder Your Competitors
If you’ve not seen Greg at Brighton SEO, we recommend that you book into see his high energy, fast-paced presentations centred around local SEO. Not only is the content very good, the amount of effort that goes into the slide deck is impressive. He certainly raises the bar for how a presentation should look on stage – if you’re still using PowerPoint graphics it’s time to step up your game. This presentation delves into the quick wins and simple tips that almost every business can adopt. Google is placing more and more weighting on search proximity. This means that local search results on smartphones will differ per user depending on their exact location. Focussing on proximity & user intent will help local businesses to gain more traffic in a crowded marketplace.
Charlie Williams – Shop It Like It’s Hot
This superbly named presentation covers some great info & insight on e-commerce websites and how product pages can be tweaked and amended to improve conversions. We know that getting traffic to a website is only half the battle. The other half is getting a customer to convert whether that is through purchasing a product or making an enquiry. Amazon is the market leaders in terms of traffic volume and share, but what can we all learn from them? Customer reviews, a wealth of product information and clear buying signals are a pretty good start.
Zak Edwards – Don’t Be Awesome! Just Be Alright At Everything
Zak Edwards from Prezzybox has a fascinating story. He started the business back in the early 2000’s with little to no experience of running an online business. Fast forward 16-17 years and the gifting site is doing rather well. The key message, which was very interesting, centred around being okay at everything. Knowing the key elements of a multitude of digital elements is a valid point. From an agency point-of-view, it is important to be aware of all of the key theories and updates across SEO, paid advertising, social media, website design and every other digital channel. Zak explained that he wasn’t an expert in any one specific channel, but he was able to understand and make business decisions on each channel by learning & understanding each individual one.
By splitting up on the day, we managed to cover most of the topic headings on the schedule. Even though entitled “Brighton SEO”, what came out of the whole day was the absolute necessity for a strong overall brand. This concept stretches across all of your marketing efforts; including SEO, of course, but also old-fashioned print, TV and even the business card you give out to clients. What is the hook of your business and why would your clients be thinking about you, searching for you and eventually (and hopefully!) choosing you over the next search result.
Specifically surrounding your new and improved brand;
- Ensure Consistency – decide on your company’s USP and key tagline and make sure it is always the same throughout all media. Include these wherever you can – website, social media, business cards or presentation slides. It takes time to come up with a compelling and meaningful slogan. Don’t rush it and then make sure you tell everyone. (Inspired by @THCapper and @SEOMalc)
- Create A Buzz – make relevant and interesting content. Simple as that. Who are your audience and what they are talking about? Create reasons for customers to search for you over other businesses.
- FAQ Pages – Think about reasons why customers choose you or questions they ask – create searchable content directly related to these topics. Ask your sales teams what barriers they come across. Ask your staff on the shop floor what are the most commonly asked questions. No need to guess these when you have people talking to your customers all day! (Preached by @pagesauce)
- More Questions – are YOU asking the right questions? How did you hear about us? What other services would you like to see? Are you fully satisfied with our product or service? Be blunt – you don’t ask, you don’t get. (That’s one from CT)
- Customer Reviews – you may be competing with the likes of Amazon who get 1,000s of reviews on their products on a daily basis. Make sure you are using your loyal customer base to review your products on their specific product pages or a more detailed testimonial on your services. Or if you don’t have that brand loyalty yet, give customers an incentive to leave a review*. (Encouraged by Teddie Cowell)
*bribes not condoned!
Overall for the SocialB team, there was a lot of inspiration taken from the talks at Brighton this year. We’re looking forward to the day tickets are released for September’s Brighton SEO for another trip full of great marketing knowledge and lunch on the beach.