KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM BRIGHTONSEO – AUTUMN 2021
BrightonSEO is a bi-annual conference and series of training courses that brings together search marketing professionals looking to meet and broaden their expertise in the world of organic search. This year’s autumn event on September 9-10 was highly anticipated, taking place in-person for the first time since the pandemic.
There was a huge range of speakers and stalls inside the Brighton Centre which created a really lively atmosphere, and our team headed back to London with lots of useful takeaways learned. We thought we’d share some key highlights from the talks we attended which can be applied to your own marketing:
UNDERSTANDING USER JOURNEYS AND SEARCH INTENT: WHY SEARCH EXPERIENCE IS MORE THAN JUST CORE WEB VITALS
Jack Nottidge, Stickyeyes
- While the linguistics of how people search might not make sense, the semantics do. As marketers we have to research what people ask for (and how they are searching for it), decipher what they really mean from the initial search query, and give them what they expect to see based on search intent.
- For every single keyword, you can better understand content needs by segmenting search results into the number of informational versus commercial pages, and further into non-brand commercial pages, explainer pages, how-to pages, ideas and inspiration pages.
- When creating content pieces, automated SERP analysis allows you to group similar keywords at scale. This process of ‘keyword exploration’ builds upon the standard process of ‘keyword research’ by creating semantic clusters across multiple territories, search engines and languages. These clusters enable global content suggestions.
HOW COGNITIVE BIAS IS RUINING YOUR CONVERSIONS
Kenda Macdonald, Automation Ninjas
- The psychological principle of loss aversion means that the first piece of information that consumers see gets undue weighting. Therefore, it’s important to consider how your content compares to competitors’ when consumers are exploring options.
- Similarly, the availability heuristic explains the phenomenon whereby the brain receives the most recent, easily available information and processes it as the most important information. Many businesses fall foul of turning up at the point of sales, but they need to optimise content not just for the bottom of the funnel.
- Don’t tell consumers what they need to hear first (rather than what they want to hear) when they land on your page. Match their search intent and then beat the confirmation bias by making your information explicitly clear. Remember that context is king for our copy, content, and conversion rates.
AUDIENCE INTELLIGENCE & SEO: HOW TO INTEGRATE DATA SOURCES TO DEVELOP SEO PERSONAS
Rory Hope, Remote
- SEO personas are user and audience profiles that help inform content topics, style, tone and pain points. Most SEOs are familiar with the term ‘influencer marketing’, but what about influence marketing? Understanding all the influences that create audience personas is the first step to crafting more relevant and engaging digital PR campaigns.
- Only 16% of SEOs incorporate social media data into their SEO strategy. This is one of the biggest B2B pain points that limits the effectiveness of campaigns. Audience-first SEO delivers results by enabling link acquisition at scale for specific keyword segments.
- Make the most of social listening and web monitoring tools to validate why you should be targeting particular entities for backlink outreach or digital PR ideation. Pulsar, for example, gives you trending content insights to help your brand stay relevant and make it more likely that you will be featured in industry relevant publications.
USING CAUSAL INFERENCE TO BETTER UNDERSTAND SEARCH INTENT
Dateme Tubotamuno, SemanticGeek
- Firstly, rethink how you view intent – you might be oversimplifying. Search intent is not the ‘what’ (the type of query), it is the ‘why’ behind the query. In this respect, search intent and user intent are one and the same.
- Trey Grainger’s Dimensions of User Intent are a great starting point for mining intent:
- Content understanding – SEMRush, Ahrefs, AnswerthePublic
- Domain understanding – Schema.org, FIBO, Wordnet, Wikidata
- User understanding – Quora, Reddit, Statista, Audiense
- Ultimately, we need to make a causal inference about why the user is searching for something. Type a keyword into ConceptNet and it will provide a list of causes related to this word. In addition, for question-based keywords, Quora can be a powerful resource for researching intent. Often, the answers to user’s questions highlight connections between cause and intent that you may have missed.
A TECHNICAL SOLUTION TO CONTENT DUPLICATION
Sophie Brannon, Absolute Digital Media
- When HTTP/HTTPS or WWW/non-WWW variations of the same URL have not been effectively redirected, this is not only a security issue, but it also means that the same content lives on both versions of the site, and therefore both versions of the site are attempting to be indexed at the same time on the same search engine.
- One of the main reasons why content duplication can occur, mostly in the case of eCommerce websites, is when product descriptions or other small types of text are sourced directly from the manufacturer websites or documentation. It can significantly harm your rankings if every other eCommerce website selling the same products also has the same text on their website.
- How we can fix content duplication:
- Rewriting content, if you have the resource and budget available, is particularly effective for eCommerce sites using other competitors’ or trade websites for their product description copy.
- Canonicalisation allows you to specify to Google which page is the standard form of the page and the one that should be indexed. by adding rel=canonical.
- Internal linking establishes site hierarchy and consistency, as in some circumstances a CMS will automatically create a new page when an internal link is inconsistent.
- Remove the content if it is a genuine mistake, then implement a 301 redirect within your htaccess file or administrative console.
HOW TO DO INTERNAL LINKING THE RIGHT WAY
Martin Hayman, Twylu
- Consider crawl depth. All content should be discoverable within three clicks (or at least key content should be).
- Think about the placement of anchors and make sure the anchor text makes sense. If you place multiple anchors only the first will be noted, although this doesn’t apply to headers and footers.
- Consider how much link equity is passed from one page to another – link from powerful pages and look out for anomalous pages which have very high inflow or outflow of links. Also remember to add internal links to and from new content, considering quality, quantity, and relevancy.
KEYWORD RESEARCH IN A LANGUAGE WHICH YOU DON’T SPEAK
Lidia Infante, Rise at Seven
- The fastest way to fail at international SEO is not getting your technical implementation right. The main things we need are:
- Market knowledge – learn how users behave online in each country and find out what the media landscape looks like.
- Technical knowledge – plan how you’ll handle special characters in URLs and file names, and always accept them in your forms.
- 92% of Lidia’s keywords get approved by a native speaker following this method:
- First, perform a keyword gap analysis versus competitors. Exclude keywords that only one competitor ranks for.
- Then measure the relevance of your keyword set using the relevancy formula and remove keywords with under 50% relevancy.
competitors * 100 – ∑ rankings
_________________________ * 100
competitors * 101
- Expand your keyword list with research tools like Ahrefs. Use the formula =GOOGLETRANSLATE to translate it and check your final list with a native speaker.
5 STEPS TO EXECUTING A SUCCESSFUL DIGITAL PR CAMPAIGN
Tom Mansell, Croud
- Make sure the idea landsby firstly establishing with the client which topics they do not want to talk about and be associated with. When formulating the idea, ensure it is relates to the client’s brand but without overselling the product itself.
- Utilise tools to bring your idea to life. For example, use Exploding Topics to identify recent trends and make sure your topic will be newsworthy. Similarly, see what competitors are doing from a content perspective with Buzzsumo. And validate ideas using data sources such as ONS, Statista alongside internal client data.
- Build your outreach list by looking at competitors’ backlink profiles and targeting these sites. Remember 6 principles to help your topic get picked up:
- Story – think of how to craft the story (the less a journalist has to build the better).
WORK SMARTER NOT HARDER: HOW TO CREATE AN OPPORTUNITY FIRST APPROACH TO DIGITAL PR FOR MORE CONSISTENT RESULTS
Jane Hunt, JBH – The Digital PR Agency
- Utilise more reactive PR by newsjacking trending stories and using existing angles and data from old campaigns. A true newsjack is when you can add a line to your pitch email referencing the news story and your campaign adds value to the story. Follow these 5 principles:
- Story – what can you add to the conversation?
- Search – has anyone beat you to it?
- Sentiment – how do people really feel?
- Stats – what data can help back it up?
- Speed – what can you get out quickly?
- At the same time, leverage proactive PR by suggesting a news story. This could be lists, guides, or topical content to especially get product links.
- There are many benefits of utilising this blended approach which fits the news agenda. During the pandemic, there were less journalists and they still needed stories fast. But the results also showed more consistent and authoritative links, new referring domains, and more opportunities to position clients as experts in their industry.
We look forward to returning to Brighton in 2022! In the meantime, you can read more Tug takeaways from this summer’s brightonSEO’s talks here.
Or, if you’d like to learn more about any of the digital marketing strategies above, get in touch with us today!