The much-anticipated BrightonSEO is back and we’ve got team Koozai on the ground getting as many key takeaways as possible from the best search Marketing conference and training event.
Here’s all you need to know about SEO from sunny Brighton.
Vlassios Rizopoulos talked about the vertical search engine, Pricesearcher, and its mission is to give consumers the complete view of all the internet’s prices. This talk saw an analysis of what PriceBot discovered and how you can use this information to help improve the crawlability of your site.
91% of retailer websites use XML sitemaps. Only 61% of these contain product links, and only 54% sitemaps are regularly updated. That means that a large proportion of all retailers are making it unnecessarily difficult for search engines to discover their content.
Only 17% of retailer websites include the brand name in a product title, a huge missed optimisation opportunity.
Only 33% of retailer websites reference their XML sitemap in their robots.txt file, making it harder for the XML sitemap to be discovered by search engines.
Tom explored some quick wins with command line for SEO process efficiency. He delved into the complex world of crawl scheduling, keyword analysis and extracting useful data, all with simple commands.
Some useful titbits include combining a large number of files using the CAT command – super useful for combining lots of files from Keyword Planner or server logs. You can even use these commands to identify Googlebot hits in server logs.
This talk just scratched the surface of what is possible and it would be interesting to see if any of these functions can also be done in Windows.
This session showed us how to leverage machine learning to target channel budgets, influence audience-led analytics and how to drive an impactful multi-channel marketing strategy.
A small amount of customers are responsible for meaningful changes in a client’s bottom line
Data should determine how likely a user is likely to convert.
Consider our role as data controllers
Katherine Khoo talked about voice search, micro-search engines and marketplaces, search advertising and how they are no longer limited to Google Adwords and social media.
Around half of all product searches now start on Amazon. Buyers treat Amazon as a search engine. However, sellers tend to favour ecommerce websites over an Amazon store.
The best place to sell a product depends on the type of product, e.g. consumer electricals convert better on Amazon and also have a lower CPC than Google Shopping.
Katherine recommended https://sonar-tool.com/us/ for product keyword research.
Peter showed us digital marketers how to stay on the front foot with our creative work and to not be outrivalled by the advertising industry, even with marketing budgets going down.
Your clients will take you more seriously if you have significant ad budget behind your creative content campaigns.
Have your team start doing things that they’ve never done before. Expect to step out of your comfort zone.
The world doesn’t need another blog post – someone’s probably done it before.
Tom took us through the first major update to the HTTP protocol in 20 years, HTTP/2 and how it can improve site speed.
Tom introduces us to HTTP & HTTPS – explaining some of the limitations created by the small number of connections that can be opened between browser and server, and the fact that one request can only happen on one connection at a time. HTTP2 solves a lot of these problems and works like a better traffic management system.
It can be a quick performance win, too: you can just roll out a CDN like Cloudflare to get the benefits. You can also set it up yourself if you have the right server set up.
In terms of implementation – it’s interesting to note that HTTP1.1 & HTTP2 can coexist on the same server – a browser will fall back to http1.1 if it doesn’t support HTTP2 so you have backwards compatibility. This means that moving to HTTP2 is NOT a migration – unlike moving from HTTP to HTTPS. .e.g. you don’t have to change URLs and there are no real SEO risks to doing it.
This talk offered informative data and actionable insights to boost your SEO with Rankbrain challenges and the evolution of SERPs.
You need to actively manage your crawl logs
Everyone is informing part of the algorithm. Always remember the human element. You can’t beat the search engines. Serve interesting straight to the point intent focussed content to search engines.
Emily explores what the common issues with HREFlang are and how to diagnose and understand them.
Emily gives us an introduction to the world of hreflang tags – which allow you to tell Google and other search engines which country specific pages should be served to. This is really useful, in fact it is an absolute must for websites that operate in multiple countries and languages.
She gives us some common mistakes that websites make such as making sure that you only reference URLs that actually exist, having hreflang tags that don’t match canonicals, and not having multiple HREFLang tag designations for one page. A really key error that people make is using IP serving – this is a big no-no because Google lives in the US. If you are IP serving certain content to Sweden then Google won’t see it at all!
After introducing us to the problems, she explains how you can identify the problems. While Google can spot errors and fix them for you, it’s important to remember that Google isn’t the only search engine and it’s your responsibility to make sure things are implemented to best practice! Ranking tools are actually great for diagnosing problems – you can see what is ranking and where – is it the right URL for that region that is ranking? You can also use these tools to see who your main competitors are – if your main competitor is your own website from another region then you might have a problem! Finally, Google analytics can be used to make sure that traffic is coming from the right places.
For eCommerce site you can use SKU codes for automatic mapping of URLs!
Raj offers insight on how to use machine learning to gather insights about where we should be focusing our time and resource when it comes to eCommerce shoppers.
Most customer reviews given are actually 4 stars or more. But according to Yotpo “that doesn’t matter”. It may give an impression of your business doing well, however the real data is within the text in the review itself.
The words that feature most frequently in product reviews are quality, service, fit, delivery and product. These are the topics that consumers are most concerned about (plus “smell” and “husband”!)
The ‘most hated’ sub industries are health food, office supplies, haircare, swimwear, lingerie. The ‘most loved’ sub industries are gifts, babies, men’s clothing, bath & body, coffee & tea.
Expertly standing in for his colleague Charlie Whitworth, James Chapman delivered an in-depth look at how SEO work overlaps with the world of web development and the common roadblocks we all come up against.
This may go without saying, but provide technical SEO recommendations across clearly and concisely. Speak the developer’s language wherever possible.
Make sure you are dealing with the right personnel on a development project. Some queries may not be for the developer.
Learn how the CMS works like the back of your hand. Understand where the limitations may be when asking developers to make certain changes.
This talked explored how to amplify your content and get it seen, as well as why content creators should personally be its biggest advocate.
SEO is increasingly important with the decline in social referrals as people aren’t sharing as much
As content competition increases, average shares decline, so ensure its exceptionally good content, but get in a on topic early before the trend, or chose a niche topic
People don’t link to quizzes, they may share, but no backlinks. Research/stats content is referenced and linked to. Authoritive evergreen content consistently gains shares and links.
Get to know your influencers that you want to share your content, actually get to know them and create content that they would want to share, that works bespoke for their audiences
George discussed how to create a machine learning model that will predict e-commerce transactions based on historical data and how to use the results of the model to predict future transactions.
SEO forecasting doesn’t need to be overly complex. There are ways to complete an accurate SEO forecast just using Google Analytics and Search Console data.
Map the success of your product ranges and categories according to seasonality. Focus on key product ranges / keyword groups to drive growth.
George argued that to succeed in SEO today, it is essential for an SEO to get into the mindset of both a data scientist and a marketer.
Learn how to harness the power of unique content to drive organic traffic growth; eleni showed us how with a radical approach.
Unique, longform content is still “king” and will be rewarded.
It’s time to cleanup your content with an audit. Think about who this change will affect. It’s a cliche but people don’t like change. If you don’t gain buy-in from stakeholders early on they may resist and you NEED their input and buy-in when making a big unique content audit change.
Create guidelines for your unique content strategy, be consistent and stick to your line “we do not accept duplicate content any longer”. Promote your guidelines and be proud of your unique content strategy and the guidelines that go with it, so you can be proud that your site has 100% unique content as these changes will benefit your clients.
Unfortunately our live bloggers weren’t able to personally view all of the talks at BrightonSEO, as there were more tracks than Koozians in attendance, however all the remaining slide decks from the talks we didn’t see are available to view here:
In an era of plummeting reach and engagement for Facebook Pages Groups could be the answer to your social media woes. With average reach of at least 50% easily achievable, Groups are also a natural environment to facilitate that meaningful conversation the recent changes to the Facebook algorithm demands.
But it is rare to see commercial brands experimenting with Groups. In a world where millions are spent on sponsorship Facebook Groups could so easily be viewed as a form of sponsorship around a topic or interest area of relevance to your brand but also super engaging for potential customers.
The presentation outlines tips for selling the idea of a Group in to decision makers including benefits such as genuine customer connection, peer-to-peer customer support, feedback, UX insight and new product development research, brand awareness and preference as well as under-the-radar selling whilst positioning you as the go-to expert in your field.
Marie also shares some workarounds on how to promote a Group via Facebook ads.
Features currently rolling out for Groups include personalisation of colour theme, post topics (tags), announcements (x10 pinned posts) and clearly prominence of rules.
Full script and video here https://thedigiterati.com/harnessing-power-facebook-groups-brightonseo/
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