Dean Marsden

BrightonSEO Write Up – Part 1 #BrightonSEO

14th Sep 2012 News, Events 7 minutes to read

It’s that time of the year again when SEOs from around the country, including a sizable contingency from Koozai, converge on Brighton for the aptly named BrightonSEO conference. Kelvin, who organises the event twice a year, appears in penguin outfit to set to stage of this year’s September . This already looks to be another bumper day of interesting talks and surprises.

Predatory Thinking
Dave Trott, @davetrott | Executive Creative Director at CSTTG

Creativity, a new buzz word and it hasn’t been defined well.

Pure creativity is found in art gallerys, poetry, etc. Graphic designers take pure creativity and turn it into form. Bauhaus prinicple, form follows function.

In advertising there are problems that need to be solved. Businesses spent £18.9 billion on advertising last year; however, about 90% wasn’t noticed. We are exposed to about 1000 advertising messages a day. This is what we are up against as marketers.

Predatory thinking is changing a problem you can’t solve, i.e. how do you stand out amongst thousands of other advertising messages. You need to ‘outrun a tiger’ so make sure you beat the competition.

Understanding the media is a big problem. There are now a wide variety of channels available for advertisers: Radio, tv, cinema, online, social media, etc. Advertising channels change but the consumer never does, so you need to capture them in conversation.

How to control the media of conversation:
– Impact
– Communication
– Persuasion

If it has no impact, we don’t know what is needed. This can be seen in the real world:
– Impact: Saying your partner’s name
– Communicate: Ask them for a tea
– Persuasion: Offer to take out the rubbish in return

4% remember advertising positively, so 90% doesn’t get to the stage after impact. Too many marketers spend their time on persuation. Even if you get the persuasion right, there’s still a good chance nobody would see it. If you get the impact right, you stand a change of people seeing your persuasion even if it isn’t the best. The odds are much higher as a result.

The theory of successful viral advertising is targeting the opinion formers; you know, the bloke at the pub who is talking the most. This feeds down to the followers, the guy’s friends listening.

Opinion formers want to be outrageous and a bit different. Advertisers need to braver to grab this group’s attention.

Examples of predatory thinking in advertising.

Sainsburys re-pitch.
Needed to bring in £3 billion in new revenue. Instead of getting new store visits, they managed to get existing customers to spend a little extra instore. The concept of new customers was flipped on its head and the increase in revenue was achieved quicker than the plan. Its about thinking differently.

Predatory thinking is turning a problem from ‘what you can’t solve’ into ‘something you can solve’ by getting upstream and changing what you can change.

Do you speak brand?
Antony Mayfield @amayfield | Founding Partner at Brilliant Noise

Antony starts with showing some examples of how billboard advertising hasn’t worked with search.

What happens when you fuse SEO and Brand? You get an integrated media of social, content, SEO, UX, PR or ‘earned media’.

There is a big ‘market correction’ going on at the moment. More spend is starting to come into earned media. Coca Cola for example has invested 20% in inbound marketing.

A recent survey showed that mums were very frustrated with Google results. One had a way of using Google, she started on page seven to avoid the optimised sites and find new things.

Instead of just sending consumers the standard customer journey route to a conversion via a funnel, you should force them to consider and evaluate their options before they enter the buying cycle.

To sell to marketers and CMOs you should talk about the benefits. SEO is distribution, customer insight and promotion.

Get the client focused on what their customers are doing at every stage of the journey. Look at everything under the ‘earned media’ group.

For more information on SEO and brand, check out Brilliant Noise’s paper: Stories numbers and conversations: Lessons from Nokia’s global social media strategy

If you would like to read more about this presentation, slides and notes can be found at: SEO and brand marketing: Brilliant Noise at brightonSEO

Speaking your user’s language

Stephanie Troeth @sniffles  | Freelance User experience strategist

Stephanie shares several tools that the UX practitioners use and explains what user experience is.

People believe it is only about the visual nature of a website. But it’s more about the language. It’s about how to create great products: the website.

Stephanie then showed some good UX examples with some tips being highlighted:
– Personalisation, a product that learns from you.
– Importance of words, highlight the benefits in a users voice.
– Clarity through storytelling

When deciding on the right language to use, try creating two lists; one of emotional words (fun, magical, surprising) and one of rational words ( effective, progress) relating to the product.

Some tools to help with effective UX:
Stephanie Hay’s Message Hierarchy

When looking at a website design or redesign, designing for mobile screen first is a good idea for deciding what content is the most important.

User listening methods fit within the scope of open-ended or close-ended. These include:

  • A/B testing
  • Remote testing methods
  • Usabilty resign
  • Heuristic evaluation
  • Surveys
  • Card sorting
  • Focus groups
  • Interviews
  • ‘listening labs’
  • ‘contextual enquiry’

Decide if you want evoke an emotional reaction or add rational behaviour when looking at UX.

How to make friends. And influence robots.

Martin Belam @currybet, Principle Consultant at Emblem

Martin talks about five things that enhance UX and support SEO

1. Headlines
Nearly every site has news. How do they attract a click? Look at the headline in context.

2. Navigation
Good for humans and search engines. Understand how users flow through your website by looking at analytics to help with this. Card sorting helps your content be ordered according to your audience. Set the tone with important internal links.

3. Crazy Antics
As an example, PageRank sculpting was a craze Martin found odd. It flags up whether you are just interested in chasing the algorithm. Think carefully about the opportunity cost in this or how else that time could best be spent.

4. Site Performance
People get more frustrated with delays the faster their connection is rated at. Speed is important for Google, But it shouldn’t only be looked at for the ranking factor, it should be for user experience. Invest more in hardware and optimisation to help with load times.

5. ‘The law of unattended consequences’
Facebook’s sign up button is based on millions of data records on user behaviour in relation to the colour, shade, size and position of the button. You have to think about the balance of conversion rate optimisation and SEO.

For more information on the talk, visit How to Make Friends and Influence Robots.

Chasing the Algorithm: Smart SEO or Hopeless Effort?

Rebecca Weeks @BeccyWeeks | SEO Associate Director at MGOMD

Rebecca presents a case study for a client wanted to cut their budget. The challenge was to improve visits and conversions with only link building, no on page work.

Initially, they did all the usual link building, but then Google updates led them to hit a wall and rankings fell. They changed strategies to focus on local optimisation with local based website link building.

In panda they couldn’t change content. Then came penguin, they amended anchor text which has a positive effect on rankings.

They achieved about 50% of their targets, which the client was very happy with. They learnt from their errors, but local links worked in this case and anchor text made some improvements.

Rebecca does state that chasing algorithm is a bit of a hopeless effort.

Will Critchlow @willcritchlow | Founder of Distilled
(Tom Anthony was unable to make it to BrightonSEO).

Will presented 60 slides in relation to API and the future of SEO, not at all about the code side of API. This is about computers talking to computers.

Over the next 10 years people will stop visiting websites? 20 years ago the web was just text. 15 years ago, some colour and images were available. 10 years ago, traditional website design we see today was created.

The average user was spending about 40 mins a day online10 years ago. Today we spend about 4.5 hours online per day.

These days, there is more context for traditional searches, such as hotel bookings, weather results. These happen via an API.

Searches usually include a ‘thing’ with an ‘attribute’.  For example “A hotel (the thing) in London (an attribute)”

Where will we be in 5 years? Google Glasses? Augmented Reality? Apple Siri is natural language progression, not just voice recognition, it will get better and better with more results via API.

We don’t know the future of search but API based data is becoming more greatly used.

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