Nicola Churchill

SearchLeeds 2018 Conference Recap – Part 2 (With Slides)

14th Jun 2018 News, Events 9 minutes to read

Recapping live from SearchLeeds 2018 with round ups of the talks and key takeaways so far. We’ve pulled everything you need to know, including slides, for you to peruse at your leisure.

Here’s the rundown of the talks from Search Leeds 2018:


Content Marketing Tips That Won’t Break the Bank (or Your Spirit)

Kirsty Hulse @Kirsty_Hulse – Manyminds

As our clients, journalists and audiences are expecting more and more from us, and for less, how do we create successful and engaging content on a penny-pinching budget? Kirsty Hulse shows us how, with tangible and actionable tips to maximise our content amplification with minimal monetary input.

Our key takeaways are:

  • Our industry is changing but it’s fine as we are chameleons and we can change with it. We need to diversity our objectives, pimp our data, become PR and brand experts, become qualified business consultants and have difficult conversations.
  • Ideas, not assets, are everything – we don’t always need to rely on an over-the-top, interactive tool to get success. Especially as those big campaigns with huge input and little output are expensive, both in money and time. Therefore, go for the smaller, more effective ideas – they’re quick and cheap to make and mitigate risk.
  • How do we keep the cost of a creative campaign down and how do we make assets cheaply? Kirsty is insistent that you do not need to invest lots of money into a campaign that takes months to make to then hope that this one campaign is successful. Here, she shares some handy tools to get us stunning visuals without the dev costs:
    • Slides. Means that you can create stunning visual and interactive content, without devs.
    • Outgrow: good for quizzes, user-friendly, can embed into your site.
    • Timeline: easy-to-make, beautiful timelines.


SearchLeeds 2018 – Kirsty Hulse – Manyminds – Content marketing tips that won’t break the bank from Branded3


Structured data explained

Fili Wiese @filiwiese – Search Brothers

This talk discussed the impact of structured data on Google Search Results. We should be adding structured data to our websites so that Google can access it.

Structured data assists with Click Through Rate (CTR), thereby helping to drive more people to your website. This talk also emphasised the importance of using structured data to reduce duplicate content, tell Google that the data is relating to separate products, and give Google the context of your website.

Our key takeaways are that structured data:

  • Is not guaranteed to be used by Google.
  • Doesn’t provide a ranking boost.
  • Can improve CTR.
  • Can provide additional context to information.
  • Helps Google De-dup content.

The following schema should be implemented on your site:

  • Organisation schema.
  • Contact point schema.
  • Breadcrumb list schema.
  • If content matches other schemas you can implement that, e.g.: article schema or paywalled version, recipes, reviews, fact check, top places, podcast, Software App, Data Set.

What’s more:

  • Structured data can ignore WebPage and the previously implemented data vocabulary version of breadcrumbs – this needs to be updated if it is present on-site.
  • Use JSON-LD if you are looking to implement structured data from this point onwards.
  • Don’t mark up hidden content as it could be regarded by Google as misleading and not a true representation of the website.
  • Some of the recommended fields may become compulsory down the line, so follow Google’s guidelines on the recommended fields and do not miss the required fields.
  • has a host of information on upcoming schema available.
  • Check if the implementation is correct beyond the tools.
  • Structured data issues are now available in the latest search console.


Fili Weise – SearchLeeds 2018 – Structured data explained from Branded3


PLAs: Small or large company, everyone has to start somewhere

Hannah McKie @HannahMckie1 – Missguided

No matter how big or small your company is, you should be looking at your Google & Bing Product Listing Ads (PLA) activity. Hannah will show us everything from the basics through to optimisation so we know exactly what to do.

Product Listing Ads are showing on image searches now too!

  • The beginning is to download your data feed. Even though it may look scary, get it and get to know it well.
  • Custom labels are optional attributes for your products – you can feed in so much data such as profit margins, Return On Advertising Spending (ROAS), promotions, sales, seasonal products, specific commercial objectives etc. Use these, as they can be really useful for driving more sales.
  • Product Types – You can use more than one and they don’t have to be in the title. They enable you to use more keywords that aren’t in the title but can still show up in Google searches. Don’t put hunderds in, but an extra couple can help. Use Structured Query Reporter (SQR) to help with the keywords and how to prioritise these.
  • Title optimisation – still really, really important. Can affect your Click-Through Rate (CTR) drastically if not set up correctly. Prioritise the most important keywords to describe your product – imagine you’re describing your product to an alien: what would be the most important things you’d put in there? Work with SEO to get the data on what keywords are most searched for. Go to town in your descriptions with creativity but keep the titles simple, descriptive and with the right keywords.


SearchLeeds 2018 – Hannah Mckie – PLAs: Small company or large, everyone has to start somewhere from Branded3


What Happens When a Werewolf Bites a Goldfish

Hannah Smith @hannah_bo_banna – Verve Search

Creative veteran Hannah reveals how she generates ideas that are successful and how she builds creative campaigns. Hannah also shares insight into what she’s learned in her career, including actionable takeaways that people will share and journalists will love. It’s not just about the ideas, it’s about the links… and how we get those links.

Our key takeaways are:

  • You get ideas from daydreaming, from being bored; you get ideas from life all the time. The difference between writers and normal people is that we notice when we do it.
  • Take an idea that has existed before but consider how to make it new or unique. For example, use a puzzle game, or ‘spot the ballerina amongst the flamingos’, but provide data with it too, such as: “from those taking part in the game, women spot the ballerina quicker than men”, “Londoners are the most observant region” etc. Unique data adds a twist to the saturated idea.
  • If your campaign is not getting picked up, it could very well be down to the pitch being a bit sh*t. If this is the case, review the content, review the pitch. Make tweaks where necessary. And give it another go. Rework, give the piece context, rework, give the piece contrast; find the relatability in the piece and see what happens.

Finally, Hannah confirms: you really do need to work your arse off.


SearchLeeds 2018 – Hannah Smith – Verve Search – What happens when a werewolf bites a goldfish? from Branded3


Entities, Search, and Rank Brain: How it works and why it matters

Kristine Schachinger @schachin – Sites Without Walls

This talk discussed the importance of data needing structure as Google developed and query numbers increased in their trillions. Google is moving towards becoming an overall answer engine and move from a bag-of-words approach to a ‘things’ approach through structured data. The talk discussed:

  • Google squared killed in 2011.
  • The wonder wheel – pre-knowledge graph.
  • Knowledge graph in 2012 – they are based on known entities and relationships.
  • 2013 – Hummingbird arrives: Adds a semantic layer of meaning and understanding to the search results.

Our key takeaways are:

  • Structured data and schema act as an interpreter.
  • JSON-LD is the recommended code from Google.
  • Benefits of schema mark up:
    • Removed from HTML structure.
    • Easier to implement.
    • Easier to maintain.
    • Make sure you check with Google’s Guides on schema implementation.
    • JSON content must match what is exactly in the page.
  • Rank Brain:
    • Tries to answer the query intent by presenting lots of potential options.
    • Rank Brain makes use of users’ queries and clicks to help it understand query intent.


Search Leeds Talk – Entities, Search, and Rank Brain: How it works and why it matters from Kristine Schachinger SEO and Online Marketing


Supercharging Google Shopping

Chris Rowett @ChrisRowett – Journey Further

This talk will show you how to really boost your Google Shopping campaigns. Chris takes us through set up, building feeds and analysis techniques so your Shopping campaigns practically have superpowers!

Marketing spend on Google Shopping has surpassed text ads – this is making it more competitive, however.

  • Submit as much information about your product as possible in your feed. ‘Feedoptimise’, or similar tools, can help by scraping a site and pre-populate the feed for you – this can be great if you have lots of products, or your clients only give you a small amount of info on their products.
  • Share data – get everything from Organic, Search and Shopping to look at your performance and understand conversion rates for each keyword. Shopping can inform your search keywords and vice versa.
  • Differentiate your products– add descriptions that aren’t shown in the image. What makes your product awesome and stand out from your competitors? Add in seasonal terms and change descriptions depending on the time of year, trends etc.


SearchLeeds 2018 – Chris Rowett – Supercharging google shopping from Branded3


Complete Content: A New Model to Drive SEO Success and Much, Much More…

Danny Blackburn @Danny_Blackburn – Stickyeyes

As you know, it’s no longer easy (or right) to try and play Google. You need rich and relevant content to cut through, but what constitutes as ‘good content’? and what type of content should you be focusing your efforts on? Danny takes us through his content framework: complete content. A framework that delivers long-form SEO success and heaps more.

Our key takeaways are:

  • Brands have start to become as dynamic as their consumers are. Figure out what people want and need from you. People don’t care about agency models and internal structures; all they care about is that you are giving them what they want and need. We can spot patterns in what people want in their lives and their obstacles, then create content around that to help them overcome it.
  • We need to pull on three layers of insights: brand value, audience insights and performance insights. When we understand it, we can really work out who the people are that we’re targeting. Including how they think and feel about themselves, motivators for behaviour and intent.
  • How do we turn these insights into a strategy? Content doesn’t work unless it’s consumed. The main two ways are: content distribution (including channels owned, earned, paid and shared), content discovery (creating content that people are going to find including the user’s passive, active and micro moments).

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Nicola Churchill

Our little welsh dragon (a metaphorical dragon, of course) can lift her own weight in the gym, but we’re not allowed to say if that’s a lot or not and she keeps forcing healthy food on us. We’re not sure if we like her.

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