SearchLeeds 2018 – all the slides and what we learned

What is SearchLeeds?

SearchLeeds is the biggest digital marketing conference in the north of England. This year more than 1,500 people joined us at Leeds first direct arena on the 14th June to watch 36 speakers deliver talks about paid and organic search, content marketing, data and digital.

What we learned this year

We’re hugely grateful to everyone who gave up their time to speak at SearchLeeds. We received nearly 4x as many speaking pitches as we had slots to fill (and we approached some of our eventual speakers ourselves).

5 speakers delivered their first talks at SearchLeeds this year – including Mayflex’s Luke Carthy who stepped up 3 days before the event – and we want to make sure we get similar numbers of new speakers next year. A third of our speakers had delivered less than 5 talks – we put two of them on the main arena stage and they got some of the best feedback. So we know to programme the tracks on the strength of the talks rather than the experience of the speakers.

This year was the first we had specific themes for each stage: the Search Laboratory Stage returned yet again but exclusively as a paid media and data themed track; this year we also had the SISTRIX Technical SEO Stage. Last year the least attended talks were the PPC focused talks on the main arena stage; this year the PPC talks on the Search Laboratory stage were totally full, with people sitting on the floor (sorry!)

We did plan for an increased attendance (50% bigger third stage, 300% bigger second stage) but they were still both full. We’re looking at potentially taking even bigger spaces in the arena for next year.

It’s pretty clear to us now that the best pitches translate into being the best attended talks and the more detail speakers can give us, the more people end up in their sessions. We’re looking at additional labelling of talks next year so attendees know how advanced a session is and what they can expect to get out of it.

We recorded the talks on the main arena stage – we’re looking into the possibility of live streaming all the talks next year because even though we got attendees from 8 countries we know not everyone can make it.

The slides

Stage One – main arena

St. Ives Chief Digital Officer J Schwan

The Future Doesn’t Exist in Silos

Purna Virji – Bing

Intelligent Search and Intelligent Assistants: Exploring the AI-era of Search

Rob McGowan – Edit

Useless Projects: Where AI Meets Human Creativity

Kirsty Hulse – Manyminds

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

Hannah Smith – Verve Search

What Happens When a Werewolf Bites a Goldfish?

Jon Myers – DeepCrawl

The Mobile-First Index: What, Why and Most Importantly When

Kristal Ireland – Virgin Trains East Coast

Will Robots Destroy Us All? Putting the Ethical Debate Back into the Narrative Around the Future of AI

Jasper Bell – AmazeRealise

Retailers – Stop Thinking Store, Start Thinking Story

Lexi Mills – Shift6

Advanced Integrated Influence Strategies and Tactics

Kelvin Newman – Rough Agenda / BrightonSEO

Three Practical (and Inventive) Ways of Pinching Keyword Insight from Your Competitors

Branded3 Strategy Director Stephen Kenwright

Customer-Centric Search: Serving People Better for Competitive Advantage

SISTRIX Technical SEO Stage

Bastian Grimm – Peak Ace

Super Speed Around the Globe

Gerry White – Just Eat

Past, Present and the Future of Mobile

Steve Chambers – Stickyeyes

How Not to F*ck Up a Migration

Fili Wiese, Search Brothers

Structured data explained

Kristine Schachinger, Sites Without Walls

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

Dawn Anderson – Move It Marketing

Power from What Lies Beneath: The Iceberg Approach to SEO

Dave Freeman – Treatwell

Creating Knockout On-site Content by Simply Understanding Your Customers

Luke Carthy – Mayflex

How to Optimise the S*** out of Your On-site Search

Rachel Costello – DeepCrawl

Stop Confusing Search Engines with Conflicting Signals

Julia Logan – Irish Wonder

How to Audit Your Site for Security

Oliver Brett – Screaming Frog

Why SEO Wizards Need User Testing Hobbits

Craig Campbell

How to Fix the Most Common SEO Issues Using SEMrush

Search Laboratory Stage

Jill Quick – The Coloring In Department

Track Your Campaigns Like a Bloodhound: Making Your Marketing Work Harder

Branded3 Senior Insights & Analytics Queen Emma Barnes

Analytics Tracking: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Google Tag Manager

Andraz Stalec – Red Orbit

5 False Assumptions About Your Traffic

Hannah McKie – Missguided

PLAs: Small Company or Large, Everyone Has to Start Somewhere

Chris Rowett – Journey Further

Supercharing Google Shopping

Angus Hamilton – Search Laboratory

Enterprise Attribution

Holly Ellwood – Receptional

What’s New in PPC

Matt Holmes – Distrelec

The International Paid Search Playbook

Anu Adegbola – MindSwan

AdWords Script Automation & Pitfalls

John Rowley – Ferrero

Creating a Data-Driven Customer Journey with Personas and Smarter Investment

Elizabeth Clark – Dream Agility

The Future of Shopping

Branded3 & Edit Media Directors Jon Greenhalgh & Sam Wright

How to Deliver Growth in the Most Efficient Way Possible

Please email us any feedback about the event, positive or otherwise – we’re looking for suggestions to make next year even better.
Do you want to speak next year? Let us know. The more detail you can give us around your talk, the more likely people are to like it and the more likely we are to put you on stage!

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