SearchLeeds 2018: Stage One Live Blog
17:00 That’s a wrap
Thank you to everyone who came along to Search Leeds 2018, and a big thanks to our fabulous speakers and sponsors, we hope you had an amazing time.
We’ll see you all next year!
Now is the time to move on from “user experience” as a ranking factor – the only result that matters is the one with the best customer experience overall.
SEO will help brands deliver the best customer experience, because we are tailoring content to show users the exact search results they want to see (Did you know that 2017 was the first year that brands spent more money on search than they did on TV advertising?).
We need to keep 3 main things in mind when thinking about creating the best customer experience:
- Do people want it?
- Does Google like it?
- Will it make the business money?
We also need to think about link relevancy when pushing out our content, Steve recently conducted a study on this. He says that acquiring links from relevant pages is more important than acquiring links from relevant domains (you can read the full study here: https://edit.co.uk/blog/relevant-linkbuilding-study/).
- 40% of searches are moving to YouTube
- 60% of people are still watching cat videos
- 54% are watching ‘How to’ videos
He settles the great meta description debate!
Steve says that the main purpose of meta data is to encourage people to click through to your site – so keep testing it until you get it right!
This slide summarised Steve’s talk perfectly:
16.35 Our very own Stephen Kenwright closes the show
16.10 Pinching keyword insight from your competitors
Kelvin Newman from Rough Agenda and organiser of Brighton SEO is sharing his insight into alternative keyword research. Follow him on Twitter @kelvinnewman.
“Just write for your user is a lazy suggestion”, we can better understand the user if we can better understand how other sites are writing about a topic.
— DeepCrawl (@DeepCrawl) June 14, 2018
15.45 Advanced integrated influence strategy and tactics
She’ll be talking about incorporating Machine Learning / AI to help with your SEO & content strategy.
Just a few minutes in and already so many actionable insights from @leximills on using #ML and #AI like #publishers do for better #SEO and #PR results; make #content based on what’s trending on #amazon! #searchleeds pic.twitter.com/w2E9ANytRm
— DeepCrawl (@DeepCrawl) June 14, 2018
14.55 Retailers…Stop thinking store, start thinking story
Jasper Bell, Head of Commerce from AmazeRealise is sharing his expertise on how to understand your customers better, and how to give them a unique shopping experience.
Follow him at @jasperbelluk
So, who are AmazeRealise?
Customers are rarely loyal, and brands are failing to make a connection with their customers – so what do we do about this?
Jasper explains, that we need ‘story thinking’ and the way brands can do this is by:
- making a human connection
- creating a narrative that puts customers at the front and centre
- maintaining the pace
Check out this awesome diagram:
We think he liked our fancy lights, too!
— Jasper Bell (@jasperbelluk) June 14, 2018
14.30 Will robots destroy us all?
Kristal Ireland, Head of Ecommerce & Technology at Virgin East Coast Trains is up next. She’ll be p
“AI undoubtedly has the potential to unlock a paradigmatic shift in the way that humans live, work and love in the world we call home. But is enough attention being payed to the ethical considerations companies and brands need to make in the face of such a brave new world? So much of the narrative around AI is focused around ‘how we can’ as opposed to asking the much bigger question whether we even should.”
Absolutely amazing talk at @SearchLeeds by Kristal Ireland from @Virgin_TrainsEC on ethical AI and how we still need people – technology isn’t human. But also great examples on where there is AI for good #searchleeds pic.twitter.com/LiJtzgUOhj
— Robert Allan Jones (@robert_a_jones) June 14, 2018
Follow Kristal at @kristalsmile
14.05 Mobile first indexing – is it important?
Jon Myers, UK Search Personality of the Year 2017 and Chief Growth Officer at DeepCrawl tells us everything we need to know about The Mobile First Index: What, why and, more importantly, when!
Jon says, “yes”.
Users who have a bad mobile user experience are 60% less likely to revisit and purchase from that brand in the future, and Google will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site.
Will keyword rankings be affected?
Jon explains that if your mobile content is reduced and doesn’t contain terms the page was previously ranking for on desktop, then rankings will be affected. So, the following things need to be consistent across desktop and mobile
- Alt attributes
- Indexing rules
- Canonical tags
(All of these elements must be crawlable and indexable)
Site speed is also important!
To summarise, mobile should be your number 1 priority!
14.00 Welcome back – we have loads more speakers this afternoon, so stay with us for a live update.
12.00 Complete Content: A new model to drive SEO success and much, much more…
Next up is Danny Blackburn, content director at Stickyeyes and he’ll be talking about the link between great content marketing and getting to the top of the search results.
What do people want and need from you as a brand? Danny says there are three layers of insight:
But, content doesn’t work unless it’s consumed by the right people. Danny says we need to think about 2 things:
- CONTENT DISTRIBUTION – Pushing content to the audience via a blend of owned, earned and paid channels.
- CONTENT DISCOVERY – Creating content in a specific way to make sure people find it when they’re looking.
As digital professionals, we need to understand the brands we’re working with, and how an audience interacts with them.
We can do this by looking performance insights/data; we need to be monitoring what works and what doesn’t – this will help inform a content strategy.
Give him a follow on @Danny_Blackburn
11.30 What Happens when a Werewolf bites a Goldfish?
Now, that is an interesting title – you’ve got our attention already!
Hannah’s job is to come up with ideas which people will share and journalists will want to write about, but where does she get her ideas from and how does she get links?
The answer to that question lies partially in the idea, and what she does afterwards.
Hannah explains that they key is creative thinking. For example, take the unsexy subject of contact lenses – how can this be turned into a fun subject?
She says there are plenty of ways – we just need to think outside of the box!
Hannah started thinking about stuff to do with vision and how we see the world. She then created a visual timed game and sent this to 2,000 survey respondents to find out who performs best at this type of puzzle to help gain coverage. She launched the piece in April 2017, and received coverage every single month, for 12 months.
Thanks to this insight, she discovered that the media had such an appetite for these kinds of puzzles!
So, what’s the point?
If you create something that’s genuinely valuable for journalists – you can get links and coverage! You just need to think creatively!
11.15 Content and links – how to do these without breaking the bank
Content marketing is getting harder!
So, we need to think more creatively, and in order to stay ahead of our competition we need to:
- Diversify our objectives
- Pimp our data
- Become PR and brand experts
- Become qualified business consultants
- Nail creative execution
Kirsty says that we should be thinking about the following in the short term:
- Ideas, not assets, are everything
- Volume is imperative
- Create assets cheaply
She also says that we need to know our brand inside out, and we should be asking the following questions regularly:
- What are the 3 core objectives?
- What is the value proposition?
- What is the USP?
- What is the consistent message?
Thanks for the insight, Kirsty! You were great ?
— SearchLeeds (@SearchLeeds) June 14, 2018
10.25 Useless projects: Where AI meets human creativity
Rob McGowan from Edit is our third speaker of the day – Useless projects: Where AI meets human creativity
Give him a follow @Herd6
— SearchLeeds (@SearchLeeds) June 14, 2018
So, what is AI? Well, Purna sums this up perfectly!
She says, “search is becoming more intelligent and it is increasingly becoming the centerpiece of consumer engagement”. Now, more than ever, we need to deliver a rich understanding to put the right message in front of the user.
We need to research target audiences across the decision journey:
- Refocus on what really counts: people
- Right place and at precisely the right moment
- Half of digital advertisers plan to increase spend on audience targeting this year
- Measure and optimize performance easily
She goes on to explain that search is also becoming more visual. So, we need to think about visual search checklists:
- Optimise images
- …and feed
- Structured data
- XML sitemaps
Search is becoming more conversational – there’s been a huge increase in the amount of smart speakers sold, but we shouldn’t get too excited! Purna states that “70% of consumers have never used voice search to shop or search for products.” So, curb your enthusiam!
We need to pay attention to featured snippets and describer tokens (phrases
09.35 The future doesn’t exist in silos
Ready. Steady. Go!
Our first speaker of the day is J. Schwan, Creative Digital Officer at St. Ives Group.
J will be talking about his personal experience with fragmented customer journeys. When trying to seek answers to life’s problems online, he couldn’t find solutions in the digital space, resulting in him having to head to high street shops and call centers for answers – a poor user experience.
He explains what brands can do to overcome this issue.
J says that a lot of businesses and brands are still working in silos, and this is limiting interactions between us and the customer, resulting in a poor user experience.
This even happens in the digital industry/agencies – different teams have different KPIs and this can affect us working together in a more streamlined way.
Companies need believe in connectedness.When businesses create silos it takes away the ‘connectedness’ of an organisation and of people.
09.30 Stage one about to kick off
Stay with us for live updates throughout the day