Recap of the Brighton SEO Conference 2014
Last Friday, the 12th of September, the yearly “Brighton SEO Conference” took place. With 32 speakers, it was a full and interesting program! Unfortunately, due to the sheer number of people that showed up, a few of us were unable to attend two presentations (“Creativity and thinking skills” by Shelli Walsh and “The secret to newsworthy content” by Andy Miller) however, organizer of Brighton SEO Kelvin Newman tweeted out the following for those unlucky cats like me, who missed out:
Below are some snapshots and key take aways from the speakers:
Predicting the future of Google, and why it’s no longer a search company, by Ian Miller
Ian Miller started the day of by looking at the various companies that Google has bought and looking at a possible future for Google and how this will influence the way we search. In summary, Google obtains valuable data not only through their own products (Google Analytics, Google Chrome, Google Gmail etc.) but also by buying companies that have own a lot of powerful data (Skybox imaging, Behavio and Deepmind).
Ian spoke about how Google is/has become a data platform, not a search company and discussed the way we search will change over time from web search to contextual search. This ultimately means that Google needs to understand the way the user searches, rather than focusing on indexing websites.
Why we all need to study Momentology by Matt Roberts
Matt Roberts spoke about the concept of “momentology” which is defined as “the study of consumers and the digital media they use and engage throughout the purchase funnel”. Businesses need to optimize their digital marketing throughout the funnel:
- Create Awareness
- Be Considered
- Be Evaluated
- Be purchased
- Optimize feedback
His key take aways for online businesses include the following:
- Put consumers in the middle of your SEO plans
- Study the momentology of your market
- Understand & optimize your media landscape, not simply your own domain(s)
- Give the SERP business intelligence, gathered from the PR, Media, Content & Affiliate teams
Illustrated Marketing Concepts by Stephen Croome
Stephen Croome shared his experiences on educating clients through a more interactive form of telling, i.e. taking a piece of paper and pen, as opposed to the standard presentations/reporting graphs clients often see. By explaining strategies and various reporting metrics in a more interactive setting, we stay focused and do not lose our attention.
Key take aways:
- Don’t simply create presentation slides and take screen-shots from Google Analytics when reporting/educating clients
- Visualize your data and use story telling when explaining what this data means
How to leverage content curation, build links and grow your search visibility by Aleyda Solis
Aleyda spoke to us about leveraging content creation through aggregation, distillation, elevation, mash und and chronology. For those of you who are not familiar with the term “Content Curation”, it involves sorting through the vast amounts of content on the web and presenting it in a meaningful and organized way around a specific theme. Here is how you can get started:
- Start by following your relevant topics in the content sharing & curation platforms
- Do relevant searches in Quora, Reddit and Buzzsumo
- Alltop, Slideshare and Tumbler are also great content inspiration platforms
- Create lists and monitor these trending/hot topics by using RSS feeds for example
- Make sure to check the link and social mentions of the received & archived content
- Identify the keyword search volume for the content topic
- Start developing a strategy and decide how you want to format your content
When doing this, make sure you:
- Optimize the piece of content from a technical & Content SEO perspective
- Link from it to your products or services pages
- Promote it in social networks where your audience is active
- Make it easy to share & link with the appropriate social sharing buttons
» Download the slidedeck
Breaking SEO out of silos with PR & marketing by Laura Crimmons
Laura clearly highlighted why it is so important to get SEO teams fully involved in the marketing mix by using PR strategies/campaigns that fully support business objectives and help to get internal client team board. In order to work together, the SEO team should show the various departments the value they can add to the other department’s campaigns by for example:
- Talking in a language that they speak (PR department) “Brand Awareness”.
- Showing them how many people share and drive traffic from their content (through Google Analytics)
- Showing them the amount of coverage they have achieved by the content they have been pushing out (Fresh Web Explorer)
- Showing them how to find experts for their content (Follower Wonk)
Finally, do not forget to involve them in the process and to build up the trust. You can do this by:
- Asking them about any upcoming activity they have got that the SEO team may be able to support with
- Asking them what kind of KPI’s they have and see how you can help achieve them by working together
Important to remember is that building up this level of trust may take time, but the key is to keep on trying.
Earning links through Audience Segmentation by Kirsty Hulse
Kirsty (one of my favorite sessions!) spoke about how you can use audience segmentation to earn links. She started off by saying that Link Earning is not quick & easy. It takes time to create a truly meaningful piece of content that attracts links.
She focused her presentation on audience segmentation with the goal of really understanding who our audiences are so we can create tailored content for them that they will want to share and/or link to. Here are the tools she mentioned that can be used in order to find out more about your audience:
- Google Analytics (Demographic, Interest Report)
- Google Display Banner
- Facebook Graph Search
More expensive, but powerful tools are:
» Download the slidedeck
Becoming a publisher: Creating high quality content at pace, by John Hutson
John answered the question as to how a brand can stand out from the crowd as opposed to adding to the noise. He first explained that we need to publish content in order to:
- Help increase your search engine visibility
- Help build authority and trust
- Attract discussion and coverage of your brand
Similar to Kirsty, he also emphasized that creating good content takes time and that there are many of us trying to create high quality content pieces, so there is a lot of competition. According to John, you can stand out from the crowd by focusing on the 2 C’s: Curation and Commentary. Content Curation was also mentioned by Aleyda however Commentary, which is “the expression of opinions or offering explanations about an event or situation” was not covered in other sessions. In order to do commentary right, John recommends to:
- Get your sources in order (blogs, reddit, alert services etc.)
- To use video’s as a content format as you can create a podcast from this as well as a blogpost
In summary, these 2 C’s can work as a great supplement to existing content creation and does not involve creating content from scratch.
72% of Internet users do not speak English: International outreach by Gisele Navarro
Finally, Gisele explained how cheap translation can really hurt a project and often does not result in great outcomes. Before translating a great piece of content, it is important to question whether or not the topic is going to be perceived and interpreted the same way as it did for the English speaking audience that the content was originally created for. Her key tips when conducting international outreach are:
- It is OK to do outreach in English for foreign media
- Be confident when you are doing outreach
- Start with best performing content in English
- Stay flexible with international campaigns
Based on all the content related presentations, the buzzwords were definitely “Contexual Search” and “Content Curation”. With that said, it is important to remember that these things take time and that researching your audience, content sources and topics of interest require the most time.
I want to thank Kelvin for setting up the webinars for those who missed out on the other content – related sessions. We will update this post as soon as we have more details when the webinars will take place.