Earlier this month we saw another FANTASTIC Brighton SEO, with team Relevance making the trip down from Monaco and Bath to hear some of the brightest minds in digital. For the first year ever, I even gave my own talk, on Persona-Led Reporting: Designing Blinding Reports to Keep Every Stakeholder Happy – if you saw it, I would love to know what you thought. For now, let’s cut straight to our favourite talks of the show. Get ready to have your mind blown!
Best of Brighton SEO, September 2019
Beetlejuice’s guide to entities and the future of SEO
By Greg Clifford, Vice President of Search
Greg Clifford’s horror-movie inspired speech was a great way to kick of this September’s event, focusing in on the topic of entities. What is an entity, you may ask? Most of us think of entities as being a person, place, or thing (or indeed a spooky ghost). However, Greg says that they can be an idea, time colour or date – ultimately, they are something that has a real-world connection. Entities are the basis of everything we do, and Greg attributes SEO developments such as rich snippets, zero click search, link building, local search and reviews to them.
Google began to look at actual meaning and use entity search when it released the Knowledge Graph in 2012, and it has never looked back. So, what does all this mean for the future of search? Amongst our favourite tips were: rankings will be more about real-world signals that can’t be faked; focus on answering searcher’s intent in a unique way; local SEO is king and Google My Business is the way to get there; and encourage reviews from ‘power entities’, eg industry personalities. Find Greg’s slides from Brighton SEO September 2019 here.
How to create a sexy AF PR pitch to land sexy AF links no matter your budget or brand
By Carrie Rose, Co-founder and Creative Director at Rise at Seven
Pitching to a journalist in the right way can be the difference between them choosing to run your story or not. And, if they do run the story it can result in a huge amount of traffic to your website.
Carrie Rose thinks that we need to ditch the traditional press release. Journalists write and manage a huge amount of content daily, so they want ready-to-use material. Capture their attention in the subject line, and make sure you’re pitching a story that people will naturally want to talk about to increase the chance of the story being run. A story with a global angle is likely going to peek a journalist’s interest, as will video – a prerequisite for many big nationals – along with good supporting images.
Don’t attach images, videos, or large files to an email as this often results in it being sent to junk. Instead, put the story in the body of the email and include a Dropbox link to images and videos. Lastly, she advises that the best time to send a PR is Tuesday AM – find the slides here.
Rethinking the fundamentals of keyword research with the insights from big data
By Tim Soulo, CMO and Product Advisor at Ahrefs
Tim Suolo showed us a new way to think about keyword research looking at three crucial ideas – traffic potential, business potential and ranking potential. For traffic potential, we must realise that pages will rank for not just one keyword but lots of keyphrases, meaning that if you rank 1st in Google you will also rank for 1000s of other key phrases. This means there is so much more data we can analyse and work with to boost search traffic!
Meanwhile, giving keywords a business potential score allows you to check how relevant they are to your business, using the scoring system below.
3 – your product is an almost irreplaceable solution to the problem
2 – your product is helpful, but the problem can be solved without it
1 – your product is barely relevant to the problem
Tim also stated that the goal to rank number one is overrated, showing that the top-ranking page only gets the most total search traffic 49% of the time. In fact, ranking potential really comes down to answering searcher intent. Did you know that 90.88% of pages get no traffic from Google?? Do your keyword research to stop that from being you!
You can find Tim’s slides here.
The future of search is understanding human psychology
By Becky Simms, CEO at Reflect Digital
Becky Simms asks us, how can we do more to keep improving our SEO performance? She believes the answer is understanding humans. We need to think differently about content and breathe new life into it by giving it a human focus. Economists have realised that people don’t always respond predictably or rationally to things like price and value, while neuroscientists have proven that all decisions are weighed up emotionally. Digital marketing has become so measurable, but is this at the expense of our content?
Becky showed us how to spark emotion and action through our content, through being visual (I see what you mean), auditive (I hear what you mean), and kinesthetic (I feel what you mean). Other great tips included thinking about your audience’s challenges and needs first, before broadcasting what you do, and remembering to include context within your human-first content. Download the slides here.
Why AI will be a key part of your team, not a replacement
By Sal Mohammed, Head of Partnerships at Adzooma
Sal Mohammed demonstrated at Brighton SEO September 2019 how AI can help with acquisition, execution and delivery, never forgetting the magic of the human touch. There are so many incredible examples of how AI and machine learning has helped advance human development – Sal takes the example of Netflix, which uses data science to identify over 76,000 genres and describe user tastes. Yes, humans could have that done that ourselves, but it would have taken a very long time. Using AI means taking your business to the next level, and with so many tools now to start introducing it, what are you waiting for? Slides here.
Progressive profiling and engagement triggers
By Kenda Macdonald, CEO at Automation Ninjas
Kenda’s talk was based on the idea that people process info in one of two ways: System one, our fast, autopilot decision-making and System two, our slow, manual and analytical processing. Most marketing reaches people when they are using System one, but as you start to really capture your audience’s attention, raising their awareness, you are more likely to encounter people who think properly about your product. This is the goal, as System two thinking drives decision making and action. Consumers can be split into five stages of awareness (completely unaware – problem aware – solution aware – product aware – most aware) and we can use this profiling to engage people at every step.
Simple is smart. Complicated is stupid
By Dave Trott, Advertising legend and author
Finally, Dave Trott delivered an incredible keynote, dropping the mindblowing stat that 89% of advertising achieves nothing because it simply isn’t remembered. Dave believes we have all got so wrapped up in trying to be the most creative or clever that we have forgotten the point of advertising – to be noticed. And when it comes to being noticed, simple is always better. Surprisingly, it doesn’t even matter if people like your campaign – as they say, all publicity is good publicity, and getting people to dislike something means you have provoked an emotion, meaning they are more likely to remember it. However, the most important thing is to break your message down to the bare minimum – only then do you have a chance of breaking through the media bombardment people face today.
So that was Brighton SEO September 2019 – see you at the next one in April!