October’s 2022 brightonSEO has just wrapped up, offering fascinating insights into the latest trends surrounding search and search engine optimisation. Our recent article explored some of the top content marketing takeaways from brightonSEO. Here we explore some of our favourite SEO insights.
Best SEO tips from brightonSEO 2022
How to create an air-tight keyword strategy: Rumble Romagnoli, founder and president of Relevance
Romagnoli reminded SEO specialists that one of the most important things they can do is to create an airtight process for keyword research. This process should be followed every time you need to research keywords, whether it’s for a new website, a new product, or a new marketing campaign.
Creating an air-tight SEO strategy begins with finding your true competitors, Romagnoli said. These are the websites that rank for the same keywords as your site and you’ll need to beat in order to rank higher in search engines. Once you’ve found your competitors, you’ll need to input their data into a spreadsheet or database. From there, you’ll need to do some spreadsheet legwork to create a unique list of organic keywords with rankings data for all of your online competitors.
Once you have this data, you can start to transform it into SEO insights. These insights will help you to defend your current position in the market, expand into new areas, and win market share from your competitors. By following this process, you’ll be able to create a comprehensive keyword research strategy to help you dominate your market.
Here’s how to categorise your keywords based on your competition.
1 – The first step in our strategy is to defend. This is the point where you need to find your best-performing keywords by identifying where you have high visibility but where you will need to work to keep your edge. To do so, you need to check the position of the keyword and select the ones appearing the highest in the search.
2 – The next step is to expand your list of keywords by identifying and prioritising keyword gaps where you do not appear. Check the keywords used by your competitors for which you do not have a great position.
3 – Lastly, find the key opportunities by picking out the highest volume keywords that few of your competitors rank for. In this way, you would use unique keywords with a high search volume, for which the competition is low, and therefore you can easily rank highly.
Download Relevance’s keyword mixes and competitor research templates and follow Romagnoli’s steps to an air-tight SEO strategy.
How To Avoid International SEO Mistakes: Tom Brennan, account director at Adapt Worldwide
International SEO is the process of optimising your website so that search engines can easily identify which countries you want to target and which languages you use for business. Brennan reminded attendees that what worked in one market will not work in other markets.
Simply translating your content will not work or will have very little impact. Each country will have a common language with different meanings, which needs to be researched, understood, and taken into account or you can expect lower engagement and lower visibility.
Moreover, Brennan indicated finding a significant disparity in search volumes when taking the localised vs non-localised approach. Also, finding more topics to target and bigger ROI overall.
Your search competitors will differ from one market to the next and from one language to the next.
It is, therefore, essential to understand your local search competitors for this new market. Brennan also recommended conducting a competitive SWOT analysis for this market so you can better understand your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses.
Hreflang tags are central to an international SEO strategy, Brennan noted. Without Hreflang search engines like Google will not know who to deliver the content to and which country or in which language and might even deliver the wrong page or not consider your site as a relevant source.
What are Hreflang tags? The Hreflang attribute (also referred to as rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x”) tells Google which language you are using on a specific page, so the search engine can serve that result to users searching in that language.
It may sound pretty straightforward, but Hreflang requires a meticulous and thorough approach, and when deployed on large enterprise sites, it requires a high degree of organisation.
Machine Learnings Use Cases for Tech SEO: Patrick Stox, product advisor and technical SEO at Ahrefs
According to Stox, machine learning is increasingly used in SEO to help make tasks easier, faster, and better. Here are some SEO insights from Stox’s brightonSEO 2022 talk and examples of how machine learning is being used to automate SEO tasks:
- Forecasting with GA and GSC: Machine learning can be used to predict future trends based on data from Google Analytics and Google Search Console. This can be helpful for forecasting traffic and identifying potential keywords to target.
- Summarisation of meta descriptions: AI can be used to automatically summarise meta descriptions, saving time and effort. However, the quality of the summaries can vary, so it’s essential to review them before publishing.
- Automating redirects: Redirects can be a time-consuming task, but machine learning can be used to automate the process. This includes matching redirects based on user intent, which can improve the user experience.
- Keyword clustering: Machine learning can be used to group similar keywords together, which can be helpful for targeting purposes.
- Machine translation: Translation is another time-consuming task that can be automated with machine learning. This can be helpful for translating content into different languages for international audiences.
- Automating Hreflang: Hreflang is a complicated task, but machine learning can be used to automate the process. This can help ensure that the correct version of a page is served to users in different countries.
- Anomaly detection: Anomalies can be detected and flagged automatically with machine learning. This can help identify potential issues with a website’s traffic or Rankings.
- Generate schema: Schema can be automatically generated with machine learning, saving time and effort.
- Generate alt text: Alt text can also be generated automatically with machine learning. However, the quality of the alt text can vary, so it’s important to review it before publishing.
- Image creation: Machine learning can be used to create images, which can help create things like infographics or product images.
SEO testing: what you can do when you really want to find out what works for SEO, Martijn Scheybeler, VP of marketing at RVshare
If you want to know if a certain change will impact your website ranking, you need to test it. This process is called SEO experimentation. By testing, you can compare the adjusted side with the original side. However, it’s essential to remember that what works consistently among different sites may not work for your site. This is why it’s important to have a hypothesis and analyse the results.
When it comes to SEO testing, less is more, Scheybeler reminded attendees at brightonSEO 2022. Test just one area at a time so that you can isolate the results. Additionally, you should divide your traffic into four equal parts, not two. This will give you a more accurate picture of what’s happening. Finally, always do a pre- and post-analysis to see how your changes impacted your website.
There are a few different ways to test your website. A/B testing is one way. This involves showing two different versions of your website to two different groups of people. The version that performs better is the one you should keep.
Another way to test your website is by internal linking. This is where you use software to analyse linking opportunities. By doing this, you can see which links are helping your website rank and which links are not.
Finally, Scheybeler suggested that you can also create an HTML sitemap. This is a DIY way to test your website. By creating a sitemap, you can see how well your website is organised and identify any areas that need improvement.
Want even more brightonSEO 2022 insights? Check out our key content marketing takeaways article.
Relevance is a leading full-service luxury digital marketing agency that provides exceptional SEO insights fused with local SEO best practices to boost brand awareness, power audience engagement, and help luxury brands achieve global growth. Contact us today.