5th October 2018 Claire Hawes

BrightonSEO 2018: Actionable tips and takeaways

When search engine results pages are so helpful you don’t need to click on the links, how do you get your audience to your site? The great and the good in SEO revealed their tips at BrightonSEO

Oh, I do like to be beside the sea-side! Especially when I get the chance to mingle with bright young digital things.

Last week I attended the Autumn BrightonSEO conference. Here I listened to talks on content marketing, customer experience, SEO tools, SERPS (search engine ranking pages) and more.

Keynote Speaker and SEO guru Rand Fishkin warned delegates it’s getting harder to earn organic traffic from the likes of Google and the major social media networks.

Increasingly they’re prioritising content that keeps visitors on their platforms. And discouraging visitors from clicking on links.

So it’s never been more important to control what content appears in the search engine results pages.

And to keep Google happy with a user-friendly and easy to crawl website.

Here are some practical, actionable tips I took away from the event:

First off, let’s look at how you can make sure your website is search engine friendly and thus improve its performance.

Free SEO Tools! Yup, you heard that right

Founder of Link Research Tools Christoph C Semper delighted delegates with a list of free tools you can use to optimise your website. Of these included:

Tools to help you improve site performance

  • Google Console: Gives you real rankings, real click-through rates and link data
  • Google Analytics: Helps you to understand your customers better. In particular, how they locate your website, and the pages and links they click the most

Free tools to help you to conduct keyword research

Free tools to help Google crawl your site

  • Xenu: Find broken links and errors
  • Screaming Frog: Free for up to 500 URLs. Use it to find broken links, analyse metadata and ferret out duplicate pages

Free SEO plugin

  • Yoast: Optimise your site content with this free WordPress plugin

What you need to know about site speed

SEO Expert and Ex-Google Engineer Fili Wiese explained why site speed is vital:

  • Fast loading pages improve user experience
  • Speed determines how quickly Google crawls your site
  • Site speed is a ranking factor
  • If people perceive your website to be slow, they won’t return. This impacts profit.

So if your site speed is poor, seek advice from a web developer.

Once you have a site optimised for search, you can drive traffic with these content marketing tips.

How you can use content to build domain authority

John Brasington of Pi Datametrics told us SEO begins in the minds of your customers.

To make your site stand out in the search engine ranking pages (SERPS), you’ll want to make it authoritative in Google’s eyes.

To be authoritative, Google needs to understand which pages demonstrate your subject matter expertise. And which pages provide additional information to support your subject matter expertise.

What you don’t want is to post content that competes for the same keywords, thus confusing Google. Worse still, Google prioritising a supporting piece of material over a key theme page.

Conference slide: Keyword positions are important. Ecosystems are everything

To do this, think about how new content impacts the conversations taking place around your ecosystem.

  • Mybrand.com
  • Mybrandsocial.com
  • Mybrandpartner.com
  • Mybrandpr.com

And then how you cover topics under your subject matter themes:

Start with your customer. Identify the search terms they use to find your content. Then create cornerstone content around these page ‘themes.’

Any new content you create should act as a complementary subtopic and sit under a relevant theme.

Finally, build a strong internal linking structure by linking your subtopics to your central ‘theme’ content.

How to plan content around consumer intent

Digital Marketing Trainer Aiden Carroll of The Coloring In Department shared tips for planning keyword research around consumer intent:

Start by building a buyer persona. Find out:

  • Who influences your audience?
  • How your audience acts. For example, where does it hang out on social media?
  • What are their hopes, fears and dreams?
  • What is the environment like in which they live or operate?

Once you are clear about your buyer persona, then plan suitable keywords around your persona’s decision making:

  • Unaware
  • Pain or problem aware
  • Solution aware
  • Product aware
  • Most aware

Finally, weave your keywords into how your audience thinks and feels and what it is looking for during its journey to buying your product.

Sew up consumer intent

How to use live video in content marketing

Head of Creative Bobbi Brant of Kaizen SEO based Content Marketing Agency told delegates 78% of online audiences watch Facebook live content. Moreover, between 2015 and 2016, views of live videos increased by 81%.

Live video in content marketing

Live video is:

  • Easy
  • Cheap
  • Great supporting content

You can use live video for:

  • Product launches
  • Competitions
  • Conversing with your audience

Bobbi’s tips for live video success are:

  • Promote your live video. Don’t just stream it
  • Don’t merely script it. Be prepared
  • Don’t set times. Set sections
  • Don’t go it alone. Drag your team in to help
  • Have a follow-up plan

To sum up

Once again the principal theme from the Autumn BrightonSEO was user optimisation first. Followed by search engine optimisation.

Here’s the thing. The more user-friendly the search engine result pages become, the less likely the user needs to click through to your website.

So it’s more important than ever to have a fast loading website that delivers a seamless user experience.

And to have a content strategy that builds your domain authority as well as getting traffic to your site.

And finally

If you would like help writing content that builds domain authority, or would like me to provide you with a write up of your event, then drop me a line to get information about pricing.

Claire Hawes, copywriter and owner of The Content BoutiqueAbout Claire Hawes

Claire Hawes is a marketing communications copywriter. She enjoys writing engaging copy that helps businesses to get noticed and attract enquiries. Claire’s experience mainly lies in the business to business sector. Her clients include both businesses and digital marketing agencies.

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