On 12th April, the first BrightonSEO of 2019 took place at the Brighton Centre. There were a host of speakers in attendance who gave their valuable insight into SEO right now. Talks topics ranged from Content Marketing, PPC, Technical SEO and more. Ricemedia were in attendance to support our very own Head of Content, Coral Luck as she explained How To Repurpose Content To Enhance Your Strategy – make sure you check out her slides! Our team also gathered valuable advice by attending a range of talks! So if you couldn’t make it or were there but at other talks, here are our BrightonSEO April 2019 highlights and key takeaways!
Izzi Smith: Driving Meaningful Clicks with Enriched SERPs
Izzi gave a really entertaining and engaging talk about how you can optimise to help drive more meaningful clicks in the SERPs. Here are some of the key points we took away from her talk:
- Is CTR a ranking factor? No one seems to actually know, but we should be trying to improve it anyway.
- Clicks don’t always lead to visitor satisfaction. Which is why we should focus on bringing relevant users to the site to fulfil a purpose and satisfy an intent.
- Izzi outlines the different types of search intent as:
- Transactional (carrying out a purchase)
- Answers (looking for quick answers – avoid these)
- Research (searching for in-depth information)
- Local (looking for nearby services)
- Visual (image/inspiration/how to)
- News (trending topics)
- Brand (specific company)
- Combine these search intents to improve visibility in SERPs and drive more meaningful clicks.
- Being present on Google My Business can help you to rank above the fold (e.g. keep the information updated, encourage reviews and respond to them).
- Having a rating above 4* can help you to rank for “best XXX” queries.
- Rich snippets bring more meaningful visitors – including lists, buzzwords, images and comparison queries can drive clicks by offering searchers more information in the SERPs.
Check out Izzi’s full presentation below:
Emily Potter: Featured Snippets: The Achievable SERP Feature?
Emily followed Izzi and told her story of how she tried to prove that featured snippets (FS) are bullsh*t – needless to say it was very enjoyable. Here are some of our key takeaways:
- Emily outlined how she first attempted to get a featured snippet for her client:
- She started with looking at what users were searching for and optimised her pages by optimising titles, adding tables & lists – this gained a snippet only for Google to launch an update and take them away!
- Lesson #1: Google is the Enemy
- On her second attempt she focused on her competitors:
- Why are they better?
- What format are they using?
- Are they using headers we aren’t?
- After playing around with this and trying multiple things to get an FS, copying the competitors H1 was what gained her the snippet.
- Lesson #2: Featured Snippets are bullsh*t
- Emily then set out why featured snippets are bad:
- They steal clicks from organic results and reduce CTR (CTR is on average 4% higher on pages without FS)
- Featured snippets create confirmation bias (searching reptiles are good pets or are bad pets brings up two contrasting results)
- Featured snippets are unsophisticated (some FS provide strange answers)
- After discovering this Emily set out that featured snippets are overrated:
- She looked at a range of studies all claiming featured snippets improve CTR – most of which are inconsistent & misleading.
- Her finding ended up proving that featured snippets:
- Achieved a higher CTR for pages with snippets
- It is easier to gain snippets if you rank 4th or above for the query
- If you rank below 10th it is very unlikely you will be able to get a snippet
- The key actions Emily outlined these key actions to help gain featured snippets:
- Find ranking keywords that already have snippets
- avoid transactional search queries
- Join two points together with the word however
- Add content to pages that are performing well
- Reformat content to match current snippet owner
- Find ranking keywords that already have snippets
See Emily’s full presentation here:
Lily Ray: Leveraging E-A-T For SEO Success
Lily Ray, representing Path Interactive, came all the way from New York to give us a fantastic presentation on how could leverage Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness to improve your SEO and rankings. Here are our key takeaways from the talk:
- Lily highlighted the importance of E-A-T and YMYL (Your Money Your Life) within the Google Guidelines. Did you know that E-A-T appears 186 times and YMYL appears 86 times in the guidelines?
- Google considers both of these to be important because of the impact they will have on a user’s life.
- “The Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness of the creator of the main content, the main content itself, and the website.”
- Your Money Your Life: “pages that impact the future happiness, health, financial stability or safety of users”.
- Google doesn’t want you to post deceptive content. Your pages are created for a purpose and if that intent is too hard users then a low rating is received.
- It’s important to be transparent with your users!
- Always consider the expertise of the author of the main content.
- Is this consistent with what they usually write?
- With various authors on site, their reputations and E-A-T matters.
- Ads that appear on the page shouldn’t distract or interrupt from the main content.
- Traffic to a website can be affected by bad reviews of your site.
- The trust of the site is lost if most consider it in a negative light.
- Lily stressed the importance of an “About Us” page as 90% of the sites she analysed had a good page.
- Examples of pages were shown which proved that improving E-A-T improved organic traffic massively.
You can download her slides in PDF format here.
Kat Kynes: The Art of Content Necromancy – How To Resurrect A Dead Campaign
First-time speaker Kat Kynes took to the stage to explain how she resurrected a dead campaign when it seemed no interest was there. Kat took us through the trials and tribulations of getting a campaign about Driverless Cars out there! These are our key takeaways from this fascinating talk:
- Having completed research on Google Trends and competitors, it seemed driverless cars was of interest to many at the time.
- The idea was successfully pitched to the client and with great research, the content was there.
- 50% of people expect to Eat & Drink in driverless cars while 10% would make love…
- 8 Press Releases were created to target various angles of the statistics, including Productivity, Entertainment and Literature.
- However, Kat explained that the approach cast the net too wide which meant they came into problems.
- The outreach also started too late.
- There was also a PR embargo placed on national newspapers by the internal team.
- Kat then explained how they paused the outreach until the new year.
- This gave them time to gain permission to target national newspapers.
- It also meant the team could focus on two popular press releases – Sex and Productivity.
- Pausing meant they were able to obtain links to huge publications such as Metro, The Sun and iNews.
- Kat finished her talk with five key things she had learned from the campaign:
- Get the content right: Find your most newsworthy headline and see what journalists think of its potential before outreaching.
- Work with internal PR teams: together you can divide and conquer the outreach.
- Think outside the box with your outreach: don’t just target obvious publications. Who else would be interested?
- Don’t be afraid to get personal: target journalists who have written about the subject, make the pitch relevant to them.
- Timing is everything: don’t start your outreach just before Christmas, give yourself time as outreach can continue even after the campaign has finished!
- Don’t give up! Some things take time so, manage client expectations and try a different angle on the outreach if all else fails.
Check out Kat’s slides below: