With lockdown restrictions in place, big events with huge attendances have been cancelled across the world as a way to control the spread of Covid-19. One of those events affected was BrightonSEO. As the biggest SEO event of the year, it was understandable that the Spring event was cancelled, with a hope that the Autumn event will take place later this year.
The team over at Rough Agenda weren’t going to let a pandemic get in the way of marketers sharing and learning when current technology can bring people together online. From that, the Search and Content Summit was born. This free one day online event, sponsored by SEMRush and Investis Digital revolved around the importance of search marketing and content marketing needing to work together for success. It took place on Friday 29th May 2020.
At Ricemedia, we miss BrightonSEO so to enjoy it from the comfort of our own homes was quite appealing. Below you’ll find a quick recap of some of the talks we were able to tune in for!
Content for People and For Google – Olga Andrienko
The morning started with Olga Andrienko, the Head of Global Marketing at SEMRush, who spoke about the importance of creating Content for People and For Google. As the title suggests, the tips suggested throughout aimed at creating content that not only is useful for people but also for Google and its algorithms. Olga’s great talk showed great statistics from a survey they had produced, including the surprise that the majority of content was shared by companies on social media (94%) and email marketing (76%), despite them being the least effective channels for bringing traffic. Her actionable tips could help combat such mistakes and remind us that businesses should see search engines as a channel for their content.
- SEMRush Survey – Notable results
- Majority of businesses are satisfied with their content produced
- 78% of companies have 1-3 members of staff in the content marketing team
- The two main goals for businesses with content are: Website traffic and leads
- The two top challenges of creating content are also website traffic and leads
- The top key metrics businesses measure their content by are: organic traffic, leads, sessions and conversions
- The most efficient tactic for businesses for online content: SEO.
- Content Distribution Statistics:
- 94% of businesses are distributing content on social media
- 76% of content distributed through email marketing
- Businesses pushing their content through the above channels isn’t targeting the two key goals of the business in getting leads and traffic
- SEO not mentioned as a channel by businesses
- 86% of businesses produce blog posts, 67% emails, 45% infographics
- Half of all visits come from search engines – 69% come from the blog.
- What Content Should Include for People and Google:
- For users – Catchy title, images, text, social media buttons, a clear call to action and a place for feedback to be shared (comments box).
- Search Engines – Keywords, article must be relevant to search queries, tags, internal linking, hyperlinks and social signals.
- Importance of Content Length:
- Longer content ranks better, but it should meet the user’s needs
- 810 words is the average length of text
- Longer content performs better in views and shares
- Blogs with questions in the title and listicles are most popular
- 3 minutes is the average time a person will spend reading a blog
- Content should be able to be read by 15-year-olds.
- Voice Search Content:
- Content aimed at voice search should be easy to read for 15-year-olds
- SEMRush and Answer The Public tools are best for finding content ideas
- Long-tail keywords are easier to target and will trigger more answer boxes
- Featured snippets and voice search results feature an average of 42 words.
Managing Your Reputation Online With SEO Fundamentals – Lianna Kissinger Virizlay
Lianna Kissinger Virizlay, Director of Performance Marketing (UK & ROW) at Investis Digital, gave us a great talk on how the fundamental aspects we all know can be used to manage the reputation of a brand online. If you’re fed up of seeing negative results related to your brand or your client for target keywords, there are things you can do. With content creation, link development and website updates at the heart of everything you do with SEO, Lianna reminded us that these are elements that will help shift the public’s perception of a brand. By following Lianna’s roadmap and creating new positive assets across the website and beyond, you will see a recovery in your brand’s image very quickly.
- Impact of Bad Impressions:
- 28% of people will stop using a brand who has bad reviews
- Brands with good reviews and reputation will outperform other companies by 134%.
- Online Reputation Management – ORM:
- Generates brand value and loyalty
- Boosts marketing and sales
- Accelerates growth and retention
- Uncovers problem areas to target.
- Biggest Threats to Online Reputation:
- Activist Investors
- Disgruntled Employees
- Scandals/negative press
- Negative financials
- Negative reviews (B2B/B2C)
- Remember Google Ranking Factors:
- Relevancy signals (On-page SEO)
- Authority Signals (Off-page SEO)
- Technical Signals (Users)
- Use Digital Channels to Build Reputation
- Create and optimise content to promote positive messages of the business
- Develop a strong link building strategy using positive assets to reinforce authority in your industry and brand recognition. You should avoid paying for links
- Complete website audits – Technical Audit, Metadata, titles, alt-text – to build a better image of your brand.
- Roadblocks to RM Success:
- A Lack of clear strategy/benchmarks
- Inconsistent execution – a stop-start approach is a hindrance so the effort must be maintained over a long period of time
- Lack of governance to manage the process and collaboration with other departments.
- Roadmap to Reclaim Reputation:
- Analyse the SERPs for keywords with negative search results
- Find positive assets and negative URLs ranking target terms
- Create and optimise all content to outrank the negative results
- Build backlinks to positive assets to life positive pages to rank
- Monitor SERPs for new negative content to adjust or amplify your ORM strategies.
You can download Lianna’s BrightonSEO resources over at Investis Digital.
7-Step Framework to Creating Content that Drives More Traffic, Conversions, + ROI – Carolyn Lyden
Carloyn Lyden’s fascinating talk showed us the different ways we approach our content marketing while showing us ways we SHOULD approach our content marketing. The talk started by reminding viewers of the importance of SEO and how content should serve all people at every stage of the sales funnel. However, even with this in mind Carolyn explained how it’s hard not to write for an imaginary audience based on our assumptions and biases, rather than the one we should be targeting. Put succinctly: stop marketing the drill when your audience just wants to put a hole in the wall. Content should focus on the benefits rather than the features because what people are looking for are solutions, not the usual marketing spiel. Every user has an individual pain point, whether that’s financial, process, productivity or support and Carolyn’s 7-step framework fits into creating content that will target each one specifically.
- What is SEO?
- People need to find what they’re looking for in Google.
- Content must serve users needs no matter what part of the funnel they are on.
- Targeting The Imaginary Audience
- Writing content that is made up of our biases and assumptions
- “Stop marketing the drill when they buyers just want a hole in the wall”.
- Features vs Benefits Copywriting
- Users ask the question: What have you done for me lately?
- People are searching for solutions to their problems – content should solve these
- Focus on benefits of products to solve problems for users
- Transform product features into user benefits. (Example: the face features fully functioning eyes, nose and mouth. Benefits: you can watch a delicious meal being prepared, smell the aromas of the ingredients as they cook and taste that delicious food.
- Address User Pain Points at Every Stage of the Sales Funnel
- Financial – something isn’t cost effective for the user
- Process – current business procedures aren’t effective
- Productivity – prospects wasting time in unproductive operations
- Support – customers need help at key stages of business change.
- Fill In Your Solution
- Create a Content Asset that hits each stage of the sales funnel – Pain points, solution, content assets, call to actions to move leads down the funnel.
- Use Thoughtful Call to Actions
- What will bring prospects to make the required action they need to take?
- Delight People
- Keep your prospects happy and ask them for reviews and referrals if they like your service.
How To Audit Your Voice Footprint And Use Seo To Improve Your Voice Search Presence – Katherine Ong
Voice search is an increasingly growing part of online searches with many mobile devices featuring the option and smart devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home being placed inside homes. Katherine Ong’s talk focused on how you can audit your voice footprint to build your presence in this area of search. There was some surprise information of note here with Katherine explaining the importance of Bing, due to market leader Amazon using the search engine for results instead of Google. It was also revealed that the majority of voice searches are coming from those 65+, those supposedly not at the forefront of technology. With this in mind, Katherine gave us some great tips for voice search optimisation, that takes the biggest sources of voice results into account – Amazon, Bing and Google.
- 40% of Americans are using voice search
- 34% of people using voice search more because of social distancing
- Bing is a key player in this market due to Amazon choosing not to use Google search engines as a source.
- Typical sources for search results:
- Fact based knowledge graph usually come from big company sources
- Brand info usually comes from wikipedia
- News comes from the search engine algorithm of each channel
- Product results come from sites ranking on page one or placed on Google or Amazon’s shopping feeds
- Voice Search Optimisation
- Voice search optimisation (VSO) is all about finding which questions aren’t being answered and finding the answers to questions which you could target.
- Requirements of Voice Search Ranking:
- Featured Snippets – 1 in 3 snippets are voice answers
- Expertise Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness (EAT) is important to rank for feature snippets. The bar is set much higher for Your Money Your Life websites
- Answers must match search intent
- Page speed matters – aim for 1.16 seconds loading time on desktop
- Ensure your products are included in shopping feeds
- Your local listings must be consistently optimised in every source they appear in
- How to rank for voice search:
- Keyword research – ask questions to devices to find out their answers
- Identify questions you can answer with your content better than the current placeholder
- Improve your knowledge graph sources
- Use Google action tools and schema markup to highlight the content you want Google to read back in a voice search.
- Measuring Voice Search Information:
- Establish your measurable goals such as brand impressions
- Featured Snippet ranking – can be found in SEMRush and Google Search Console and other measuring tools
- Google Action Console
- Alexa Skills Data
- Search Focus Groups.
These were just a few of the speakers you could see at this inaugural event. You can find out more about the first online digital marketing conference from the creators of BrightonSEO on the Search & Content Summit website, where you’ll find links to all the speakers and can pay for access to their talks.
Keep your eyes peeled on the Ricemedia blog for the latest digital marketing news and updates!