Last week, we enjoyed travelling down to Brighton for the largest conference for search marketers … BrightonSEO! After 2 years of hiatus, our digital team was excited to deepen their knowledge and learn more about the evolving world of digital marketing and paid advertising. Attending events like Brighton SEO is crucial to stay ahead of online trends and offer our clients the most effective digital solutions. However, this year was a bit different…

The Co-Founder of Ecrubox Digital, Heather Horton, was an official BrightonSEO speaker! With her talk aptly named: Gluten-Free - Paid Advertising after cookies. In her session, she covered the impact of a cookieless world on permission - led marketing and how brands could retain control over targeting and effectively measure their advertising efforts. Check out this blog to learn more about why brands need to go back to basics. If you wanted to watch the full session but were unable to attend the live event, you can watch the talk online on the 23rd and 24th September, when BrightonSEO turns virtual.

Our team split their time between content, SEO, Paid Media and Performance. All coming back with pages of notes heads full of ideas and tons of excitement to share what they learnt with you and their wider teams.

Here are our key takeaways from BrightonSEO 2021…

  1. Content, Content, Content
  2. Optimising your website
  3. The S in Social Media is SEO...
  4. Being a Keyword King (or Queen!)
  5. Managing campaigns effectively
  6. Population of Podcasting

Heather Horton talking about all things cookies

  1. Content, Content, Content
What we Learnt at BrightonSEO

The key to the best marketing strategy is having reusable content ahead of time to bulk out your website articles and social media posts. Ensuring that your content is recognisable, informative and effectively resonates with your audience. But when creating content, you need to understand the best strategy for your brand and best practices of writing your content. Here's what Lucy Dodd from Evolved Search and Molly Gould, Founder of Effable had to say:

  • Your content strategy needs to be data-driven, have a holistic approach and be actionable. At every stage, consider search intent for better topical relevance and user retention and increased conversion rates.
  • An effective way to tailor your content to your different audiences is using Hegelian Dialectic. Often seen in blog writing, this is the thesis - antithesis and synthesis method. In which you construct a narrative, counter-narrative and overarching conclusion relating to an important topic within your industry.
  • Alongside a memorable article title, this brings readers from different areas, increasing direct brand engagement and re-sharing content. Creating waves in your sector and strongly establishing you as a thought leader.
  • Both emotions and thoughts govern how we react to everything and there is always emotion behind purchasing. Always dig deeper and consider who you are writing for, to increase reliability and content saves that increase brand awareness.
  • Building more content from various short-form and long-form blogs, also known as affinity content, makes your brand wide-reaching to bigger audiences and effectively leverages your unique business strategy.

2. Optimising your website

For any e-commerce website, website optimisation is vital in driving a product-led growth strategy that increases revenue and conversions for the brand. But according to Tom Wells from Searchmetrics, technology has gotten better but website performance has gotten worse. So how should brands ensure their website is performing at its best. Follow these tips:

  • Throughout different levels and pages on your website, ensure you always internally link to relevant pages and related products/services.
  • Internal linking gives context to the content, improving user experience and making crawling pages easier because it signals important pages that pass authority from page to page.
  • Less than ⅓ of websites published through major website builders have under a 2.5 loading speed, the optimal loading speed. If you are finding this, try compressing your essential assets, removing unnecessary code and reducing website redirects.
  • Google only notices the first anchor text on any given page or website navigation. It has confirmed that it treats internal linking in the main navigation and contextual navigation differently.
  • Always ensure your anchor text and backlinks are accurate for easier search navigation and user visibility. Ensuring these are clickable and accessible reduces user bounce rate and increases your overall brand SERP score.
  • When making changes to your website, consult with the relevant SEO and/ or digital marketing. Removing high-value content can have damaging effects on your website. With Faye Watt, SEO Manager of Superdry, finding when a client did this meant there was a 30% drop in search visibility and an eye-watering 70% reduction in overall conversion rate.

3. The S in Social Media is SEO…

While SEO has always been an important part of every successful e-commerce website, it's increasingly playing a bigger role in terms of accessibility and search ranking within social media platforms. Freya Jones, from Digital Ad Doctor and Itamar Blauer - SEO Manager at Core Media, spoke about SEO in Instagram and YouTube:

  • Within Instagram, if you navigate to Edit and then Edit settings you can add alt tags to your content. There are 6 spaces where you can add image description, relevant hashtags and name drop competitors to increase post reach and rank effectively on the explore page.
  • It's important to point out that the added alt tags can only be seen through Inspect Mode on Desktop, so your competitors won't be able to view your digital content.
  • If you have created a video that you want to share online, add competitors into SEO tags, this works especially well on YouTube.
  • These keywords will increase content relevancy and audience reach. When looking at related videos, try looking in the suggested video section to find some relevant hashtags you could be adding.
  • When uploading the video thumbnail and MP4 file, always optimise the file names. This makes it easier for the digital records to understand how this relates to your video and the type of content you are creating for your audience; increasing overall YouTube ranking through relevance.

4. Being a Keyword King (or Queen!)

While we are on the topic of relevant keywords and hashtags, you must have an accurate keyword analysis and bank of key search terms to aid in relevant content ideation that brings qualified leads to your website, extends brand awareness, and establishes awareness with appropriate brand partners. However, we understand this isn't an easier task, relying on your understanding of your brand and what the user wants. Here's some advice from Paige Hobart, SEO at ROAST:

  • When collating a list of key terms remember relevancy is everything. Don't use vanity keywords based on trending topics, this will not be appropriate for your business and could cause your audience to be misled. Instead, focus on a balance of niche and easily recognisable terms that relate to your industry to increase user conversions and create an engaged user base.
  • Always tag keywords in the spreadsheet or data table of your choice. The process is evolutionary and will change as your brand grows. To provide your future self with an extra helping hand and thematically group queries. Making it easier to find essential search terms as and when needed.
  • Remember to keep concatenation in mind. This means interconnecting relevant marketing themes such as content strategies and keyword expansion. Or keyword ideation and related hashtags on social media posts. Always organise relevant data into different categories that cross over into many sections, as these most often are essential data points you need to add to your website.
  • Place data into a pivot table, to easily see the essential data all at once and aim for equal keywords in different content themes that relate to the unique industry your brand is established in. However, this isn't the be-all or end-all. Relevancy and quality are more important metrics than quantity in keyword research.

5. Managing your campaigns effectively

With more and more digital campaigns being published every day, the likelihood of creating similar campaign plans increases every day. But what should you do if that happens? Eva Cheng from Evolved Search advises you to review your campaign and what you want to achieve. She also suggests that you:

  • Consider specific case studies relating to the relevant news story. Try to always differentiate this from others, think about what makes this relatable, unique and what value it brings readers.
  • Look at newsjacking. This is when you create your PR campaign centred around a trending idea or topic that has already been popularised by the media.
  • Using well-researched data to create a relatable and memorable story tailored to users search intent, that can quickly go from the ideation to publishing (live stage).
  • Throughout every campaign ensure the use of accurate data to drive unique content and digital strategies. 95% of campaigns that are data-lead generate more newsjacking that leads to increased national coverage rapidly increase user conversion and brand awareness

6. Population of Podcasting

Living in a digital era fuelled by content consumption, many brands rely on social media platforms and organic website content to curate a tailored feed with relevant articles and product posts to inform users of the brand's expertise and business offerings. But a new form of social media is rising that businesses need to be using: audio platforms.

Both through tailored music playlists users can listen to and industry-relevant opinions through podcasting. Here's Azeem Ahamd - Creator of the Azeem Digital take on why your business needs to invest in podcasting.

  • Podcasting is the most popular professional platform when it comes to positioning your brand as a thought leader in your industry. With consistent episodes and relevant topics, user retention rate can skyrocket, with Azeems own podcasting reaching a 98% retention rate.
  • From April the number of podcast shows reached 2,000,000 and research has found there are 10 million more podcast users than video streamers. Making this the go-to platform to find out more about a brand, its values and product offerings.
  • If you are considering starting a podcast, you need to consider many different aspects, such as selected topic, show type, cover art, podcast name, chosen audio, and guests.
  • He advises that you focus on testing new strategies and formats to understand your audience's preference instead of focusing on metrics such as industry averages. This ensures your content is tailored to your user's preferences, changing as and when your user's behaviour shifts, continuously making your content relevant to them.
  • When first creating your episodes always have additional footage saved in case there are scheduling delays or technical delays. He suggests having at least 4 episodes in the bank on rotation, to prevent any issues that could negatively harm users' expectations and how they perceive your brand.

We had a great time at the two-day search marketing conference event and we can't wait to attend again next year! If you have any additional insights you think we're missing, let us know, we'd love to hear your feedback.

What we Learnt at BrightonSEO

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