5 insights from Brighton SEO

4,000 attendees + Brighton sea front + influential SEO speakers + a packed day of learning = Brighton SEO. Here are our 5 favourite insights…

Read time: 7 mins


5 insights from Brighton SEO

Every year BrightonSEO gets bigger, with over 4,000 attendees this year and an abundance of interesting, influential speakers packed into Brighton’s seaside auditoriums. It kicked off with a Game-of-Thrones style introduction, naturally, because #trending.

With so much knowledge shared, we’ve collated our top 5 insights to give you a bite-size taste of BrightonSEO 2019…

1. Driving meaningful clicks with enriched SERPs

Izzi Smith from Sixd opened what I like to call ‘the ‘main stage’, a.k.a. The Auditorium.

She discussed how to drive meaningful clicks with enriched Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Our key takeaways from this talk were…

  • Always work to improve click-through-rate – the percentage at which some clicks through after seeing your content – as this can help you outrank others.
  • Use rich snippets and Google may show you first as the information is clear and easy to pull through.
  • Avoid pure ‘answer intent’ as it may mean your information is shown in its entirety. After that, what reason does a person have to click through to your website?
  • 2019 keyword strategies should include mid-to-longtail key phrases and this is more important than ever.
  • Structured data drives rich results. Categorise and segment your content effectively e.g. mark up locations, use HTML tables for lists. Tables can give you extra space in search results.
  • Rich snippets can also improve bounce rate, time on site, and conversions because you’re providing a better summary of what a page will be about.

Featured Snippets: The Achievable SERP feature

Emily Potter from Distilled was next and she spoke about featured snippets in her talk. Since they’re often referred to as ‘position zero’, e.g. the top of the page, it’s key to understand just how important they are.

  • Featured snippets create confirmation bias. You can ask a question two different ways and Google will serve up the answer it thinks you want to see e.g. “Do ferrets make good pets” and “Are ferrets difficult to care for” throw up answers that play to the bias in your question:
ferrets1 ferrets2
  • Use joining words like ‘however’ to present both sides of an argument and increase your chances of appearing in the answer box for both.
  • You are more likely to own a featured snippet if you’re in position 4 or higher. See which keywords you rank in 4th and above for to see if there is opportunity for some on-page work to increase the chances of your own featured snippet.

3. Know how to use snippets and schema

Kenichi Suzuki delved into snippets and schema in more detail. He spoke about the constant evolution of rich results, such as job postings now pulling directly through to search results, meaning jobsites have seen major changes to their traffic.

  • Structured data is used in Google image search. You’ll now see badges next to some images to signify what kind of content you’ll be served if you click through. E.g. recipes, a product listing etc.
  • ‘FAQ’ and ‘How-to’ structured data is being tested and may be added to a list of 30+ different kinds of structured data.
  • Structured data helps Google to interpret your content, understanding that it’s well-matched to a user search query.

4. How to integrate gamification into your SEO strategy

Becky Simms from Reflect Digital gave a talk that highlighted that trust from the consumer is at an all-time low; 22% of users now use an ad blocker meaning people are actively trying to avoid adverts.

Her own research revealed that 93% of people were interested in gamification, with over 60% saying they were more likely to purchase after interacting with a brand’s game.

  • Capture information cleverly – offer to save their game by getting them to sign up.
  • Find your ‘game hook’ – Create a game that ties into an awareness week or as a result of recently-published research
  • Add achievements to your game to keep people playing for longer.
  • Use Google Tag Manager to tag answers as you may find some interesting data worthy of a press release later. E.g. “73% of people didn’t know this fact…“
  • Don’t data capture too soon as it will put people off.
  • Challenge influencers for further awareness; make an ad with their face and ‘come and play our game’ wording.

5. Winning business from competitors

Tanesha Stafford from Armchair Marketing gave us her top tips on being a cheeky monkey (her words) and winning business from competitors through Google PPC.

  • 85% of the above-the-fold area is paid search advertising, making Google a pay-to-play environment.
  • 64.6% of users click Google and Facebook adverts and 35.4% click organic results – meaning that although users don’t want to be advertised to, they’re still engaging with adverts regularly.
  • ‘Advertising is just advertising unless it adds value to a user’s life’ – Dave Trott. We can utilise single keyword ad groups (SKAG) to make sure our adverts are relevant and useful.
  • In a DMI study they found that 80% of shoppers use their mobile to search for products inside a physical store.
  • Use ‘naughty keywords’ (not swear words), but ‘cancel-it’ keywords or deal keywords to capture users that are looking to move away from your competitors or who are driven primarily by price.
  • Identify advert schedules by using tools to see when your competitors aren’t appearing (e.g. SEM rush) and have your campaigns running within their down time.

Wow.

We learned a lot at BrightonSEO 2019, and this was just meant to be the highlights…

There’s a lot to digest there, so if you made it this far, you deserve a cup of tea.

Grab yourself a hot drink and let us know if there’s anything you’d like to chat through for more information. We’re just a call or DM away.

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Katie Mellers-Hill – account manager

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