The world of search is evolving, with micro-targeting, voice search and accelerated mobile first initiatives upending the status quo and threatening to leave laggards to uncertain fates, speakers at the first Searchmetrics Summit in London said on May 9. The one-day search and content marketing conference explored how strategic SEO, technical SEO, digital marketing and content marketing are at a cross-roads – led in one direction by the dawn of artificial intelligence, and the other by old-fashioned ways of doing business. Read on to find out which path you may be on.
Missed the presentations? Access presentation slides here!
Uniting the Worlds of Search and Content Marketing
Online publishers must be on their toes to keep up with the changes Google and other search engines are making amid efforts to increase their ad revenue, meet user intent and embrace artificial intelligence, speakers noted at the Searchmetrics Summit. While we were already excited to bring the event to London for the first time and enjoy thrilling networking opportunities at Tobacco Dock, our primetime line-up of award-winning conference speakers entertained conference-goers and offered many key takeaways about how to succeed in this changing market.
9×3 Key Learnings
In case you couldn’t make it to the event and didn‘t get to follow it on Twitter and Instagram, here are the three main takeaways from each session:
Aleyda Solis, Orianti, AMP: The good, the bad, the ugly and how to make the most out of it
- AMP isn’t just for publishers anymore, and is likely to be a good option for you if your mobile sites aren’t already speedy at loading and serving up images. Google will make site speed a priority beginning in July.
- Using AMP, you can quickly achieve listings in Google’s Top Stories Carousel.
- When building a new site, AMP may offer the best way to implement your desired functionality, so you can use it as a canonical version for your site.
Kevin Gibbons, Blueglass: SEO is so 2017! Optimising is for everything, not just search engines.
- Everything’s changing, but nothing’s changed. The goal then, as now, is to understand and meet user intent.
- SEO in 2003 was about how to reach your customers in the way that they are searching.
- SEO in 2018 and beyond is similar, though you will need to have a more sophisticated understanding of where the user is in the sale funnel, and tailor your strategies in a way that best meets what they’re seeking.
Victoria Olsina, Barclays: Managing Website Migration: the complexity of implementing change within a big organisation
- Plan anhead and define as as many variables as possible beforehand.
- Build a business case that talks about the metrics stakeholders care about (they don’t want to hear ‘Google this, and Google that; they want to hear about conversions and how something benefits the bottom line). Present results back to the organization for quicker feedback and iteration.
- Focus on the process and risk migration. Have a roll-back plan if things don’t go as expected.
Barry Adams, Polemic Digital: Structured Data That Drives Results
- Structured Data can result in Rich Snippets.
- Structured Data helps search engines connect the dots.
- Errors are common but preventable. When they happen, fix them quickly.
Lukasz Zelezny: Organic Search and Content optimization in 2018 and beyond- how to win the game
- Are you on WordPress? Test different Plugins!
- Try to rank in Answer Boxes! This will be crucial as voice search take root. One question, one answer will be the norm, and Google in particular uses Answer Boxes and Featured Snippets to give that one answer. It’s the best way to keep your brand in front of the public.
- Your competition is a great source of data; use SEO and content software that best details what your competitors are doing, and how you can steal a page on them.
Richard Keenan-Heard, Trainline: Scaling global content that is mobile and voice first
- Talk to your customers! Incorporate their feedback into your content strategy efforts. Target adjacencies like adding weather information to destinations where customers are thinking to travel, and nurturing campaigns that show great weather at times where it’s not so great in the place the person is geo-located.
- Use Data to make better decisions, and create and nurture brand personas
- Don’t be afraid to fail. You will, but use those occasions as learning points. Waiting until technologies such as voice search reach critical mass will mean that you’ve already lost.
Fili Wiese, Searchbrothers: Page Speed Optimization Tips
- Use all tools at your disposal; it’s not just about fast page loading times. It’s about making sure the experience on your page is world’s better than your competitors.
- Optimise all parts of the experience.
- Every byte and millisecond counts as the world increasing turns to mobile and voice search!
Izzi Smith, SEO Manager at Sixt: Practical Insights into Winning Featured Snippets: How to target and achieve position 0
- Rich snippets are one of the best ways to build brand and revenue, sometimes outperforming companies in position 1 of the SERP. Results can be achieved in as quickly as a few days or a few months.
- Steal a page on your competitors and provide epic, user-focused content that serves a need.
- Ensure your content is easily understandable and grabbable (structured content & schema mark-up). Makes your snippet the most authoritative, and provide enough answer to get a “read more” tag that gets the user to click to your website.
Marcus Tober: It’s a small world after all: Entering the world of the micro-niche and micro-Ranking Factors
- Ranking Factors are only relevant if focused on an industry or niche
- Domain splitting with the thematic specialization can lead to BIG increases in Visibility.
- Removing content can improve your Google rankings markably.
Going the extra mile: Next level Search and Content Techniques
Our panelists engaged in a heated discussion about the current state of SEO and next-level techniques, the challenge to make SEO and content marketing more visible within the organization, and provided their answer to the question “What does it take to become a true SEO Expert?”.
The panelists at the Searchmetrics Summit in London 2018 were:
- Barry Adams (Polemic Digital)
- Richard Keenan-Heard (Trainline)
- Jono Alderson (Distilled)
- Kerstin Reichert (TSB)
- Marcus Tober (Searchmetrics)
We live streamed the panel discussion on Twitter. Check the recording here:
— Searchmetrics (@Searchmetrics) May 9, 2018
“A true SEO and Content Experts knows…”
As it has become a beloved tradition at the Searchmetrics Summit, we don’t just like to pick to brains of our experts on stage but also of our audience. For this years competition, we wanted to know from all of you, what a true SEO and and Content expert has to know. Here is a small selection of winning answers:
A true search and content expert knows how to listen, learn, analyse, improve and repeat! #SearchmetricsSummit
— Sam Pennington (@SamPenno_MUFC) May 9, 2018
A true search and content expert knows how to share the knowledge, spread the love and get better together. 💕#SearchmetricsSummit #SEO #GreatContent @Searchmetrics @SEOJoBlogs @izzionfire pic.twitter.com/zRO7NSREzX
— Kerstin Reichert (@Frau_Reichert) May 9, 2018
#SearchmetricsSummit A true search and Content expert knows how to…
— Max Brockbank (@BiginSEO) May 9, 2018
From valuable insights to actionable items – take your search and content marketing to the next level
We, as marketers, all know the hardest part of a digital strategy is managing priorities, especially within an ever-changing world of SEO . Couple that with the need to develop a content-marketing-strategy that combines creativity with analytics, and it’s clear you need a data-driven strategy with a holistic, customer-centric approach.
To help with SEO and content strategies and provide input based on actual insights of the website in question, we introduced another novelty to the event: Live SEO Clinics and Content Audits by our very own team of consultants. If you missed it, schedule your appointment here.
Lastly, everyone exploring new ideas and roles in the world of search and content marketing should bear in mind is a piece of advice Barry Adams offered during the panel:
“You’ll never stop making mistakes! Those the moments you learn from most.”
How did you like the event? Leave a comment!