Did you know that 60% of the internet is duplicate content? Or what BERT is (and how to optimise for it?) You’ll find the answers to these SEO nuggets – and many more – in the day 2 writeup of our trip to Brighton.
Plus, don’t forget to check out the brilliant deck by our own Levi Williams-Clucas – Review generation and management: how to do it and why it matters.
Bethany Joy – The nine immutable laws of brand voice
Brand voice is unavoidable and has to be rooted in reality, and is more about the speaker than the listener. If the trait you’re thinking of is one that no brand in their right mind would want to be the opposite of, don’t use it!
It’s important to remember that it is not only for the marketing team, your brand’s voice is for your past, present and future customers.
Having a strong brand voice will not compensate for bad writers and is more than simply the sum of a lot of great copy (although you do need that!)
The sign of a truly magnificent brand voice is when no one even notices it.
Evie Collins – Search Success
How SEO can eliminate friction and super charge your customer journey.
Customer flow is the continuous movement of consumers moving through the marketing funnel.
If a brand can improve flow then business will grow.
Identify value – customer needs and pain points, can find this via social listening and own site search.
Accessing the value stream – understanding the moments that matter. Which means you need to map out key stages in the customer journey.
Design flow print – you need to map keywords to pages on the site to fill the gaps
Accelerating the flow – it’s easy to get distracted in SEO, but it’s important to focus on the key points in the customer journey.
Seeking perfection – Google Analytics top conversion path shows you which channels are contributing to revenue
Krystian Szastok – Competitor topical authority audits: the how and why
Gaining topical authority is no longer about a page on a site anymore. It’s about proving your expertise. It isn’t just matching keywords, it’s about topics.
Google for years has been moving over to NLP via BERT and doubling down on authorship.
The recent ‘helpful content’ update from Google is all about topic authority. Most recent updates are content and ux focused over link base.
Keyword research processes and tools:
- Tools – also asked, searchresponse.io
- Cluster keywords into topics – surfer, also asked
- Import to rank tracker
- Create a % score of how much you are covering the topic vs. competitors.
For each cluster, make a pillar post that tries to cover a topic as a whole then make spokes that fill in gaps for that topic. Make it easy via finding content in a blog by signposting key topics. Finally add Internal links.
Josephine Haagen – Tech SEO NLP for SEO- how to optimise for BERT
Takes unstructured data and attempts to restructure it. Content strategy led by natural language processing (NLP) Prioritise optimisation – justifying changes using a robot.
How does NLP work? Through input and tokenisation. It converts text into a token and each token includes a couple of pieces of information. Salience is absolutely key and refers to how important a keyword is in the context of everything around it. Would you understand the meaning and context if the keyword was removed?
Introducing BERT – the most sophisticated natural language API – he can even predict next sentences. Bert was trained on lexicons. He’ll be given a sentence and will look for a sentence that pulls back to the original sentence.
Why use NLP? Simply put, because Google is using it. So don’t keyword stuff!
Steven van Vessum – Get content crawled & ranked faster with log file insights
Did you know that 60% of the internet is duplicate? Which is why it is important to use real time SEO auditing and monitoring to remain unique.
Some of the possible reasons for so much duplication – crawling, rendering and serving content is expensive. Google’s helpful content update, a clear indicator for one of their priorities. Many people keep pushing content but often don’t understand search engine behaviour.
Us SEO specialists need to think critically and get answers. Has Google crawled the pages? Has Google tried crawling pages while they had issues? With these answers you can improve the time of crawls to drive meaningful traffic. By providing easy access log files you’ll make SEO more accessible, more fun, and gain buy in.
Logs are more reliable because they show true crawl behaviour which should be shared with content and web teams. CDN Logs are great – they are real time and plug n play and connect log insights to content inventory.
Another means of improving crawling & indexing could be with better internal linking, as there seems to be a correlation between the two. If you’re updating pages, check whether Google has picked up improvements. How soon does Google refresh pages? Is there increased crawl activity after making changes? Keep a timeline of all of the changes on the pages and whether seen by search engines.
Has Google recrawled tried requesting robots.txt while it had a disallow. How frequently has Google recrawled the oldest xml sitemap?
In summary – logs are important to SEO, distilling actionable insights from log files and getting on log files is time consuming. Connecting insights from content inventory is hard. Learn how your work moves the needle and keep sharpening your blade.
Margo Howie – Commerce platforms content strategy: Amazon and beyond
By 2020, 9 in 10 people shop at Amazon, which means optimising search across commerce platforms is extremely important. Shoppers now search across commerce platforms including marketplaces, grocers, specialist retailers and of course, Amazon.
To find the keywords that will hit the sweet spot, use multiple sources of research including your paid activity, client content and use tools on the market for this purpose. Don’t guess.
Finding search volumes – Google is a proxy and searches behave differently than e-commerce. Paid media is a better gauge for e-commerce platforms. SEO tools look at keywords going to a particular website, and a site with scale.
Over ⅔ of searches on Amazon are generic, which presents an incredible opportunity to find new customers and rank. You can find keyword data in Amazon analytics under your seller central, but other tools you could use include Keyword Surfer, Keyword.io and Simular.io.
When optimising your listing, it’s important to not neglect your images. Ideally if your image is just f the product to take it on a white background, but where possible use lifestyle images. Comparison tables also work well to support sales by displaying information succinctly making decisions easier to come to.
Levi Williams-Clucas – Review generation and management: how to do it and why it matters
Check out Levi’s deck here
Laura Mckinley – International content when you can’t speak the language
Currently, 17% of the world population speaks English, and 53% of users from Europe won’t buy from site just in English.
Build a team of international experts (freelance). Importantly, they know / live and breathe the culture and live in that country and therefore understand the linguistic and communication standards and nuances. They live and breathe it like the customers there you may be targeting.
So how do you know who to hire, and what do you need to ask?
- Look at existing content with them and see if they add value in terms of cultural nuances.
- Be aware of language barriers
- Need two people on each project, one to produce work and one to QA.
- Keep people on file and communication open even if don’t need them right away
- Have backup options
Jo Walkers – Content Ideation
What gets in the way of us trying new things? Simply put, it is easier to just repeat and change is risky, especially if you aren’t an ideas person. However, creativity is for everyone, but maybe it just needs more process from onboarding through to reporting. There is no such thing as a bad idea.
Let’s take toothpaste – what if it isn’t mint?
Challenge those assumptions. What if it doesn’t come in a tube? What if it isn’t white? The greatest ideas come from challenging assumptions by questioning things that are a given. It is also important to question assumptions about things people should do. For example, when EasyJet challenged the need to fill out forms by asking – WHY do people need to fill out forms?
Another tactic for content ideation and sparking creativity is thinking of the worst idea, for example, what if there were no seats at this conference? And then considering what could actually be good about that, turning restrictions into opportunities.
Steph Naylor – How to come up with content ideas without relying on search volume
Some tips for coming up with new content ideas:
Visit forums – these are a great way to get insight on a specific topic. For example, Quora allows you to ask niche questions, while Reddit reveals what is being asked in specific communities.
Perform a Site search to plug the gap. You can create a page on site or update a page that already exists.
Check your average rankings. Maybe the content is not working and you need to make improvements to it.
Interview your customer sales teams – is the same question being asked over and over? Find out what the solutions are.
Tap into emotions – engage people and answer their problems.
Monitor your social media and your competitors.
Watch TikTok for fresh content ideas. See which platforms have positive or negative sentiment. Google search can be more negative vs Tik Tok which is where people may go instead for info.
Refresh your content to keep up with language shifts and refresh your copy accordingly. For example: transexual > transgender.
Update content to be relevant in the world we live in. UPCYCLE!
Miracle Inameti-Archibong – Creating an inclusive web – quick and actionable fixes with a little cheat sheet
Everyone knows someone who suffers with a disability. Vision is our strongest sense, yet £17.1 billion is lost in the UK due to inaccessible websites. In fact, 15% of the entire population is disabled, so why aren’t websites geared up to this?
- You can carry out an audit of your web site, checking for the following:
- Audits should cover alt text, assistive technology, captchas and visual formatting
- links with no description and empty forms fields are inaccessible for screen readers
- create content that can be presented and digested in different ways
- use of colour, text size, contrast
- don’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to navigation
- Wave WebAIM tool is useful
Himani Kankaria – Remarketing SEO: a no-paid targeting technique to multiply organic traffic
The key to creating ISPs (ideal customer profiles)is firstly to identify your goals. Then, map their search intent as follows:
- Awareness – too informational
- Attention – mind blowing information
- Interest – commercial information
- Desire – commercial and navigational
- Action- commercial navigational and informational
Chima Mmeje – On-page optimisation lessons from analysing over 400 blog posts
- Key takeaways:
- don’t try to be like hubspot (or compete with far larger companies)
- use authoritative sources for quotes within your content
- discuss every h3 like a mini article
- get in Google’s circle of trust on your topic and buildup authority slowly
- gated content only works when the content is crazy good and is something people would usually pay for
- sometimes we are too focussed on hitting top ranks and serp features that we forget we’re after clicks and eventually sales or conversions
- look at the rendered html – NOT the screenshot in GSC indexing tool
- dev tools and network conditions are both super handy tools!