May The 4th Be With You

A few of the StrategiQ team joined Blue Array on May 4th for the biggest SEO event in London – The LondonSEO Meetup XL. The day was jam-packed full of inspiring, educational talks from some of the industry’s best, discussing a huge variety of topics from Google Sheets formulas to cryptocurrency and digital PR. 

The day started off in true geeky SEO fashion with some Star Wars fun in a nod to May 4th and we enjoyed the selection of entrance music which certainly had something for everyone! Here’s a recap of the day’s talks and our key takeaways from each.

Index –

Tom Pool 
Aleyda Solis 
Crystal Carter 
Patrick Langridge 
Lily Ray 
Lauren Hewitt-Crabb 
Aaron Barefoot 
Martin Splitt 

LondonSEOXL – Talk Highlights –

Here are some of the team’s favourite sessions from the day and some key takeaways from each talk. 

 

Speaker: Tom Pool 

Technical SEO Director at Blue Array

Twitter: @cptnTommy

Talk Title: Google Sheets For SEO

Deck Link: SlideShare

Talk overview:

This talk focuses on a number of different tips and tricks that can be used to help improve the overall analysis of data within Google Sheets.

A number of formulae are covered within this talk, including:

  • REGEXMATCH & REGEXREPLACE
  • TRANSLATE
  • COUNTIF
  • VLOOKUP
  • INDEX MATCH
  • IFNA
  • QUERY

Key takeaways:

  • There are some great tiktok influencers to follow when it comes Google Sheet hacks and tricks
  • Index match is very powerful and once you are familiar with it, you may not go back to vlookups again
  • To highlight duplicate cells in a column i.e title tags you can use this formula – =COUNTIF(D:D,D2>1)
  • You can use =query to filter your data in a similar way to SQL
  • REGEXREPLACE is more efficient than find and replace when it comes to redirect mapping at scale in Google Sheets

 

Speaker: Aleyda Solis

International SEO Consultant & Founder, Orainti

Twitter: @Aleyda

Talk Title: No More “It Depends”: Learn to Set SEO Workflows & Frameworks to Win your SEO day-to-day

Deck Link: SlideShare

Talk overview:Answering with “it depends” to the SEO questions we get doesn’t help to gain trust and make things happen! Aleyda demonstrated how creating visual flowcharts to explain processes and concepts can help you answer these questions in a more effective way and save you time in the long run.

Key takeaways:

  • Visualise difficult SEO concepts using flow charts. This could be anything from implementing a change on a website to what happens if you get hit by a Google update
  • Use historical data, A/B testing and competitor comparisons to inform your response
  • If you can’t share example reports with clients, create a mockup instead so they know what they can expect
  • Create a framework for common internal challenges
  • Store charts and diagrams in a centralised hub so that they can be reused again and again
  • A reliable forecasting model can answer a lot of these difficult questions, because most stem from what impact this change your proposing is going to have

Speaker Name: Crystal Carter

Head of SEO Communications at Wix

Twitter: @CrystalOnTheWeb 

Talk Title: Proactive Indexing For the Win 🔥

Talk overview: Crystal Carter talks about how to proactively get your content indexed in search engines, complete with top tips for including links to encourage content indexing where you wouldn’t expect it! When it comes to what pages you want Google to index it should be “all killer, no filler”

Key takeaways:

  • You can use Bing webmaster tools to push indexing within Bing’s directory, and use this as a test case to see if there are considerable indexing issues with your site
  • Claim all your social profiles and add links to your site (the full URL, https included) where possible 
  • Claim citations and niche directory listings and include links as often as possible 
  • No follow links on these things don’t matter! 
  • Add links to GBP posts and twitter especially to encourage indexing 
  • Add content links to menus, especially for timely content 
  • Add pillar posts and latest content feeds to your site to encourage indexing as quickly as possible 

 

Speaker Name: Patrick Langridge

Head of SEO at Screaming Frog

Twitter: @PatLangridge

Talk Title: How to Survive Client Management in 6 Easy Steps

Talk overview: How to survive client management and build meaningful relationships.

Key takeaways:

  • “Extension on your team” – this is a  very overused phrase in the industry and typically an unrealistic expectation to give to clients. 
  • Ask questions – how they like to work and what’s important to them
  • Agency mindset – backup with evidence, be clear on why something has happened. 
  • Don’t be afraid to challenge clients, this is a key part of being a great consultant
  • Everyone gets bad feedback at some point – don’t take it personally
  • Communicate early, often and clearly
  • Be up front and honest and avoid the blame game
  • Measure how happy your clients on a weekly and monthly basis

Speaker Name: Lily Ray

Senior Director, SEO & Head of Organic Research, Amsive Digital

Twitter: @LilyRayNYC

Talk Title: 5 Examples of How Google is Getting Smarter & How You Should Respond

Talk overview: Discussion about the Google updates, including GoogleMUM and multi search. 

To support Google:

  1. Align your content with guidelines 
  2. Double down on areas with EAT
  3. Invest in developing experts associated with your brand.

Key takeaways:

  • Google wants real life expertise over something repeated elsewhere
  • Better detection for content violations 
  • Understanding real authority
  • Google priorities authority over recently and exact match in a crisis
  • In order to demonstrate expertise when reviewing products you need to provide visual/audio or you actually using the products
  • ​​Find areas Google thinks you’re an authority in by reviewing your Google Search Console data and then double down on these areas. 
  • Google is prioritising .edu / .org over the last few years For YMYL keywords
  • Demonstrate expertise across Youtube and other platforms as well.  Google can make the association back to your website
  • Multi search is very powerful but underused. In the future it will help Google compete with Amazon for shopping searches.

 

Speaker Name: Lauren Hewitt-Crabb

Digital PR Manager at Blue Array

Twitter: @LaurenElizaMCR

Talk Title: Brand Building from a Digital PR Perspective

Talk overview: The importance of band building as part of your digital PR strategy.

Key takeaways:

  • Everything should be brand first! A campaign that’s brand first in an authentic manner and relevant will bring results
  • If a digital asset i.e an infographic you’re creating doesn’t make you feel anything don’t publish it
  • The goal for a campaign is to make people remember the brand, if someone remembers the brand the campaign worked
  • It’s important to have a press office in place for clients that includes key dates in the industry and seasonal trends so you can jump on them quickly
  • Comments from experts can drive just as many links as a full fledged digital PR campaign
  • Journalists love a big name drop whether that’s person or a company so if you can tie that into your campaign then do it.

 

Speaker Name: Aaron Barefoot

Global SEO Lead at London Stock Exchange Group

Twitter: @AaronJBarefoot

Talk Title: SEO for Blockchain: How can we be found in the Decentralized Web

Talk overview: Aaron talked about how his role has evolved in the finance industry due to the rapid adoption of cryptocurrency and gave insight on where his audience spends time online and how to reach them effectively.

Key takeaways:

  • Search engines built with privacy in mind such as Brave and DuckDuckGo are experiencing all time high usage
  • Next crypto bull run is expected in 2024 when number of Bitcoins available is halved driving up the price
  • Community is a big part of the industry. This audience tends to spend a lot more time using platforms such as Discord, Reddit and Telegram
  • SEMrush have recently launch a tool that tracks conversations on Telegram
  • Medium is another platform heavily used by blockchain enthusiasts
  • As new coins and projects emerge all the time there are a lot of new 0 search volume keywords being used which you should account for.
  • Whitepapers are a key source of information for this industry so ensure this content is easy to find and indexable
  • Decentralised exchange listings (dex) are like new directories we’d been accustomed to in SEO

 

Speaker Name: Martin Splitt

Developer Relations Search & Web ecosystem, Google

Twitter: @G33konaut

Talk Title: What the hell is rendering and how does Google do it?

Talk overview: Martin (Guy dressed as a Stormtrooper) gave some really great insight into the steps Google takes when trying to render a page and the different microsystems that make up the Google indexer.

Key takeaways:

  • The DOM tree is the under the hood representation of the entire webpage
  • Rendering is the process of turning hypertext into pixels
  • Don’t get too hung up on the rendered screenshot of a page in Google Search Console as it skips the cache and therefore if your server response slow may look different
  • Work with developers to chunk loading of Javascript files to ensure key content is painted quickly
  • Still good practice to use fallbacks if your page is heavily reliant on Javascript to load
  • The source code doesn’t always match what Google users. Cross reference this in Google Search Console inspect tool. 
  • Hash bang URLs – just don’t use them! 
  • Google don’t care it there are JS errors, they only care if content can be rendered

Closing thoughts….

As one of the sponsors for the event, StrategiQ were incredibly proud to see how well organised and enjoyed the meetup was and how high the quality of the talks was. After a brilliant day of star wars references, networking, SEO cliches and learning, we finished the day with a DJ set from Lily Ray, a beer and some disco lights. 

We’d like to say thanks to the organisers of the event, Simon Schnieders and the team of organisers behind the scenes, all of the speakers and peers we caught up with over the entire event… and of course our fellow sponsors that help it all happen.

That’s all for now but we look forward to seeing you all again at the next Blue Array SEO event. If you’d like to discuss how StrategiQ can help with your SEO strategy, get in touch today.