Distilled have a great track record for putting on Search Conferences and SearchLove 2015 in London was no exception. Their 21st outing as event hosts saw the greatest minds within the world of search marketing share their expertise and priceless insights to a room-full of lucky attendees.
What’s Going on Within Search?
There’s never a short answer to the question (anyone who knows me will also know I never have a short answer for anything), but here’s the key themes from SearchLove, and what you need to be looking at in the next 6-12 months of search marketing.
- Explicit query signals (i.e. keywords) are going to become less important than the growing implicit signals. We need to think about the who, where, when and why as well as the usual what
- With the above in mind, we need to be looking at search intent, rather than just search keywords to appreciate and realise the needs of the searcher
- Search results are going to be less and less grounded within traditional “web”, apps and personal assistant software (Siri et al) deliver and serve more content.
- Desktop (sites, apps and overall experience) need to be seen as the poor relation to mobile, not the other way around.
- We need to optimise for what will happen when you rank (not just to get you to rank) – a common theme within CRO, but with growing importance within SEO
- When we buy products we’re buying a better version for ourselves, think how we make our customer feel and factor this into web presence at the very core.
- Look at how much of the search results you have the opportunity to control, set expectation and go for it
- Build relationships and links will follow (almost – just remain SEO aware) – but start by making your existing connections better first!
- Our current knowledge of SEO is akin to lies-to-children – knowing it isn’t good enough, it’s how you think about it which is important
- There are two types of visual content; Wow content and Aha content. Wow content elicits emotion, Aha content gives insights
- SEOs forget that people are people – they’re great at chasing algorithms, not customers – target the people who matter most to your business as a starting point
- Chase the human algorithm (people’s minds) it’s more knowable than Google’s. When finding a solution, ask yourself how far is it from perfect – can you make it closer to this?
- You can’t improve what you can’t measure – Correlate, contextualise, segment and filter your data to understand what’s going on
- Topics are more important than keywords when considering targeting
- PPC & SEO can work together, test and refine using paid search and let SEO reap the rewards with less risk.
- If everyone is drawing crosses, draw a circle
- Think of every outreach target as the most important opportunity, put in the effort
- Google’s algorithm is flattening out – i.e. linking metrics are still as important as they ever have been, but Google is relying on other ranking factors as equally
- As hard as other marketing techniques have tried, nothing has killed email – it’s still hugely important
- Make your commercial emails feel like a service your customers want, not something you’re trying to sell them
- Use microbudgets on paid social media to boost your content to the people who matter most.
- Optimise your video for the network, be aware that whilst most social media platforms are now video platforms, they all feature differently – this will change the type of content you need to produce.
Speaker’s Decks in Their Own Words
Of course the above summary was only that, if you want to find out more you can check out the slides which the speakers have been sharing over twitter following the event.
#SearchLove in Photos
Finally, for those who’ve been to SearchLove will know that the talks are only half of it, following the hashtag #SearchLove will show you the sense of community and how generous the bar tabs (thanks Moz & Screaming Frog) can be.
Until Next Time SearchLove…
There were many things to take away from SearchLove this year, food for thought for the next 12 months in digital marketing, memories and maybe one or two sore heads. Safe to say we at StrategiQ are looking forward to the next!