Last week I hopped on a train to the self-proclaimed ‘largest SEO conference in the UK’ just along the coast in Brighton, appropriately named BrightonSEO… and without much prior knowledge of what to expect, I loved it!
Now, I’m going to be honest – I really wasn’t sure what to expect from the conference. Of course, I was expecting to learn about keywords, meta description, links, content, etc, but I was unsure whether the information would be conceptual or readily applicable in the real world. Unfortunately, the majority of conferences I have attended previously were all too often jam-packed with useless statistics and blatant sales pitches.
However, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and seniority of the speakers in Brighton.
The leading light of all good Search Engine Optimisation, the bastion of SEO best practice, the simple yet pivotal cog in the process can be acutely summarised into seven letters – content. Anyone familiar with SEO will have heard the term, ‘content is king’ and after the conference there was absolutely no doubt in my mind this point still stands true. Content marketing has seen a steady rise in its significance over the last five years and with consumers spending more time searching online before they purchase, it’s clear to see why high quality content has become so important. But, content is also becoming more personalised. Kirsty Hulse, Founder, Manyminds, identified that 75% of consumers actually prefer personalised content when online. Subsequently, this is leading the way for dynamic URLS, which are produced from precise queries to a site’s database, which allow for greater personalisation.
Aside from content I also attended a session led by Sam Thomas, SEO & Social Consultant, on the impact of click through rates (CTR) for organic rankings. As more people click on a webpage, naturally search engines attribute this as a strong indication of relevant, up-to-date and quality content. However, a CTR strategy is not a sustainable method of climbing the rankings. For example, sending redundant or even worse bot traffic to a site over the long-term as a technique to improve rankings, will be recognised by search engines, and demoted accordingly. It is far more important to tailor your efforts to your target audience’s needs and watch your rankings climb… along with your conversions!
First page myth
My final session was led by Shyam Dattani, a Digital Strategy Specialist, where we explored the importance of ensuring your website appears on the first page on any search engine. Shyam, posed the question “Where’s the best place to hide a dead body?”. The answer? “On page 2 of Google of course…”. And for many, this holds true.
As we’re not in the business of disposing of corpses then we would have to argue the essence of this point. Here at Recenseo we would argue that it’s more important to be relevant and focused. Being top of Google, is a great achievement, but if you’re leading the way for an irrelevant search term your customers aren’t using, it becomes little more than a vanity project.
Understanding your audience, what they’re looking for and what engages them is vital; and that’s why we emphasise strategic, well-thoughtout SEO. Too often SEO is viewed as a ‘bolt-on’ procedure and a golden gun/silver bullet but we know that SEO starts with a creating a site which does everything it can of its own volition before you even start thinking about engaging costly ‘experts’.
So, there we go! Thank you BrightonSEO for a highly informative and engaging day. I look forward to utilising my new found knowledge as I work on our clients sites. If you would like to know more about our approach to SEO and website marketing please contact us.