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Our biggest takeaways from BrightonSEO 2018

Posted on: 01/05/2018

This year, we headed to BrightonSEO, the UK’s leading search marketing conference. 

An event like no other, it has grown from a few friends meeting up at the pub to discuss digital marketing, to a fully fledged two day affair in the heart of Brighton city centre. On arrival at Brighton train station, the turnstiles are covered with their recognisable bold white typeface and dark blue background, and as you get closer to the venue, you can see lamp post flags and sign posts peppering the seafront - there’s a very distinct buzz in the air as creative, digital and technical professionals get together to share and learn new and exciting, innovative ideas!

Here’s a recap of some of our key takeaways from some of the key speakers:

Never underestimate the power of your site map

Vlassios Rizopoulos talked about the vertical search engine, Pricesearcher, and its mission is to give consumers the complete view of all the internet’s prices with the help of their PriceBot. He shared an analysis of what PriceBot has discovered and how you can use this information to help improve the crawlability of your site.

  • 91% of retailer websites use XML sitemaps. Only 61% of these contain product links, and only 54% of sitemaps are regularly updated. That means that a large proportion of all retailers are making it unnecessarily difficult for search engines to discover their content
  • Ensure you have a Sitemap strategy from day 1 – do not make it an afterthought, especially if you are launching a new website.

  • Optimise your product titles

  • Only 17% of retailer websites include the brand name in the product title, which is a huge missed optimisation opportunity

  • Reference your sitemap in robots.txt files (Only 33% of retailer websites reference their XML sitemap in their robots.txt file, making it harder for the XML sitemap to be discovered by search engines)

“Omni-channel ecommerce” - Who says you can only sell your product in one place?

Omni-channel retailing, omnichannel meaning “all channels”, is a fully-integrated approach to commerce that provides shoppers with a unified experience across online and offline channels.

Omnichannel shopping extends from real life stores to mobile browsing, ecommerce market places, social media and more.

The key to Omni-channel selling is strategically placing specific products for sale, on a specific market place, on the basis that you know it is likely to do quite well. For example, typically electronic goods sell well on Amazon and eBay, however makeup and cosmetics do not - but they do sell very well on social media. There's no point attempting to sell products in a marketplace where you know they will not thrive, instead put your energy into the ones that do. 

With 45% of the UK & 52% of the USA product searching on Amazon first, and 28% of people in the UK shop less often in physical stores due to Amazon - this is really something to sit up and pay attention to. You needn’t put all your products on every single channel, but a select few in the right places could see you sales and website traffic soar.

Bing is very much alive

  • 23% of all searches are made on Bing, meaning it is still worth optimising your website for it.

  • 12% of search are made on Yahoo

  • 64 % of searches are made on Google

Listen to your customers

Customer reviews are very important. Customer generated content is the most trusted form of recommendation marketing.

Everyday your customers are telling you exactly what they want, exactly what’s important to them and exactly where you should be focusing your time and resources. Utilise the information you gain from your customer reviews. Perhaps even employ powerful AI and machine learning tools, such as Yotpo to assist you in your learning.

Could the rise of blockchain encourage monetisation, or rewards, for users producing and consuming content?

A very thought provoking talk from David Lockie of @pragmaticweb introduced new platforms like Steemit and Basicattentiontocken.org , which are encouraging a level of reward for content production and content engagement. The emphasis on authentic and real content is becoming increasingly more important and valuable. How will this affect the future of content creation and interaction with our consumers?

Identifying the 'search intent' of your consumers will help optimise your content

@AnnaAppenzeller outlined the importance of knowing your key intent modifyers. Why are people searching something? How you can ensure your product or service answers their search query?

Intent modifyers include; informational (i.e. you are looking for information), commercial (i.e. you are looking to buy something), transactional, local etc…

To Conclude

  • Strategy and planning is everything

  • You’re not going to be able to commit 100% to everything, so pick the areas that bring the biggest return on investment and start there.

  • Be data driven and goal orientated if you’re looking to progress your business

  • Don’t underestimate the power of marketing. To do it properly takes time, energy and clear considerations