We recently attended BrightonSEO 2017, the UK's largest search marketing conference.
It was a really interesting day, with lots of brilliant and insightful speakers. There was also the usual conference exhibition space with freebie pens, chargers and stress toys, plus retro video games and sock puppet making (so far, so Brighton).
Here are 5 of the biggest insights that caught our attention throughout the day:
1. Voice search is the future
With the growing popularity of voice-activated home assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home, voice search was a hot topic at the conference. Opening speaker Raj Nijjer made a compelling case that search marketers need to be taking voice seriously with the statistic that by 2020, 50% of searches will be voice searches.
2. Structured data is more relevant than ever
Tied closely with the rise of voice search is the growing importance of structured data. Not only is voice search heavily reliant on structured data, but more and more prominence on Google’s search results pages is given to answer boxes and other knowledge graph content. Adrian Phipps gave a great, practical talk full of tips and tricks to help your content to rank in the answer box.
3. Brand-building is inseparable from SEO
Malcolm Slade’s talk stressed the importance of brand as a ranking factor. While links are hugely important in getting you to page one, actually achieving the top positions for competitive keywords depends heavily on the strength of your brand – something that is often neglected in SEO strategy.
4. Less is more with content marketing
Several speakers sought to address the inadequacies of current content marketing practices, including Marcus Tober who offered data to suggest that 80% of content marketing spend is wasted. He argued that the process of content creation should be more data-driven, focused on its audience and relevant to the brand.
5. Don’t underestimate click-through rate as a ranking factor
Polly Pospelova’s talk sought to highlight the fact that far too many sites simply stuff the page titles and meta descriptions with keywords rather than crafting copy that will attract and engage users. Her evidence showed that organic results which achieve a higher than average CTR for their position will get elevated in search results, and so we should be optimising titles and meta descriptions for clicks in the same way we do with paid ads.
The search marketing landscape is changing fast, and we’re excited to start putting Friday’s insights to use for our clients. Get in touch to find out how we could help you develop a search strategy that keeps you ahead of the competition in 2017 and beyond.