The Oban Blog

Brighton SEO Stage Summer 2014

BrightonSEO September 2014 – Full reports on all the main talks

The south coast’s biggest biannual SEO conference is on the doorstep of Oban’s UK Office. We sent first-timer Frank Fanteev along to see how Brighton SEO brings international digital marketing professionals together to discuss user experience, content strategy, data analysis, semantic search and more.

This year’s speakers from the Dome concert hall featured:

Ian Miller – Predicting the future of Google and why it’s no longer a search company

Ian Miller (@millerian), a search director at digital marketing agency, Crafted, delivered a talk on the evolution of Google and its future commercial plans. He emphasised that Google is no longer just a search engine company. What started off as a technology company funded through advertising has now turned into a global advertising company that is funded through technology.

From self-driving cars to Nest thermostat, Google is aiming for one goal: to become your “cybernetic friend” by collecting data and using it to create systems. Miller suggests that Google is aiming to: answer, converse and anticipate. Google cards are a good example of this, providing daily updates on information you search for most often. After purchasing Freebase (a collaborative knowledge base), Google has been working on Knowledge Vault: a knowledge database that is able to extract data from the internet and to determine its correctness probability.

In the near future, Google’s ability to access structured data will provide accurate answers for search queries without the need to browse across several pages. This will also mean a further decrease in black-hat SEO, with more emphasis on quality and relevance of content.

Matt Roberts – Why we all need to study Momentology

Linkdex’s Chief Strategy Officer, Matt Roberts, gave an insightful talk about Momentology, the study of consumers and digital media they use and engage with across the entire consumer decision journey.

Matt shared how you should never forget that you are only one of the open tabs in your potential customer’s browser. Assuming the consumer is rational, they would then evaluate your products using the impression they find on the web. One example highlighted was car manufacturer, Renault, and its new van launch. Even though the Renault website is ranked first position in SERPs for the keywords “renault van”, this wasn’t enough. The user is expected to look at other websites after recognising the bias of info on the official brand website. This would be local tradesmen, online car-reviewers such as Autoexpress, car forums and other media that also appear in the search engine through relevant queries.

Therefore it is important to develop partnerships and obtain ads on relevant resources that may be used by consumers in order to determine their choice of product. It is essential to study Momentology of your market, getting under the customer’s skin and understand their online-behaviour. This will allow you to optimise the wider media landscape and give SERP intelligence in PR, media and commercial.

Aleyda Solis – How to leverage content curation for SEO

Aleyda Solis (@aleyda) is an international SEO consultant and is known for her talks and blog-posts. Her talk explained the importance of content curation and how it can be used for your benefit, as well as showing several useful tools.

For any international SEO content, it is necessary to uphold standards and meet a number of criteria such as being bot-friendly,  attractive to the audience, educational and informative, as well as providing a great experience that earns audience endorsement. In order to achieve this, content has to be regularly created and updated based on current relevancy and interest. Solis proposed content curation is an answer to this.

Content curation = Finding → Grouping → Organising → Sharing

  • – Content curation begins with finding and following relevant topics and searches (commonly using Quora and Reddit), also you can use Alltop, Slideshare and Tumblr to find relevant blog posts and presentations.
  • – In order to create lists of content and group information on chosen topics, check out and Contentgems. RSS feed and IFTTT (if this then that), along with Google docs can make your life easier by collecting headlines you can quickly browse through
  • – Another useful tool for monitoring social media networks is BuzzSumo. BuzzSumo gives you insight into what content is working and the influencers amplifying it

After bringing all the data into one place, you can check the link and social metrics of the received content. Additionally, you may want to identify the keyword search volume for the content topics. After this, you are now able to identify ideas with the highest potential and to create your content based on unfulfilled content demand.

Laura Crimmons – Breaking SEO out of silos with PR and Marketing

Laura Crimmons (@lauracrimmons) comes from a PR background and currently works at Branded3 as a Social and PR manager, and is tackling the problem of misunderstanding and bad communication between PR and SEO teams. SEO and PR do have different job tasks, but it often happens that they overlap on KPIs, or can affect each other’s KPIs without going too far out of their way. A correlation between PR and social shares is clear, which effects ranking overall.  The question is- “How to overcome the distance between teams and encourage collaboration among them?”

Crimmons gives us three easy ways to achieve that goal:

  1. Make the PR team feel included. As you are putting ideas together for a future campaign, invite PR members to contribute and ask them about their upcoming campaign, to see if an SEO and PR campaign can benefit by supporting each other. For example, if they are looking towards increasing social media engagement, can you add an element of this to your campaign?
  2. Prove where it has worked before. Teams may be sceptic of working with you, based on some bad experiences in the past, your goal is to present good examples and case studies where you’ve worked with PR agencies and it has been a success. This will make them re-evaluate their lack of trust towards you and lead to a successful relationship.
  3. Dazzle them with success. Find out their KPIs (coverage, social engagement, conversions etc) and design a campaign that will impact a chosen KPI. This will provide real-time results to them, after which they will be keen on asking for advice or sharing their ideas and plans.

Gisele Navarro – International outreach

Gisele Navarro (@ichbinGisele) is head of Outreach at NeoMam Studios, and was presenting her trial and error approach to overcoming cultural differences. In her first example, Gisele was publishing a translated article (from English to Spanish). The article featured a political discussion on homosexuality and how it’s perceived in different countries.

Surprisingly, the article wasn’t well received by its audience, despite the apparent ‘virality’ of the topic in the target language. After analysis, this was attributed to an artificial tone which was subsequently tweaked – a move that still didn’t result in success. In fact, a number of websites were found to be pulling the article due to the toxicity of comments.

Finally, the article was distributed to specific sources that had already made a statement on the issue. This turned out to be the winning strategy and a spike of mentions followed shortly.

Another case study was dedicated to distribution of interactive infographics to international websites. This information was not well received, and the problem was the fact that chosen markets were simply not familiar with interactive infographics – making it less likely to present in their info-channels.

Realising the problem, the approach was re-evaluated. Instead of offering a straight up interactive content, they offered more familiar alternatives: a static version of the full graphic, and a condensed “best bits” version accompanied with a call to action pointing at the full interactive version. This proved to be more successful and engaging.

In summary, Navarro noted that successful human interaction leads to long-term relationships. In the future these channels of information will be more likely to accept any content she sends their way. Gisele also pointed out that outreach in English should not be underestimated, as it can be widely used due to high number of English speaking population in foreign countries. Be confident, start with best English content and stay flexible – such tips will put you on a road to international outreach.