Last Friday me and Elliot took a packed lunch down to Brighton for a day at the seaside. Attending the excellent bi-annual Brighton SEO and learning about the latest developments in UX, Content Marketing and SEO.
You know a conference is going to be good when the tickets sell out in minutes, and the queue to get in is around the corner.
So what did we learn? Inspired by Greg Gifford’s awesomely punchy slide deck, we’ve put together a quick fire list of our key takeaways. Let’s go.
Nichola Stott kicked things off in the Brighton Dome on Friday with her fascinating talk on the future of search and reaching Gen Z. Here’s what we learnt:
Gen Z (Post-Millennials) will account for 40% of consumers by 2020… and they have an 8-second attention span.
Messaging apps for this user group have now overtaken social media in terms of usage.
How do Gen Z differ from Millennials and Baby Boomers? Gen Z want a cool product, not a cool experience.
So what do Gen Z want? A consistent user experience direct to the object of desire, based on their search intent.
To succeed; be fast, be mobile, be everywhere (be seen on other content sites).
The future? The rise of the personal agent and the ability to dictate tasks. Siri 2.0.
As the conference title suggests, there were lots of SEO takeaways on Friday, some technical, and some quick wins:
Ever heard of a featured snippet? Even if you haven’t you’ll have noticed them in Google. They are the little panels of information and lists that come up for common definitive answers that aren’t in Google’s own knowledge base. They are super great for boosting your search visibility and authority. But how the heck do you write your content to be considered by Google’s bots for these? Find out in Rob Bucci’s talk.
Locally, Greg Gifford gave the talk of the day on local marketing. His key point was to make your content conversational, interesting and not advertorial. Make your site the go to destination for local content. Drive people there via structured review sites, responsive email and custom Facebook adverts. See his full slide deck on Slideshare.
Another tip from Greg for local business operating in a specific geography locality. Your outreach strategy should create content on hyperlocal websites, even if they have a low domain authority.
Priorities for Marketers
Across all of the talks a number of themes came out of the sessions. We prioritise these as follows (in no particular order):
Consider applying incremental improvements to your site uploads, especially blogs, to reduce page load times. Tom Bennet gave an excellent talk on this. See his slides on Slideshare.
A paid strategy is now essential to ensure social media coverage.
Creating highly relevant stories that your customer base can emotionally connect with is still the priority when planning your campaigns.
Make sure your website speaks to your audience demographic and their preferred user experience.
Allow your staff to express their personal branding and show personality on their social media. Done in the right way, this collective approach can increase brand engagement, mentions and press. Thanks to Mel Carson for his great presentation on personal branding, hope you had a good trip back to the US!
There were a tonne of exhibitors and tools on display at the event, but these (free, yay) are the ones in particular we’ll be checking out, now we’ve returned to our desks:
Catherine Warrilow from Seriously PR helped us relive some of the worst PR disasters played out on social media and what we can learn from them. Ultimately, create good content and get influencers on board early to soundboard your campaign. We also took away one very crucial point for everyone: ‘Don’t be an idiot’.
That’s all for now, we can’t wait for the September conference in its “big brother” venue, The Brighton Centre. Thanks to Kelvin Newman and his team for putting on another unmissable event!