The Author
Alyssa Ordu

Alyssa is a keen traveller, cocktails & dad jokes enthusiast who does Marketing, in that order. A lover of outreach, connect with her for opportunities to collaborate, or exchange a pun or two.

Read more from Alyssa Ordu

That BrightonSEO DeepCrawl Event Recap, Part Deux!

Congratulations to Kelvin Newman and all of the BrightonSEO speakers and staff that made last Friday the 15th of September a ridiculous success. Between all of the SEO knowledge bombs dropped, and all of the beer we drunk, taking notes may not have been high up the list. Don’t worry…We Got You ;)

If you like your Search recaps served shaken and not stirred, keep reading (and sharing!)

 


NOTE: As I am better at writing than I am at time travel or astral projection, I was only able to attend one talk at a time. This may be why you don’t see every talk featured here. In all seriousness though, if you or someone you know can teach me to time travel, please get in touch with me!

Ranking Factors 10am Auditorium 1

Christoph Cemper

The Skinny

Increase your search engine traffic by up to 500% with this simple trick:

1) Do a FULL link audit to find & fix risky links

 

The Knowledge Nuggets

Don’t Mess With Penguins

1. Granular:
It can penalise your pages and subfolders

2. Real-time:
Every crawl can affect your rankings folks!

Penguin 4.0 can hit ANY time and make those rankings drop. A silent online killer that can make ALL your SEO efforts worthless :(

Don’t let it get you, do a full backlink audit & get great SEO results instead!

Remember:

  • Christoph can rock a bold orange
  • Look at all your links, the good the bad & the ugly
  • Keep the good ones
  • Disavow the bad ones
  • Repair the ugly ones
  • Get your dental hygiene right, fixing 1 tooth fixed doesn’t count for much if your whole mouth is rotten

 

 

Jo Turnbull & Daniel Furch

The Skinny

Who knows best? Your mom. No, literally! Big up to your mother for having you, for being a ranking factor, and why you should tailor your content to different users.

 

The Knowledge Nuggets

As Search Metrics has been running a report on ranking trends for the last five years, it’s no surprise many people ask them what the ranking factors are. What do they say? “your mum is a ranking factor!”

Translation: the user is a ranking factor.

What do we need to do?

Tailor content, it’s not one size fits all folks!

How do we do that?

Split your keywords by intent; it helps you craft relevant content

From looking at the 10k top ranking keywords and crawling those pages to see what sets high ranking pages apart, the ranking factors study teaches us that everyone’s mum is a ranking factor because they are using the web. Moreover, that users in different niches have different Search behaviours, which in turn yields different SERPs. For any SEOs working in the Financial, Travel, or eCommerce sectors, here are a few examples forya:

  1. Finance users search intent is transactional, they like structured text, less images, fewer internal links, faster sites, fewer social signals except Linkedin (they’re way more into than facebook)
  2. Travel users popular search seasons are winter and summer; have your content ready for those spurts! For these folks there’s a 57% higher word count more images, more internal links, content relevance is more crucial than keywords
  3. For eCommerce users working that racing bike game opt for informational AND transactional search intent, 25% higher word count (not as much as travel), detailed produced information, 70% more internal links, use country domains, embedded videos and have a high transaction area above the fold
    All Search niches are not created equal:recipes sites tend to have rich snippets derived from schema markup – unlike dating

Remember

  • CREATE COMPELLING CONTENT THAT RANKS
  • KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
  • There are no general ranking factors anymore; it depends on the niche that you’re in!
  • Tailor your content to your users in these 5 steps:
    1) what are people searching for – explore user intention and topics
    2) understand funnel stage and needs
    3) explore user questions and problems
    4) create content in live data environment
    5) measure and optimise

Duane Forrester

The Skinny

Wondering what you can do today for success tomorrow? Focus on markup, user driven change and your future!

TIP: opening his talk with playful networking (where we introduced ourselves to the people around us) works very well. Although we did self identified as a s***** audience!

p.s. am I the only one who hasn’t seen the Sharknato movie?

The Knowledge Nuggets

Influencer Marketing is a Thing

Traditional celebs are losing ground to youtube vloggers (Think Jenna Marbles Ryan Higa or  Kids React), AKA influencer marketing is a thang and crowdfunding / distributed models are changing the game!

  1. Don’t want to lose out? Get involved in fringe mediums
  2. ‘Engagement v push is becoming the new paradigm’; but some people still think the push model is what people want (e.g. tweeting constantly to nudge people to ‘buy this offer’)

But…Mobile is also Where it’s At

Mdots are so last century, (if you haven’t already) GO RESPONSIVE people! ‘If mobile isn’t your current #1 plan for investment, you’re losing. With lots of investments across the board in assistants and AI, apps have taken over.

  1. 50% of our time is spent on devices
  2. We’re in an ‘app experience’ as most of our time is spent within an app on a mobile device, we have more devices than we have people
  3. Increased demand in digital services; connected cars tablets and IoT
  4. Shoutout to fellow speakers Emily Grossman & Cindy Krum from MobileMoxie for their ongoing work on MobileSEO
  5. Location Search is exploding – growth in ‘near me’ searches is flattening as it becomes assumed, which means general consumers understand it’s implied now;
    -Think with Google (2016) found 76% of people who use location search visit a business within one day and 28% of location searches result in a purchase
    -So…VERY REAL WORLD APPLICATIONS PEOPLE

Moral of the story: machines are picking up on context/relevancy for searcher intent.

TIP: if you’re a local business, optimise your attributes e.g. opening hours location social etc so that search engines like google and bing don’t do it for you.

 

Voice Search is Poppin

We’re in a ‘digital land grab’ where giant brands are competing for their share of the voice search tool pie (think Cortana Google Home Amazon Echo) and context is key.

6 Tactics to Compete in Voice Search

1 keyword research – focus on long tail conversational queries
2 build detailed answers
3 mark your content
4 make sure your entire website is clean and accessible
5 mobile friendly matters – because thats where this is happening (e.g. voice search)
6 secure your site – move to HTTPs

Augmented Reality

  1.  Think markup
  2. Digitise your products – Ikea’s a great example – that said, big and small companies alike can benefit from this

Tactics of Successful Brands

  1. Loyalty programs (reward your customers/users!)
  2. Rewards for social media engagements
  3. Amplifying Corporate Social Responsibility (do good/make noise about it)
  4. Integrated campaigns
  5. Maximising YouTube; newage audiences are very visual
  6. Reviews matter (they instil brand trust)
  7. Customer journey – understand your personas

Remember:

  • HTTPS is very quickly becoming the norm
  • Markup + digitise your products

TIP: migrating massive sites is a MASSIVE undertaking, if you’re wondering what it takes to move and shake large domains check out what WIRED.COM had to say.

Onsite 11.45am Auditorium 2

Chloe Bodard

The Skinny

Want to master the top technical SEO quick wins? Pick a few things, and do them well. Want to be a Flamingo in a flock of pigeons? Keep reading.

The Knowledge Nuggets

What are the go-to tools?

 

 

301 Redirects

These are most error-prone with:

  1. New sites
  2. Older domains
  3. URL structure changes
  4. HTTPs migrations
  5. Relative links

These are best avoided by:

  • Setting up 301s from old & broken pages to new ones
  • If your URLs 301 redirect straight to the final version; you can prevent Redirect Chains (update internal links to the final destination while you’re at it)
  • Site-wide Redirects are gold
  • Unless the move is temporary…get your permanent markers out! (i.e. make sure your 301-ing, 302’s ain’t welcome)

TIP: Find Broken 301 / 302s, Redirect Chains / Loops & more with DeepCrawl to make your URL migrations easier & don’t rush your migrations :)

Robots.txt

If you want to test your robots, check out the following:

  1. Robots.txt tester in Search Console
  2. Try DeepCrawl’s Robots.txt Overwrite feature
  3. Managing Robots.txt with DeepCrawl & Search Console

Where do most people miss the (robot) mark?

  1. Disallowing full sites (YIKES)
  2. Disallowing CSS/JS files (also YIKES)
  3. Disallowing unexpected
  4. URLs Not Disallowing staging sites (oh dear…)

TIP: Robots.txt Noindex is the best-kept secret in SEO, you’re welcome ;)

Optimisation

  1. Optimise your Crawl Budget (like our CAB Dawn Anderson!)
  2. Gather backlink URLs of top pages from Search Console
  3. Focus on specific/high performing URLs by using List Crawls
  4. Fix Page Titles, H1s & Meta Descriptions for CTR to increase organic traffic for your clients like Rice Media

TIP: Use DeepCrawl to optimise your Crawl Budget, Crawl your Backlinks or specific URL Lists, find Duplicate Content & more!

Canonicals

Don’t send mixed signals to Google with wrongly canonicalised pages people, and keep your eyes peeled for:

  1. Relative URLs
  2. 404s & 301s
  3. Non-preferred domain
  4. Listing URLs canonicalised to the first page

How do you check these you ask? It’s as simple as a (Deep)crawl!

Sitemaps

Look for:

  1. 404 errors, 301s or canonicalised URLs
  2. Orphaned URLs (that you may not want indexed)
  3. Missing key page
  4. Noindex pages & URLs blocked by your Robots.txt
  5. Check out this awesome Sitemaps guide by Michelle Race

How do you check these you ask (again)? Chloe recommends DeepCrawl!

Remember:

Sebastien Monnier

The Skinny

Google Tag Manager can save your SEO. Time to get your tracking code management on fleek!

The Knowledge Nuggets

Q. How far can  Google read JS? A. Pretty far.
Q. Is this SEO best practice? A. Nah, it’s a dirty hack. Maybe one for the grey hat SEOs…

Common SEO roadblocks & How to fix ’em

    1. Changing Titles & Descriptions – Change them dynamically
      -Avoid laborious work by going dynamic, Google takes up new titles within a few hours up to a day, extract data/content from HTML and dynamically insert configure your tag manager
      DOPE FACT: You CAN rank with dynamically added keywords

  1. Like hard-coded HTML & non-dirty tricks?
    -Use GA’s custom dimensions, and send for every page baby – I’m looking at you Canonicals Hreflangs H1s and Meta Robots!
  2. I like power, how do I get more?
    -If sharing isn’t your thing, use GTM to take power from your devs so you don’t have to wait, and can change things up without JS instead

TIP: Use a crawler – like DeepCrawl – to know whats going on with your website.

Remember:

You can take back the power!

Aysun Akarsu

The Skinny

Get your car in gear, we’re on the road to HTTPs worldwide!

The Knowledge Nuggets

Late to the (HTTPs) party? Here’s all the motivation you need to drop down and get your move on:

  1. You need HTTPs to move to HTTP2 anyway
  2. AMP requires HTTPs
  3. Google is pushing it hard
  4. Without it your site may be marked with Non-Secure Form Fields (p.s. DeepCrawl  has a sweet report to flag these for you & is the first crawler to do so)

Though Google was one of the first to move to HTTPs, it wasn’t for HSTS!

TIP: check your websites’ HSTS on Chrome by querying the domain
chrome HSTS preload list

Remember:

  • HSTS strengthens website security
  • Consider HTTP2
  • Collect data prior to migration from live AND staging sites and analyse data on staging
  • Submit sitemaps
  • When you’re ready give users and bots access to https and implement redirects

Technical SEO Auditorium 1 2.30pm

Peter Nikolow

The Skinny

In order to improve SEO, Peter’s up for some quick ‘n dirty server-side tweaks, howbouchu?

The Knowledge Nuggets

For site architecture & EAV models

1. Remove all useless data from database as that makes WordPress suffer
2. Use a test server
3. Use tools for fine tuning
4. Database speed fixes; for memcached and redis
5. Web servers; .htaccess is sloooow
6. DIRTY SECRET; apache is slow because people use .htaccess…which is slow!
7. Web server – compress static files e.g. static.example.com
reverse proxy benchmark, and use varnish rather than nginx
8. Mind  your elliptic curves; tls handshakes
9. tcp slow start? Not worry! HTTP2 is faster
10. Fancy a server-less hosting tip? Use firebase or cloud functions or lambda
11. Got all that???? o_0

Moral of the story: Devops are the true SEO heroes (on that note I’d like to shout out to our Devops living legend Mike Smith) as they bring us to new internet speed heights!

Dominic Woodman

The Skinny

Like your site architecture advanced? Mind the testing gap, and work your keyword game.
DISCLAIMER: This presentation is not about links!

The Knowledge Nuggets

SEO is like architecture, it’s important to match up intents to templates and pages; to bring people from over the top debonair buildings to unified houses.

KEY LEARNINGS:

Get your house (website architecture) in order. Remember your customers should see the right pages in the right points of their journey. And did you know Dom has a website helping people teach english abroad remotely with job adverts and guides?

 

PRACTICAL STEPS

    1. How do you split your keywords into pages?
    2. There a literal hundreds of dumb stock photos!
    3. Scrape the top 20 SERPS for keywords on whatever you’re looking into then get the title meta descriptions and domain strengths, avail of API’s & URL profilers
    4. Match up the groups you make to pages, retarget & create
    5. Take that data and rework what you have; what pages is Google showing for your grouping? What actually ranks (for your keywords)?
    6. Look for occurrence of terms (title meta-descriptions and more); is Google showing general or specific pages; where are you stronger or weaker than your competitors? Should you play it safe and go general? Or go in for the kill and go specific, if for example you have a higher domain authority? These are questions you need to ask, then we wait (and gather data!)
    7. Rinse and repeat folks – this isn’t a one stop shop win and also; House is a show worth watching!

  1. Go to search console and pull down the data (and or feed that into your crawler like you can with DeepCrawl), this is not a one month win, what should you do next week?
  2. Turn your intents into templates; then take your keywords and match them to pages

RESULT: Get your house in order, the man can metaphor!

Dawn Anderson

The Skinny

You know that relationship that’s kinda like the movie The Notebook? Well, that’s what cruft’s like folks. Just when you think it’s done, you realise it’s not over….

Luckily, we have Dawn to tell us everything we need to know about how to work that history game!

The Knowledge Nuggets

Our very own Customer Advisory Board Member, Dawn Anderson got off to a killer start, debunking SEO myths like the great 302 Debate, prior to jumping off the cruft end. Yes, like their cousin the 301, they DO pass Page Rank people!

So, what’s this cruft you say? This debate – which Google Meister John Mueller himself shed light on last February, Dawn has also written about in relation to site migrations, crawl budget, url scheduling and rankings on Search Engine Land here.

Cruft is about multiple generations of a website, which makes crawling harder. Not to be confused with Crufts, the world’s biggest dog show, nor Content Cruft a la Rand Fishkin’s excellent article on Moz here.

Many businesses undergoing site redesigns or migrations are looking to start with a clean slate. This is a hard thing in big companies which Dawn notes tend not to be that agile. Result: websites get messy. But websites and URLs are not disposable, they cannot be uncreated, and search engines have a loooong memory and LOT of storage.

Past data is a great predictor of future data, based on rolling averages of past crawls, a new URL has no history (e.g. when you migrate to a new site), check history logs to find whats soared in search engine logs (and crawl your logs with DeepCrawl).

To see how often crawlers check to see how much has changed, logs record URL fingerprint of sorts, it’s important to break your silo structure! Concept drift is a THING; its difficult to perceive (fuzzy logic) and is opposite to boolean logic, as signals are moving across, the fuzziness starts to come in. So, what should you do? Revisit all past .htacess files! If you still have htaccess files you could have loads of rules to chop it all back! maybe look at rewriting things like wildcards or rewriting the site DNS. When fixing your site, focus on:

  1. SPEED SPEED SPEED
  2. XML sitemaps – these badboys are hugely undervalued but are your friends!
  3. Crawl samples of your site (TIP: many ways to do this with DeepCrawl, Page Groupings)
  4. Near memory storage  (e.g. caching) it’s not just about URL scheduling!
  5. Mixed content & multiple site versions
  6. Wrongful canonicalisation
  7. Past .htaccess files
  8. Logfiles
  9. Chopping back Redirect Chains

Strategy Syndicate 3 & 4 4.10pm

Olga Andrienko

The Skinny

Looking for an Agile Marketing Guide? You found it!

The Knowledge Nuggets

It’s important to:

    1. Find ways to empower the customer
    2. Remember people are the only element of your success that your competitors can’t replicate
    3. Give your marketing team creativity freedom budgets and responsibility
    4. Autonomous cross functional teams work well

  1. Agile managers should empower their staff much like coaches do teammates – as its the players who score!
  2. Agile frameworks increase productivity*
    *Did you know we work in agile teams too?

Remember:

Don’t listen to the haters! Ignore the myths surrounding agile marketing, and incorporate customer feedback into your roadmap

Andi Jarvis

The Skinny

Q. What should I do before I start Digital Marketing?
A. Ask yourself these 7 questions!

The Knowledge Nuggets

As Andi went over the 7 questions, he made sure to instil the importance of the following with us, incredibly charismatically one might add:

What stands you out as a company? Who are you doing it for?

Don’t do it because you can do it. Do it because it’s good for your client.

Righto, here lies thine questions:

    1. What does your company do?
    2. Who are your customers?
    3. How’s it done in your industry/who has your money?
    4. STOP COPYING YOUR COMPETITORS!

5. What skills do you have?
6.  What stories can you tell about your business?


7.  What is it worth to your business?

Meanwhile…Andi throws shade on a few things:

YOUR SLOGAN GAME IS WEAK
Get your business slogan down to something short that people can remember, stop over-complicating things folks! Understand what you can do, and what makes you different.

ARE YOU PUSHING MORE, AND MORE S**** ONLINE?
Just. Stop.

YOUR HIRING PRACTICES
People that have worked in agencies for X years may deliver the same things, because they’ve learned the same things.

YOUR DELIVERY
Ask yourself the right questions. Are you doing this because you can, AKA because this fits the current limitations of your team or budget? OR, are you doing this because it’s actually good for your client? In case you missed the hint here, he’s not recommending the former ;)

YOUR CREDIBILITY
When there’s too many metrics, you can make even flop campaigns sound great. Result? Your credibility is shot. Don’t things meaningless. Make things count!

YOUR APPROACH TO FAB
Try flipping that FAB burger. Start with the Benny’s, then head to the Advantages, then bring in the Features. Make yourself stand out.

SAMSUNG (I MEAN…YOUR PROMOTIONS)
Ever read those threads where some genius says LOVE this new iPhone 20 feature (or whatever we’re on now), until they’re humbly corrected by a droid user that notes Samsung worked that into their more-than-last-season phone 2 years back? Point is, promotion is what sets you apart from your competitors in the same space – don’t miss the opportunity to not humble brag when it comes to what sets you apart, and remember the difference between Samsung & Apple is, more often than not, the dope advertising of the latter.

SINCE I’VE GOT YOU
Check out WifiRefugees, follow Andi’s lead, and do some GOOD out there.

Make yourself proud, and pay it forward.

Remember:

When there’s so many metrics, you can make even flop campaigns SOUND GREAT, don’t follow your competitors & ask yourself the right questions folks.

 

Chris Simmance

The Skinny

If your’e wondering what What Makes a good SEO strategy, you came to the right place! Chris Lay. Down. the strategy Law.

p.s. thank you for recommending DeepCrawl :)

The Knowledge Nuggets

Chris’ talk can be split into a few different parts, marked in bold below.

1. WHAT IS /ISN’T STRATEGY

Strategy is NOT goal setting, nor having an idea, nor having a plan, nor a result.

Strategy IS having a clear result in mind, and making a clear diagnosis of the challenges in the way of the result. As well as and planning a set of coherent actions that will overcome the challenges, measurement, and refining of the actions.

For all the readers out there jonesing for a book recommendation, here’s the book Chris made a shout out to: Richard Rumelt Good Strategy: Bad Strategy.

2. WHAT ARE THE COMMON STRATEGY MISTAKES

Stop confusing strategy with things like link building. That’s an activity/action! Meeting a goal? Doesn’t count as strategy either.

Here are the worst offenders:

  1. Skip steps or rush things through
  2. Not appropriately diagnosing the challenges
  3. Not having a clear enough set of actions

3. THE KEY STRATEGY ELEMENTS

  1. Understand the challenges by researching, in order to diagnose the challenges
  2. Define a coherent set of actions that will work to overcome the challenges
  3. Ensure all the key players understand the challenges and actions (for various teams)
  4. Take action in a proposed order
  5. Measure those results baby!

4. BUT…HOW DO WE TURN THIS INTO SEO?

Think about what you’re looking to achieve. Is it overall site visibility? Is it…conversion rates? Possibly a topic your client wants to rank for?

  1. Diagnose the challenges; high authority competitors? Multiple SERP features to compete with? Big website?
  2. Plan coherent actions, et voilà!
  3. Speed; any load time over 2 seconds makes Chris feel physically sick. Let’s avoid that. Can we improve the load-time? Always. The answer is always yes!
  4. Tool tips: use Asana for planning coherent actions, DeepCrawl, and check out the good people at SEOmonitor :)

FINAL FACTS

BRIGHTONSEO IS TRENDY

THE TECH-OFF PARTY IS JOKES; HANDS UP WHO KNEW DOM HODGSON COULD RAP?

 

CHRISTOPH CEMPER OBJECTIVELY LOOKS GREAT IN ORANGE. DON’T FIGHT ME ON THIS, I HAVE PROOF.

SEO & BEER MAKE EXCELLENT BEDFELLOWS, AKA DEEPCRAWL KNOWS HOW TO BEERGARDEN

KELVIN & EVERYONE THAT MAKES BRIGHTONSEO A MAGICAL WHIRLWIND DESERVE SOME SERIOUS KUDOS

 

Get the latest in SEO

Sign up for the DeepCrawl newsletter and keep up to date with trends, technology and events.