The Biggest and Best BrightonSEO Roundup Ever (Probably)
How to Marie Kondo your SEO - Rebekah Dunne
“I love mess”
To those unacquainted with the Netflix (cleaning) superstar, Marie Kondo has revolutionised the way we all see clutter, possessions and ourselves. The organisation expert’s KonMari Method, advocates a minimalism-inspired approach to tackling your stuff category-by-category, letting go & ultimately whether it “sparks joy”.
Rebekah Dunne’s Brighton SEO talk provided an alternative perspective on conducting keyword research for a new client, in relation to the four pillars of the KonMari method. For us SEOs why wouldn't we boost efficiency by treating keyword research in the same way?
“Imagine your ideal lifestyle”
· Before you open Keyword Planner, ask yourself, what is the ideal ‘lifestyle’ for your client’s website?
· Before you have your final clean list, discard any terms that do not meet the brand’s tone of voice and image
“Tidy by Category”
· Get an understanding of your client’s brand, products and services by looking at their Top Nav categories.
· Put these into a keyword research tool and Google Trends to get an idea of potential core keywords.
· Throw your potential terms into Answer the Public to get an understanding of users and question-based categories.
· Categorise your primary, secondary and tertiary keywords into core categories.
“Does it spark joy?”
· The most important question: will these keywords spark joy inside your client’s heart?. If no, say thank you first, and let them go.
Improve your Rankings with Internal Link Building, and no headaches - Christoph C Cemper
Christoph took to the main stage of Brighton SEO to discuss the importance of internal link building for improving the search engine rankings and UX of a site. He spent the talk looking into various examples of poor internal linking practice, pointing out that there is little use in simply using anchor text for navigational purposes, i.e. “Terms & Conditions”, “About Us” etc. Using the Brighton SEO website as an example, he highlighted that the site’s anchor text did not actively target high value keywords.
Christoph went on to explain that SEOs need to be “more aggressive” if they want to ensure better rankings for their site. Rather than using internal links with branded phrases, Cemper suggests that “money keywords” and generic explanatory phrases are the way forward in terms of maximising the SEO potential of internal linking anchor text. He argued that this gives your anchor text more relevancy, while also providing a further opportunity for targeting high value keywords. Using an Austrian Locksmith’s website as an example, we saw how aggressive internal linking could produce some astonishing results – as the page ranked as the number one result for many relevant keywords. Evidently, it will be worth taking Christoph’s suggestions onboard when optimising internal linking for our own clients in the future.
How to Trim JS, CSS and External Stuff to Slim Down and Speed up your Site - Chris Simmance - Under2 and Opus
One of the most crucial points with having a faster loading webpage, is ensuring you are loading only what is required. Chris covered some good examples of sites which have a lot of unnecessary lines of code, impacting page load speeds (https://edition.cnn.com), whilst other sites in the same industry were championing the matter (BBC). He went on to mention that a lot of companies have various tracking codes within their website for software they don’t use anymore, so simply removing unwanted tracking options would help towards improving page load speed sitewide.
Image optimisation is another great way to improve page load speed. Tools that can help towards image compression are:
Bloated Ads on a site can also impact page load speeds. It would be best to assess whether you need them all, and if so deferring ads that exist below the fold, so they load later.
Lastly, plugins. Don’t install plugins where possible. They add a lot of additional script to the pages compared to hardcoding the codes into the html. Working with Dev/IT teams would help speed up this process as well as ensure the code is placed in the right place. Taking this approach, will thus continue the efforts towards having a leaner website that performs faster in devices/desktops for end users.
8 Ways to Increase your Ecommerce Conversion Rate – Faye Watt
No matter how amazing your SEO is or how much traffic your website gets, if that traffic doesn’t convert then you are wasting time and money. There are LOADS of ways that you can increase your ecommerce conversion rate, but here are 8 suggestions.
Personalise your homepage - Personalising your homepage can increase sales by 7%, in fact, 35% of all Amazon sales come from their personalised recommendations.
Promote alternative and compatible products on the product pages - Ad blocker extensions hide secondary products on 26% of ecommerce sites.
Use multiple product images - 56% of users interact with product images before any other element on the page.
Provide user reviews - 95% of users rely on reviews to evaluate a product, so reviews are clearly an extremely important aspect of the buyer journey.
Display shipping costs on product and cart pages - Users hate paying for delivery and 55% of users will abandon checkout due to high delivery costs.
Always offer a guest checkout - 34% of users abandon checkout if there isn’t a guest checkout option available.
Simplify your checkout process - 26% of users abandon their cart if the checkout process if too long or complicated.
Promote trust using icons, badges and copy - 17% of users will abandon their cart because they don’t trust the website with their credit card details.
By implementing the above changes on your website, you will hopefully see an increase in conversion rates and sales. As with all conversion rate optimisation, always consider testing any changes to your website before fully implementing them.
Voice Visibility: Tracking voice results on Alexa & Google - Steff Preyer
In recent years there has been a large increase in voice search, with there currently being 1 million searches per month worldwide. This is due to the advancement of virtual assistants, such as Siri and smart speakers such as Amazon's Alexa becoming an increasingly more integral part of people's everyday lives. By 2020, 50% of searches are predicted to be conducted via voice.
Getting Voice Results
Typically, Google Answer Boxes = Voice Results (the virtual assistant answers questions with answer box results) thus optimising your page/site for Google Answer Box is a good way to gain voice results. This includes conducting researching to find questions, answering the questions, page level SEO, including correct HTML structure, and implementing Schema Markup.
However virtual assistants don't always use answer boxes to answer user queries, e.g. if the answer box result is too long or not completely relevant to the question.
Voice optimisation process
Check current voice results
Categorise/classify voice results
Decide if there is an opportunity
Optimise featured snippets OR
Develop and launch actions (setting up specific actions for the Google Home speaker that can be prompted via certain voice commands)
This typically sees much quicker results than with traditional SEO and seeing as the search landscape will be changing over the next few years, SEOs should look to take advantage voice search sooner than later.
Crawl Budget is dead, please welcome Rendering Budget - Robin Eisenberg
Driving Meaningful Clicks with Enriched SERPs - Izzi Smith
Recently learning the world of structured data and schema markup myself, I decided to head to Auditorium 1 in the hopes of gaining some more knowledge on how to best advise my clients to implement structured data on their websites as well as why they need to implement it in the first place. I was not disappointed!
Izzi Smith gave a compelling case on the benefits of implementing schema markup within your code to benefit from rich results. She contradicted Rand Fishkin’s scary study findings that 55% of EU mobile searches resulted in no clicks because of rich results in the SERPs, by stating that you should make an effort to increase your SERP presence by enriching snippets from your site to bring the right kind of clicks.
Google says that CTR is not a ranking factor, however this Google webpage on data logging states otherwise. Even if CTR was a ranking factor, Google wouldn’t tell us, people would try to manipulate it, it’s too unreliable and clicks don’t always mean user satisfaction.
To gain the most out of rich snippets on mobile, you should check the queries in Google Search Console that have the highest mobile device impression share and optimise the pages that target those keywords accordingly.
Structured Data: A Case Study - How to Make your Website Stand Out in Search - Kenichi Suzuki
Kenichi Suzuki, who travelled all the way from Tokyo for the conference, enlightened us that there is a such thing as a @HowTo schema markup. This markup is perfect for trying to gain rich snippets from editorial content on site such as ‘How to Change a Tyre’ or ‘How to Wear Colour’.
He also walked us through the @FAQPage schema markup, which allows multiple questions to be included in the markup, compared to @QA which only allows one. @FAQPage is designed for eCommerce content pages such as Shipping, Returns and FAQs. All questions are pulled from the same page however display each question as its own entity in the SERP with a clickable drop down option.
Structured data should be added to as many pages as possible on your site in order to benefit from rich results, however you must remember that having too much structured data markup implemented on a given page can negatively affect page speed.
Living on the Edge: Elevating your SEO toolkit to the CDN - Nils De Moor
The impact of translation on SEO and how they can work together - Valentine Lacour
There are a few reasons why every website targeting different markets should translate its content:
First, it is a way to expand the audience and communicate with a more diverse group. Secondly, it can help in increasing conversions because customers interacting with a site in their language are more likely to convert. And, finally, it can help ranking better in the SERPs and improve SEO performance in general.
But translating content is not as easy as it sounds. To be beneficial for the organic performance, a translation needs to save the meaning but also the search volume. In fact, we shouldn’t ‘translate’ but ‘localise’. Indeed, keywords are what allows the user to identify a website. In this sense, a translation should consider the language variations and the cultural differences in the way we search. For example, in the UK, three different words can be used to describe the evening meal: dinner, tea or supper. A person translating content from a different language to English should take into account the different search volume of these terms and pick the more relevant option to avoid missing opportunities.
To go through this translation process properly, there are a few recommendations to follow :
Don’t translate keywords but instead conduct a whole new keyword research to consider the search volumes.
Use localised URLS and keep the different languages on separate pages.
Work with native speakers as much as possible. Only them will be able to understand the nuances and to find the best options to use.
Never use automated translators.
Automate your SEO tasks with custom extraction – Max Coupland
An SEO’s job is to optimise client websites for search engines, but often the process and methods by which we do so can be so much more optimised too. In comes automation, which not only eliminates the likelihood of human error but also increases efficiency. Who knows, a 3 or 4-day work week might be on the cards if we learn how to properly harness the power of XPath and Regex in our everyday SEO tasks, to even better results.
Custom extraction via your crawler of choice is not a new function, of course, and I’m sure we’re all familiar with how to use it to our advantage to scrape websites for specific data points to determine SEO vitality. What was most interesting in Max’s presentation, however, was the rather obvious in hindsight concept that a Google SERP is, after all, just another webpage, a crawlable one at that. This idea can be, somewhat unexpectedly valuable in the realm of keyword research, to gather People Also Ask (PAA) queries and related searches that are displayed on the SERP for an existing list of keywords.
Like most webpages, Google uses classes, ids and elements in its structure, which is all we need to be able to employ custom extraction with relation to the SERP. There are just 3 simple steps to extract this information.
1. Enter the XPath under the Custom Extraction function of your crawler of choice
a. Extract the PAA class as found on the SERP with regex
b. //div[@class=“match-mod-horizontal-padding cbphWd”]
2. Recreate what the google SERP url would appear when a keyword is searched:
a. Google root URL of https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=[keyword]+[here]
c. This can be done with the simple CONCAT formulae in excel
With your list of URLs including the keyword list in the first column and any related PAA queries in subsequent horizontal cells, you’ve just managed to successfully automate a task that could’ve taken hours. Now we’ve just got to make sure we don’t automate ourselves out of a job.
8 Ways to Increase your Ecommerce Conversion Rate - Faye Watt
Faye Watt kicked off with a good talk entitled '8 Ways to Increase your Ecommerce Conversion Rate'. She reminded us of things such as personalisation and cross-selling which really help tailor the shopping experience for individual users. Ensure images have a product image, lifestyle shot and a shot with included accessories to enhance images. Make checkout & form filling out simple to use and included necessary fields for completion only. Ensure your site appears trustworthy and secure.