BrightonSEO September 2019 – 5 top takeaways

Increasing the quality and quantity of organic website visits to your website, as part of an integrated marketing communications plan, needs expertise and investment to keep up to date with the evolving digital landscape.

At Genesis, our digital team attends the world renowned BrightonSEO, which helps them keep ahead with all the latest trends and updates to search engine algorithms so we can offer our clients the best possible service for search engine optimisation.

In 2018, Google reported they had made 3,234 updates to their search engine – that’s, on average, a whopping 9 updates each day – For a search marketer, it’s vital to keep up to date!

Here’s our 5 key takeaways from our latest trip to BrightonSEO:

  1. Link attributes are changing, and now they actually make sense!
  2. The real difference between SEO success and failure is the human brain.
  3. SEO moves from keywords to true meaning
  4. The best SEO linkers are PR thinkers
  5. Don’t dismiss technical SEO

  1. Link attributes are changing, and now they actually make sense!

Growing links is a frustrating business, especially when many publishers add a “nofollow” attribute to block the flow of equity from one site to the other. However, Google is planning to change how it interprets the instruction.

It seems the days of the ‘blanket nofollow’ are numbered with the introduction of brand new “rel” attributes.

The new attributes allow publishers to label User Generated Content (such as comments or wiki articles) and sponsored links separately. Google has also gone on record to explain that after March 2020, it will be changing how its crawlers treat nofollow attributes from ‘instruction’ to ‘hint’, meaning it may choose to ignore them.

  1. The real difference between SEO success and failure is the human brain

At the end of the day, SEO isn’t all about traffic stats or visibility, it’s about making a ‘conversion’ such as the completion of an enquiry form. Whilst you can’t take that decision out of the hands of your users, you can influence their actions by utilising simple human psychology.

Understanding the processes behind why a person responds to your website the way they do begins with an understanding that we’re all unique, and that we all need different criteria to be met in order to become convinced enough to respond in some way.

It’s easy to fixate on how you present a message, less so to really consider who you’re presenting a message to (or rather, the various, inherently different personalities that will come into contact with your content).

Are you simply singing your own praises, or are you relating your successes to your visitor’s pain points?

  1. SEO moves from keywords to true meaning

SEO has always been dominated by keywords, how we use them and what form they take. However, recent insight has determined that this may not necessarily continue being the case, as Google increases its comprehension of the true meaning behind the words used.

The reign of the conventional keyword is slowly coming to an end as Google moves towards entity-driven SEO by creating a semantic link between multiple things.

Confused? Perform a search for “The Beatles Members” and notice the knowledge graph (at the top of your screen) – each of these are a different entity. Google identifies the entities “John Lennon”, “Paul McCartney”, “Ringo Starr” and “George Harrison”, links them to the entity “The Beatles”, and builds a network of “The Beatles Members”.

This knowledge of entities and the links between them is only growing and can be utilised to boost SEO performance by understanding how search engines both perceive and process information. In SEO, relevance matters and now that we know exactly how relevance is measured, we are better equipped to cater for it.

  1. The best SEO linkers are PR thinkers

Obtaining links is a practice vital to SEO success, but you can’t expect to generate high-value links from blogs or forums. Great link building is a product of great PR – it’s about knowing your target media and engaging them with insightful and ‘share-worthy’ stories.

Journalists are one of the best routes to publishing the links which will drive high volume traffic to your website. The skills for identifying individual journalists on each media, writing newsworthy (on brand and on message) content and targeting it appropriately to the right journalists/editors, are advanced and specialist and at Genesis we have a PR team who work seamlessly with the digital team to maximise these opportunities for our clients.

It’s important to factor in the various pressures placed on a journalist nowadays. Most have an average of just one hour to write/edit a piece, meaning it’s vital that the content you send them is not just appealing, engaging and creative, but also features all the images, videos and resources needed to get picked up and gain traction.

  1. Don’t dismiss technical SEO

SEO is becoming more and more user-led. Content’s ability to answer a question outshines the technical performance of that website. That is by no means an invitation to give up on making your website as easy as possible for search engines to index and rank.

Almost everything we do is influenced by users – we design websites to be as easy as possible to navigate, solve problems with well-written content and even tap into the inner workings of the human brain to deliver content that stands out, even at an unconscious level (See point 2 above).

But it’s more important than ever to factor in the technical optimisation. Think like a search engine and see the problems with your website that your users may not even encounter. Google’s search algorithms are getting more complex by the second, but we’re getting far better at understanding how they work – get acquainted with the processes and integrate them into your work for a successful outcome.

For more information on our digital services and how they can help you to maximise your returns, take a look at:

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