4 Things We Learned from BrightonSEO This Year

BrightonSEO is an annual conference held in Brighton (of course) with a variety of SEO agencies speaking about recent trends and developments within SEO!

Novicell attended this year and we’ve detailed below, 4 quickfire developments from SEO experts we listened to.

1. Crawling enterprise websites

Rachel Costello at Deepcrawl gave us an excellent insight into how to crawl large websites with over a million URLs.

Large enterprise websites with millions of URLs can be extremely daunting at first to manage, especially with a limited crawl budget.

Your website’s crawl budget is the amount of times search engine bots visit your web pages in a given period of time. As you are not the only site on the web, these bots (or crawlers and spiders) will also diver their attention elsewhere.

The majority of people won’t have to worry too much about crawl budget as this mostly concerns very large enterprise sites, but that doesn’t mean you should forget about it!

You want the crawlers to find your most important content and pages as quickly as possible, you can check Google Search Console to see your crawl statistics in the “Crawl” menu. 

Using the daily crawl stats will allow you to calculate your monthly crawl budget, allowing you to calculate a baseline for the number of pages spiders will crawl in a month.

Crawl budget optimisation

An example of crawl budget optimisation we heard at BrightonSEO was a client had separate product pages for the same product but in different sizes and colours. 

So, 1 product in 10 different sizes and 10 different colours is going to be 100 additional pages and URLs instead of 1. 

This can add up very quickly if there are 1000s of products on a large e-commerce site. In addition to this, filter pages were also being indexed. 

All those great filters for user experience to help visitors search by size, colour, prize, sort by ascending, descending, price, most popular. These parameters can quickly have 1000s URLs for spiders to crawl and eat up your budget.

How to optimise your crawl budget

The overall goal here isn’t to increase your crawl budget, rather to ensure you are using your current budget effectively. 

You can take these steps below to increase the efficiency which spiders crawl your site:

  • Decide on the most important pages to index
  • Optimise your product template to include different sizes, prices & colours
  • Fix redirects & broken links
  • Clean your XML sitemap (look at splitting into smaller more manageable sitemaps)
  • Set URL parameters
  • Use robots.txt

Managing your crawl budget

Keeping track of a large enterprise site can become increasingly difficult, especially with a limited crawl budget.

Rather than crawling the entire website every time, you can run targeted or tactical crawls; segmenting the site into manageable chunks. With software such as Screaming Frog or Deep Crawl, targeted and tactical crawls can be easily completed.

Split the site you’re managing into vertical and more manageable categories, these might be:

  • Product pages
  • Category pages
  • Blog pages
  • Vanity pages
  • Navigational pages
  • Transactional pages
  • FAQ pages

Remember, it is still important to complete full crawls of your site annually. So don’t forget about that!

2. Don’t believe the voice search hype

Voice search has been branded as a “revolution” within the marketing world, with many saying it will be the future of search. 

Statistics being thrown around such as, “50% of all searches will be voice by 2020 and in 2017 60% of mobile searches will be voice.”

This doesn’t seem too unlikely seeing as the usage of smart speakers has grown exponentially; 90 million users in America, in addition to those already using Siri, Cortana and OK Google.

The data says otherwise.

Only 12% of mobile searches in 2017-18 made were via voice, so we aren’t on trend for 50% just yet.

At present, none of Google’s tools will segment a search term into voice or via a typed search, so why bother investing time and money if we can’t track properly yet?

This introduction of voice and more featured snippets in the SERP has contributed towards a rise in “no-click searches.” 

No-click searches are when users complete a search, but don’t click on any results. This is likely due to the fact that search engines are scraping data from results and pushing it to the SERP. Like below:

With some results, users don’t even need to click to find out the answer, Google will just tell them, so they don’t need to click.

A study found there has been a decrease in CTR by 20%, questions are being answered in the SERP so users aren’t clicking on any results.

This reduced CTR has a direct impact on the quality score of Google Ads user’s accounts, the more rich and featured snippets that are shown in the SERP, the less likely users are to click on your ad.

Which brings the question, will Google bring rich media to ads in the future? If more people are experiencing higher costs and lower quality scores, then they may look to other methods for advertising.

3. Featured snippets are awesome!

Featured snippets are selected organic search results that are on top of Google’s organic results below the ads in a box. The featured snippet’s aim is to answer the user’s question faster.

The above picture shows an example of a featured snippet. The great thing about featured snippets is that they give an answer right away.

Studies have shown:

Key take-aways

Featured snippets can increase both relevant traffic and sales. In the following, the 4 key take-aways we took from BrightonSEO are described.

1. Access the right query intent

There are different 3 different kinds of query intent. The query can either be:

  • Informational
  • Navigational
  • Transactional

You should aim to answer queries that are both informational and transactional since they will provide you with relevant traffic that will convert.

2. Carry out problem and solution research

You should not only carry out problem and solution research but also keyword research. The best way to evaluate your audiences' queries is by asking your audience which questions they have on a specific topic.

There are several ways to find data on what your audience has questions about. You can use the following to get ideas about your what your audience questions:

  • Your customer support & sales team
  • Answerthepublic.com
  • Use Social media

3. Provide epic, user-focused content that serves a need

You should provide the user with content that solves their problems and show them that you are the expert in that area.

Since Google’s algorithm update E-A-T (Expertise – Authoritativeness - Trustworthiness) you should show the user that you are the expert within the topic. Your content should be trustworthy so make sure to use supporting data and sources, preferably link to these sources in your content. Always write for humans and not crawlers, so please ignore keyword density terms and focus on creating amazing content.

4. Ensure you content is easily understandable

Your content should be understandable and grabbable. To make your content easy to understand you should:

  • Give it structure
  • Remember the paragraph sweet spot on 40-60 words
  • Bulk out your lists
  • Highlight your data (Schema.org)
  • Use eye-grabbing images

4. Link building techniques

Link building is still one of the most important factors in SEO. Link building takes time and is especially difficult for niche industries, but it is worth it in the end when you get links from high-authority websites. Link Building can increase your rankings and therefore give increase traffic and higher.

Before you start link building, make sure that your website follows these guidelines:

  • Easy to navigate and has a clear structure
  • Ensure a good customer journey
  • Has SSL certificate and other trust reviews
  • Clear CTA’s
  • Has relevant keywords
  • Focus’ on E-A-T (Expertise-Authority-Trust) in content Here are the

4 key points we learnt from BrightonSEO:

1. Competitor backlinks

The lowest hanging fruits in relation to building links has always been to take steal them from your competitors. You:

  • Identify 4 biggest competitors
  • Put them into a tool like SEMrush or Searchmetrics
  • Compare back links metrics
  • Identify back links with high domain rating
  • Your steal them by sending an email to them asking them about a link

2. Surveys

Surveys tend to make their way through the press and pick up a lot of links, if the topic of the survey is original, relevant, newsworthy and interesting to your core audience. Here’s a step-by-step for how to get started creating a survey.

  • Identify a question that your target audience would be interested in knowing the answer to. It should be a quantitative question.
  • You can search Q&A’s forums and Q&A sites for questions that might be interesting for your audience to know about.
  • Choose a platform for your survey such as Google surveys or SurveyMonkey.
  • Keep the survey as short as possible to get accurate results on exactly what you want to find out.
  • Your questions should not be open-ended.
  • When getting your results, identify the most eye-catching information and use that as your header in your article.
  • Explain your results in the article and be sure to contextualise your expert interpretations.
  • Put it on as much social media to get it out in the public.

3. Infographics

Making amazing infographics is acquiring links. In the following the process of how we make great infographics will be described.

  1. Full Team Brainstorm
  2. Research
  3. E-mail Brainstorm
  4. Develop concept
  5. Design
  6. Revisions

Using these 6 simple steps will make you create great infographics that will give you 100 of links.

4. Flickr galleries

Links from images are not new or revolutionary it is however a tactic that is underused. The impact from image-based links on the reader, in terms of both user experience and conversion rate optimisation can be incredibly high. Once you have set this up it will require a minimum effort but continue to work on autopilot.

Flickr is the Youtube of images and it receives a lot of traffic and the site has been designed for sharing images and giving credit to their use via a creative common license. This license is your key to your link building.

The link building technique is simply about a transaction; sharing original useful images in exchange for a link back to your site. Follow this step-by-step to start your Flickr gallery link building strategy.

  • Sign up for an account on Flickr
  • Take as many photos as possible
  • Load these images into Flickr
  • Add your file names, descriptions and tags
  • After you have writing the description with that people can use your image for free on their website if they a do-follow hyperlink

When people use your link, you will receive nice juicy back links.

We hope you enjoyed our quick summary of BrightonSEO and hopefully see you there next year!

If however, you are looking for SEO services for your company and would like to speak to one of our expert SEO consultants about how we can help you, please be in contact.