Yesterday was a day of learning and new experiences for the digital marketing team at Property Webmasters. It has been less than 24 hours since we got home from the SearchLeeds 2019 event, but we just had to share some of the things we learnt while there. SearchLeeds is the biggest search conference in the North of England and is a one-day free event where marketers and SEO’s take to the stage to share their expertise with others. The conference itself brings together the brightest and the best of search marketing professionals, so we just had to attend!
What is SearchLeeds?
Actionable SEO and digital marketing advice is offered by those who know a thing or two about the industry. The first SearchLeeds conference happened in 2016 and has since provided those in the industry with an experience like no other. Speakers from around the world travel to Leeds in order to provide others with information and guidance about their time in digital marketing.
More than 1,500 people attended this year’s event, making this the biggest and best one yet. There were four stages that played host to 48 talks during the day. Following the introduction at 9:30 a.m., Property Webmasters spent their time going between stages and speakers to heighten their digital marketing knowledge. Unfortunately, we were unable to attend the pre and post parties, but we did get to attend several interesting talks throughout the day. From technical SEO and analytics to digital trends in 2019, social media and more, here’s what we took away from SearchLeeds 2019.
Why We Attended SearchLeeds
Despite having knowledge and experience in digital marketing, it’s always good to learn new things – especially as this is an industry that’s constantly evolving. SearchLeeds brings together world-class speakers who are some of the best in their field. Some of the biggest names and brands in the digital marketing world speak here, so it’s only right that we take inspiration from them. The advice offered is actionable, which means we can apply new techniques to our very own digital marketing strategies.
Key Takeaways from SearchLeeds 2019
With all of the topics to choose from, we were spoilt for choice when it came to deciding which stage to visit. Luckily, SearchLeeds provided us with an agenda before the event, so we were able to plan out our day. Although all of the delegates were outstanding and gave great insight into the industry, there were a few that we couldn’t stop talking about on the way home.
“How to Score Big-Hitting CRO and Sales Growth Using a SEO Crawler and Custom Extraction”
Luke Carthy has more than 14 years of experience in the digital marketing industry and describes himself as an expert in e-commerce and technical SEO. When you hear him speak, the passion he has for what he does is obvious.
He says: “I love sharing knowledge, exploring the unusual and the unexplored – those rarely uncovered topics that really deserve attention. Although there aren’t any game-changing quick-fixes anymore, sharing proven ways to help people really move the needle back at the office is a great feeling.”
This was Luke’s second year speaking at SearchLeeds. During his speech, he talked about how to use web crawlers to identify areas in which you can apply CRO techniques to make improvements. He revealed techniques that can be applied to digital marketing strategies to help you find weak points that require attention. It goes to prove that you can make massive conversion gains by taking the time to find the problem areas first.
“How Science Can Help You Have Better Ideas”
As an SEO, content and PR expert with more than 10 years of experience in the industry, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to miss Kirsty’s talk – especially as it may be her last one ever. With the digital world we live in these days, sometimes it’s hard to make yourself stand out from the crowd. How do we get people to notice us? Well, from what Kirsty says, we can apply science to our marketing tactics.
Everyone has the ability to be creative; it just comes easier to some people than others. If you’re struggling with ideas, what you need to do is take a step back and think of ways to get your creative juices flowing.
Have you ever sat down with your team for a brainstorming session but got nowhere? Sometimes people don’t like to speak up or sometimes someone may try to take control, which can often result in failure. If you find that these kind of sessions are unsuccessful, try doing it a different way. Still sit together in a room and still have tea and biscuits there, but instead of speaking about ideas, write them down. All grab a piece of paper and start with your initial thoughts then pass the paper round to everyone else in the room so that they can expand on your idea. Kirsty spoke about various ways to help you be creative, from changing your working environment to using a random word generator and making a task/activity based around this.
It was Kirsty’s birthday yesterday so happy birthday and thanks for sharing your knowledge on such a special day. Good luck in your new venture too, we’re sure you’ll be amazing.
Why Most SEO Audits Are SH*T
One thing Property Webmasters are proud of is that we don’t just offer a one-size-fits-all approach to digital marketing. We generate SEO audits for all of our clients that then help us to come up with 3-month strategies. And this is what drew us to Bastian Grimm’s talk. We wanted to know whether or not what we were doing would be – as he puts it – considered as sh*t.
Bastian is CEO & Director Organic Search at Peak Ace, an international performance marketing agency based in Berlin. SEO’s generate audits in order to help navigate Google’s ranking factors and signals. When you get things wrong, it can have a seriously negative effect on your website. This is why it’s important that when working with an agency, you employ a team to take the time to identify the areas for improvement first.
What we learnt from Bastian is how to generate the best possible SEO audits. Every website is different, so not everything can be universal. However, no matter the industry or size of your business, here are five things you want to see in the audit you receive:
- Robots.txt and general accessibility testing – are search engines able to discover your content?
- Duplicate page titles, meta descriptions and page content – remember, everything needs to be unique.
- Internal links – are the pages with the most priority being linked to the most?
- Broken URL’s / orphan pages – site architecture is incredibly important and everything needs to be clean and tidy.
- Google Search Console – general performance and index coverage information is needed.
Following his speech at SearchLeeds, Bastian had to jump on a plane to attend the European Search Awards 2019. We’re pleased to say he was crowned winner of the European Search Personality of the Year award so we’d like to take this time to congratulate him. Well done Bastian, it’s clear to see why you won just from hearing you speak.
“Why Social Media is More than Just the Numbers”
Social media is a must in any modern digital marketing strategy. It’s something we’re passionate about here at Property Webmasters, which is why we couldn’t wait to hear Laura share her insights. Having built her own business in her early 20s, we thought we’d be able to learn a thing or two from such a young inspiration in the social media world.
What many people get hung up about on social media is how many page likes or how many followers they have. However, as the talk title suggests, it’s so much more than just the numbers. Let’s think about it for a second. Say there’s one company who has 1,000 followers and one has 100 but they both get 5 likes on a post, which one receives the most engagement? As a company, 5% engagement is much better than 0.5%, so having a lot of page likes or followers doesn’t always tell the full story.
What did we learn from Laura? Well not only does she have a brand-spanking-new Land Rover, but it’s important to build a strong brand through storytelling and customer relationships. After all, social media isn’t just a numbers game, it’s all about keeping true to yourself and letting the engagement naturally grow.
“The Butterfly Effect in SEO”
First of all, we have to pay respects to Lukasz for being the best-dressed person in the entire arena. What was great about his talk was that he skipped past all of the jargon and got straight to the point. He covered how making small and simple SEO changes can result in great rewards. As soon as he stepped on stage, he quickly became one of our favourite talks of the entire day.
He spoke about ways to obtain backlinks and tools that can be used in order to track and monitor brand mentions. As well as this, he covered using things such as the SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool to help you build profitable SEO campaigns.
What we learnt was how to boost SEO performance by efficiently using limited resources to receive big benefits. It was good to see Lukasz use his own examples during the talk. One of the key things to remember is that SEO changes take time to see huge improvements. It will not happen over night, but if you compare your organic standings now to where you were 5 years ago, you should see an impressive increase.
Lukasz Zelezny – SEO Keynote Speaker and Social Media Consultant
Follow Lukasz on Twitter: @LukaszZelezny
View Lukasz’s Website: https://zelezny.uk/
Find Out More About Lukasz’s SEO Services: https://seo.london
“How to Make Fake News for Links”
Linkbait, when not executed correctly can be frustrating for a user. However, when it’s done in the right way, it’s funny and can be one of the most powerful assets in your digital marketing strategy. Sometimes an idea that seems crazy can be the one thing that works.
Crazy Idea > Links > Ranks > Traffic > £££
When it comes to building links, you’ve got to think about the risk and the reward. If something is high risk and low reward (paying for your links), would you do it? Probably – and hopefully – not. However, if something is low risk and high reward, the chances are you’re going to go ahead and give it a go.
For linkbait to be successful, here’s what we learnt from Oliver’s speech:
- It needs to be funny
- Target live blogs
- Get your timing right
- Continue the opportunities
- Never promise anything
- Don’t be too obvious
- Use realistic graphics and branding (even if you have to make it all up)
There were plenty of things we were able to take away from the event, many of which we’ll be able to apply to not only our own digital marketing approach but the work we do for estate agents too.