iThinkMedia spent the Friday this week at Brighton SEO.
Celebrity of the SEO world Rand Fishkin from Moz appeared at Brighton SEO for the first time, delivering a passionate controversial bold insight into the future of SEO. Clark Boyd shared some insight into Visual Search and Greg Gifford delivered a hilarious Samuel Jackson presentation on Local SEO for Voice Search.
There is much to talk about, here is a quick recap of what happened this Friday.
Helen discussed some basic tips which may seem too top level but proved to be helpful tips that even some fairly experienced players in the game may not do.
Test your website:
This proved to be a very enticing talk as we have recently talked about visual search.
It was very interesting to learn more about visual search, something that is on the horizon.
Here is what Clark discussed.
What is visual search:
We partake visual search every day and Pinterest are leaders in visual search.
Take a pineapple, you may come across it in a supermarket. You might want to know about a recipe or where you can get it cheaper, image search makes that possible.
Visual search turns your smartphone camera into a visual discovery tool.
How does visual search work
Query understanding: Object shape, size color. Annotations help connect this to Pinterest inventory
Normally we type something. Now the image is the query, it is the text.
Why does visual search matter for marketers
“Shopping has always been visual, we’ve just been told to do the opposite online”
Google search is dominated by younger audiences. Younger generations more likely to engage in brands through visual search
Visual search extends the journey by taking a color pattern and suggesting products. But it also shortens the journey by allowing you to immediately buy.
Search is going towards all variety of technologies. Search companies are aiming to be more immersive.
600M visual searches via Pinterest lens every month.
How to optimize for visual search
Image Best Practices for Visual Search
Charlie shared some interesting link building success stories and case studies.
Before you link build
Giveaways can triple Facebook likes and twitter followers.
If you are a photographer or have anyone that does, make your own Flickr gallery. – Writers can use your photos if they provide backlink to your site/image.
Gambling Case Study
Gambling is a hard topic to get links from due to the nature of the topic.
However, Charlie found an opportunity on something that is outside of the gambling topic but is related to gambling.
Video games are making a killing by selling loot boxes. Huge amounts of Children take part in this, it’s seen as underage gambling by many.
Charlie and her team did some research and found a unique stat – 60% of brits asked in favor to regulate loot boxes.
They made an article on this – relates to gaming and gambling. Received a great outreach response.
The Guardian picked up and linked because of their unique stat found in their article.
Pitched to gaming sites, used their stat from their study of 60% of Brits voting to regulate loot boxes.
Gaming sites backlinked them.
They received 250 backlinks.
Purma started off by saying that voice search is overhyped. She asked, how many times have you tried to do something via voice but quit because the CX (Customer Experience) was not good?
She showed these stats:
Over 70% have never used voice search to buy something.
Only 6% chance a voice app user will be active in the second week.
However, when designed correctly, voice search can save money. When using conversational interfaces the CX must be better than any other existing options.
The science of CX and why it matters
Laziness is entrenched deep in our nature
If there are several ways of achieving the same goal, people will gravitate the one that takes least time and effort.
How we make choice:
Fast, emotional, intuitive, – Homer Simpson
Logical, deliberate, slower thinking – Lisa Simpson
We most of the time think fast like Homer, only think like Lisa when stuck
We want customers to stay in homer stage. Where it’s easy and seamless. People are impatient and don’t have the time or want to think.
Thinking slow can bring negative thinking, skepticism. Bad for sales.
Problems with traditional online exp – sites hard to nav
Can’t get an answer to questions
By 2022 voice shopping is expecting to grow to $40B
Success = Keeping the conversation moving smoothly and efficiently
Principles of conversation design
Clarity, Compassion, Character, Correction
A Study in Speech
Search has come full circle
In the early days of search, searching was done in full sentences – engines didn’t always understand
Then search changed and adopted keyword searching.
But now we are moving back to full sentence.
Stuart thinks that the commonly talked about “50% of searches will be done by voice in 2020” stat will be mostly informational searches.
He went on to display a chart showing that most devices are used in cars – 40%
Stuart was quick to reiterate that although Voice Search is an ever-growing technology, he still thinks it’s overhyped.
It’s not all google…
Alexa is powered by bing. Cortana is powered by bing.
Siri and G assistant use google.
Why is voice important
Conversation is the most natural way for a consumer to engage with products
People mostly use voice for questions, music, weather, setting alarms and calendar appointments
Used mostly for
Adding to shopping lists
Track a package
How to optimize
Do I need a separate page for each wording?
No, Alexa isn’t stupid
Cars are introducing Alexa and Siri
Greg Gifford’s talk was by far the most entertaining and engaging conference. He was like a standup SEO comedian genius. All of his slides were Samuel jackson themed. His slides moved fast, but here is a real rough breakdown of his punchy speech.
Optimize for Local SEO
Your GMB is your new home page
A lot of consumers using voice search will follow up by calling your business. GMB is a big part of this.
Upload amazing photos
Control QandA’s. Ask and answer your own. When someone asks voice search a question, if you have the answer, Google has the answer and reports it back to the voice user. Do it or someone else’s business will.
Rand delivered a passionate and controversial speech that I’m not sure anyone saw coming.
Rand was introduced on stage to a huge round of applause.
“We work for Google but are not paid by them
In return we get clicks, we get business from appearing on their site. That’s the deal.”
“Google’s free traffic was a trojan horse”
Rand had debates in the past where he strongly disagreed about this statement… Until now.
Rand Admits ultimately he may have been wrong overall that Google has their content creators best interests at heart.
“With 3-4 big search engine competitors in 2004, Google couldn’t afford to pi** off content creators”
But once they had 90% market share… Google doesn’t care anymore.
And even better results wouldn’t make people switch away – In a 2013 case study, Bing results were swapped with google but the Google logo was left on bing, and the bing logo was left on the google results, secretly. From a survey, users preferred the one with the Google logo. “That’s power”.
Google has monopolized the industry and because of this, they are starting to put themselves first despite who it destroys. They made a huge change to organic clicks for SEO for perhaps the first time ever late 2017. By February 2018, he showed these stats:
On mobile 2018: Paid 3.12%, Organic 38%. 61% no click searches.
Feb 2016 Mobile: Organic was 58% – that’s a 20% drop.
“This wasn’t part of the deal!”
He showed many examples of how Google’s own services have taken reign over organic results.
They’re all showing Google services at the top, not organic results.
Everything is biased towards Google’s own services on SERPS. Google have gutted organic results ranking top and putting their own services at the top for every major topic.
Google is driving users to scroll along their site, and not click onto your site.
“Google used to have two types of users – content creators and searchers
Now they only have one (Searchers)”
He did offer some solution and did say he doesn’t want this presentation to be all doom and gloom.
Rand discussed many factors that I think will have SEO experts and agencies alike talking. It certainly puts a spanner in many 2019 SEO strategies.
We will be going into more detail later revealing more on what he said, and what we think of it, so be sure to check back to our blog section.
I hope this small preview has given you a little insight and overview to what went down at Brighton SEO. This year has several talking points and we will be discussing more in further detail soon, so stay tuned for that.