Our copywriter and SEO guru Kirsty spent a packed day by the seaside just before Easter, discovering the latest developments in SEO, search and other things web-geeky!
brightonSEO is a conference that brings together the brightest sparks in online marketing and SEO in quick-fire 20 minute presentations. It's fast, fascinating and in some cases, flabbergasting!
Here are her top takeaway tips, and how you can apply them to your website or social media to make them work just that little bit harder.
A packed day of presentations at brightonSEO always provides me with lots to think about. It's also a great way to spot rising trends and new methods to maximise your online real estate, be it a website, social media account, article or blog.
1. Voice search is going to be BIG
Digital assistant devices are those clever boxes that answer your questions, like the Amazon Echo, and its digital persona, Alexa. It is estimated that 24million of these devices will ship during 2017 alone. That’s a lot of questions that’ll need answering, so Google and others will be trawling websites to try and find the answers.
Act Now: As an absolute minimum, make sure your website is up to date, with the right information. Ensure your information on opening hours, telephone numbers, etc is consistent between your website and your social media, especially your Facebook Page and your Google Maps entry.
2. Reviews and five stars
I know I keep going on about reviews, but at least four presenters were equally convinced of their worth, and here’s why.
• 60% of customers choose the business with the HIGHEST star rating
• 87% won't choose a business with only a few reviews on their site
• Google likes star rankings!
Act Now: Get as many reviews as possible on sites that offer a star rating, including your Facebook Page, your Google listing, Yelp, and frankly, anywhere else you can! If you’re selling stuff, consider TrustPilot https://ca.trustpilot.com; sign up for free and give it a whirl.
3. Local search
If you have a local ‘bricks and mortar’ business, you need to make local search your priority. You want to be found near the top of results for local longtail phrases, such as “home removals company near Tillsonburg”, as well as for questions such as “What is the best way to pack fine china when moving house?”.
Act Now: Local search is built on local links, both online and offline, so consider those local sponsorship opportunities, and write about local events in your blog. Ask for links to your site from local groups including local businesses, municipal websites, or neighbourhood action groups. Make everything you publish highlights your connection to your city, your town, your neighbourhood, your community.
4. Be the ZERO answer
It’s the new #1 on Google, and it’s called Position Zero. It’s the Knowledge Graph, that little box at the top of search results that gives an answer to a question. To make sure your website appears in that box, target very niche-specific questions and write an article with three or four likely questions as sub-headers. Let’s take the moving example from above: “What is the best way to pack fine china when moving house?” You write about this in detail with sub-headers such as “How to wrap a china teapot”, “How to pack china plates into a removal box” and so on. Use bullet points and tables where possible, and answer each question within the first 100 words you write.
Act Now: Look at your keyword research results and identify five key questions people might ask. Type then into Google and see what answers come up. Then write, or video, something better!
5. Paid Social
In other words, advertising, and in particular, Facebook advertising. Facebook has 1.49billion active users worldwide, and a further 500,000 users are joining daily. Of the 50million businesses currently on Facebook, only 4million use Facebook advertising. That’s less than 10%. Facebook advertising is incredibly targeted so you can narrow it right down to a specific audience; I recently ran a campaign for men and women aged 45-60 interested in yoga and meditation living within a 10 mile radius of a yoga teacher offering free taster sessions. I set a budget of just $40 for six days, and reached over 3000 people. The sessions booked out.
Act Now: If you do nothing else, Boost a post on Facebook. It’s quick, easy and you can target it just as tightly as I did. Set a small budget and see what happens. Then take 10 mins to explore other advertising options - look for the blue Advertise button on the left column of your Facebook Company Page.
At Akira Studio, we’ll be refining our techniques and methods for all these search and SEO areas, to help you get the most from your website and social media accounts. Stay tuned for more details, or call us with your particular requirements.