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Naomi and Rachel attended BrightonSEO from the comfort of their own homes

By Naomi Worden 15th October 2020

Whilst it was a shame they couldn't embrace the full conference experience of BrightonSEO combined with a trip to Brighton they were grateful that it could go ahead at all. Naomi tells us about how viewing the talks remotely allowed her to see far more than if she had attended in person.

Day 1 involved talks around keyword research and the different strategies that can be used, link building, increasing reviews and mental health at work.

Keyword research strategies

My first talk involved looking at keyword research strategies; thinking about why people even want what you are offering, figuring out the user’s intent when they use different search phrases, looking at what different names people use for the same thing, along with differences in dialect in different regions. Exploring these ideas can help unearth new keywords.

Comparable Entity Mining

A related talk explored comparable entity mining; looking at comparable entities for keywords and not just the main keyword itself. It encouraged us to explore the relationships with other entities to see the bigger picture. Google is a useful tool for this, looking at the people also search and people also ask sections in search results.

Hacking Keyword Research

An interesting discussion which identified the niche and topicality of a site and building content around that. We were advised to look at competitors and the type of content they have for inspiration (but don’t copy!), look at the questions people are asking relating to products or services, and build content around those and ensure content is aligned with the industry. Whilst doing this, benchmarking the before and continually measure the results after.

Link building

Without good links, it’s difficult to rank and they remain very influential for ranking positions. PR and SEO should be amalgamated with mutual goals to build links with authoritative sites (as not all links are equal!).

Increasing Google Reviews

For all businesses, Google reviews carry a lot of weighting in the search results, particularly when it comes to clickthrough rates. This talk informed us that research has shown they are the biggest driver of clicks in local SERPs with 90% of people saying reviews and referrals are more important than information provided by a salesperson. There are many more reasons why collecting Google reviews is a good idea; increases visibility in the search results, can help boost staff morale, the more reviews you have, the more of a defence it provides against any negative reviews and it can also save money on cost per click advertising if you can build an organic presence that generates clickthroughs. There are many ways a business can get more reviews starting with ensuring you do a good job in the first place! After this, it's a case of asking your customers to leave a review and making this as simple for them to do as possible by providing links and instructions, whilst ensuring to follow up on this multiple times. Ideally, this should be done in the most human way possible - in person, on the phone or with a handwritten note.

Mental health and productivity at work

This topic is an even bigger consideration this year as a result of the global pandemic. There is very much an ‘always on’ culture with many people not knowing how to switch off, exaggerated by the fact many of us are now working from home - it can be very hard to separate your work from your home. Workplaces are encouraged to support staff and encourage open conversations with staff about how they are feeling and to get them to understand that admitting when they felt overly stressed is not a sign of weakness and that it’s ok to have challenges. The speaker promoted the idea of emotional intelligence and being able to explore your own thoughts and ideas to bring about self-awareness and understanding of those feelings as well as how to then strengthen emotional intelligence. People should be the priority in any organisation and addressing their needs first, have conversations with staff because a happy workforce is a productive workforce.

Customer reviews

Research shows that many people take a higher number of reviews to mean that a product is of a higher quality and lead to more sales. The same goes for giving people more information about a product or service - they are more likely to then buy it if that information is written and presented to give the benefits, advantages and features.

Keyword cannibalisation

Assessing the intent of the content pages (are they informational or transactional) and determining if there is some keyword cannibalisation occurring. Cannibalisation only occurs if the intent of the pages is the same, in which case they will be competing against each other in the search results. Each issue should be considered individually, there is no one size fits all approach to tackling it - some pages may need to be 301 redirected, some may be merged, subcategories created or re-optimised.