6 takeaways from SearchLove London 2017

6 takeaways from SearchLove London 2017

On the 15th & 16th October Amy, Ash, Dan, Gareth and Tim attended SearchLove London 2017 at The Brewery, London. This was Meta's second year at SearchLove and in the usual manner we've compiled our top takeaways to share with you below.

What is “SearchLove”, you ask?
It is a two-day event that gives marketing professionals the knowledge they need to stay at the cutting edge of online marketing. Topics range from search engine optimisation through to social media best practice, visual marketing, user tracking and the wonders of Web-Apps. We've compiled our top takeaways to share with you below.

1) Link building case studies, myths and fails

Link building is still an important part of any SEO campaign and is still one of the major factors in Google's ranking algorithm. Paddy Moogan of Aira shared Myths and Case Studies of Outreach Success that helped to dispel misconceptions and reinforce what link building looks like in 2017.

Top tips from this fantastic #SearchLove presentation included:

  • Build on-going marketing plans (evergreen ideas really work for campaigns)
  • Re-publish ideas around key events, but don't start with key calendar dates for ideas as this can stifle creativity
  • You don't necessarily need linkable assets such as images, videos or infographics to build links - if you're on a budget, a traditional content piece is strong enough, you can generally get links from the value of the content
  • Links don't always happen overnight. Banker content that's slow and steady is fantastic to build links on an ongoing basis

2) Reverse-Engineering Google's Research on What Searchers are Looking for

Rob Bucci from STAT gave some great insight into the mindset users and why Google is serving certain assets (e.g. images and video) for users based on intent.

A great way to capture more share of search is through Google's featured snippets which aim to deliver relevant content, quickly and easily to users.

Rob highlighted that there are three key stages of search intent for consumers. Google have learned that the searcher has different intent at each stage of the funnel. As a result, search queries look different for each of these stages and the content to satisfy each stage is typically different too:

  • Informational - the start of the path to purchase. Answer results in SERPs work well for keywords like "best"
  • Commercial - the research phase. Video results work well for "compare" related search phrases
  • Transactional - the end of the funnel with more immediate intent. Image results feature predominantly for searches that include "new"

When it comes to search intent, organic results still do an amazing job occupying 90% of the search landscape making it even more important for your brand to “be there, be useful and be quick” to satisfy users.

3) The New Era of Visual Marketing

The era of traditional websites and text based search may be coming to an end according to Jes Scholz of Ringier. Jes suggested that we should start to prepare for when the camera on your mobile and image search become the default input for users.

27% of all searches on Google are image searches, with 11% of search results containing images. Google have been gradually improving their image search functionality to include related images, image collections, images in traditional search results and more recently similar items from an image which are available to purchase. With that in mind, it's well worth tagging images to help Google understand if they're a product, recipe or similar.

It's certainly worth thinking about visual listening for your brand too. This will help you sniff out brand interactions and engage with an audience who you might not have found.

Final thought: “Think pictures not keywords”.

4) Social Content Masterclass: Platform Specificity

David Levin from That Lot took us on a hilarious tour of social media and the importance of platform specificity.

The average person spends 1 hour and 16 minutes thumbing through 300 feet of social media posts every day. This fact alone makes it increasingly more important to be on the platforms that your target audience are using!

Here's a few of David's social media tips from the session:

  • Be innovative
  • Be timely
  • Humour in a timely fashion on the right platform can work
  • Humour can be disastrous on the wrong platform at the wrong time
  • Use a series of images to tell a story (even on Twitter)
  • Shorter Tweets work best (under 100 characters)
  • Instagram stories are used 250 million times a day

5) The Campaign Flop: What to do When Your Content Fails

Even when you think you have an amazing idea, it might still be a flop! The important thing, according to Kirsty Hulse from Manyminds, is to recognise a flop early, kill it and move on. Of course, that can mean you need to be thinking about more than one campaign idea at a time.

This ties in nicely with our approach to digital marketing campaigns at Meta. We'd always recommend having a series of smaller campaigns running alongside a larger campaign to mitigate the risks of having a single piece fail.

Running multiple campaigns alongside each other and targeting different audiences and sectors can often lead to more coverage than single campaigns in a sequential manner. Checkout Kirsty's slide below for more tips on avoiding a campaign flop.

6) From Website to Web-App: Fantastic Optimisations and Where to Find Them

Emily Grossman of MobileMixie made it clear that whilst fewer people use apps than mobile browsers, when people do use apps, they are engaged for longer.

Emily focussed on a technology known as progressive web apps. PWAs take your mobile website a step further by making it app-like, resulting in the reach of a website with the engagement of an app.

If you're interested in learning more about how PWAs could be the next step for your business, we'd highly recommend Emily's presentation on the future of web apps.

About the author

Gareth Allen

Gareth Allen, Managing Director

Gareth launched Herd in June 2013 and is our resident commerce guru, specialising in Shopify Plus and SEO.
With over 18 years' industry experience, he has worked with a wide range of brands, from local businesses to large corporates and global eCommerce retailers helping to drive performance and business growth.

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