Our teams were back at BrightonSEO last week to get the latest of all things search and spend the day with like-minded marketers on the sunny British coast. What could be better than that?
We listened to some fantastic speakers throughout the day and have summarised a few of our favourites. So, whether you couldn’t make it to the event yourself this year, or you just want to revisit a few of the topics from the day, we’ve got you covered.
As many of us are already aware, Google has undergone a new algorithmic change which has resulted in title tag rewrites. Mordy Oberstein gave us the lowdown on what kind of titles Google is, and isn’t, rewriting, and speculations around the reason for Google’s title rewrites.
Google originally began rewriting title tags predominantly using content from the webpages’ H1, however, is relying a lot less on this. So, what is Google using to rewrite these titles?
Firstly, Mordy ran us through some key SERP data to highlight why Google isn’t rewriting our titles. Essentially, data shows that title rewriters have little to do with the device you’re using, the length of your title, or the length of your keywords or intent. In the words of Mordy, and Freddy Mercury, nothing really matters. Read The Full Scoop on Google’s Title Rewrites to see the data for yourself.
However, what the data did show is that Google is rewriting titles in order to…
But, why is Google doing all of this?
Well, according to Mordy, Google is simply ‘flexing’. Google relies less on H1s as a crutch for its understanding and rewriting of titles. Instead, Google is showing us that it is confident enough in its understanding of our web pages and our content to rewrite our titles using all the available information to demonstrate this. Impressive.
Lidia Infante ran us through a comprehensive approach to carrying out SEO competitor gap analysis. After all, as Lidia says, ranking is as easy or as hard as doing things better than your competitors.
First, you should look at the three pillars of SEO: Technical, Content and Links. Next, you need to find out what you need to improve on to move the needle. For instance, if you’re already over-performing in two areas, and doing just mediocre in one, you’ll need to work on the third.
Then, it’s time to answer these three questions:
Lidia highlights the importance of looking at all types of competitors, including your SERP competitors, brands that sell the same product or service, have the same audience and solve the same need as you, as well as asking other departments who they think you should be looking at. With these competitors in mind, you’ll then need to begin SEO benchmarking, looking at content, brand and technical metrics.
Top tip: If you see your competitors have a rapid increase in links, this may indicate that they are actively building links and suggests you need to up your game to compete.
Now that you have all the competitor data you need, you’ll need to make a plan for your weakest pillar. You’ll need to understand why you are underperforming and create a roadmap of how you’ll improve with actions, timelines, responsibilities and success measures. Once you get sign-off from stakeholders, execute your plan.
Find out more about how to conduct SEO Gap Analysis.
Chima Mmeje’s talk provided useful insights into how creating topic clusters can help your website fill content gaps, rank for relevant keywords and offer useful information for your customers, to help them through the buyer’s journey and lead them to conversion.
First of all, what is a topic cluster? Chima describes a topic cluster as…
Essentially, you need to pick a topic and zoom in on it. Think of your clients and a topic they want to hear about, as well as a topic you want to own.
There are many benefits to creating topic clusters, such as:
Chima offers an important reminder to repurpose everything, whether it’s for LinkedIn, TikTok or any other platform. This way you will be providing the same content in different formats to engage everybody. And, as such, your content will live forever.
But how do you go about researching for a topic cluster?
Which keywords should you prioritise?
The pillar will typically be the topic with the highest search volume and the cluster topics will be related topics. However, it’s important to remember that clusters go beyond search and you must be taking a holistic approach. Your content should address your audience’s needs and touch upon all points of the buyer’s journey, with compassion assets and more.
Chris Czermak (a rocket scientist turned SEO senior executive), gave an incredibly insightful talk on using search intent in your link building efforts.
Anyone who has had any experience in digital PR will be well versed in the process behind creating a campaign – from ideation to prospecting, outreach emails, and everything in between. But at Chris’s agency, they cut out the outreaching process altogether. Rather, the methodology behind their most successful link building efforts is harnessing search intent to generate natural links.
As natural links are still the backbone and mass majority of links built on the internet, Chris and his team believe this is the best way to build a large volume of links. So, while links are generated from sites such as gov.uk, the NHS, and Cancer Research because they are reliable sources for information and references, how can we use this logic and apply it to building links for clients?
To do this, Chris and his colleagues create complex definitions, ‘how to guides’, tools and templates, and fact files to generate reference points to build natural links. To give an example, they created a blog post on Insomnia Statistics for a probiotics company that generated over 120 links naturally and was referenced in Yahoo!, Glamour, and Vogue to name a few. This same method was applied to a variety of clients, gaining 100s of links in their relevant categories.
If you’re interested in learning more, check out Chris’s presentation.
If you have any questions about the topics discussed above, do not hesitate to get in touch with our team.