Brighton SEO September 2016

The future of search

  • Google information needs study
  • Results dictate the Google Now cards
  • 1/3 of searches are unfulfilled
  • Trend towards better ambient search devices eg Amazon Echo / Google Home / Apple Home Kit
  • Google also working on marrying voice and gestures
  • Conversational search / faceted search – remembering your previous question by remembering which attributes are relevant to each entity (eg Usain Bolt, people usually then ask how tall he is, how fast he is, how many gold medals he has)
  • ie filter and search phase happening earlier (show me restaurants with good ratings, nearby, under £70)
  • Transactional search – eg reordering / buying something with Amazon echo
  • Using your personalised data rather than crawling the web, eg ‘send my mum some flowers for her birthday’ search knows who your mum is, when her birthdays is, where she lives
  • Apps become even more important as they integrate with intelligent personal assistants

 Best practice isn’t enough

  •  Don’t stop at a checklist, think about your audience, your needs, personalisation, going the extra mile
  • Try new things, things that your data and knowledge tell you will work for your needs
  • eBay and Bing also involved in amp
  • 146% year on year growth in mobile search
  • Worry about “thin content” can trip you up, Gov UK just answers the question, others try to cram in all good content and SEO best practice to make their page rank well, but fall short because they forgot the need

 Customer experience

  • Your customers know what they want
  • Our attention spans are 8 seconds
  • “Post literate age”
  • Simplicity, single-minded, persuasive, responsive, emotional
  • Customers usually buy to feel better or to solve a problem – both emotional motivations
  • “Our customers are loyal, right up until the moment someone comes along and offers a better service” – Jeff Bezos
  • 7 million meerkats are owned in the UK – they’re the biggest importer of stuffed toys after Disney
  • EE don’t ask what phone you want, they ask what you use it for and what you want from it, before they offer you the right product
  • Do we really want choice, or is a data based recommendation better?
  • Thompson plan holidays around the person, their data and preferences, like trainline
  • Make providing information useful for the customer, eg Amazon wish list, holiday bucket list
  • Marketers are 6x more likely to follow a brand on Twitter than someone who doesn’t work in marketing
  • Naked wines ask you about your experience of purchasing after the thank you page
  • Deliver a great service end to end that reflects your brand
  • Only collect the data that answers important questions
  • The number one reason people worry about using zip car is fear they’ll be late for the person tagging in
  • By texting people 10 minutes before to ask if they wanted to extend the hour – 20% say yes
  • Halfords do minor servicing on demand, eg light bulbs, wipers, etc
  • They started offering that service because the staff noticed a lot of people trying to do it themselves in the car park
  • 80% of the wealth in the U.K. is owned by people over 50
  • Think of someone you love and how you would treat them
  • Test, be sceptical, be curious


  • “Video strategy used to be treating YouTube like a cupboard to put your video in”
  • “The moment you create a video and then think about where to put it, you’ve failed”
  • Music is the most popular content on YouTube
  • No ‘best practice / keyword stuffing’ describe it in a way that makes people want to watch it
  • Think of your thumbnails like film posters
  • Moz have had a 30% increase in views by creating bespoke, appealing thumbnails, rather than a screenshot of the content
  • 1/3 of Facebook users are mobile only
  • Vertical video format
  • Use text creatively as part of the content, rather than just subtitles
  • Serialisation works well on snapchat
  • We’re spending too much time worrying about competitors, chasing makes you weaker, do your own thing, win by being different
  • In advertising, images are key to success
  • Vanity metrics – nobody cares, focus on what matters
  • Use Facebook power editor
  • Target ‘life events’, eg upcoming birthday
  • Target ‘parents’ and cut down to how old their children are


  • Organic factors – build sites for your customers, not for Google
  • Location becoming a more important ranking factor
  • Greater local intent in searches now than ever before
  • “Google has a mobile-first view of the world”
  • 33% of mobile searches have a local intent
  • 68% say positive reviews make them trust a business more, regardless of own experience
  • A good search engine should be – experiential, expectant, easy
  • “I want to stay in the environment I’m in” – apps become very important in this, and toggling between
  • Bing has a 1 in 5 share of search queries (including Alexa, Siri, Yahoo, etc) but this is skewed to an older audience
  • 16% of searches every day are new
  • Optimise for people not for search engines
  • Importance of markup
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