On Wednesday 19th April, the SEO team from Cedarwood Digital travelled down south to attend BrightonSEO – the world’s largest search marketing conference, and we had a great time learning all things SEO. One of the sentences that I found extremely interesting was by Claudia Higgins who said that SEO is like “looking through a dark house with a torch”. SEO is an extremely vast field and it encompasses a wide range of topics, techniques and strategies.
Here are the biggest takeaways that I took from the 2 days at BrightonSEO:
The Value of Featured Snippets
Featured snippets, also known as “Position #0” results, are a type of search result that appear at the top of the SERP and they provide a response to certain queries. Niki Mosier did a talk on the value of featured snippets and there are many benefits that can come by having featured snippets on the SERP:
- ➡️Click through rate increases
- ➡️It is a quick win
- ➡️Increased share of voice
- ➡️Increased authority
- ➡️Brand awareness
- ➡️Increased direct traffic – users are more familiar with the brand
During the talk, Niki shared some data surrounding featured snippets which show just how much of an impact they can have:
- ➡️19% of the SERPs include featured snippets
- ➡️If there is a featured snippet, 50% of the mobile screen will be covered with that featured snippet
- ➡️70% of featured snippets were published no longer than 2-3 years ago
She also shared how you should build a featured snippet strategy which is extremely important as the value for your business is so high.
- ➡️Building a featured snippet starts with keyword research, you should be carrying out research for keywords that you are already ranking in positions 2-5 for and keywords that have a high search volume – if you are already ranking highly, you are more likely to have a featured snippet on the SERP
- ➡️You should be focussing on question searches as the majority of featured snippets start with the 6 W’s and 70% of featured snippets are “Why” questions
- ➡️You should always use SEO best practices, keeping the user intent as the most important aspect
- ➡️Use schema markup – 66% of featured snippets use schema markup
- ➡️Engagement – make sure that there is high engagement surrounding the topic
- ➡️Format your content – use header tags and lists, and make sure it is easily readable
- ➡️Ask and answer early within the content
- ➡️Use images within your content as they do show up in featured snippets
The talk by Niki was extremely insightful and showed just how valuable featured snippets are – they can increase a website’s visibility, traffic and credibility. When a website’s content appears as a featured snippet, it can drive more clicks and traffic to the website. Additionally, it can establish the website as an authoritative source of information, which can help to build trust with the users and improve the website’s brand visibility. To optimise your website for featured snippets, it is important to follow Niki’s tips and to provide high-quality content that directly answers common queries,this can have many benefits for websites.
Another great talk was by Kristina Azzarenko and she showcased all of the smart internal linking tricks that big brands are using and how these tricks can be used by all sized businesses and online stores and why they are so important.
The role of internal links are to determine the importance of the page that the internal link is pointing to, they also help Googlebot discover and re-discover website pages and index them timely. Internal links also improve user experience and provide context about what your content is about via anchor text. Here are the steps that were recommended from the talk:
- ➡️Break down your pages in templates
- ➡️Build logical relationships between these page templates
- ➡️Create link blocks for scalability
- ➡️Make sure your internal links are pointing to the canonical URLs
- ➡️Make sure your internal links are pointing to the 200 HTTP pages
Internal linking is an essential aspect of SEO and if implemented correctly throughout your website, it can help Google understand the structure of your website and the relationship between different pages. As discussed in this talk, this can help search engines determine which pages on your website are most important and this can help to boost visibility of these important pages in the SERPs. Overall, the talk showed just how important internal linking is for online businesses and that it should be incorporated into all effective SEO strategies.
As we all know, Universal Analytics is soon changing to GA4 and the 1st July 2023 is creeping up on us quickly, so it was great to hear a talk by Nitesh Sharoff talking about hacking GA4 for SEO. Nitesh gave 8 great tips for using GA4 for SEO purposes:
- Enable search console report collections within GA4
- Customise your GA4 navigation to suit the needs of your business
- Enrich data with event parameters
- Setup custom alerts for traffic changes within GA4
- Track speed metrics with Google Tag Manager
- Monitor your conversions in your content funnel with automated events
- Improve your channel groupings – this has improved for organic search
- Use free GA4 exports to play with your data
GA4 is quite daunting for a lot of us, but the talk from Nitesh showed that there are alot of improvements coming with the new analytics platform that can be extremely beneficial for SEO purposes and by utilising these eight tips, GA4 will enable you to create a successful SEO strategy and will help to inform you on how you can optimise your website to improve user experience.
During our time in Brighton, we heard many insightful talks about SEO that were all extremely helpful and informative, we also visited a few places for some amazing food, one being Shelter Hall. If you are ever in Brighton, I would definitely recommend it, the food and drinks were amazing, and I would highly recommend the Pizza, it was extremely tasty!