My Takeaways from SearchLove 2018
SearchLove, one of the most interesting online marketing conferences, particularly for SEO and search experts, was recently held in London, and I was lucky enough to be attending for the second time.
Run by Distilled, and based in the UK, San Diego, and Boston, SearchLove is a great conference for all you performance search marketers out there. This year – as always – all the important topics were covered, from analytics and optimization to content strategy and paid promotions.
SearchLove is a great event for marketers to stay on the cutting edge of digital and SEO. So, here are some key takeaways from SearchLove London, for those who couldn’t make it, and for those who were there but want to recap the most important bits:
The two-tiered SERP: Ranking for the most competitive terms
One of the most talked-about sessions was Tom Capper’s. Tom gave great insights about the most competitive terms we are all trying to rank for.
The standard rules don’t always apply. Tom dived into whether and how Google is going beyond our normal understanding of ranking factors, and how we need to react.
A tempering note from @THCapper on Google’s smarts. Despite the fact that, as Tom mentioned “all websites are online”, this was the horrifyingly negative impact of *removing* “online” from on-page copy from e-commerce <buy XYZ online> pages for a major retailer #SearchLove pic.twitter.com/91i3ss8fCL
— Will Critchlow (@willcritchlow) October 15, 2018
10+ new ways to visualize your search data
Just as he did at Searchlove 2017, Will Reynolds killed it on stage again this year.
Will is simply a master at visualizing all the data we get from SEO activities through DataBI. If there’s anything worth doing right now, it ’s following him on Twitter. Such an interesting character!
See his magic once again here.
How distance and intent shape a local pack
STAT, recently acquired by Moz, gave insightful data-based tips to shape up your local SEO and smart segmentation.
Check out their shiny research with some great data nuggets.
How to earn big links
We live in a world of real-time news and instant reactions. As marketers, this gives us more opportunity than ever to become part of a bigger story – and to earn big links. It’s more affordable and less time consuming than you think, and anyone can do it.
After years of newsjackings both big and small, Ryan Charles from hireahelper.com and his team completely newsjacked the news of the San Diego Chargers NFL franchise relocating to L.A.
Learn from Ryan about how to potentially facilitate huge, viral moments, how to best manage them when you land one, and how to add to the story without being a “Newsjackass”.
No one wants to watch another commercial
When was the last time you were excited to click on an ad in your social feed? If you answered “never”, you’re not alone. Consumers don’t want to watch more ads. They want to be entertained.
Julie Scott shared how Onion Labs has combined the best comedy writers in the U.S. with some incredibly talented marketers, to create a custom content studio. The studio teaches brand marketers to leverage comedy and entertainment to reach publishers’ coveted target audiences.
Julie also shared a 5-step process of how to create the best framework for working with brands.
How to nail SEO for discontinued products
So, you’re running an eCommerce site and you have lots of discontinued products. Usually, most brands remove those product pages from their sites. However, they are losing huge conversion opportunities.
Check out this presentation by Luke Carthy and see how you can power up your SEO eCommerce efforts with your old product pages.
Split A/B testing with SEO
Dom Woodman of Distilled teflSearch spent the past year running a massive number of tests on an SEO split testing platform
Everything from: What are the effects of basic SEO changes? Why is changing title tags possibly a really risky move? How and when does structured data help? How important is freshness (and can you fake it)?
Does testing change your relationship with a client? Should you put emojis in everything?
Q&A session with John Mueller, Google
Every SearchLove conference ends with a great Q&A session. We’ve collected some of the best quotes for you:
@JohnMu agrees: the official line from Google is that we shouldn’t do SERP analytics. “Debugging a drop in traffic is tricky. I’d start with looking at Search Console data. For competitors’ sites, that’s a lot harder.”#SearchLove
— distilled (@distilled) October 16, 2018
@JohnMu is on stage. “To improve serps, we are prioritizing search queries depends on their trend data. If it’s a word searching everyday by people, that would be the first thing to work on” he says. #searchlove pic.twitter.com/1DPqPInP2O
— Can Menteş (@can_mentes) October 16, 2018
@JohnMu wouldn’t call it an authority metric, but they have site wide and page level signals.
A trustworthy website will have better chances of ranking when a new page is created vs low quality site. Some trust signals are passed in that instance. #searchlove
— Jonathan Jones (@Jonny_J_) October 16, 2018
“SEOs will have to interact more with Frontend-Devs and be able to explain the “WHY” for example the technical reasons” @JohnMu firechat with @willcritchlow #Searchlove #SEOskills pic.twitter.com/1qnAkkAb2F
— Dan|el (@danre2h) October 16, 2018
And what about site structure?
What are we better off with? Subdomains or folders?
@JohnMu on whether things are better in subdirectories or subdomains;
“Oh my god”#SearchLove
— distilled (@distilled) October 16, 2018
“We try get a notion of what a site contains, sometimes that includes subdomains, sometimes it includes sub-directories” @JohnMu
Anyway, Rand Fishkin says it is useless putting our best content on “rogue mini-sites and pointless subdomains”…
Some more slides
Thank you, Distilled, for another great SearchLove conference. See you next year!