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12/10/2021

The Best Takeaways From Measurefest & BrightonSEO Summer 2021

The Most Useful Learnings From BrightonSEO 2021

Yes, that’s right! The MeasureMinds gang attended Measurefest and BrightonSEO Summer 2021 (7-10th September) and we loved it. Not only was it great to finally return to an in-person conference, but there were some really insightful talks this time around. Oh and some really good parties…

Group picture at BrightonSEO party-min

So we wanted to make this article to share what we thought were the best bits of both conferences. We actually made a full webinar on this too where we go into more detail. You can watch it here:

As for all you article readers out there, let’s get stuck in.

Will’s favourite talks

Joe Williams

5 steps to 100% Google Pagespeed success – Joe Williams

Joe Williams of TribeSEO gave a great talk at BrightonSEO on what has recently been a very hot topic, pagespeed! Everybody has gone crazy about pagespeed and it was great to see someone who really nailed it talk about his secrets. Here are the 5 points he discussed:

  1. Ensure clean code
  2. Install a pagespeed plugin
  3. Upgrade webhost
  4. Improve Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
  5. Improve Time to Interactive

Lee Foot How to use your products to subcategorise your website with Python: Lee Foot

Lee Foot’s talk was actually Will’s favourite of the entire conference. Lee has made an amazing tool that subcategories your products based on their name and search volume data. By doing this it creates new search terms that people can find your products on.

For example, if you have a messy e-commerce store that sells lots of different types of sofas, it makes sense to categorise these into ‘leather sofas’, ‘fabric sofas’ or ‘corner sofas’. By doing this, not only does it organize your site, but it opens up new keywords with potentially millions of monthly searchers looking for these keywords.

The neatest thing about this is that it’s ALL done automatically with only a few manual checks at the end to make sure you’re happy with the results. This saves so many man-hours. This is especially the case for the larger e-commerce stores out there with thousands of products.

If you already have your store categorized, as you should, it’s definitely still worth running Lee’s tool. As it identifies the most optimum keywords for the categories, you may find that it identifies some key phrases you were missing out on before!

Here are the links to Lee’s resources:

Phil’s Favourite Talks

Yali Sassoon How to win in a world of first-party data – Yali Sassoon

Yali Sassoon from Snowplow Analytics gave a great presentation on first-party data and its importance in the context of further restrictions being placed on third-party data. For example, Intelligent Tracking Prevention by Apple. This raises a few questions:

  1. How can we measure the effectiveness of our advertising, so we can optimize our spending?
  2. How do we advertise now 3rd party channels are less effective?

Yali says that we need to solve these challenges by collecting first-party data. But this is hard. It has to be collected on your own companies servers. This can not only be costly, but it also comes with the drawbacks of not having ‘out-of-the-box’ segments like we do with third party data.

5 ways to enable better targeting:

  1. Define an audience segment
  2. Compute who belongs in the segment
  3. Sync that data to the different marketing platforms (Google Marketing Platform – Google Analytics 4, Amazon Advertising, Facebook)
  4. Set up a campaign with your new segment to measure its impact against a control – is it effective at targeting users with a higher propensity to buy?
  5. Iterate – assess whether this was effective. What could you change to make a more effective segment?

Yali also goes on to say that there are plenty of reverse ETL vendors out there that solve the data engineering challenge of publishing segments to marketing channels. These include:

Finally, Yali wraps up by admitting that building your own segments with your own data is much more difficult than using third-party data and pre-built segments. With this being said your competitors find it just as hard, which leaves more room to compete.

As stated at the beginning of his talk, third-party data is under attack and it’s only going to get worse. Adopt the use of first-party data now and you’ll have a competitive advantage in the future! You can find Yali’s slides here.

Lazarina Stoy Interactive Data Studio reporting for Core Web Vitals performance and progress-tracking using Screaming Frog and Sheets – Lazarina Stoy

Core web vitals are something that everyone is, quite justifiably, going crazy for right now! So Lazarina’s talk providing a Data Studio dashboard for reporting core web vitals performance comes as a sight for sore eyes.

It’s simple and efficient and provides actionable recommendations for all three metrics for a page-level, section-level, and site-level. Furthermore, the plug-and-play framework allows you to audit, communicate findings, and track progress, making stakeholder relations easier.

Use Lazarina’s data studio dashboard and check out her article to learn more about core web vital reporting with Data Studio.

Rory Hope Audience Intelligence & SEO: How To Integrate Data Sources To Develop SEO Personas – Rory Hope

Rory from Remote did a great presentation about SEO personas built from multiple data sources and how they can be used to drive more links, higher rankings and thereby clicks. SEO personas, which are essentially user and reader audience segments can help understand:

  • What topics to write
  • Style
  • Tone
  • Reader pain points (what they want to see answers to)
  • How to identify influencers
  • Which websites to target for link acquisition (and to do this at scale)

We can build SEO personas by doing some keyword research. Let’s be very broad in our example and say the keyword is ‘tech’. We should, of course, remember to research SERP intent and how competitors in the SERPs are performing. Once our competition as been identified, we can use them for audience intelligence research.

Rory recommends using Audiense as his preferred audience intelligence tool. Just by inputting your competitor’s Twitter handles, Audiense will build in-depth segments around your audience based on who follows your competitors and how they interact with them. You will then be shown other influencers that target these specific segments.

For example, if you want to target founders and CEOs in ‘tech’ (your target keyword) then you now have lists of influencers who target this segment. This allows you to understand the style of content, tone, topics and moreover who to target for link acquisition. Not only this but you have this information for several other audience segments too!

Check out Rory’s slides here.

Elisha Dignam The 3 things your clients wish you knew – Elisha Dignam

To finish up with I’m going to talk about Elisha Dignam‘s talk on the 3 things your clients wish you knew. Elisha says that the average length between client-agency relationships is down 30% since 2015. So it makes sense that we need to do a better job of keeping our clients on.

To do this there are three things that we need to understand, specifically from the point of view of marketing managers. These were cleverly put into ‘client truths’. I’ll try summarise them briefly here:

1. There isn’t a magic money tree…

Problem
  • No business has an infinite amount of money.
  • Every penny is scrutinized by finance.
Solution

Instead of saying “if you could just spend more” try justify budget changes using ROI benefits. Marketing managers have to explain needs for changes in budget to people that don’t understand marketing but do understand finance and the benefits of ROI.

Alternatively, you can:

  • Recommend savings to cover costs
  • Contribute to annual budget planning

2. Stop assuming you always know best

Problem

For many people client-side there was a commonality that they thought agencies often had a perceived arrogance that they knew best. Whilst it is true that agencies are hired for their expertise, it’s important to remember clients are:

  • Experts in their own business.
  • Experts in their own products.
  • The people who know about what has worked and not worked in the past.
Solution
  • Embed yourself into your clients business
    • Get to know the product and the business.
    • Get to know the key stakeholders and what makes progress with them.
  • Learn from your clients
    • Your clients are quite often experts in marketing the products that they are paid to market… Quelle surprise! Listen to them.
    • Collaborate, don’t just push through your own ideas. Have an open conversation.

3. Last-minute changes frustrate us too

Problem

Weirdly agencies aren’t the only people frustrated when something changes last minute. The person whose job is relying on both of your successes gets frustrated too!

Marketing managers also like structure in their marketing campaigns and it’s important to remember that these changes don’t often come from them. Elisha provided quite a fitting image for this:

CEO last minute change

Solution

Instead of saying “that’s not the plan you signed off on”:

  • Equip your clients so they’re ready to defend decisions.
  • Act quickly and be proactive.
  • Have a positive attitude.

After all, you are being paid to “serve” your client. Help them out and make sure that service is on point!

Another great image by Elisha to sign off…

Defending a marketing plan

You can find Elisha’s slides here.

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