7 Things We Learnt at SearchLeeds 2019

SearchLeeds is back, so naturally, we had to attend. As the largest search marketing event in the North of England, SearchLeeds covered everything from SEO and PPC, to the trends in digital and social media to watch for in 2019. Featuring over 40 talks across four stages by leading industry experts, we were keen to soak up any and all tips and tricks that would help us to get our marketing game on top. 

Read on to discover our top seven takeaways from SearchLeeds 2019 that you can apply to your campaigns today.

#1. Enterprise SEO

Enterprise SEO is the process of improving the SEO of businesses who might not be particularly large in size, but whose websites are made up of a lot of pages that need to be indexed. While these sites probably have lots of pages, it doesn’t necessarily mean they have high authority. Examples of enterprise sites are popular ecommerce websites that have thousands of product pages. Enterprise SEO is an alternative method of optimisation that proves that SEO is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and that SEO methods should always be bespoke for the website in question.

#2. Sampling and Slicing

And no we’re not talking about cake. Sampling and slicing are two tactical methods for crawling a website that has too many pages to crawl every single one. Sampling refers to taking random portions of a site to crawl, whereas slicing looks at specific sections from a site (eg, the blog, or a category page). The information gathered from sampling and slicing allows you to generate a hypothesis and paint a bigger picture for the overall SEO of a site. These techniques are ideal for clients with tight turnaround times or limited budgets, maximising the ability to create a return within tricky parameters.

SearchLeeds 2019 Talk

#3. Prioritisation

With so many pages to optimise, it can be difficult to prioritise when it seems that everything is of the utmost importance. At SearchLeeds, we were introduced to the following equation to help us to rank the priority of SEO tasks:

Effort (1-5) X Impact (1-5) = Severity Score & Priority Level (1-25)

Allocating a score from one to five, based on the effort and impact of a task, and multiplying the numbers together gives us a severity score. This score, between one and twenty-five, gives us an indication of how important the task is, allowing us to work more effectively and efficiently. 

#4. Pixel ranking

For the longest time we’ve been aspiring for the coveted position 1 on the SERP page, but is there a new way of ranking? Pixel ranking, aka the physical positioning of a site on a SERP page, is recommended for measuring your ranking as the SERP page is now populated with new search result formats. Rich snippets, videos and paid ads now take up a large portion of the immediate results page. Position 1 appears below these additional formats, so even if you optimise for it, you could still be halfway down the SERP. Pixel ranking takes into account all of the search results formats for a more accurate and effective measurement of ranking.

#5. SERP suggested results

SearchLeeds gave us plenty of golden nuggets to try out, one of which was to use the suggested results at the bottom of the SERP page for keyword research ideas. We’re so used to Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool, that we can often overlook the keyword resources that are staring us right in the face. The suggested search terms in the results page and the suggested image searches underneath the search bar on the Google Images results page, give us real time recommendations of queries that people also search for that are similar to a specific keyword. 

SearchLeeds 2019 Talk

#6. Targeting different demographics 

Structuring paid search campaigns by demographic is another marketing technique that we’re looking forward to testing. By tailoring ad copy, and optimising bid and budget management based on specific demographics, marketers should have more control over their paid ads. 

Using the example of Manchester Airport car parking, marketers were advised to split their campaigns out into the two distinct age brackets that make up their target demographic. By having one ad group targeting a younger, more cost-conscious audience, we can adjust our ad copy to highlight specific USPs that are more likely to appeal to this group of people. The older audience, that may be more concerned about safety, can be captured in a separate ad group with relevant ad copy to address their concerns.

This method of campaign structuring allows marketers to target users more accurately and address audience groups’ specific concerns, which should lead to an increase in conversions.

#7. Life Events Targeting

While targeting keywords can be the best approach for creating conversions, life event targeting is definitely something to consider. Google Ads Life Events Targeting allows marketers to zero in on specific milestones occurring in their audience’s life. This interest-over-keyword targeting method means that we can capture users at a specific point in the marketing funnel, which will theoretically lead to higher conversion rates as we’ll be marketing to a more relevant and refined audience.

Life Events targeting enables us to market to groups of people who fall into the following three categories:

  • Will or have graduate(d)
  • Are soon to be or have recently been married
  • Will or have recently move(d) home

Google’s life events allow us to push sales at the specific times when we know that our audience is looking to buy. This could help to not only drive conversions but also increase brand awareness.

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Banner image: SearchLeeds

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