Paid Search, Display & SEO Seminar Roundup: 14 February 2019

by Shannon Lynn Figaro Digital

Last Thursday, we hosted our Paid Search, Display & SEO Seminar at The Hospital Club, Covent Garden. Our speakers shared their wisdom on tailoring content for international outreach, programmatic display and ensuring that old content isn’t damaging your rankings. The presentations offered practical advice and invaluable takeaways for search and display marketers.

When Content Kills (Your Site)

Killer content may sound like a good thing, but not when it is referring to outdated content that may be killing your search rankings. In a Valentine’s Day themed presentation, Sam Roberts, Digital Marketing Consultant at Liberty Marketing, shared his SEO knowledge and demonstrated how to rectify any content that may be dragging down your site. He explains how Google is smart enough to convert all our vague and inaccurate searches into digestible, relevant information. For example, if the search query is ‘Valentimes Day restaurants best’, Google is able to figure out the user’s intent and provide the desired search results, usually tailored to location and ratings. So, Sam asks the question, when the world of search has become this intelligent, what is the role of marketers?

Well, as demonstrated by Google’s core algorithm update in August, search marketers will have to remain on their toes, allowing them to quickly react and dodge any curve balls thrown their way. Nicknamed The Medic Update, Google targeted low quality blogs, mainly professional services and health sites, which saw their content fall way down the rankings. Essentially, Google doesn’t want users to be harmed by bad content so they added stringent quality guidelines to ensure that sites have the expertise, authority and trust to be offering guidance or services. This is not just happening on an article level, but sitewide, meaning that old content could be causing a problem. However, don’t just mass delete- revisit old content and turn it into something valuable. Sam shares his three step process for improving old content: audit, catalogue and recycle.

Watch Sam’s presentation here.

The Future Of Programmatic Display And Changing How We Think About Data

UK programmatic ad spend has doubled since 2015, with predictions showing that it will be up to £4.5 billion in 2019 alone. Darren Bond, Digital Strategy Director at Coast Digital, looked at how programmatic technology is moving forwards, helping marketers to buy more media in real time. The boom of programmatic is largely thanks to the rise of the phone, better ad tech and improvements in quality. Most people spend the majority of their day looking at a variety of different screens, from their computer at work to the constant presence of their mobile. This gives programmatic marketers the opportunity to connect with their target audience across multiple touch points. However, they are still faced with a number of challenges, including lack of transparency, fraud and updates to legislation. 

A wider variety of formats are becoming available, allowing programmatic to get more creative. In 2019, 60 per cent of agencies are looking to incorporate programmatic audio and TV into their strategy. Smart TVs seem like the next natural progression as they have premium, wide-reaching audiences and offer the opportunity to integrate with your other campaigns. Print and OOH are other areas that programmatic is venturing into. Darren asks us to rethink how we use data, specifically in terms of creating media plans to target people. Offline assets and metrics need to be considered more carefully and incorporated into digital planning and campaigns. Additionally,  location and context will become more important in programmatic as it reaches new channels and mediums. Watch Darren’s presentation to see examples of innovative campaigns that use digital data.

Watch Darren’s presentation here.

Strategic Insight For A Competitive Edge

In her presentation, Lorna Gill, Marketing Manager at Adthena, showcased how major brands Carphone Warehouse and Volvo have successfully relied on Adthena to engineer innovative search strategies. Volvo wanted to shake up their perception and start making efforts to be seen as a manufacturer of hybrid and electric cars. Consequently, they were looking to find new keywords at their target CPA and dominate the market for hybrid and electric car search terms. Lorna used the metaphor of yoga to illustrate how they started the project by building a strong foundation with the data they had gathered e.g. competitor search terms, estimated CPCs and hybrid/electric car keyword segmentation. Next, Adthena used their insight to identify gaps in the market and look at clicks, costs and their competition. They added 72 new generic search words and gained the unprecedented bonus of tracking through Google store visits.

Volvo’s partnership with Adthena yielded great results: three times increase in clicks, 97 per cent improvement on new car configurations and 50 per cent decrease in CPA. Watch Lorna’s presentation for the results of the Carphone Warehouse case study and listen out for top tips on how to approach researching, deploying, and measuring strategic strategies for the growth of your organisation using search. Lorna’s three main takeaways from these two case studies are: start with what you know, remain agile and make the best of your situation.

Watch Lorna’s presentation here.

International Content Outreach: Tactics, Tool, And Tips

Link acquisition is a key offsite ranking factor for any site looking to increase organic visibility. Different countries naturally adopt different cultures and as such engage with different news stories, different formats of content, and advocate brands in different ways. What works in one country might not be the same for all. Marketers need to be aware of customer behaviour in each region and what stories will gain the links they need from media. David White, Associate Director of Content Marketing at Edit Agency Ltd., asks the question: how can we build real links on national sites at an international level? An important place to start is understanding what differentiates your target country from others and finding out what content gains links. BuzzSumo is a useful tool for this, helping to identify the types of content which are successful. From exporting these results into excel and removing urls with no links, you can create a pivot table which helps establish the values of each content type.

David demonstrates how integral social listening is to the process. It can help generate campaign ideas by highlighting the likes and dislikes of the audience. It can also be useful in finding influencers to help promote your content. Social listening offers the opportunity to gather local data (often without cost) to use as part of your outreach to the national media. Mentionmapp and Social Mention are free social listening tools. When reaching out to international media, don’t be afraid of aiming high- get in touch with companies that have national scope. Once your content is out there, check other articles to make sure that your campaign is being accredited with links and if not it is worth asking if they can amend the article. David explains how to build detailed media lists, looking over the links from similar campaigns and noting down who may be good to get in touch with in the future. He ends his presentation with four maxims for PR success: only go with relevant information, respect their time, do not harass and make them look good!

Watch David’s presentation here.