W Digital attends Search Leeds 2019, the north of England’s largest search marketing conference.
Posted on / by Ryan Edwards / in Audits, Content, News, SEO

What KW Digital learnt at Search Leeds 2019

Here at KW Digital, we’re always keeping up with the latest developments in the ever-changing world of search marketing. Which is why we simply had to attend this year’s Search Leeds; the biggest search marketing conference in the North of England! Read on to find out what we learnt from the industry’s brightest and finest.

Our key takeaways from Search Leeds 2019

Develop creative thinking as a process for digital marketers and businesses

Search Leeds 2019 got off to a flying start with Kirsty Hulse of Manyminds. Kirsty discussed the importance of improving our creative thinking and why businesses should be investing in developing creativity as a skill. The ability to be creative, innovative, and come up with original ideas is a skill that she predicts will be invaluable in the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing. By training and adapting your brain to be creative, you can produce unique content with authenticity, timing, and originality in mind.

“How science can help you have better ideas” - Kirsty Hulse, Search Leeds 2019

Apply effective SEO audits tailored to client needs

Next up was Bastian Grimm from Peak Ace. With his aptly named “Why most SEO audits are sh*t” presentation, Bastian discussed tips, tricks, and best practices based on over 200 audits he’d implemented to help remove trial and error from the SEO audit process. The key takeaway points for improving SEO audits are to choose the right format for goals, make audits actionable and provide guidance, supply executive summaries for in-depth audits, individualise each audit with focus areas and starting points, and most importantly, audits should always be tailored!

“Why most SEO audits are sh*t” - Bastian Grimm, Search Leeds 2019

Google’s mobile-first indexing now powers over half of its search results

Jon Myers of Ascending Media was on hand to discuss all things mobile optimisation and how important it will be as a ranking factor for websites in the future. Discussing everything from improving mobile CTR and the importance of structured data for mobile SEO, the key takeaway points from presentation for search marketers were the rise of voice search (1 in 5 mobile searches on Google are currently performed by voice search), Google moving towards using the mobile ranking algorithm by default, and ensuring accessibility of internal linking on mobile devices.

“All things mobile in a mobile-led world” - Jon Myers, Search Leeds 2019

How to showcase the business value of technical SEO to decision makers

Next up was Jen Hoffman from DeepCrawl. Her presentation “The business value of SEO” highlighted how SEO marketers tend to have difficulty showing the value of their technical work to non-SEO staff – both internally and externally. However, by ensuring SEO staff become customer-obsessed, are accurately reporting on business impact metrics, and ensuring they work to build better relationships with developers, this can better bridge the gap and provide clarity of the value of their technical SEO work.

“The business value of SEO” - Jen Hoffman, Search Leeds 2019

Combine SEO and PPC marketing for greater effect

Sarah Barker of Stickeyes discussed why organic and paid strategies should be combined for the best possible return within the modern search landscape. While most businesses still view organic and paid as two separate channels, forward-thinking marketers (such as KW Digital, we may add!) build strategies that break away from the single-channel model and actively encourage collaboration between SEO and PPC to maximise on customer return.

“One search” - Sarah Baker, Search Leeds 2019

SEO marketers to embrace Machine Learning moving forward

Our final key takeaway comes from Britney Fuller of MOZ. Delivering one of the most well-received presentations of Search Leeds 2019, Britney discussed Machine Learning basics and how to implement this within digital marketing strategies moving forward. For the uninitiated, Machine Learning is a subset of AI that combines statistics and programming to give computers the ability to learn without explicitly being programmed. In the context of search marketing, with Machine Learning becoming more and more accessible, it will allow us to produce higher-level strategic work for clients. Moving forward, there will be dozens of SEO opportunities presented to us by Machine Learning such as improved ranking factor probabilities, deeper user-engagement insights, richer customer understanding, and more accurate traffic predictions.

“Machine learning for SEOs” - Britney Fuller, Search Leeds 2019

For more information about the key takeaways from Search Leeds 2019, click here to view all slides from this years conference.

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