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SearchLeeds – Northern Digital Marketing and SEO conference
This week, we sent out intrepid Marketing Exec’ Chris over to SearchLeeds, the North’s answer to BrightonSEO, both being a gathering of thousands of Search Marketers keen to assimilate the latest information from internationally renowned experts in the fields of Digital Marketing, SEO and related disciplines.
It was a gloriously sunny day in Leeds, however, it was a little windy. Chris soldiered on and as well as capturing some footage on the day using just his cameraphone, the squall outside the First Direct Arena made it a little difficult to hear the important insights he had to share after a day’s learning, however, it goes to show how, with proper editing and a little imagination, video content, even from pocket size everyday equipment, can still yield an interesting piece of content.
After a fabulous day mixing with the great and good over in Leeds, Chris has returned to Falkon Towers armed with several new ideas which will help keep our clients happy and make their websites shine.
Takeaways from SearchLeeds
With so many speakers, each with important information to share, often speaking at the same time in different rooms, it was impossible to catch everything at the conference, however, there were some overarching themes throughout the day.
Voice Search – Not Quite ‘There’ Yet
In recent search conferences, the importance of voice search using AI assistants and smart speakers, such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home have been highlighted as things to for search marketers to keep an eye on, however, at SearchLeeds, it was acknowledged that while such devices are likely to play a prominent part in the future of SEO, people at the moment are using them more for their novelty value and to ask quick questions rather than using them to make purchases. The technology is extremely good, but it’s not quite perfect yet. As AI and voice recognition improves over time, such devices and the way they’re used may well evolve and become more instrumental in purchasing decisions.
However, at Falkon Digital we have been working with clients in niches where this can be implemented using Alexa skills. Other factors that contribute to voice search are also prominent factors in the local and mobile search which we are implementing for many clients.
The important consideration is making sure the result justifies the resource, so for many e-commerce shops having an Alexa skill or optimising for voice is not going to convert, however, some brands can offer skills for things such as recipes that can be read out in the kitchen whilst cooking.
At Falkon we fit the technology to your customers so if we feel they will not benefit from the technoclogy we will look at options that will provide a better ROI.
In the Grand Schema Things
Another popular theme of the day was the increasing importance of schema markup on websites. Schema markup is a way to use a set vocabulary of code tags to help Google and other search engines better understand and interpret your website, which in turn makes it easier for the search engines to understand the context of what’s there as well as the content so that users can be served better answers to their questions. Help Google understand your content better and it may well understand that you have the best answer to a users query.
It’s been denied that schema has an effect on search results, however, if you’ve ever seen a site in the organic results at 3rd or 4th place, but having, for example, a star rating shown within the serps (something which can be achieved via schema markup), there’s no denying that this site enjoys increased visibility despite not ranking in 1st place. This is a single and very simple example of how schema markup can be used to increase a site’s prominence, but stars aren’t by any means the only snippets of information which search engines can extract from a site and display to users as part of their search.
We have been using schema for the past 5 years to help our clients be seen as more contextually relevant and help them stand out in the SERPs.
If you’d like some more information as to how we can make your business and brand stand out from the crowd through clever video campaigns and markup strategies, get in touch with us, we’d be delighted to hear from you.