Oct 2016

Hello there!
It’s my first time here at SearchLove London and I’m loving it so far 🙂 This is my attempt to capture some of my key learnings from each session and hopefully it’s useful for you too! 

DAY 1 – 17th October 2016

“Think like a 50’s ad executive and execute like a 2016 geek” 

Takeaway #1: Good content and ideas deserve more than just links

  • Measure beyond links – create campaigns that are good enough for social shares, print and more.
  • Campaign example:
    • Client: Expedia
    • Campaign: Unknown Tourism (Commerating the wildlife we’ve lost)
      • Got coverage beyond online channels – print 
      • People called in wanting to buy the campaign posters
      • Someone started an online petition to thank Expedia for the effort

Takeaway #2: Slice and dice data the right way to give the media what they need – the angle they need.

  • Client: GoCompare
  • Campaign #1: Billionaires League 
    • A campaign for an online insurance comparison business, using data about billionaires around the world
    • The campaign sliced this data to bring out interesting aspects like trends in the # of female billionaires, top star signs of billionaires etc. – angles that will excite the media and convince them to cover the campaign
  • Campaign #2: Director’s Cut
    • Using data to compare movies and rank them based on the goal number of deaths in the film. 

Takeaway #3: In all the campaigns above, the content and angles, while relevant to the media are also relevant to the business. For instance, GoCompare is all about comparing insurance schemes to find the right one for a given user – and the same angle of comparison is used in both the Billionaires League and Director’s Cut campaigns. 

Takeaway #4: You will never know what will work unless you try it out. If it doesn’t work try a different angle.

  • Client: FlipSnap
  • Campaign: How to Win a Man Booker Prize 
    • Why it didn’t work: It was executed too late in the year for coverage – media calendars were already booked out with stories about the Booker Prize. No fresh angle that the campaign provided.
    • How did they make it work after it failed?They changed the angle –  and answered a different question instead – “Are books getting bigger and better?” – the correlation between the length and quality of books. And this worked – Guardian, amongst other big media picked it up.

Take away #5: Finding and delveoping the right people is the key. It’s time to stop using “experience” as the main criteria.

Take away #6: Ask “why” more often – we waste a lot of time doing things we are asked to without knowing why we are doing it.  


9:50 : Why User-Focused Content is the Death of Ranking Factors, @MarcusTober  

  1. SEO is about story-telling and good content – its not about link building
  2. The traditional ranking factors are dead
  3. The future of search is data (science) driven – not just data driven
  4. SEO ranking factors have evolved – from being static, to flexible and in the future they will be adaptable
  5. An ideal SEO strategy is “formless like water” – it adapts to what the user is searching for and their intent
  6. You are aware you need to create good content, but being aware is not enough, you have to take action. Translate knowledge into actions by taking efforts and measuring/optimising them with data
  7. Google is already moving into Deep Learning based search results with its RankBrain algorithm that focus on context and semantics and aims to decipher the way people think and look beyond the search queries.
  8. Today marketer’s biggest challenge is to uncover specific use intent 
  9. Different industries have different ranking factors and different user intentions to deal with – look out for “2016 Ranking Factors” by SearchMetric to be released in Nov 2016.
    • Some of the insights it covers includes, how do things like word count, content format, backlinks/referring domains etc. affect ranks in different industries? What is their correlation with ranking?
  10. Content relevance has the highest impact on rankings – and it should be measured. Search Metrics “Content Experience Suite” is one of the tools that can help you with this.


11:00: Stand out to YOUR Crowd: A Framework for Customer-Driven Copywriting, @HarrisonAmy

Marketers need to ask themselves, “Why should I choose YOU?” – why should a “particular” consumer choose your product? – the key is to NOT generalise all customers and look at them at individual personas

On copywriting

Constantly ask yourself – “Is your copy cheating on you?” – A “cheating copy” is one that is not exclusive with you – your competitors are using the same generic language as well.

How do you know if your copy is cheating on you?

  • You see it hanging out on other sites – i.e your competitors are using the same language
  • You see it hanging with products from other industries – i.e brands from other verticals using similar copy

Why is it important to stand out of the crowd?

  • Broca’s region (in the human brain) – responsible for language comphrension – makes us skip/ignore things we’ve see/read before.
  • The key is not to just be different – but to write from a customer’s perspective in mind
  • “Your copy has the power to make your consumer fall in love with you”

Ways to make your copy stand out

  • Using language from reviews and testimonials – things that your consumers like about your product – this will be unique for your brand 
  • Solve umbrella terms (generic terms) – Qualify them and replacing vague terms with specific ones
  • Understand the different between internal v/s external copy – i.e copy that you can understand v/s copy that the costumer can relate to.
  • Use proof from testimonials to show the promise that your product makes
  • Closing the gap – look through your copy, look at umbrella terms and ask consumers what is their definition of these terms
  • Don’t bury your value  – again, check with your audience – bring out the value-adds they see as users of your product/service

How can marketers get their consumers perspective?

  • Using symptoms – things that consumer suggest that are things to be dealt with – looking for consumer frustrations
    • Use symptoms to build to the problem and share your product as the cure. Go one step ahead and paint a picture of a consumer’s life before and after using your product/service. Symptoms -> Problem -> Cure -> Contrast
  • Surveys
    • Your consumer isn’t an expert in solving the problem they are facing, you are – don’t survey them about how they solve their problem currently. Ask them about their biggest challenges about solving the problem and ask them about the questions that they have on a daily basis i.e – gaps in their knowledge
Copy should convey a transformation – not  transaction – use anchors (illustrate product performance) and visual copy (illustrate customer use) to wake people up.

11:40: Tactical Keyword Research in a RankBrain World, @Dr_Pete 

  • It’s not just search that’s evolving, we are evolving as searchers
  • How do we deal with the emerging world of “concepts”?
    • Only 57% of page 1 results had the word phrase in the title and descriptions
    • We no longer have to optimise for singular/plurual, space/no space, stemming
    • Google has moved towards a more contextual and intent driven approach to search
  • Deep learning
    • Getting the machine to associating inputs to outputs and to analyse responses to the outputs in order to make the subsequent outputs to the same query more optimised
    • The algorithm constantly tries to find results or correlations we have never seen before
    • Resource to learn/experiment more: (word2vec), keyword cluster relevance optimiser
  •  Adapting to evolving search in the RankBrain world
    • Instead of trying to optimise for individual keywords, focus on groups of keywords that deliver a context/relevance
    • To take it a step further, identify gaps – keywords that these groups don’t cover and optimise for them
    • Going from keywords -> concepts/themes -> keywords
    • Don’t write for people, write for brains
    • Users queries are becoming increasing longer and specific – especially when the rise of voice/mobile search. The next gen is already using smarter queries – hence, the key is to look at long-tail keywords clusters based on context.
    • Get your hands on new tech/devices to experience how they change our lifestyle – looking at rankings can only tell you what’s happening in the present. By staying hands-on with tech, you will be able to move faster and think about the ways in which search can/will evolve.

13:20: How to Get Insight From Your Logs (and Start Using all That Free Google Data), @dom_woodman


14:40: The secrets of storytelling@basvandenbeld


16:25: SEO split-testing: How you can run tests and what we’ve learnt, @TomAnthonySEO

Khyathi Nirmal Kumar

Khyathi is the Lead for the Technology & Education verticals at Happy Marketer.