Last week was BrightonSEO, the bi-annual search conference that sees some of the best speakers in the world of digital gather together to share the latest industry news.
Last year the phrase ‘Content is King’ was still heard from every room of the packed Brighton Centre. But what trends emerged from this year’s conference? And how will they affect you? Here are some takeaways from the conference that could impact your business:
#1 Customer data is your most valuable tool
Customer data doesn’t need to stay within the channel you’re working on. For example, data you can get from social channels and campaigns can be applied across paid search to better target customers who are likely to engage with adverts and ultimately convert on your website. Data is your friend – if you see stats and metrics as the enemy, just remember – keep your friends close and your enemies even closer.
#2 Reviews are a trust signal
Reviews are becoming increasingly important, both a trust signal for attracting new and retaining existing customers, and as an extra level of data for users searching for qualifiers. Take for example a qualifier like ‘best’, used in the search ‘best restaurants in Nottingham’ – if search engines see positive ratings and reviews for a company, this will be factored into which results they show for these kinds of searches. Findings showing that 87% of consumers won’t consider a brand with a low number of reviews, highlights the fact that getting customer feedback is now integral to your digital strategy.
#3 The future of search is voice
Search marketing is an ever-changing landscape – and the future doesn’t involve a screen. It’s estimated that 30-50% of searches will be voice-activated by 2020.
The rise of voice search calls for a change in the way you optimise your search terms. A customer is more likely to vocally ask ‘what time is the shop open until?’ than ‘shop opening times’ – and your SEO and paid search optimisation needs to account for this. Speak to one of our team today to discover more about voice search optimisation.
#4 Bing as a contender
Commanding over 20% of the UK search engine market, Bing has been a growing Paid Search contender to Google for a while and, with voice search becoming an industry giant, they look set to continue their growing market acquisition. Siri, Alexa and Kortana all use the Bing platform as their default search engine, meaning Google’s competitor currently holds the edge when it comes to spoken searches.
Bing has a niche audience, and operates only relatively low cost-per-clicks compared to Google AdWords. Find out more about setting up a Bing paid search campaign here.
#5 It’s time to start rewarding loyalty
For years brands have obsessed over growing audiences, chasing new customers at the cost of existing ones. But, with research showing that a new customer costs brands 500% more than a current one, is it time to start rewarding loyalty?
It’s not just reward cards you can utilise for this. There are numerous ways to remarket to your existing customers, with tailored campaigns and offers. Find out more about our retargeting strategies here.
#6 Your mobile apps are old already
Ever since mobile users surpassed desktop, way back in 2014, companies have scrambled to break in to the app industry. But, with a flooded marketplace (there are close to 2 million apps on the Apple App store alone), releasing one is no longer enough. The message was clear: if you own an app, you can never afford to sit still. Tweak, update and keep releasing. Re-engage your customers. Freshen your design.
#7 New customers no longer want to shop
Audiences are tired of being bombarded with new retailers expecting a market ready to invest in their brand. Generic ‘Shop now’ social media adverts are no longer performing as potential customers find themselves put off by the ‘hard sell’. Instead, you should turn to sequential advertising and the idea of nurturing a community. There’s value in telling a story – and your advertising campaign can see a huge lift simply by turning it into a three-step process. First, serve the audience with an advert that tells your brand story. Then provide a product-based informational advert, before finishing with a shop CTA advert. In some industries sequential advertising has seen as high as an 87% increase in CTR to landing pages – is it something your business has implemented?
#8 Content is King – but the King needs a castle
Planning a website migration is of incredible importance to ensure the new website continues to be just as visible as the previous website. This includes preparing a full audit of the old site to identify any pages which may not be required on the new website, including ‘orphaned pages’ – pages that are not linked to anywhere in the site structure, but may have been created for a specific purpose. The new site will also need to be monitored to ensure nothing has slipped through the cracks, and that there are no errors coming through which could affect search engine rankings.
“Content is King, but the King needs a castle” – Omi Sido