3 things we want to learn about at BrightonSEO

It’s no secret that the worlds of PR and SEO have increasingly more in common. The digitisation of comms, PR’s knack for relationship-building and its nose for a good story means we are well placed to build online authority in the eyes of audiences and search engines. It never stands still, so to sharpen up, we’re packing our bucket and spade and heading down to BrightonSEO this week. Here are some of the things on our minds right now… 

Is the future of SEO traffic-less?

As Google moves towards solving the user’s query as quickly and efficiently as possible, snippets are getting pretty sophisticated. We know snippets are a really important way of delivering those answers… and it seems like getting a snippet featured is a good way to significantly improve your CTR. But does it eventually mean that enough information will be pulled through in snippets that users won’t need to visit a website at all? How will this affect organic search traffic, could it dip, and if it does, can we see the role snippets play in this change? If we’re still serving an answer for a question, whether it’s in Google or on their website, is that still a worthwhile interaction, or does brand recall diminish if they haven’t been to an owned property? And will the growing impact of voice compound the problem, giving people even less reason to visit the website? When and how can we start to measure the mix of voice queries for people interacting with our content?

Where does Paid Social fit into SEO?

A lot of (future proof) SEO tactics are just practical ways of increasing brand presence and visibility, and social media plays a key part in that. We know Twitter is a key platform for Google; but how about others that sit behind a log in? Does Google treat social profiles any differently to other web pages? If and when Twitter’s influence diminishes, how does the rest of social figure? Facebook has been pay to play for a while now, and now Instagram’s founders have left, the platform will likely follow in Facebook’s footsteps. But how does that relate to SEO? Does more reach equal more “presence”, and therefore more impact? Will this give brands with deeper pockets an unfair advantage?

Can we stop talking about links yet?

OK, a better question might be “Can we stop talking about just links yet?”. It seems to us that building your brand and “good” SEO are solving for the same thing. Rand Fishkin, who is doing the keynote at Brighton SEO this year talks about all the different ways a brand can build their demand in a comments section of Whiteboard Fridays post about Dinosaur Tactics to Retire, and it includes:

  • Blogs
  • Podcasts
  • Traditional/mainstream media
  • Trade journals and publications
  • Events + conferences
  • Brand advertising (both traditional + digital)

The list goes on. Links are just one small part of an SEO’s portfolio now. Equally, media coverage with no links, but implied links have recently been called just as good as links. We were even talking about it back in 2014, but back then we were calling it co-citation and co-occurrence. We know links are still important, but the thing we’d like to see change is the weight they’re given in an SEO strategy versus the other components. 

Of course there’s plenty more to look forward to – voice search, visual search, content strategy and user experience to name just a few. Plus a beer by the seaside of course… Drop me an email if you’re around. 

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