This year marked my hat trick visit to SASCon, a leading UK conference focusing on Search, Analytics and Social marketing.
As a marketing manager I’m interested in all forms of digital marketing, and with the landscape and best practice changing from one moment to the next, events such as SASCon help me to keep my finger on the pulse.
My focus for this year’s conference was purely on the search track, both paid and organic, with many of my day-to-day responsibilities directed towards search engine performance.
I started the day in the Keynote speech How SMBs can win in competitive SEO sectors, hosted by Aleyda Solis, an international SEO consultant and Moz Associate. The aim of the session was to find ways to compete against big brands with substantial budgets.
Here are the top takeaways:
1. Look for keyword opportunities that the big spenders aren’t as interested in
2. Localise your approach. Research your best performing locations and focus your budget
3. Concentrate your efforts on particular products, e.g. those with the best margins
4. Be quick to react to Google. Big brands often have multiple arms to their marketing structure, meaning they have more hoops to jump through to make decisions. Smaller businesses therefore have the opportunity to get in there first
5. Analyse SERPS by relevance, volume, flexibility, trend and intent when you’re doing keyword research
6. Utilise structured data mark-up with rich snippets and build your knowledge graph, especially if your competitors haven’t done it yet. This helps Google to index and present your content better and more prominently, as well as serving answers in search across Google properties
7) Use vertical platforms
To successfully compete you’ll need to get smart. Aleyda provided a list of SEO tools that you can use in your arsenal to ensure you’re as savvy as possible:
– Analyse SERPS with RankTank SERPitude SERP & Rich Snippet Testing Tool
– Use Screaming Frog to crawl, analyse and audit a site from an onsite SEO perspective
– Find citations with White Spark
– Discover the most popular content and influencers to connect with your audience with Buzz Sumo
– Use Link Risk to find relevant sites to outreach to
– Get the ranking of your top 20 competitor results with any query with SerpWoo