Elevate Brighton rundown April 2018

Emily Hogarth, 2 May 2018

We kick off the day at one of Brighton’s finest watering houses, The Grand Central, in the upstairs speakeasy no less.

We want to give all our guests, travelling from far and wide (Stockholm, Malta, Colarado), a real taste of Brighton; it’s laid-back attitude, its quirks and its hospitality – and with more bars and pubs than there are days of the year in Brighton – it’d be rude not to host our first #ElevateBrighton in one of these fine establishments!

Compering the day is our CMO Sam Silverwood-Cope, and he takes to the stage to tell us about what’s in store for us.

WHAT IS #ELEVATEBRIGHTON

Sam tells us all that #ElevateBrighton is about elevating the understanding of search.

As an industry, we tend to think of search as just rankings, positions and the ‘Technical bit’.

Later on, Jon Earnshaw tells us that we can sometimes ‘Paint ourselves into a corner’ when we talk in this language – especially to those who don’t ‘Speak’ search.

But the language everyone does speak is value.

WHY WE NEED TO #ELEVATEBRIGHTON

At Pi, we’re on a mission to shout about the value of search, and elevate understanding of that value throughout businesses. That’s why we created ‘Elevate Brighton’.

Alongside our customers and our partners, we want to take a step back from just rankings, to talk about the commercials, landscape, future and context.

And who better to give us an introduction to the context, than the king of Contextual Optimisation, Pi Datametrics CTO, Jon Earnshaw.

Superb segway, bravo. Why thank you!

Jon Earnshaw-v2

Contextual optimisation and the value of search

Jon Earnshaw, Pi Datametrics’ CTO

In line with the #ElevateBrighton mission, Jon created the concept of Contextual Optimisation to encourage us to think of the value of our content creation to our entire ecosystem.

This ecosystem includes our web content, but also off-site content such as social, PR, partner content etc.

And it’s this search real estate which ultimately determines our share and revenue.

Contextualising our ecosystem

In this instance, Jon focussed on what we can control: our on-site or owned content.

He proved that, for an industry that’s consumed with information, we are guilty of burying our own content by creating and publishing it in isolation.

We fail to consider our new piece of information in the context of:

  • Everything else we’ve created and published before
  • Everything else created and published by our colleagues and partners

“The better we get at organising our Ecosystem, the more value we add to that ecosystem.”
Jon Earnshaw, Pi Datametrics CTO

Viewing our content holistically – The actionable takeaways

According to Jon, every time we create new piece of content, it is vital for us to take a step back and identify what we already have to work with.

How?

Categorise our content offering into ‘Neutral’, ‘Complementary’ and ‘Potentially conflicting’ groups, in relation to our new content.

  • How? Do a simple site search. Search the key phrase for our new content, adding commas either side, to discover landing pages with content targeted around that phrase.
  • Work out whether this content is conflicting with the addition of “Intitle” to the site search. This retrieves the pages with the key phrase in the page title, which are most likely to conflict.

Before making any decisions on what to do with the new content we’re injecting into our ecosystem, Jon warns us to check the performance of all potentially conflicting content, to determine which page is the best doorway into our world:

  • Authority and links to page
  • Page theming and relevance to focus and related terms
  • Jon encourages us to think ‘How will this new content impact my ecosystem?’ and ‘Do we even need this content, or can we combine it with any existing information?’

Elevate Brighton - Contextual Optimisation - Pi Datametrics client - Jon Earnshaw's talk

Viewing our value holistically

Once we’ve looked at our content holistically, Jon shows us that the next step is to look at our performance holistically, to understand the value of our efforts.

One of Pi’s clients (who shall not be named) applied Jon’s methods, and are beginning to see the positive effects of Contextual Optimisation on their share and bottom-line revenue (see above).

See Jon’s Elevate Brighton talk here:

See Jon’s Elevate Brighton slides here:

Sophie Moule-v2

Answering business questions with search data

Sophie Moule, Pi Datametrics’ Head of Marketing

Having just heard from Jon about how search can impact a wider spectrum of events than just traffic, Sophie takes to the speakeasy stage to remind us that relationships are a two way thing, and if If SEO is more than JUST traffic, more can impact your traffic than just rankings!

Elevate Brighton - Answering business questions with search data - Sophie Moule

External factors affecting search

It’s a mean feat, presenting revenue figures back to the board, following ‘Quieter’ months.

Especially when you’ve done your job, and performance was beyond your control.

Using search trend data, marketers can broaden their organisations view and understanding of the factors affecting revenue and traffic, by giving them visibility over external trends.

Being aware of external factors that have the potential to pose a risk means you’ll be able to plan for the future effectively.

Sophie splits these external factors into two categories; factors within your business (predictable) and factors external to your business (unpredictable).

She delves into these factors, offering real life examples of how they have affected search in different markets; often leaving businesses stumped as to why their traffic has grown or diminished.

Predictable factors include:

  • Product launches
  • Planned news and PR
  • Owned social media
  • Other marketing and advertising

Unpredictable factors include:

  • Competitors
  • Trends
  • Weather
  • Unplanned news and PR
  • Politics
  • The economy

You can see these factors as barriers or opportunities.

Planning for external factors

You can make the unpredictable, predictable by identifying patterns.

  1. Make a list of relevant external factors you need to a pay attention to over the year, and map these out for content teams.
  2. Have contingency plans for weather etc. and pay attention to changes!

Adding value to the business

Sophie rounds up by stressing the need for attrition from SEO teams when it comes to broadening SEO within the digital department.

Create success stories within the SEO team, and gradually present your stories and successes to the wider company one insight at a time.

See Sophie’s Elevate Brighton talk here:

See Sophie’s Elevate Brighton Slides here:

Ben Hackett-v2

The importance of communicating data through a business

Ben Hackett, Brandwatch

Ben tells us that consumers have access to so much data to make decisions. Brandwatch, Pi Datametrics’ partner, help to structure and bring meaning to that data.

Vizia is Brandwatch’s platform which brings that data to life in the form of visualisations.

The problems we have with data as a business

According to Ben, we currently have access to a sea of data and are in the ‘Age of the customer’, where it is vital to process this data to get to grips with what that customer wants.

But he says, there’s two problems we have in businesses:

Problem 1 – We have so much of that data – data lakes – and we have so many tools. Collecting data isn’t the issue. It’s being able to easily understand that data as a company to formulate our next-steps.

Problem 2: The issue at hand is we work in silo with data, and make decisions on just one source of customer data – which isn’t enough.

As marketers, we want to listen to customer, understand them, engage with them.

Ben says, it’s time we organise our data into a workflow and align our tools with this, to breakdown silos.

It’s all about context and a single source of truth

Harking back to Jon’s talk earlier, Ben states we need an ecosystem approach: An ecosystem of apps and data, to unify insights and the teams discovering those insights.

As with the whole mantra of Mr Jon Earnshaw, and indeed #ElevateBrighton, it’s all about adding context.

We need to build visuals to create combined datasets and distribute to teams that matter, for relevant meaningful and compelling data.

We need to align content and data across teams and have the control and power to distribute that insight for the whole business to see.

And, finally, he states we need to bring to life data sources for the right people.

Thanks attending (or e-attending) Elevate Brighton!

The day draws to a close, and we’re off to the bar with our customers, partners and new mates.

Elevate search with us!

From Contextual Optimisation, to search trends, to Brandwatch Vizia.

Get in touch with Pi if you’d like to discuss any of the topics covered in Elevate Brighton, or book your demo to join us in elevating the understanding of search.

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