A roundup from Brighton SEO: April 2023

In April, our SEO team ventured off for the BrightonSEO conference which was once again packed with insights from multiple industry experts. In this blog, two members of our SEO team have put together key takeaways from their favourite talks, reflecting back on the overarching themes of this year’s event.

Nanci Davies, SEO Account Executive 

Owning TikTok, Pinterest and YouTube SERPs – Carrie Rose, Rise at Seven

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, creativity has become a highly sought-after skill. Despite the advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), it cannot replicate the human ability to create and innovate.

The way we search for information is also rapidly evolving. Gone are the days when we relied on the traditional search engine to find information. Instead, younger generations are turning to more visual and creative platforms like TikTok and Pinterest to satisfy their information needs. By leveraging these platforms, brands and marketers can tap into the platform’s vast user base and create viral content that resonates with audiences. This creative approach can lead to increased visibility, backlinks and brand recognition.

In her talk, Carrie Rose highlighted a common issue in the search engine optimisation (SEO) industry – many practitioners tend to focus solely on the consideration stage, leaving out other important parts of the user journey. To truly stand out and capture attention through the entire search engine results page (SERP), creativity is key.

By looking beyond Google and utilising top stories and featured snippets, you can effectively demand attention and boost visibility. Carrie cited the case of Revolution Beauty’s Charlotte Tilbury makeup dupes, which gained significant visibility on the SERP with the help of  content creators who created buzz around the products across TikTok.The surge of interest for the Tilbury dupes on the social platform caught the attention of journalists. This resulted in the product gaining a spot in the top stories section of the SERP, while also securing valuable and authoritative backlinks. As more TikTok videos highlighted the product’s viral success and press coverage increased, visibility continued to soar. 

Carrie effectively showcased the potential to blend advertising models with SEO to create innovative advertising strategies that don’t come across as overly promotional. By leveraging the synergies between social platforms, digital public relations (PR) and SEO, you can create a powerful, cohesive and effective marketing strategy that delivers measurable results.

STOP Dissing Rankings! – Rohan Ayyar, 99Stairs

Google has consistently emphasised the importance of prioritising user experience over chasing algorithm updates. As a result, there is a prevailing disdain towards SEO professionals who solely concentrate on optimising their websites for specific keywords in order to improve their rankings. 

Rohan, armed with both empirical evidence and mathematical analysis, makes a compelling case for the importance of top rankings. He asserts that without rankings, websites simply won’t receive the visibility, traffic and conversions needed to succeed.

To support his claim, Rohan references Benford’s Law, which characterises the distribution of leading digits in numerical datasets. Rohan applies this law to demonstrate the correlation between rankings and clicks: the higher a website’s position in the ranking, the more clicks it receives. Those in position one should secure 30% of clicks, with the percentage of clicks decreasing with each descending rank. 

Given this correlation between rankings and clicks, Rohan emphasises the importance of following rankings closely as they constitute the primary source of traffic. One quote that has stuck with me is “rankings are not a butterfly- if you leave them alone, they won’t fly over and sit on your website.” Chasing the algorithm and striving for high rankings is essential for securing the most clicks and revenue. In essence, Rohan highlights the critical role that rankings play in the success of websites and underscores the importance of actively pursuing them.

Emily Whittington , SEO Account Manager

How ChatGPT is transforming the world of SEO

The world of SEO is ever-changing, and one of the hottest topics in the industry right now is the use and growing capabilities of ChatGPT. We heard from big names like Ashley Liddle, Carrie Rose, and even Croud’s very own James Ball, who’ve shared their thoughts on whether this tool has a part to play in SEO. But with all the chatter around it, some are questioning whether it’s worth the hype or if we should be wary of it.

“First, let’s take a quick look at what ChatGPT is. ChatGPT is a language model developed by OpenAI that is designed to generate human-like responses to natural language inputs. It has been trained on a massive dataset of text from the internet and can generate responses on a wide range of topics.”

The above was provided by ChatGPT, from the prompt of “could you start a blog discussing ChatGPT and SEO?”. Although this may be correct and constructed pretty quickly, can we really rely on it?

As SEOers, we are always looking for ways to increase efficiency and productivity, and ChatGPT is a tool that could do this. With its ability to generate metadata, suggest article topics, and even provide code snippets, ChatGPT can save time and streamline routine tasks. However, many speakers at BrightonSEO have expressed worry about relying too heavily on the tool in a creative environment. ChatGPT is based solely on data, which means it may not fully capture a client’s tone of voice or unique style. While the tool can certainly generate an article about a topic like “beer” and “how to drink it”, it may not be able to match the client’s specific needs and preferences.

Like any technology, ChatGPT is constantly evolving and may not always be perfect. During James Ball’s talk; ‘ChatGPT: Localisation’s friend or foe?’, he discussed the research undertaken ahead of BrightonSEO, into the use of AI for content production, focusing on translation accuracy. From his research, it was evident that ChatGPT made double the number of human translation errors, in particular within the Spanish and Chinese languages. 

He also discussed the relationship between Experience – Expertise – Authoritativeness – Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) and AI, and what Google may think if website owners use AI-generated content:

An excerpt from Croud’s report – ChatGPT and localisation – friend or foe?

And with experience being a hot topic within the SEO industry, can ChatGPT add value here?

I believe that as an industry, we should embrace the potential of ChatGPT and use it where possible to enhance our SEO efforts. However, we should also be cautious not to rely too heavily on it. While ChatGPT can be a useful tool to aid us in our work, we must remember that it cannot replace our own expertise and creativity.

To conclude…

So that’s a wrap on the April 2023 BrightonSEO, but if you missed James’ talk and are wanting to find out more, not to worry! We’re hosting an event at our London HQ on ‘Driving growth: AI strategies for retail marketers’ where speakers from Croud, Microsoft and Meta will be exploring what the AI revolution means for retail marketing. 

We’ll also be discussing the opportunities (and limitations) of AI-generated content for localisation, diving into our recently launched ChatGPT report, which James explored in his session. Sign up for the event here.  

If you’d like support with your SEO strategy, or have any questions on the topics mentioned, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

by Croud
10 May 2023

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