Our key takeaways from this year’s Brighton SEO
Reading time: 7 min
This month our SEO team attended one of the world’s most popular search conferences; Brighton SEO. We took part in various insightful discussions throughout the week and within this article we have summarised our thoughts and notable highlights from this years event.
How to produce multilingual content in another language (even when you can’t read it yourself)
Why is high quality, multilingual content important?
Multilingual, properly localised content is a crucial part of an international marketing strategy. The following stats illustrate why this is the case.
- Only 17% of the world’s population speak English.
- 40% of consumers will make make a purchase in another language
- In Europe only 53% of users would use an English language version of a site.
So, if you aren’t producing multilingual, localised content, you will most likely not be targeting a significant portion of your potential audience.
What is localised content?
Localised content displays cultural nuance, as well as market-specific phrases, ideas, and imagery.
This type of content builds trust with users and ensures that they fully understand the information being presented to them.
If this type of specificity is not applied, there are numerous pitfalls that could create issues for your site. This can go beyond mistranslation.
For example, when McDonald’s launched their McBurrito in Mexico, they used the tagline ‘Los Tamales Son Del Pasado’ (which translates to ‘Tamales are a thing of the past’).
Tamales are a traditional Mesoamerican dish made of masa and many Mexicans are very proud of this aspect of their culture and understandably reacted strongly against a global cooperation such as McDonald’s launching a campaign with such a dismissive tagline. This example illustrates that (though the translation was technically correct) a lack of cultural understanding can be equally detrimental to brand position for an international business.
The process of content production
This cultural nuance and specificity should inform each of the following steps of the process:
- Ideation – Ideas should be specific to the region even if the language is the same; for example, you wouldn’t want to ideate for Thanksgiving in the UK as this holiday isn’t celebrated in the UK.
- Keyword research – Keywords should also have regional specificity. For example, in the US you would be more likely to target keywords containing ‘pants’ than ‘trousers’, or ‘sneakers’ than ‘trainers’.
- Production – Cultural nuance and specificity must be applied to the content itself. Otherwise certain cultural attitudes and expectations might be overlooked, which could look to a disconnect with the target audience. Particular idioms and phrases might be specific to the region.
Making use of freelancers to produce multilingual content
The best way to ensure that your content is optimised for your target audience is by making use of freelancers.
At VERB we use the Croudie Network, a global network of multilingual freelancers from a wide range of different regions, each with their own set of skills and expertise, including keyword research, ideation, and content production.
Ensure that the content is high quality by taking the following steps:
- When you don’t speak the language of your target audience, the best way to ensure that the content is high quality is by making use of two different freelancers; one to produce the content, and one to quality assess their work.
- Be specific in your brief. Include any and all details about the task at hand.
- Give client-specific guidance. If you have any knowledge of tone of voice and client expectations, then share this with the freelancers.
- Provide best practice examples. If you have worked on similar projects in the past (particularly for the same client), then provide the freelancers with these examples so that they have a better understanding of that which is expected of them.
This localised content builds trust with users and ensures that they fully understand the information being presented to them. This makes them more likely to make a purchase on the site.
Social Media and SEO
How does social and influencer marketing affect SEO?
In April 2022, Google Trends saw an immense spike in search demand for influencer marketing following the arrival of TikTok. The industry has also experienced a 465% increase in searches for ‘influencer marketing’ since 2016, with further growth expected as we see the emergence of new platforms this year such as Youtube Shorts.
Influencer marketing involves brand collaborations with an online influencer to market a product or service. They have unique ways in upselling products through trust and narratives, allowing the consumer to become immersed in their ecosystem whilst creating high quality, user-generated content that builds a community around the brand.
Essentially, influencer marketing could be deemed as the new Digital PR. It’s about finding the right influencer for your brand that will produce quality content to generate awareness. Statistics show that bloggers generate traffic to their website through SEO (30%), influencers (22%), CPO (18%), Social Media (15%) and Email (15%) – reiterating the prevalence of utilising this approach within your digital marketing strategies.
Moreover, Influencer Marketing can work in tandem with SEO. By creating high quality content on platforms such as Instagram, this content can be repurposed onto the website. With this unified approach, an influencer led campaign is an effective way to collect content, data and gain traffic to your site. Here is how you would analyse the different metrics between the two channels (SEO vs Influencer Marketing):
- Online Visibility vs Awareness & Reach
- Domain Authority vs Reputation
- Links vs Media Types
- Keyword Rankings vs Share of Voice
Below are some useful tools that we use at VERB:
- Exploding Topics – identifying spikes in data
- Google Trends – looking into seasonality
- SEMRush – identifying question keywords as content inspiration
- BuzzSumo – generating content ideas
- Answer The Public – FAQ related content
Why is your social content not performing & how to increase engagement?
When trying to create engaging and quality content, a common missed opportunity that brands often overlook is how accessible it is to your audience. Failing to create accessible content with inclusive design could hugely restrict your audience reach, as over 2 million people in the UK live with sight loss and the average online spending power of disabled users is £16.8 billion.
How to make your content more accessible
Below are some key takeaways on how to create inclusive content for all users:
- Closed Captions – Adding automated closed captions to YouTube videos will boost your rankings, as YouTube will reward the content for its accessibility efforts. Closed captions aren’t just subtitles, they encompass dialogue, music and sounds.
- Minimise the use of Emojis – This will make your content more accessible for screen-readers. It is also advised not to use fonts and italics, as well as limiting your hashtags to the comments section.
- Alt-Text – Important for screen-readers, alt-text provides a fantastic opportunity to be creative and increase engagement.
How to increase audience engagement
Social media platforms are increasingly behaving like search engines. Generation Z uses TikTok much like a search engine, as it provides quicker results with a tailored algorithm and the ability to learn through video content.
Your engagement metrics could be trailing if your content is coming across flat and impersonal to the user. Key industry trends highlight the importance of building meaningful B2C relationships, with TikTok pioneering a new relationship between commerce and community by encouraging users to duet on content creation.
Ensure that your content is engaging with the following steps:
- Listen to your audience – ask questions to your consumers, resulting in more personable content as well as gathering valuable data.
- Good communication – talking with your audience instead of at them presents an opportunity to share your values with them.
- Look outside of your own account – don’t just look at mentions and comments, explore different location tags and hashtags that would be relevant to your brand to discover new audiences and reach out.
- Concise content – keep content short and simple to capture attention and be more easily digestible for those with ADHD, anxiety and autism.
- Adaptable Content – refrain from using the same content on different platforms, such as posting TikTok videos on Instagram.
Content Prioritisation: Approaching infinite opportunities with finite resources
Content creation is an integral part of any SEO strategy. In particular, the recent Google “helpful content update,” wants to channel in on providing users with useful and original content written for humans rather than search engines. The BrightonSEO seminar topic on content prioritisation model tackles the key issues that may arise when curating a content strategy, by outlining a streamlined framework on the process required to focus on content that drives value. Now more than ever it’s integral to incorporate or solidify your content strategy for a client or your business; as it’s a key pillar for transforming business objectives as a means of achieving goals.
The content prioritisation model acts as a bridge between strategy and execution to funnel through infinite ideas with finite resources; and requires the following objectives to be actioned.
- Define your questions
- Define your efforts
- Weight your priorities
- Create resources
Defining questions requires focus on what value this content brings to our brand and audience. In doing so, it is important to review topics around your product/service, learning more about your audience or a topic that’s aligned with previous content. This drives value by helping sustain the relevancy, uniqueness, and reliability of the messages relayed by the client or brand.
Secondly, defining your efforts involves prioritising how much research will be needed, tone of voice and any assets needed to create content. Incorporating these factors throughout the ideation and creation process should help deliver a message that is aligned with the brand objectives thus resonating with the user.
It’s also important to factor in the different components that may impact the visibility of the content to the right target audience. Incorporating high volume keywords in a timely manner is the anchor between the searchers intent and the content you are providing to satisfy that need. Another element is scoping the content and performance across indirect and direct competitors as a benchmark for our ranking capabilities. The creation of new content is not always essential, there is great opportunity in updating existing content to sustain the longevity of the context provided.
Utilising resources such as scorecards, by collating the value, effort, visibility factors and ranking these priority elements based on importance by providing an overall score, will help monitor the individual objectives and help decipher which content topics to initially proceed with.
Overall, the standardised procedure will help execute the strategy, ensure efficient use of time, streamline the understanding and communication between teams; to achieve a unilateral goal of curating valuable content.
Content & Ideation
How to come up with new content ideas without relying on search volumes?
Sometimes creating content can be challenging, particularly if a client has a very niche request for a content idea. This is why it becomes important not to focus too heavily on search volume and use other techniques for ideation and content creation.
For example, you are given a content brief to write about gardening tips to keep your orchids alive and looking their best; a very niche topic which is likely to lack any long-tail keywords, proving difficult to garner organic traffic. Below are some alternative ways to come up with new content ideas:
Quora is a website where individuals gain and share knowledge, making it a great tool to find niche audiences. This can be done by typing in questions surrounding your niche content brief and seeing what ideas and thoughts come up. These questions can then be implemented into your content as there is a present target audience looking for these answers.
Reddit is another great way of reaching these niche audiences; people will ask an array of questions which can benefit you in your ideation. Look out for topics surrounding your brief and find as many questions as possible to answer in your content to attract these niche audiences.
Apps such as Twitter and TikTok all provide great, personalised content in which you can capitalise to help your niche content ideation. Searching hashtags and questions on these sites can help tap into these niche audiences that perhaps don’t have those key terms with search volume.
Using any of the above can help with the ideation process resulting in valuable content targeted at specific audiences. Finding these niche questions and answering them in your content is a great way to connect to these smaller target audiences and makes it easier to strengthen the relationship with your consumer, which is integral when it comes to engagement.
VERB would love to support you in your SEO journey! To speak to our team of experts about any of the insights above or to discuss your SEO strategy please reach out via the contact form and we’ll be in touch.