Paid Search and SEO Seminar Roundup: 15th April 2016

by Stephanie Lamerton

Our home-from-home, Covent Garden’s The Hospital Club, hosted yet another Figaro Digital event on 15th April, with expert talks from industry leaders at Branded3, Locaria, atom42 and Search Laboratory. Here’s a roundup of the main takeaway points from the Paid Search and SEO Seminar:

How to Measure Link Building

Steven Kenwright, Director of Search, Branded 3link

Kenwright began his talk by explaining the topic he had chosen to cover, something he said is “always a fun subject” – link building.

He explains that although links are still important, they are not the “be all and end all”. Over the years, Google has got very good at recognising what users want to read. User experience and relevance is now a key part of ranking on SERPs and therefore it should be a key focus of your link building campaign.

So, what makes a good or bad link? And how does Branded3 suggest you approach and measure a link building campaign?

Well, Steven explains there are a few key things to look out for. Once upon a time Domain Authority was most important, however times have moved on. Branded3 now focuses on a site’s trust rank, page rank and the amount of traffic it receives.

Relevancy is essential, the site must be legitimate, but the team also analyses the reach – does anyone actually read the site or engage with its content, like leaving comments?

He goes on to say, link building is now merging with PR and content marketing, and the public relations industry’s ‘Barcelona Principles’ are more pertinent than ever. Factors such as the effect on the business, measuring outcomes not outputs and social media response are all excellent ways of assessing the effects of a successful link building campaign.

Watch Steven’s presentation in full here.

Investing in Words: Introducing Performance Linguistics to Measure International Search Success

Lindsay Hong, Head of Locaria, Locaria


The focus of Lindsay’s talk was to introduce a new key term that Locaria has created – Performance Linguistics. Locaria is an independent, international marketing agency that works in multiple languages around the world, therefore ‘performance linguistics’, a term it uses to describe quality multi-lingual digital content, is hugely influential to the organisation.

So, what exactly is ‘performance linguistics’? Well, Lindsay explains her buzzword using a four-point, colour-coded visual. The first point (green in the slideshow) is linguistic accuracy, simply to make sure that any content being translated from English is done so correctly.

The second is the relevance of the content (blue). Lindsay explains the importance of looking at the specificity of the content, paying special attention to localised keywords, as what may get searched in one language may not when translated into another.

Thirdly is creativity (orange). She highlights, as with any campaign, it is important that any ads or content represents the brand properly, with the correct tone of voice. And although the accuracy of translation is important, sometimes this can result in “dull” content that needs spicing up a bit.

Lastly, the final sector of performance linguistics is supporting digital marketing. Lindsay expounded that not all countries use Google and that many search engines have their own format, therefore duplicating English-language campaigns may not be the best route. For example, Russia’s search engine, Yandex, does not provide much space for meta data, whereas Chinese engine Baidu incorporates images into its PPC results.

Watch Lindsay’s presentation in full here.

Breaking the Rules of Online Marketing

Stacy Westhead, Director, atom42

Stacy begins with an admission, she needs a “sexy title” for her presentation, so as she explains “by breaking the rules, I mean more like bending them, a little bit.”

The daughter of a serviceman, Stacy has grown up around strict rules all her life, but even she admits sometimes you can have problems if you follow them to the letter. In the digital world, following the rules can prevent you from standing out, everyone will look the same and it will crush creativity, making for a boring day job and causing your organisation to throw a lot of money down the toilet.

How does Stacy encourage you to rebel? Firstly, by changing the calls to action in your PPC ads. Google encourages you to ‘empower customers to take action’, but Stacy explains you don’t have to be too literal about this, after all most people assume you’re targeting them with your adds because you have something they may want to buy. So, you may want to scrap that ‘shop here’ or ‘buy now’ tag.

She also explains how it is important to think of the wording of your PPC search ads. Using an example from Sainsbury’s which appears first when searching for ‘womens shoes’, she shows that some calls to action can take up nearly half of all available content space, an area that could be utilised better.

She also encourages PPC ad creators to be clever with their keyword placement. Having a keyword at the beginning of a meta title can result in all the top search results looking the same, and with little to differentiate them they could easily get ignored.

The main takeaway of Stacey’s talk is to “think like a consumer” and to “try and say something that appeals to them”. Step out from behind the ad designing curtain and do a search yourself!

Watch Stacy’s presentation in full here.

Integrating SEO and PPC to Maximise ROI

Ian Harris, Founder and CEO, Search Laboratory seo

Ian begins his talk with a reflection on the digital marketing industry and how SEO and PPC has changed since he founded Search Laboratory back in 2005. Search has come a long way in a decade, not to mention the creation of mobile internet use, as has the way the company works.

These days, Ian believes the two disciplines should work together in an integrated strategy approach to campaigns. He says “don’t lose sight of the commercial reality of what you’re trying to do”, in other words conversions. If you do this and combine organic and paid search efforts, you’re likely to improve the end of the story.

After all, most people don’t convert with just one click, so why should a product only be marketed in one way? As Ian says: “very few people have a single touch point”. For example, Ian’s last conversion was after watching a YouTube video at an event. He then searched for the product shown, read some reviews and ended up buying an alternative item.

Even within your SEO or PPC campaigns, Ian says you should use a combination of marketing techniques. If you create a piece of content, Search Laboratory believe you should write it for the user with both organic and paid search in mind, you should do manual research and share it with engaged social media users. Altogether, this should improve the amount of traffic you receive.

Watch Ian’s presentation in full here.