Wow, what a day we had at the first ever State of Digital 2018 conference. After a smooth journey from Stafford to London, we ventured onto the underground to Waterloo and trekked to the County Hall next to the famous London Eye.
We were greeted by friendly faces at the registration desk to provide us with our name lanyards followed by a merchandise free for all. I was particularly happy with the free socks.
Before the start of the State of Digital 2018 talks, attendees and speakers gathered in the canteen area to munch on bagels and sup on coffee.
The day held many talks along two tracks, which was pretty useful, giving you the choice of which talk you would like to engage in. Below are some of our highlights from the day.
Lessons From A Decade In The Industry
Kicking off the State of Digital 2018, Bas van den Beld, the Founder of State of Digital, providing us with a top 10 of lessons that he had learnt over the last ten years.
A few, in particular, stood out for me:
Your client always needs teaching – Sometimes clients have some understanding of SEO. We need to make sure that we educate them. In doing these conversations can take place with the confidence that everyone understands what is being said.
Learn every day – Always keep asking questions, it’s partly how we learn as humans. The industry we work is forever changing and we have to adapt and evolve with it.
Visibility matters – SEO is all about being visible to your audience in search results. We have to remember that people think and search differently to each other. So don’t always presume you know what people think.
Why One Horse Sized Duck Is Better Than 100 Duck Sized Horses – Links
Lisa Myers, CEO & Founder Verve Search gave us an insightful talk on the importance of gaining backlinks from authoritative websites.
Hammering home that a small number of backlinks from websites with authority are better than hundreds of backlinks from hundreds of low authority websites.
Lisa’s talk including some figures for thought:
There are over 1.8 billion websites.
In our lifetime we will only view 0.0046% of the websites in the world.
50% of all traffic in the UK goes to only 73 websites.
She also explained how her company, Verve Search, have built the tool, LinkScore, now available for use by the public.
LinkScore is their take on creating a link score based on off-site and on-site metrics to measure the link value.
Jono Alderson, Special Ops at Yoast provided us with a fast-paced talk mainly around how brands and platforms, trends in paid advertising and a glimpse into voice search. Three points I took are:
A platform such as Facebook can offer new and exciting experiences all the time whereas a brand’s site, while possibly provides a good user experience, doesn’t tend to have the kind of investment as a behemoth platform like Facebook does.
Another point that Jono put across was how we are spending more on paid online advertising to gain peoples attention more now than ever before.
The search landscape is changing all the time. Now with the rise of voice search no longer tied to mobile devices but now in our homes too. Google Home and Amazon Alexa, amongst numerous others, are just the beginning. We need to think about how, as marketers, we can make sure that we can own that type of search result real estate by adapting our content marketing strategy.
How To Go Big With Small Clients
Alex Jones, Head of Earned Media at Hallam gave a great talk on outreach and content creation.
Here’s some of the useful tips we took away from Alex:
Create link-worthy content. This will make your content more desirable for outreach
Try not to make outreach content always based on products. It’s so easy to get carried away with writing about your wonderful products all the time. Think about informative content that is authoritative about a particular subject instead.
Use project management / team communication tools such as Trello or Basecamp to make sure everyone knows what they are doing. These tools will make everyone more efficient.
Scaling SEO Services
Hannah Thorpe, Head of SEO Strategy of Found Group Ltd shared some great tips on how to be more efficient and get things done much quicker:
Discover and use tools that automate processes but remember to be bespoke when it is needed.
Improve efficiency into resources and processes before investing in new solutions.
Using a tool such as Content King will help pick up on changes to a website much quicker than manual audits. This improves the speed at which issues can be resolved.
Working back to front on a list of tasks can help improve that sense of completion and achievement. For example, work through smaller tasks first leading up to the larger more involved tasks.
These are just some points taken from a handful of talks that took place at State of Digital 2018. The day provided many valuable nuggets of information that we could take back to the office and share with the team. If State of Digital can continue with the informative almost lecture-style conference next year then hopefully it will only grow year on year.