Search Elite – The First Search One Track Conference by GoEvents

I was so excited to be a media partner for the first ever Search Elite. It was a fantastic event and took place on May 9th at Old Street.

Trampery Old Street

Bas van den Beld and Danny Rötting started the first session of the day.

How to make Digital Marketing work in your organisation. A case study revealing a unique approach to marketing !

  • Relevance is very important in marketing. Marketers need to change but they haven’t.
  • Bas said that what they are doing when talking to clients is they are telling them tactics. Not making them change.
  • People resist change if they do not know what the outcome is.
  • It is important to combine different people’s ideas together. Get them interested in the change and involved in it.


Many people in marketing do old fashioned tactics, they just try and modify it. But this does not work.

Bas outlines what others are doing wrong:

1) Creating a cool start up – People sometimes change their behavior for the short term, but that does not give you the inspiration.

Content is King – Having a content calendar, doesn’t do anything. They feel they have something they can focus on. It doesn’t change things.

Most people are going round in circles, they are trying to do stuff, but going no where.

2) You need to connect the dots.

  • You need to get the people creating the content we need. They therefore have to know the plan and the route of where you are going before they create the content.
  • They them to understand an bring them in.
  • Creating the circle, the knowledge and behavior – how they can act on it.
  • These two circles are the circle of life. Bring these together.
  • How do we do that?
  • Bas and then Daniel shared their tips:

5 Key Elements

1. The Organisation

Bas often sees people running around like crazy at work, they are always going from one meeting to another. In the end they are not delivering anything. There is a lot of big talks, lots of walking around, but not delivering.

  • Rise above and ask what are you doing?
  • Another aspect of the organization want to address is the senses of the purpose, the WHY? Align sense of purpose of a company with sense of purpose of a team.

2. Knowledge

3. People

  • People feel obliged to stick to the system, eg not talking in a conference.
  • You need to change the mindset.

4. Leadership

  • Highly underestimated. Need to lead by example.
  • So you as a leader need to lear and make mistakes.
  • Need to have “Clarity in control”
  • Need to have a clear place to play in order to be creative and encourage people to be creative.

5. Connecting the Dots

  • Understand you have all people there.
  • Make sure before you start, you see all the dots for you and your organization.
  • You never start from 0 and you do not have to start from 0.
  • This means you cannot wipe out the work the employees/staff you are working with. You don’t want them to be scared or feel their work before you came on board was useless.
  • It is so important to create a good team.
  • It is crucial to have good leadership too
  • If you do not see a leader, then you have to become one yourself.
  • Then Experience leads to surprise results.
  • Don’t tell a client, make them feel it

Fantastic presentation, here are the slides for future reference:

How to make Digital Marketing work in your organisation from Bas

David Iwanow –Automate or Die

David shared some great tips on how to be more efficient when comes to SEO. For example SEOs should do automation for identifying issues with your site, monitoring site traffic, keeping an eye on your competitors and much more. Fantastic presentation, I could not keep up with all the great tips. Here are just a few:

1) Be More Efficient

Automation gets more out of your day. Things will break so crawling your website should be done automatically using tools such as Deep Crawl. To monitor images, David recommended TinEye. It is also important to set up Analytics alerts in GA.

  • Where is your logo showing up?
  • Tin Eye – you can use this.Good to have in the back ground.
  • If have certain images that don’t want available, this is also useful

2) Old behaviors must change.

  • The old way is that it takes weeks or days to notice issues. This is too long.
  • You don’t always know when someone has fixed something, so set up alerts.
  • Malware might pop up at times so use Google Safe Browsing API to constantly check site. This is especially important if the site is serving banner ads.

David showed the audience some good tips on Automation.

Deep Crawl

  • Conduct regular crawling and monitoring using DeepCrawl
  • With DeepCrawl you can schedule and forget and have this running the background. David suggest looking at this outside of peak times, eg over weekend or towards end of week so you have insights to report on for Monday.
  • Track changes with Deep Crawl.

AWR Cloud – this can be used for monitoring.

SEM Rush

  • SEM Rush as well you can use to crawl, are there problems across your platform.
  • SEM Rush – backlink audit email.

These platforms are good for top level analysis. You can set this information in Trello

RAGE – How can you help.

One piece of advice is

  • Regular crawling
  • Looking for constant bugs and issues.

Create a ticket in Trello and then it is picked up in SEO team.

Deep Crawl

  • Track changes in Deep crawl.
  • Track Code Changes

Track HTML Changes with Change


Also use Majestic backlink dashboards. This helps identify competitors and you can track all the trust and citation flow.

Google Analytics

Do you have time to check this? There is a feature people do not use in GA called intelligence event alerts. For example set up alerts eg if see a drop in traffic by 25%.

Set it up once and never have to do again.

What About Domains?

  • Monitor for changes to DNS, domain registration monitoring, automated brand monitoring and domain monitoring (you want to have email alerts if the domain registration changes or then becomes available).
  • And what pages should you monitor?
  • Prioritise – for example the ecom check out pages, the login pages should always work.
  • Set up conditional alerts such as if a page size is less than certain size, send an alert because the page might be broken
  • Use Search Console – export the information into sheets weekly so you can look at the data. GSC only keeps this data for 90 days.
  • Tableau this is a great platform to use to visualize search data from Google Search Console. You can see the organic vs paid
  • Google Data Studio is good.


Sam Noble spoke about Using Paid Media Insights to Uncover who Your Audience Really is

Sam gave a great presentation about how to use paid media platforms such as Facebook, Linkedin and Pinterest for more insights about your audience. And yes you can do this even if you are not doing paid media campaigns.

Sam had a key message, remember your UMP – Unique Marketing Point. Competitors cannot copy that.

Sam Speaking

The average conversion rate is 1 – 2%. Brands seem to happy with that? But why? They have a big annual marketing budget and get a lot of traffic to the site so they should be converting more. We should be working harder to increase volume and conversions, we should b working on this other 98% of conversions.


  • How do we uncover our audience?
  • You need to get pixels for every channel added to your website.
  • Get pixels added and start collecting data
  • Use cookies and update your privacy policy.
  • Once you have the pixels in place, what should look at? Build your look alike audience.


  • Analytics insight – Enable Google Analytics Demographics
  • Go into the audience tab, enable demographics and interest reports.
  • Eg age and gender
  • Can see the type of content they browse.
  • Other types of products and services
  • You can then start to build up a persona.
  • In Google analytics can see segments.
  • Can see who the same data broken down differences in terms they like.
  • Can see also what type of content they like to browse in more detail.Can see so much information .


Facebook also allows us to create customer segments lists by set criteria.

So you can see who bought for you. What do they look like?


Your Customer Audience

  • Instead of looking at website audience, you can look at your actual customers.
  • Take your CRM database and upload it to different platforms such as Twitter, instagram.Adwords, Linkdedin You need at least 1000 matched email addresses.
  • You can also use Wifi sin in data like e-receipts if you have it.
  • You cannot market to these people but you can see how they are behaving.
  • These platforms like Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Google Adwords. (look at photos).
  • It allows you to tap into a new market that has not been previously exposed

CREATING audience personas

  • So when have this data what do you do? Create persona.
  • 56% of companies that are using personas are seeing a higher level of leads.
  • EgZazzle Media Persona
  • Xtensio is another one
  • HubSpot’s Persona data

APPLYING INSIGHT to multi channels.

  • Can take the data and see how the customer are
  • Eg content marketing – the audience are female and like cooking.
  • Or most of the audience focuses on mobile, so adhere to that.
  • Direct Mail – this is not dead, just needs to be targeted better.

You should use all the insights together

  • Remember your UMP
  • Get pixels added now



Russell McAthy presented “Which Channels Are More Likely to Convert Your Browers into Buyers?”

Russell said SEOs find it hard to communicate ROI and success. He talked about attribution solutions including putting a value against micro conversions. After working in SEO for a number of years, I couldn’t agree with him more.

Russell said we have to be:

Accountable, Actionable and Successful

Russell McAthy Speaking

Accountable – we need to be accountable for our work


The outputs from the reports and weekly meetings is when you go and do stuff. But there are far too many reports and dashboards that people look at and do nothing


  • The biggest issues that SEOs face is NOT Google. The issues that are moaned in the industry is about Google. But the biggest issues they have is their inability to showcase their success.
  • SEO say increased traffic is a success, but this is not. One of the biggest issues with SEO is how they talk about Success.
  • KPIs like Revenue and ROI is success, which Russell admits is easier to communicate for email and PPC channels.
  • Change things in SEO by educating the brands
  • We have lot of data and we do not use it properly. SO much gets scary and that is where big data comes from.

SO how can we show success?

Focus on the Middle Funnel.

Middle FunnelYou need to understand the top of the funnel. The middle funnel is your biggest opportunity.

Blended CPA is a waste of time. It mixes visitors from all areas of the funnel into an average CPA.

Start telling the right story

Concept of a true Conversion Rate

You need to remove bounce rate from your conversion rate.

You can do this in GA. Once you remove this, you can look at when people are engaging with your site and how much revenue is being driven from each page of your website. When look at landing page performance, it completely changes. Conversion rate will go up.

Key thing is it changes the performance of your channels. Where you had a high bounce rate, you get a better conversion

Macro Conversions

There are macro conversions. Need to spend our converting time.

Micro Conversions

  • Micro conversions, things go on website but show intent. If not tracking microconversions, you should.
  • They will convert later, in one day or two weeks.
  • Don’t make the conversions a financial value.

Look at Marketing Analytics

You have to combine visits and conversions. You have to combine volume based metric (traffic) with calculative based metric (conversion).

Micro Conversions:

  • eg signed up for a newsletter
  • added item to basket
  • read to blog posts
  • DO Not put financial number


Common Journeys as shown below:


  • Direct is incorrectly tracked.
  • People come back through multiple channels, multiple times.
  • At least 70% of what you say is direct is not, because of GA trying to still tings and they own adwords and that is how they make their money.
  • We need to understand the value of each step in the funnel, taking into account the channel and the stage in the journey.
  • Machine learning can forecast how likely people will convert even when going down a non converting journey.
  • Look at the channel value.
  • There are micro elements of the sale. When we are forecasting, we are assigning values to things when people are on the website. That is how the algorithm works. We can show you the value of a page cause then can see how valuable that content is.


Assign a financial value

When you have attribution software, can do this at a page level. This is how much it is contributing to a page level.

Russell recommended we read “ Direct Traffic is Dark Traffic.

Great presentation by Russell, I could not keep up with all his fantastic tips (as he spoke to fast), but I have shared his presentation below:

Jono Alderson was up next and gave an insightful presentation on “Unlocking Performance – Beyond AMP”

Do we know what AMP is?

The last 6 months lots in the news about AMP. Faster website, better user conversions

 So what is AMP?

Jono explained AMP is an attempt to improve the mobile experience. Google and other companies blowing away everything that exists and putting their own framework together. 

Barry Adams wrote a great post about it, and Fili Wiese and Ilyia wrote about HTTPS and HTTP 

Disadvantages of AMP

  • Who is actively managing AMP cache?
  • It takes a static cache of your page.
  • All sorts of scenarios where Google shows all differnet areas of site
  • It is vulnerable to coding
  • If you seek to remove AMP pages, then they might decide to put it back in
  • When you use AMP, you are giving up of content.
  • Don’t know what is happening.
  • Once you have adopted the ecosystem, you are stuck in it
  • AMP is changing landscape.
  • You don’t need AMP, you do it yourselves.
  • You can create your own AMP ecosystem like Cloudflare
  • AMP is just a series of performance sites

Implement changes as part of a broader toolkit to improve the performance of your site

Speed of Light

  • Issue is no longer bandwidth
  • It is about how intelligent we move it
  • We need to go smarter than faster.

Qualys SSL labs – check this. If score less than an A- this flag where have security issues

For Devices

  • Everyone is saying about responsive websites but they are slow.
  • Make CSS mobile first (build up from min width) typically reduces sizes.

For media/images

  • Test CSS3 vs images vs sprites
  • SRCSET is the only solution for managing image sizes/resolutions.
  • You can also turn images into data

Look at Using Preload, Pre Connect and Prefetch

  • Error Management for common request headaches
  • So manage your robots, favicons and other irritations.

Which metrics matter?

  • There is no such things as speed. What are we measuring?
  • Numbers from Google Pagespeed insights, pingdom, WebPage Test, GA etc, are all nonsense
  • Pingdom is good at understanding how the page tricks out etc.
  • User satisfaction metrics – any technical speed metrics

But what we are trying to do is improve the user experience

  • Brand new chrome Dev toys.
  • Check them out. New Chrome Toys
  • One is the Chrome Waterfall
  • Lighthouse – new and useful tool for site performance
  • Stop Hostname Sharing
  • Front page optimization
  • Resource Hints – give browsers hints on what you want them to do.
  • CDNs are still important
  • Localization is important
  • Above the fold (crucial path) rendering
  • Reduce waiting time for the browser
  • (re) paint and (re) flow
  • Consider how the page is constructed and how it behaves
  • Minimise unknowns to reduce tearing and relow in partcilar
  • Small technical gains, big perception gains.
  • Progressive Web Apps may be the extension of AMP – could this be the new evolution of pps?

Check out the full presentation below:


Judith Lewis was up next about spoke about “How To Turbo Charge Our SEO”

Judith Lewis

First things first, we need to look at these elements of SEO.

  • Technical SEO
  • Content
  • Build Links

Understand your audience

  • Go beyond just looking at FSC use it for insight
  • Leverage SEM Rush for easy competitor audits
  • 3D Keyword mapping illuminates the works you need to use now
  • Benchmark everything 

Who are you Targeting?

  • Visitor Type Definitions
  • Workshop our personas – this is very important.
  • Is search the right place for us? Are we targeting the right people in the right way?
  • Make sure where looking at – eg B2B or B2C etc
  • Look at insights eg Search Console and Webmaster tools.

Look for opportunities in Search Console

  • Pay for free in time. So need to balance time
  • We do not look at things in the best way.
  • Sort by ranking – look for opportunities. Eg if you are ranking on position 57 for a term, this is probably not a user. The data might be tainted by scrappers.

BING – Judith loves Bing, they give so much information. 

Competitor Insight

  • SEM Rush is highly recommended. They are always increasing the number of keywords in their database.
  • You can see what your competitors are ranking for and what you are.
  • Find out the holes.
  • Then Judith took us through 3D Mapping
  • take the volume and the results with the keyword column
  • Export out of SEM Rush into excel.
  • (Looked easy enough, I will need to go back and look at it)

Benchmarking and KPIS

  • What is the value of rankings as a KPI?
  • Is there a value?
  • Not if people are not clicking.
  • Look at Google Search Console impressions for search volume
  • Track your search growth in SEOMonitor. Takes Google Search Console Data and saves it. 

New Business? Possible KPIS.

  • Visits from Organic Search results
  • Number of branded results.

Penalty recovery?

  • Many look at this
  • Total visits from organic search
  • Number of position 1 rankings
  • Number of keywords a page ranks for (percentage pages yielding traffic)

In-House? KPIs

  • Visits from organic search
  • Number of visitors.


  • Fix 404 page and their links
  • Remove redirect chains
  • Go mobile first
  • Improve server response time
  • Bespoke titles and descriptions for critical pages
  • Ensure all pages are spiderable

10 Tips for Content Success.

(insert images)

Check your links

  • Judith recommended Kerboo for link removal.
  • There is some automation that can save you time. 

Social Research

More likely to buy on low shares than high shares.

Channel Influence by Product Category

  • Need to influence the influencers
  • Not directly targeting the person that is buying the person.

Gerry White talked about ways to use Google Tag Manager to implement SEO Changes in organisations where it is slower to implement changes.

Gerry White 

There are a lot of hacks

Normally when you start a new job as a consultant, day one you make a list of quick fixes you can do with the website. Then Day 2 you outline to implement these and Day 3, you expect great results.

In the ideal world, this is what happens. In the real world, product owners have their own set of lists.

If you have 3 month contract period, then you have 3 months to prove your self. Don’t say “Kinda hack” to people. Instead so a test ifor the client.

GTM – What Can you Do with this?

  • Put Konami code on your website for animated gifs.
  • Any tag you use, make sure it has a useful description and name them too.
  • 8 x 404 Steps (insert image)
  • When put a customer search box, the bounce rate dropped by 20%.  Test this with GTM, but better test with Google Optimize.
  • You can bulk fix title tags with GTM.
  • You can use GTM to insert rel canonical tags
  • A/B title tag test.
  • Sam Nemzer did a post about GTM – read it

Sam post

  • JSON- LD – can mark up more information on the page.
  • Use this JSON LD to enter information on GTM.
  • It can pull in your review information, our page information.
  • Can also mark up branded page.

Can speed up sites with Google Tag Manager.

Google does not like to crawl DUST (Different results with same text)

GDPR – Next generation of the data protection act.

So what about WordPress?


  • Can I just upload a file? It takes a long time.
  • When Gerry joined Just Eat, that ticket to upload the XML file too forever, so he looked for a quicker way to do this.
  • Is there a plug in?
  • Talk to developers, in their language,
  • Be imaginative and creative and give you links

Thanks Gerry for all the tips, read more in his presentation below:


Jim Banks spoke about “Don’t Waste Money Buying Traffic”

1) Use Value Track Parameters

  • Things that capture more info than the UTM tags
  • Use the value track parameters on google adwords, google display network and Google Shopping
  • Download   Goo.GL.UIUITR

2) Big Data

3)  Facebook analytics

  • Use this.
  • You don’t need to advertise on FB to get access to the Analytics
  • You can get real time conversion data
  • Axiom can give more insights into data that you have
  • Install Facebook Pixel  (

4) Tabs possibly Labs

  • Tabs for audiences
  • Labs for Automatically automated features
  • Not everyone has, so use them

5) Audiences

Ensure that Audiences a are set up in Google Analytics.

  • Include, Exclude, Behavior, Event based, Remarketing
  • Jim’s “favorite” audiences:
  • All users – 30days
  • New users – 30 days
  • Returning users – 30 days
  • Past prucassiers – 30 days
  • Smart list – 20 days
  • Use event based targeting for remarketing. For example if someone has scrolled a certain percentage of the page or viewed a certain amount of the video,
  • Once get beyond 30 days, then you can treat them as a new person coming back.

Jim Banks Speaking

6) Label Excessively

Why love using labels,

Give you the possibility to give unorthodox grouping, site agnorics, reporting, can ane camaigns something sensible,

7) Dumb Competitors

8) Cross Device Tracking

  • Display doesn’t work in conversions but it suggests.
  • Look at the FB analytics data first. (almost 2 billion people)
  • A lot of people log out of google and go back in.

9) Dynamic Search Ads (DSA)

This was a lazy person’s way of buying traffic. Sometimes they add value and other times they do not.

When to use them?

  • Strapped for time
  • Discovery mode
  • Robust Keyword Infrastructure

10) BING

  • Judith said she loves BING and Sam too.Why we like bing
  • Most advertisers laugh about it
  • We played around with it.
  • They have arrangement with AOL, they serve on Skype, firefox, windows 10, yahoo and Gumtree
  • They have 20% of UK Market share
  • Don’t do the same ads on Google as you do for Bing.
  • Important to use Adwords Conversion Tracking for attribution tracking.


I had a  Fantastic Day at Search Elite – I learnt so much and can’t wait until Conversion Eli



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