Fresh from SearchLeeds, the largest digital conference in the North of England, on Thursday last week, much of the talk was of the things that we should be doing and advising on as dynamic marketeers.

Branded3 upped their game this year, comparing to last, the hype around the event was massive resulting in the attendee count triple. We had huge expectations from last year’s conference and it didn’t disappoint.

The sun was cracking the pavement as the Digital Allies team,  creative heads, tech geniuses and eager learners descended into the First Direct Arena for a day seminars from A-listers in the digital world.

Alice, queen of outreach spent her morning listening to Link Building Guru’s like Paul Madden from Kerboo discussing ‘Links as a metric in 2017, are they still relevant ad how do we ensure value?’ a burning question in the SEO world now since Google update Penguin 4 came into play. Paul highlighted proof that actually, they do still count and that they are still crucial to ranking factor since Google released a statement in March 2017, reminding marketers to stop abusing links. He then went on to explain that Penguin 4 simply ignores bad links and operates at page level basis now plus it’s progressive. Interestingly, the effects of Penguin are felt slowly meaning it’s become increasingly hard to compare link profiles now.

Matthew, our technical brain, loved Arianne Donoghue’s from seminar on ‘To Rent or To Mortgage, PPC vs SEO & why you can’t ignore either’ Arianne laid out the debate very simply, using an analogy based around ‘property’. Your home, the most valuable piece to this puzzle, is your website. PPC was referred to as renting, and search engine optimisation was referred to as buying. She went on to outline the positives of both SEO and PPC, SEO means knowledge graphs, immune to ad-blockers, better conversion rates and free traffic whereas PPC offers flexibility, minimising organic results, unique qualities lie shopping ads and map ads, allows you to choose your audience. She concluded the debate amicably, recommending both!

Adam, the man who puts networking in social networking, ended his day in admiration at Martin McGarry from WhichBingo whom discussed ‘So how good (or bad) was that pitch? 10 real examples of practices that either won or lost you that contract!’ Martin made some interesting points from a client’s perspective, ‘Do your research!’ he exclaimed, “People would be amazed at the amount of times that people come in to pitch and ask, “so what exactly is it that you do then?” He also pointed out that businesses shouldn’t ‘roll out the big guns to impress’, clients know that as soon as the business is won, they will never see those guys again and it’s an employee from the delivery team who’ll be doing the work. They want to meet that person! He finished by saying that agencies shouldn’t get over technical and bamboozle the client.

The day was a huge success for all parties involved, SearchLeeds is a great way to gather talent up North for one big digital party! We’ll be attending next year.