SearchNorwich 1: Roundup, downloads and your feedback

Firstly, a big “thank you” to everybody that attended the inaugural SearchNorwich event, we felt it was a huge success! There wasn’t a spare seat in the house and we got some excellent feedback on the talks and the event as a whole.

The talks and speakers


Charity: Chris Elliott from The Benjamin Foundation

Jon Falgate: Keyword research: The beginning, the middle and the end

Key takeaways from Jon:

  • A page with ranking and performance data can be improved upon more easily than getting new pages to rank from scratch.
  • This approach helps you build on the things which already work, rather than using guess work.
  • Growing the page using insight from the keywords it ‘nearly‘ ranks for can help improve the breadth of the topic, increase the keywords it will rank for, and potentially improves rankings over all.
  • When you have grown it as much as possible, you’ll naturally be faced needing to create a new page, in order to keep targeting closely related keywords.
  • Understand which are your best performing pages and be sure to protect them with maintenance. Also understand which ones could do with a little extra ‘love’ – make sure this work gets done. Only then should you be confident to go off and opportunity spot for new pages.
And remember….
  • A page which ranks, and sends traffic is more valuable than 100 pages which do not.
  • Going for the ‘volume of pages’ approach is a great way to get lucky sometimes.


Sean Clark: Leveraging the Google brain for increased Adwords ROI

Key takeaways from Sean:

  • Google AdWords is about relevance & user experience, not keywords & bidding
  • Quality score has a direct impact on your cost per conversion and therefore your ROI
  • Everything is a test, and you should test regularly, you’ll rarely get it right first time
  • Get smart and use Google’s free testing tools
  • Get even smarter and get Google’s new ad features to do the testing for you
Remember, test, test and test again. That’s how you get ROI from Google AdWords!


Your feedback


Technical difficulty was pretty much spot on

Feedback on difficulty of SearchNorwich SEO talk

Feedback on difficulty of SearchNorwich SEO/keywords talk

Looking at the overall feedback, we can see that 100% of people voted that the talks were either “just right” or within 1 click either way, with “too technical” and “not technical enough” being equal. Not bad for the loose brief we gave our speakers and starting from still!

What we are going to change: There was some specific feedback saying things were too basic or to complex, so with the next event we are going to experiment by making the more technical talk even more technical and making the non-technical talk, even less technical. I’m aware we won’t be able to keep all the people happy all of the time.


A good appetite for a panel-based discussion

SearchNorwich panel discussion vote

Almost 3/4 of respondents thought that a ‘live’ panel-based discussion was either a very good or great idea, only 1 of you thought it was a shit idea. To elaborate, this format could be tackled by doing ‘live site audits’ to generate discussion or pre-determine a topic and just take questions and debate with the audience.

What we are going to change: We will start to explore how to best execute this and maybe do an event early next year with a live panel. We will collect ideas for topics closer to the time.


You had loads of great ideas for future topics

  • SEO in heavily regulated industries
  • How to sell SEO to ‘crusty old stakeholders who think it’s a waste of money’
  • Local search
  • Strategic paid digital; site structure and content creation. (Elodie’s talk at SearchNorwich 2 will cover this!)
  • Schema & voice search (this was especially popular)
  • Practical link building (maybe Craig’s talk on link building with PBNs will be of interest)
  • SEO myth busting

If you think you could do a talk on any of this topics, drop me a line and we’ll help you prepare a talk.


You’re very keen on eating meat

Of the 20 of you that responded to “If there was one thing you could do to improve the event, what would it be?” 4 of you specifically mentioned having meat on pizzas. I talked to John about this, who is charge of organising food. John’s vegan and John says ‘No’. Thank you for your valued feedback.


You’d like a little more diversity

Specifically, let’s have some women speakers! Well, good news off the bat, we had already organised Elodie from Selesti to be at SearchNorwich 2. Since day 1, we have been working with people such as DevelopHER to try and connect up more women in the industry to the event. Apart from us proactively approaching people, if you’d like to do a talk or you know someone that would be great, get in contact and tell us.


You generally had a great time

There was tons of really kind and encouraging things said in the feedback, so thank you for this! Bruce from Phase 3 Three Goods also took the time to do a write up of the first SearchNorwich event. It gives a nice overview of the talks and what people had to say on Twitter, thanks, Bruce!


That’s it! See you all at SearchNorwich 2. Tell a friend and subscribe to our YouTube channel for videos if you haven’t already.