Digitalzone’20 Online: Presentation Summaries and Key Points
We have welcomed world-famous professionals in the sector once again at Digitalzone’20, which is the largest digital marketing conference in Eastern Europe and MENA and which we have been organizing every year since 2013.
While it's the first time we have organized the event online and for free because of the pandemic, it was truly exciting to meet much more people from all over the world even though not physically.
We have collected the key points from the presentations of our precious speakers on SEO, PPC, and Content Marketing for you.
Dear Judith Lewis, whom we last hosted on the Digitalzone stage in 2017, was the first speaker of Digitalzone Online this year. Engaged in digital marketing since 1996, Judith provides services in SEO, PPC, Social Media, and Integrated Marketing Communication within the body of Decabbit Consultancy that she founded. You can also see Judith as a member of the jury in various Search Awards worldwide.
Connecting to our event at 7:30 a.m. local time in London with her great energy, Judith shared 12 optimization and analysis methods for better SEO campaigns, which may not be noticed sometimes and which she had prepared based on her own experiences, in her presentation titled "Top 12 Tips for a Better SEO Life". The key points of Judith's enjoyable presentation are as follows:
● Creating a clear user journey map is actually a task that should be given importance in the first phases of particularly suitable projects and that guides us through all kinds of work during the project. Generally, we perform this task by simply classifying users according to their search intents. In the first part of her speech, Judith talked about the steps of specifying content strategies and content mapping in this task.
● During content mapping, it is essential to take the points that users find problematic and the questions that people might ask into consideration.
● Content should be produced in parallel with the purchasing steps of the users.
● It is important to produce content that users would be eager to share and that is enriched with keywords at the same time.
● You can test the title and meta description tags of your content on Google Ads first, and then use those with high performance on the organic side. Not all setups that work on PPC have to work on SEO as well, but these tests will surely give you an idea on what you should do.
● When specifying new content topics, we can detect content that brings traffic to competitors but we are not yet listed for with various SEO tools such as SEMRush, and we can find new content topics here.
● Most SEO tools now provide keywords related to the topic that is searched as a separate group. These words are very precious for specifying new content topics.
● In-site links that connect the most valuable homepage of our site to the sub-pages make those pages ranked higher by Googlebot in the site hierarchy. The links given among the content on the homepage screen that is most visible to the users —above the fold— are highly likely to be clicked by the users, which enables a better ranking of the pages.
● Including the main keyword among title tags is one of the most important optimizations on SEO even today. Important keywords must be included in the first part of the title tag. On the other hand, we should still make sure that title tags do not exceed 60-70 characters.
● If your brand is highly recognized, the brand name can be included in the first part of the title tag. Otherwise, the brand name should always be included in the end of the title tag.
● Among the absolute musts of good content are a successful target audience analysis, data-driven work under all circumstances, and measurement.
● Concentrating on content that does not go out of date easily —evergreen content— enables more organic traffic in the long run.
● Today, simple and clear content is more likely to be read by people. The content should definitely be shared on social media as well.
● Those pages that have been created for special days or events and have brought good traffic should not be deleted but used for similar work. Updating old blog content occasionally or moving the content that you think is no longer suitable for your page to different sub-pages and referring to them, if necessary, have positive effects on organic traffic.
● When measuring KPI, it is important to consider the value a better ranking in a word will add to our site as well as focusing on a specific position. The seasonality of the specified words should be taken into consideration.
● Judith summarized the main areas that need to be improved first while performing technical analysis for the sites as follows:
-Identifying of the duplicate content
-Controlling the title and meta description tags of important pages
-Identifying the 404 pages linked in the site
-Removing the redirect chains
-Controlling the respond time of the server
● Click-through rate (CRT) of the keywords is a more important metric than positions for measurement. All the data we need for measurement are provided by Google Analytics and Search Console.
One of the founding partners of Zeo, Yiğit has attended conferences such as Digitalzone, CMMasters, SEMdays, WMF, and Orbit as a speaker including BrightonSEO, the largest SEO conference in Europe. Currently, he is developing SEO.do project at the product department located in Ankara.
In his enjoyable and interactive presentation, Yiğit talked about a more technical subject, unlike the concepts we have been hearing a lot about SEO lately. He also told us how to integrate Terminal, which is a secret weapon of SEO specialists, into our businesses. A large part of the presentation is made via Terminal, so we recommend you watch the video as well.
The key points of the presentation are as follows:
● Even though you don't know how to code, you can simplify much of your SEO work by writing bash scripts on Terminal. Terminal works as a sort of programming language. You just need to directly write the commands you've memorized before.
● You can perform many of your daily tasks on Terminal. Opening, saving, viewing, filtering, and examining any Word file can be given as examples here.
● It is possible to process large volumes of data on Terminal very quickly, and that's why it is often used by data scientists as well as developers.
● Each SEO specialist is actually a mini product manager as well as a project coordinator. Therefore, they should always have strong technical capabilities.
● Recently, learning Python has become popular among SEO specialists. There are some pioneers of this rush in the SEO world, and we can access unlimited resources related to this subject matter. However, not everyone has the time or the opportunity to learn Python. If you do not have any programming experience, it may not be easy to understand some concepts without great effort.
● On the other hand, any task performed on the Terminal is a lot easier than programming. Bash scripts are generally very close to human language. Being faster than solutions such as Excel, Terminal is ideal among these kinds of solutions. There is also a great Stack Overflow community that consists of people devoted to this job.
● Using Terminal is so fun that it can make you feel like a true hacker for a while, and make non-technical people feel so cool.
● When you start using Terminal, you'll leave complex processes for the point where you will say "I can actually do everything with bash".
● Yiğit continued his presentation by summarizing installation tools for Windows and macOS. At this point, it is essential to install a package manager to Terminal. Yiğit recommended homebrew for macOS.
● Continuing the presentation interactively, Yiğit mentioned basic Terminal commands such as cd desktop, pwd, and ls, and explained how to perform simple tasks such as creating a new file. Task like nano, new file and editing can be done.
● It is of great importance to manage data especially in large agencies and website projects. We usually work on a large number of .csv files and sometimes have to open them one by one to combine them. You must have experienced it on Ahrefs before. You can perform this task with cat command on Terminal very quickly.
● Apart from this, we often need daily tasks such as searching to manipulate the data, finding a single column in the file, and selecting certain words. Data volume analysis and transferring certain files to someone else via links are also among tasks we face often.
● You can use grep, another important command, in the zip files. For example, it is very useful for identifying 404s in log analyses, and such files are generally provided as gzip.
● During the last part of the presentation, Yiğit performed all the commands he talked about on the site map of Zeo and shared them with us.
● At the end of the presentation, Yiğit gave the good news about our second product seoman after the soft beta launch of SEO.do. If you have installed homebrew with open-source code, you can download the extension using "pip3 install seoman" command. This tool provides all your daily rankings and keyword details in the last two weeks without any developer support.
Starting her career in marketing, Hannah Smith has been working in online marketing since 2007. After her short-term work in PPC and Technical SEO, she specialized in creative content. She has managed PR and content teams in SEO agencies such as Distilled and Verve Search. She has also attended many SEO conferences such as BrightonSEO, Mozcon, and Search Love as a speaker. Leaving her agency life behind, Hannah is currently delivering content consultancy services at her own company Wonderist.
Hannah made a presentation on the concept of creativity/inspiration and the inability to produce new ideas and losing creativity, the nightmares of content writers. We barely see speakers who address these problems frankly in our country. It is not easy to be honest about the tough times we have been through. In this sense, it was a speech for everyone whose path has ever crossed content production at some point would relate to.
The key points of the presentation are as follows:
● Content writers might suddenly feel that they run out of creativity, and find themselves in situations in which they do not know what to do next even though they were able to find ideas easily and doing their job well.
● There are usually various underlying reasons behind losing one's creativity but despair is always the dominant emotion no matter what happens. To overcome this, the underlying reasons should be identified.
● Among the underlying reasons are not knowing what to do or how to do, thinking that we suck at our job, feeling that we are often interrupted, or simply not enjoying what we do.
● It is difficult to know how to start a job without a certain goal. In the creativity process, too much freedom or too many limits might bear negative outcomes. It is very important to balance these two. Too restrictive, limited, or too open-ended content briefs provided by customers might also cause similar creativity problems and failure to start a job.
● You should at least have a list of 5-10 websites that the customer definitely wants to post the content on or the topics that are not supposed to be included in the content especially when it comes to PR contents. The ideal thing is to know the topics that the customer would like to be mentioned in the content, the audience they would like the content to be aimed at, and other similar contents.
● Sometimes, when customers show up with a brief such as "we need creative ideas for our contact lens company", we might misunderstand the limits of the brief. About this example, we only focus on producing content on contact lenses. In this situation, any kind of content on the concept of vision and optics can be produced. Here, we need to focus on how the users use the product or service, not on the product or the service itself, and widen our perspective.
● Having too many possibilities might cause a lack of concentration in sectors as traveling, which are suitable for producing so much content on topics like history, culture, languages, sport, food and drinks, movies, and books. That is why you should put limits on yourself when the customer does not provide a clear brief.
● People tend to believe that ideas emerge instantly and miraculously. However, creativity is related to finding your unique creativity process and optimizing it by practice. Everyone needs to find their unique creativity process on their own.
● Hannah usually starts her creativity process by examining the successful contents produced and shared in the sector, and by inspiring herself. Later on, she analyses if it is possible for her to immediately reach the topics she particularly wants to include in the content. In the final step, she thinks over whether that work really complies with the customer goals and its feasibility.
● We tend to compare ourselves with other content producers and think that we are not good at our job. The reason for that is because only the best works are visible in the sector and no one ever talks about the bad ideas that have been put aside or the difficulties that have been faced. So, it is not right to compare all this creativity process with the best work of others.
● When you think that you are not good at your job, remember your previous successful work or do a little creativity exercise.
● If you are having a concentration problem or others are interrupting your work all the time, you should not let this happen in the first place. When we are interrupted, it takes us approximately 23 minutes to refocus on that job. So, close your mailbox, sign out of your social media accounts, stay away from Slack, and put your phone on airplane mode if necessary. If your work is constantly interrupted in your workplace, leave that environment and continue to work in places such as a café, a library, or home where you can work more comfortably.
● In the event of losing one's creativity, almost everyone thinks of the same question: "Do I not enjoy doing this job?" To find a clear answer to this question, you should find out how long it takes you to come up with a creative idea and your most creative hours first and to do this, you can use time tracking tools such as Toggl.
● We usually come up with creative ideas while we are cooking or having a shower because we give ourselves some space. We should also have time to rest while working on the idea.
● One of the biggest problems with creativity is that some people are good at teamwork while others work better alone. Deadline pressure can be pretty depressing especially for content writers who work for a corporate. In the event of failing to complete a work, we usually focus on the worst-case scenario and panic. Indeed, our sector is not where it's always a matter of life and death.
● Giving yourself some space for creativity in other areas than your job might also make your job more enjoyable.
● Even though you have a systematic process of finding ideas, you must be aware that you might sometimes have bad days but those days will be followed by better ones.
Jamie's presentation was clear enough for even those who did not have any idea about Technical SEO. Being a perfect speechmaker, she talked about how the greatest content could be wasted because of Technical SEO problems and how we could eliminate them. The key points of her presentation are as follows:
● 75% of product pages on e-commerce sites are not indexed due to false optimization. We need to think about why most of our efforts go in vain despite all the optimization. When Google scans a page, it gets all the content first and gives it to Chrome. After that, Chrome runs all the scripts on the page and extra content is loaded. After everything is loaded, Googlebot renders the snapshot of the page, which is actually the indexed content.
● In fact, Googlebot serves as a user client here. On the other hand, we should remember that it is only one of the microservices that Google uses in searching. Google has many tools, most of which are used in both organic search and paid search.
● Google uses Chromium as the web render service. Chromium serves as a headless browser that has nothing to do with page design. It is used to load the pages and get the metadata. It reads the DOM and performs the painting. It is also responsible for tasks such as rendering snapshots and analyzing scripts.
● Blink and V8 are only two of the critical parts under Chromium, and they are open-source.
● Jamie visualized the rendering process in her presentation and explained it with real-life comparisons.
5. Jim Banks - Navigate The Opportunities And Threats As A Programmatic Media Buyer In 2020 And Beyond
As a PPC specialist and an international speaker, Jim is considered one of the active participants in the worldwide sector events organized until 2020. He is the current CEO of Spades Media, a growth agency, and the founder of Elite Media Buyers, an online community.
The key points of his presentation are as follows:
● Engaged in the programmatic world since 2009 and a huge fan of performance marketing, Jim Banks first talked about the changes in the programmatic ecosystem in time.
● Programmatic advertising is defined as the process of buying and selling advertisements in real-time through an automated tendering system.
● Anyone who makes a media purchase in the digital environment makes a programmatic media purchase.
● Digital advertisements generally include local ads and social media ads such as Facebook and Twitter's. But it does not include Google search advertisements. It is still possible to say that Facebook and Google dominate the market but Amazon has started to get more involved in programmatic media.
● It is estimated that 78% of online shopping in the majority of the sectors is done on mobile devices, which is directly related to the rise of the programmatic concept.
● It is predicted that the amount of money paid for programmatic will reach $95 billion in the next three years. The pandemic has radically changed buying behaviors and the advertisers hope that it will still be the case after the pandemic.
● Today, many businesses appreciate the importance of turning a large part of their physical activities into online. Even this is a golden opportunity for advertisers.
● People who are involved in the media purchasing process are usually control freaks. That is why it took a while for us to trust the machine learning, algorithms, and artificial intelligence that have been produced by the companies in the media purchasing business.
● However, there is no way around it. We have Google ad networks, YouTube, the concept of re-marketing, auctions on Facebook and Instagram, and frequency-based advertisement models. You can choose whether you would like to have a daily budget or a total budget. There are super-dynamic, creative advertisements. It is impossible to do things manually in such an ecosystem.
● Facebook ads are told to be very difficult and based on too many variables. In fact, Facebook automatically shares your budget with the campaigns that give the best results for you. You also have automatic placements.
● There are certain programmatic areas that can be considered powerful for 2020 and later. Jim shared his experiences on these four programmatic areas in detail with us.
● First of them is local ads. The second one is re-marketing. A not-so-popular one is first-hand data. It is estimated that browsers will somehow eliminate cookies in the upcoming period. In this way, third-party data will no longer be available. That's why you should base your target audience on the first-hand data. Another key point is the video ads. There are different opinions on when to deliver your message to the users, especially in YouTube ecosystem.
● Another one of today's trends is podcasts. There are huge advertisement opportunities on platforms such as Spotify and Soundcloud. You can buy advertisement voice-over services for an affordable price on platforms such as Fiverr. It does not seem likely that banner ads will go out-of-date. You can create banner ads for dynamic products in seconds using tools such as Bannersnack and Adacado. Adbeat is another useful tool that enables you to view the advertisements of your competitors.
As a digital marketer and an international speaker, Irına has more than ten years of experience in content marketing and SEO. Currently, she is a member of the User Acquisition team at HubSpot, and she is working on the Surround Sound program for raising awareness of the company's freemium products.
The key points of her presentation are as follows:
● Online buying behaviors of people have completely changed and so has their journey in this process. Today, the customer journey is not as predictable as it was before. The reason is that we are showered with so many options and opportunities every day.
● This entire new customer journey process has been put under the microscope by Google. Especially a decision-making process called Messy Middle has been studied. People tend to follow indirect means instead of evaluating their options and moving through a direct way. They are stuck between alternatives, ask their peers for information, or check the recommendation of those whom they consider an opinion leader. The comments of unknown people are also very important to them.
● HubSpot, the company Irina works for, is a CRM company but it delivers services in many areas. The company also has a marketing automation tool. That's why Irina always imagines the journey of a customer who searches for CRM for their small or medium-size business whenever she thinks about the customer journey. Such a customer might start the journey by asking people from his or her profession what kind of CRM they are using. Later on, this customer may make searches on search engines. Afterward, the customer might visit the sites of CRMs he or she is interested in to find out what other users have to talk about them. However, the search and evaluation process will continue until the customer makes the final decision.
● Surround Sound is described as a group of strategies and tactics aimed at making HubSpot's products visible whenever a customer buys a product similar to HubSpot's. Irina continued her presentation by sharing the details of the process she followed to create Surround Sound.
● The first step should be exploring new keywords the users will use to find products and services similar to yours. These can be words with or without the brand name. After that, you need to look for an opportunity to make the company and the product more visible in this keyword. If you're a fresh starter, it would be enough to examine only the first 10 or 20 search results of Google.
● Later on, you can specify especially the articles and lists here and create an outreach list for yourself. You can come together with these people and discuss the best potential ways to work together and cooperate.
● Finally, make sure that you have measured all your results. Irina recommends a tool called SERP Tracker for this task.
● You can use tools such as Ahrefs or SEOmonitor to find more keywords related to your product, service, or sector. You should also classify these words according to user intent. For example, an audience that uses a CRM tool but wants to change it is a perfect target audience for HubSpot.
● Irina follows approximately 500-600 keywords monthly on HubSpot related to its products.
● Especially if you properly follow how much your brand name is included in the first 20 Google results and see the outcomes of the improvements you made, it will be easier for you to include more shareholders in your project and be rewarded for your efforts.
Isaac, the founder of a New York-based digital advertising agency called AdVenture Media Group, works with customers from many sectors such as B2B and B2C, and from a great number of brands and retailers from American Eagle to small family businesses. His company assumes an approach to media purchasing based on psychological principles and adopts data-driven methods.
The key points of his presentation are as follows:
● In his interactive presentation, Isaac focused on practical strategies for various conversion rate tests and conversion rate optimization analyses.
● Digital marketers don't usually prioritize conversion rate optimization on websites or landing pages.
● No matter how much you know about the working mechanism of a media purchasing platform or Google/Facebook ads, there will always be many things that you don't know about when running a digital campaign. That's why it is very important to experiment and test new ideas and new ways to do things.
● We generally focus on clicking rate and conversion rate too much. We try to optimize the quality score or to find better keywords. However, most customers and advertisers do not spend enough time directly optimizing landing pages.
● But when you increase the percentage of users that enable conversion instead of increasing the budget, you will increase the total amount of sales, income, or profit from the campaign you run.
● The purpose of improving your design is actually very simple; you just want to make your website more enjoyable and easier for users. A better design will directly result in a better conversion rate for your website or application. In a way, this metric enables you to measure your design directly. The quality of the traffic on your page might depend on other factors as well.
● When users have an annoying experience on your website, the likelihood of them re-visiting your site decreases directly. Even though people enjoy themselves on your website, they will still focus on negative experiences and feelings.
● The first step of conversion optimization is transparency and clearness. It is very important to be clear with the users and to be able to express to them what you do and which services you offer to them. You need to convey your message to users in the first 5-10 seconds.
● Most websites are usually poor. They do not answer your questions and provide you with the information you are looking for, and they load very slowly. However, it is statistically certain that the total amount of time spent on the site and the conversion rate would increase if you could convey your message to the user in a short time.
● One of the easiest tests that you can run on your website is the five-second availability test. What you need to do is just show the image of any of your pages to the participants of the study, and ask them what the relevant company does. You can also ask them which values the company could be offering to customers, or the target market or audience. Isaac also ran a test similar to this one during his presentation.
● If you sell a product, even just having group meetings with the sales teams might make you understand the users better. A sales representative might be more knowledgeable about the company and the product more than the CEO.
8. Clément Hochedez - Pulling core web vitals into a technical SEO audit and measuring their impacts on rankings and traffic
Clément Hochedez started his career at a startup in Paris and has specialized in SEO during this time. Before joining to OnCrawl as a Technical SEO Leader, he worked for Adviso and took place in the project of National Bank of Canada as a senior counselor.
The key points of his presentation are as follows:
● When Google announced that Web Vitals would become a new ranking factor, Clément got many questions from his customers. There are too many tools to measure the page speed, and it might be difficult to choose a method to focus on. Especially if you have a website with millions of URLs, it might really be hard to measure the speed of all those pages.
● According to Google's research, 55% of mobile visitors immediately leave a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. The first 5 seconds of a page time have a considerable effect on conversion rates. The conversion rate starts to reduce by 4.42% per second after that.
● Since the site speed is so important for user experience, Google announced a new official ranking factor called Core Web Vitals in May.
● Google added 3 new metrics to the site speed tool to measure the page experience, which are Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). These are expected to become permanent ranking factors in 2021. In this way, Google has actually given people about 6 months to improve their websites.
● Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) means how fast the visible content of the page loads.
● Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures how fast the page becomes functional. For example, if a button that the user interacted with is not still active because the page has not loaded yet, this is a huge problem.
● Basically, two separate teams were in charge of PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse within the scope of Google until this year. However, everything has been integrated lately.
● It is possible to make use of Python commands on API to measure CLS, FID, and LCP values of the bulk volume of any page. After that, the rest of the work is just to segment and analyze the data. But if you have millions of URLs, it might take a very long time to access the data just because API is a little slow.
● Then, Clément showed us how to get the speed data directly from OnCrawl with an API key and analyze it.
● Firstly, the visuals and video content on the websites should be optimized to improve Core Wen Vitals and especially LCP, just like we do to improve the site speed.
● The most important content on the website should be included in the upper part of the site, which we call above-the-fold.
● Besides, non-critical JS resources should be definitely loaded with delay.
● You should take the necessary steps to offer users a much better mobile experience in accordance with Google's Mobile-First Index preference.
Frederick Vallaeys, one of the sector-leading professionals with his specialty in PPC Search Engine Based Marketing, is also a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and a writer. As one of the first 500 employees of Google, Vallaeys played an important role in the development of the PPC marketing system of the company as its first AdWords delegate.
With everyone using the same automation during Frederick's presentation, he answers the "how digital marketers beat competitors" question. The key points of his presentation are as follows:
● One of the biggest truths in the digital marketing world is that the advertisement platforms will keep being automatized. Advertisement automation is growing like topsy and it is impossible to stop it.
● The reason behind the continuous growth of the automation industry is that Google and other search engines focus on this matter. In fact, automation has been in our lives since 1950s.
● Today's machines, technologies, and computers are fast enough to do a good job with artificial intelligence and machine learning. According to Moore's law, the information processing power of mankind doubles itself every 18 months. It has been the case for 50-60 years, and now the machines can do great things.
● One of the reasons why Google had a quality score was that Google needed a mechanism to predict which advertisement would be clicked more. After all, we should remember that Google is a cost-per-click advertising system. Google can make money only when it shows ads that are of enough quality for people to click. Quality score, on the other hand, is a machine learning system. This automation solves many of our problems.
● Another reason why we can no longer control data is that advertisers are usually bad at math. We cannot calculate conversion rates very well. Google does not mean to drown advertisers in details. Otherwise, a lot of advertisers would have called Google's support team as a result of false assumptions and asked why smart proposals wouldn't work. Numbers are misleading by nature.
● According to the product manager of Google, advertisers who fight against automation should focus on conversion rate optimization or a more holistic approach to the campaign instead of trying to find the reason for a two-dollars waste.
● And when it comes to Cost Per Click, relying solely on machine learning to make a proposal for you can bear terrible consequences. That's why warnings should be taken into consideration but decisions such as lowering the bid must be made very carefully.
● What we have in the end is more automation but fewer data and less control. Google calls it advertising for everyone's good. However, we are CPC and digital marketing experts, and this is very bad for us. Because it means more competition and higher cost per click.
● You can always get great results when you integrate the human factor into the mix instead of leaving everything to automation. If your competitors rely solely on Google's supercomputer, you can do a whole lot better with a few tools such as Excel or Optmyzr.
● Frederick continued his presentation by explaining how we could do a whole lot better with various examples.