Tom Holgate – Digital Executive

SearchLeeds 2018 was a goldmine of useful information. Seeing the different perspectives of professionals all working within the same industry not only provided me with some great insights, but also inspired me, and made me proud to be a part of such a proactive, forward-thinking industry.

As I attended a large variety of talks, covering different topics, I thought it would be best to give a run-down of my favourite talks and key take-outs. So, if you stay tuned to the end there may be some useful tips and tricks!

From the top:

Super speed around the globe, by Bastian Grimm

Bastian Grimm covered the importance of website speed, and how we can trim those vital milliseconds from load times that can make or break a website visitor becoming a satisfied customer.

Some interesting facts were highlighted in this talk: 47% of people expect a website to load within two seconds, and 40% will leave a website if it does not load fully within three seconds.

But what can we do about it? Well lucky for us, lots of things, but the main factor that really spoke to me because it’s so simple was image optimisation. This is something we do as standard practice when creating websites, however there was some great advice to help make this process even more streamlined.

First off, tools such as tinyPNG and tinyJPG can be integrated into Photoshop so that basic optimisation can be integrated into the design flow.

There are also some great new image formats coming into play, Google’s WebP for example. They allow developers to create smaller, richer images for a faster website.  The only downside to WebP is that it only works in Chrome, Opera and Android. There are however other options such as FLIF, BPG, JPEG-XR. If you’re image-heavy, play around and see what works for you.

And, the benefits…well let me tell you: increased conversions, increased time on page and faster load times to name a few.

Is attribution coming of age this year, by Angus Hamilton

This was an insightful talk about moving from last click models to position-based, data-driven attribution models.

For those of you who don’t know, attribution as described by Angus, is the science of assigning credit to the marketing touchpoints that a customer was exposed to prior to their purchase.

Think about a football match (bear with me). The players are various marketing channels and scoring a goal is the conversion. When someone scores a goal, attributing that goal solely to the goal scorer would be last click attribution, as that’s the last person (channel) to touch the ball before the goal.

In reality, that goal has come to fruition through a play involving more than just the goal scorer. Marketing is the same – the last channel a customer has engaged with before they convert is not the sole reason that customer has converted.

Instead, that goal or sale has come because of multiple different marketing touchpoints, e.g. social, email, PPC etc. This is a position-based, data-driven attribution model.

If you can attribute what percentage each channel has had on the conversion, then you can adjust your budget accordingly and allocate it to those that have the higher percentage attribution.

Once you have access to this information, you can start to test how implementing different channels increases the likelihood of a purchase. Angus gave the example of using paid display with paid search.

By using display ads alongside search ads, he found a 12.5% uplift in profit, as people are more likely to engage with a brand if they have seen it before. This was all measurable through position-based attribution.

The tools are also readily available through Google AdWords, Double Click by Google, Google analytics 360 suite and Attribution 360.

Angus’s talk was called “Is attribution coming of age this year?” – he convinced me that it is.

If you’re still with me…

These were the two talks that really spoke to me, however I also think it’s worth mentioning another insight I got from the day.

In our new GDPR landscape, where consumers are hyper-conscious of personal data, personalisation becomes a tricky concept. Although it’s something marketers aspire to achieve to increase engagement and conversions, making things too personal can have the opposite effect by scaring consumers with the “How do they know this about me?” factor.

So, its key to make personalisation subtle. Netflix is a great example of a business that does this well. Say if you like action adventure films it’s likely this will be the first category listed. However, there won’t be unnecessary copy stating they know you like it. Unsurprisingly people think that that’s creepy…so marketers, tone it down.

That’s it from me, I hope some of this was useful to you. If not, and content is more your bag then maybe check out what our Senior Content Executive Tom took from SearchLeeds.