Hreflang Attribute – International SEO

Hreflang Attribute

Very often proud owners of multi-language websites come to me asking me the same question: Why Google can’t correctly understand the geographic focus of my website pages? Why is my English page competing with my French page in Europe? Why is my American page outranking my English page in the UK?

The answer to these questions is always very simple. When it comes to international multi-language websites in order to help your language/regionally targeted content rank and also to avoid duplicate content you have to implement the hreflang link-attribute (the so-called rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x” link-attribute).

Hreflnag and SEO
Hreflnag and SEO

Simply put, by using the hreflang attribute you can make sure that the Googlebot knows that the content on your pages is also available in other languages and that a URL with hreflang=”fr” is for users in France and Google has to serve the French version instead of the English version.

Note: Do not specify a country code by itself as Google can’t automatically establish the language from the country code. On the other side, you can only specify a language code by itself.

What is the Hreflang Attribute?

The Hreflang Tag is an HTML meta element that was first introduced by the Internet Engineering Task Force in 2010. The Hreflang Tag specifies language and regional targeting for documents online.

What does the hreflang tag look like?

<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”en-GB” href=”http://example.com/page/” />

Explaining this markup is easy. Rel=”alternate” simply tells Google that there is another URL with the same content but in a different language. The first two letters after the hreflang part of the markup specify the language. The last two letter specify the country and the URL indicates which page the tag applies to – in this case, the English homepage.

Straight away it’s quite obvious that “en-GB” is the most important part of the code. This part tells Google that the page in question is in English (en) and it has to be served in the United Kingdom (GB).

Hreflang Attribute
Hreflang Attribute

In order for Google to understand your code, you have to use the ISO 639-1 format for language codes but you can also get more definitive by using the ISO 3166-1 Alpha 2 format to inform Google which region you’re targeting.

Note: Looking at the example above tells you straight away that not all of the country codes are intuitive (the code for the UK is ‘gb’, not ‘uk’ as ‘uk‘ is for Ukraine), so be very careful before implementing the wrong code all over your website.

Although using the Hreflang Attribute Tag is an essential part of any SEO geo-targeting strategy, it is not the ‘magic bullet’ for website internationalisation. Apart from the correct rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x” markup on the website, Google also takes other factors into account when trying to understand the language and the country for a website page.

The following elements ( in no particular order) are also used by Google in order to determine the geo-location target of a website:

  • Country code top-level domains (ccTLDs).
  • The language of the website.
  • Search Console geo-targeting settings.
  • Backlinks coming from specific geo-locations.
  • The server location of the website.
  • Currency and address formats displayed on the website.

How do I correctly implement Hreflang tags on my website?

For a start, there are three ways of implementing the Hreflang Tags?

In the <head> of your page, e.g.

<head>
<title>Hello! My name is Omi Sido</title>
<link rel="alternate" href="https://example.com/en-gb/" hreflang="en-gb" />
<link rel="alternate" href="https://example.com/en-au/" hreflang="en-au" />
</head>

In the HTTP header of your documents, e.g.

Link: <https://example.com/en-gb/>; rel="alternate"; hreflang="en-gb",
      <https://example.com/en-au/>; rel="alternate"; hreflang="en-au"

Note: Unless this is the only viable implementation method I normally don’t recommend implementing hreflang in the HTTP headers. When reviewing a page, many SEO/digital marketing tools will look at the source code but not the HTTP headers so this tag is significantly more likely to be overlooked.

In an XML sitemap, e.g.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9"
  xmlns:xhtml="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
  <url>
    <loc>https://example.com/en-gb/</loc>
    <xhtml:link 
               rel="alternate"
               hreflang="en-au"
               href="https://example.com/en-au/"/>
    <xhtml:link 
               rel="alternate"
               hreflang="en-gb"
               href="https://example.com/en-gb/"/>
  </url>
  <url>
    <loc>https://example.com/en-au/</loc>
    <xhtml:link 
               rel="alternate"
               hreflang="en-au"
               href="https://example.com/en-au/"/>
    <xhtml:link 
               rel="alternate"
               hreflang="en-gb"
               href="https://example.com/en-gb/"/>
  </url>
</urlset>

The markup above is only for two URLs so you gonna need a lot of output to do this for a lot of URLs but on the other side using sitemaps for hreflang will help you to avoid bloating your HTML markup and HTTP headers.

Note: I would strongly recommend to choose only one of these methods, and to not mix implementations.

When to use the x-default Hreflang Tag?

Note: The x-default tag is optional. You will not break your hreflang tags implementation if the x-default is not there.

X-default hreflang example

<link rel="alternate" href="https://example.com/en/page/" hreflang="x-default" />

With that in mind, the x-default hreflang tag is used to state the default version of your page for searches outside of your specified hreflang tags. For example, if you specify hreflang tags for en-gb and en-ca, but Google thinks your page is also relevant for an English query in Australia, specifying the x-default tag will inform Google which page version they should send searchers to.

Another way to explain the x-default hreflang tag is: a special hreflang tag that specifies where a searcher should be sent if none of the languages you’ve specified in your other hreflang links matches their browser settings.
So in this example href=”https://example.com/en/page/” hreflang=”x-default”, if a searcher is looking for your page in Macedonia and you don’t have a ‘Macedonian hreflang tag’ on your page Google will server the English version of this page.

The Hreflang and rel=canonical brotherhood

From an SEO point of view, I am a big fan of the rel=”canonical” tag and it can and should be used with your Hreflang Tag markup. But “here’s the catch. Every language should have a rel=”canonical” link pointing to itself.

So if we are on the home page (English) of our website the code should look like this:

<link rel="canonical" href="https://example.com/en/">
<link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/en/"
hreflang="en" />
<link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/en-gb/"
hreflang="en-gb" />

And if we are on the ‘UK homepage’ the code should be:

<link rel="canonical" href="http://example.com/en-gb/">
<link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/en/"
hreflang="en" />
<link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/en-gb/"
hreflang="en-gb" />

Very often I see the mistake where people are setting the canonical on the en-gb page to http://example.com/en/ confused by the same language (especially if the homepage is simply http://example.com/).

Reciprocal Linking

If you have pages /us/en/, /uk/en/, /br/pt and simply /de/ all of these pages must contain your hreflang tagging. You simply can’t just put the hreflang tags on one of your pages. In order for Google to understand the hreflang tags, every single variation of your website must include hreflang tags.

Useful tools when implementing the Hreflang markup

In my opinion, you only need two tools to successfully start implementing hreflang. The first tool by Aleyda Solis called ‘The hreflang Tags Generator’ will help you correctly “generate the hreflang tags patterns to use in the different language and country versions of your pages”.

Once you’ve added the hreflang markup to your pages, you’ll want to validate it and then it’s probably also a good idea to regularly audit your implementation to make sure it’s still set up correctly. To do that I strongly recommend the OnCrawl hreflang tool.

This tool can help you easily get a global view of your internationalization by giving you an overview of your hreflang tags so you can make sure everything is still in perfect working order by creating a custom hreflang dashboard.

OnCrawl hreflang tool
OnCrawl hreflang tool

Other noticeable benefits of the OnCrawl Hreflang tool:

1. Identify non-indexable pages containing hreflang tags

The OnCrawl tool will give you a list of all non-indexable pages containing hreflang tags and as it’s an SEO crawler it will also help you discover possible reasons why a page might not be indexed.

2. Find pages in language X without a translation in language Y

Probably the best feature of this tool is that it helps you identify pages you don’t have translations for yet. For example, the tool will let you find pages that already have an English and a French version, but not a German one.

Conclusion

Setting up hreflang is not a difficult process but first, you need to truly understand exactly how the hreflang attribute works. Although the process may look a bit too technical for some it is very much worth addressing especially if you already have sections of your website in different languages or for that matter in the same language but for different countries and the language on your pages is confusing your visitors.

As things in SEO are constantly evolving I will try and keep this guide up to date so next time you are implementing or troubleshooting your hreflang tags please check back.

AI vs Human Translation in Localisation | Search Elite SEO Conference

AI vs Human Translation in Localisation | Search Elite SEO Conference


If your company is entering a new market where your potential customers speak a different language, one of the things at the top of your preparation agenda should be the language of your website.

Don’t get lost in translation

Does your new target audience speak English? If not, adjusting the content of your website will not only help it rank on the local search engines but it is also far more likely to convert your visitors into customers.

It’s a simple fact that customers are 4 times more likely to buy your product or services if the content of your website is in their own language, but that doesn’t mean poor quality is sufficient.

Localisation is often misunderstood, or the resource requirements underestimated – so in this session, Gianna Brachetti-Truskawa will show you what to expect when it comes to localisation and will help you decide why or when human translation might be a better fit than machine translation.

Who is Gianna Brachetti-Truskawa?

Gianna Brachetti-Truskawa is the Senior International SEO Manager at bold ventures GmbH. Her specialities are managing multilingual websites, hreflang implementation, schema.org, Rich Results and localisation (DE, EN, FR, IT).
Her insatiable curiosity covers more topics than there are hours in a week, but her special passion is language in all its different quirks and features – and food of course.

Gianna Brachetti-Truskawa
Gianna Brachetti-Truskawa

What is Search Elite?

Search marketing continues to be the biggest and most powerful form of digital marketing. Search Elite is a conference designed exclusively for experienced search marketers. All the sessions are fast-paced, Q&A-packed, always informative and delivering the most forward-thinking digital strategies and tactics.

The Sunday Talk – Be The Best You Can Be

Be the best you can be


This week’s got a very interesting start. Natasha Woodford from ClockworkTalent invited me to The Tower Of London and see the famous Ceremony of the Keys.

Tower of London

The Beefeaters – I am not entirely sure why we call them Beefeaters. Probably like me, they like their steak rare. So the Beefeaters have been performing this ceremony for the last 700 years. Let me repeat this one: 700 years every single night. What a dedication. Nothing like me trying to go to the gym 2-3 times a week for the last 2-3 years.

You don't need much to be happy!
You don’t need much to be happy!

In all honesty, I’ve never been to this iconic building. Never. But as usual, I am not going there for the building or the ceremony. I am going there for the people. Some people are happy when they see an old and beautiful building. Some people are happy when they attend a famous ceremony. In all honesty, I am only happy when I see good, intelligent, funny people like David Iwanow, Lukasz Zelezny or Arriane from Epiphany. Man, I am excited.

David Iwanow with Dom Hodgson, Lukasz Zelezny and Arianne Donoghue
David Iwanow with Dom Hodgson, Lukasz Zelezny and Arianne Donoghue

Becoming Who You Are

Meeting Natasha yesterday made me realise how much I’ve changed in the last 4-5 years. Natasha was the first one to interview me for an SEO position and then she sent me to 3 companies for an interview. But I didn’t get the job. The jobs.

Omi Sido & Natasha Woodford
Omi Sido & Natasha Woodford

So Natasha was the first one to come back to me and tell me ‘You are not good enough. Go and study more’. Now I can go all inspirational and be like ‘She didn’t believe in me. She was trying to put me down but look at me now’. But the simple truth is I didn’t have enough knowledge to be a good SEO. See it doesn’t matter how hard you think you work. It doesn’t matter how smart you think you are. If you think you deserve more, you are wrong. Stop for a second.

Understand who you really are. Accept it so you can empower yourself and be a better version of yourself in the future.

Also, don’t blame anybody for your failures. See life is very simple. Don’t stop taking action until you become who you really want to be.

Who is Zara Altair?

Zara Altair

Zara Altair is a Professional Ghostwriter and one of the best Semantic Writing and Marketing professionals out there.

Writer and educator Zara Altair work with website developers and business owners to create semantically oriented text.

The Sniper Mind: Eliminate Fear, Deal with Uncertainty, and Make Better Decisions Book by David Amerland
The Sniper Mind: Eliminate Fear, Deal with Uncertainty, and Make Better Decisions
Book by Mr David Amerland

Find happiness in the misery

It’s not easy saying something smart after Zara. So let me give you some of my thoughts. When it comes to being the best you can be there are two parts: the physical and the emotional. So for example, if I am trying to lose weight the emotional part is telling me all you have to do is stop eating the crap food you are eating every single day. Stop drinking. Start running. But then you go home, it’s Friday evening, you are tired and you just can’t resist this glass of red wine.

See a lot of inspirational speakers only talk about the emotional part. But from my experience, if you don’t satisfy, if you don’t feed both of them you not gonna succeed. So to use the same example if you are trying to lose weight and you are hungry and you are miserable because of that you not gonna do it.

In a way, you have to try and find happiness in the misery.

So it’s like yes I am hungry, yes I am miserable, yes I am down but I am walking towards my goals.

Talking about goals today is a big day. The final of the Football World Cup and it doesn’t get any bigger than that in any sport so – I don’t have a watch – so it’s about time for me to go and meet my friends. But you do come back here next Sunday. In fact do come back here every single day cause if you have questions and issues in Digital Marketing or in life I’ve got the answers.
Bye.

How to fix the most common technical SEO issues | SearchLeeds 2018

How to fix the most common technical SEO issues

Who is Craig Campbell?

Craig Campbell is a UK based SEO consultant who has over 16 years in the industry. He runs a thriving consultancy business that helps others improve their visibility online.

Craig Campbell
Craig Campbell – www.craigcampbellseo.co.uk

Craig Campbell has been speaking at events for a number of years now offering tips and advice on a wide range of Digital Marketing subjects, helping others to avoid the many mistakes he has made over the years.

What is SEMrush?

SEMrush is a powerful and versatile competitive intelligence suite for online marketing, from SEO and PPC to social media and video advertising research.

Why Technical SEO?

If there are technical SEO issues on your business website, your online presence can take a hit. Technical SEO will not only prepare your website for easier crawling by Google but it would also help your business get the much needed structural leverage. If Google can crawl your site easily then it means there are more chances for ranking higher which in turn brings more traffic to your site.

Will robots destroy us all? Putting ethical debate back into the narrative about the future of AI | SearchLeeds 2018

Will robots destroy us all? Putting ethical debate back into the narrative about the future of AI

Who is Kristal Ireland?

Kristal Ireland is an award-winning, strategic and experienced digital and technology expert. Experienced public speaker on all things digital and technology with a passion for AI and all things transformative.

Kristal Ireland
Kristal Ireland

Previously voted as one of the UK’s Top 30 Women in Digital Under 30 by The Drum Magazine. A specialist in Digital Transformation, E-commerce and Digital Brand Strategy she has worked with some of the major UK and international clients to build their brands online.

Passionate about all forms of marketing but with a specialism in digital marketing including; Website Design and Development, Mobile, E-commerce website design and management, SEO, PPC, Social Media, Email Marketing, Online Analytics packages, Customer Journey Analysis and Customer Relationship Management.

What is AI?

Artificial intelligence or AI is the area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans.
In an essence, AI refers to the ability for machines to make complex decisions with the same sophistication as human beings – something which requires a high degree of skill to do, as it depends upon taking a huge number of variables into consideration and drawing upon a bank of accumulated knowledge and experience.

Despite AI being described as a gimmick by some critics around the world, it has the potential to be highly useful in the world of business, helping businesses become more automated, freeing up human workers’ time to make the decisions only a human being can make.

What are some of the characteristics of artificial intelligence?

  1. Access to a consistent knowledge source, e.g. our environment.
  2. Able to convert plausible responses into knowledgeable responses (this is the conversion of belief to knowledge which improves viability).
  3. Adaptability-the use of modelling (thought) to refine responses to improve viability (this can be thought of as a definition of the property “intelligence”).
  4. The ability to communicate (form a language – can be semiotic ie non-verbal).
  5. The ability to plan (think).
  6. Non-deterministic – with flexibility (adaptability) comes unpredictability of responses.
  7. The ability to interact with the source of knowledge, i.e. our environment.

The Sunday Talk – What makes us happy?

The Sunday Talk – What makes us happy?

The perfect Summer day: the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing…and you are probably not in the UK.
Joking aside, this week I want you to be so happy that when others look at you they become happy too.

Guys, can I say something. I am sorry for interrupting you but I have to say something. Before we start talking about creating powerful, impactful content you must understand something. It’s not about the content. It’s not. It’s all about your audience.

First, you have to know your audience and then you start creating content.

In a way, you must know your audience even more than the subject. If the audience cannot connect to your content, if the audience can not relate to what you are saying, in my opinion, you are wasting your time and money.

Content is like a bridge between you and the customer.

If the bridge looks a little bit shaky the customer may not cross the bridge to give you the money.

Surround yourself with happiness

I am just about to go to Ealing to see a good friend of mine. So I am thinking. Is it me or every time I am surrounded by people I am happy. To add to this every time I am surrounded by happy people I am actually happier.

So to conclude: first try and be more social. Second, surround yourself with people who make you happy.

Life is far too short to be surrounded by miserable people.

On a side note, on a more serious note if you see a friend going from a happy to a miserable state and you think he may suffer from depression don’t run away. Don’t avoid him. Help him. Helping people definitely makes me happy.

Life is far too short to be surrounded by miserable people.
Life is far too short to be surrounded by miserable people.

Instagram launches IGTV app for creators

It’s early in the morning but one of the news in my news stream is super exciting. A new video app, yes you’ve heard me, a new video app from Instagram called IGTV. I assume Instagram TV. The first thing I’ve noticed videos should be vertical and they can be up to 10 minutes, yes you’ve heard me, 10 minutes long. I am super excited.

Why does this app exist?

On top of my head and before my first cup of coffee I can give you two main reasons. The first one is people like videos on Instagram. Despite starting as a photo app videos have taken over the platform. So now Instagram is just giving us a better and longer way to watch them.
The second reason and probably the most important: Facebook has been trying to become a video platform for a very, very long time. Ads placed next to videos are significantly more expensive. Whatever the reason I am super excited.

One thing I forgot to tell you. How to watch videos on the new platform. All you have to do is download the new app and connect it to your Instagram profile. As long as you are following me on Instagram you will be able to see my videos straight away. You do follow me on Instagram, don’t you?

Who is Zara Altair?

Internet entrepreneur helping people make money by creating content, capturing leads, and converting to sales.

Zara Altair
Zara Altair

For years Zara has been helping screenwriters and fiction writers with their stories.  If you want help with your story,  give her a call at +1 503 468 7008.

Meanwhile, why not watch Mystery Monday.

No One But You Can Make You Happy

Life is short, and it is up to you to make it sweet.
Life is short, and it is up to you to make it sweet.

I really wanted to end up this Sunday Talk on a high. I had an amazing week. Lots of fun. But this morning I woke up to the news that the brother of a friend of mine was killed here in Greenford yesterday morning. I really didn’t know the guy well but what a loss.

If you haven’t realised it yet life is very short. So it’s entirely up to you to make it sweet.

Entities, Search, and RankBrain: How it works and why it matters | SearchLeeds 2018

Kristine Schachinger - SearchLeeds

Who is Kristine Schachinger?

Kristine Schachinger is the founder and CEO of Sites Without Walls, Digital Strategist & SEO Consultant and a regular speaker at events like SMX Advanced and SMX East.

Kristine Schachinger has almost 20 years of experience in website design, development and implementation experience and has helped design/code/implement sites for everyone from SMBs to Reba McEntire, AOL, Superpages.com, and USA.gov. Kristine also has nearly fourteen years experience in accessibility and over a thirteen years experience in website visibility and SEO.

In addition to all that, Kristine Schachinger is a Subject Matter Expert with columns in Search Engine Land, Search Engine Watch, SEMPost, Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Watch, and State of Digital.

Kristine Schachinger with Juan González and Dawn Anderson
Kristine Schachinger with Juan González and Dawn Anderson

What is RankBrain?

RankBrain is a machine-learning artificial intelligence system, the use of which was confirmed by Google on 26 October 2015. As a true machine learning system, RankBrain can teach itself how to do something, rather than being taught by humans or following detailed programming.

RankBrain uses machine learning (and arguably artificial intelligence) to answer queries that have never been answered before by the search giant.
This system converts the search inputs by the users in the form of mathematical patterns which are further processed by the search engines.

RankBrain also uses semantic search – which was implemented with the Hummingbird update – to associates unfamiliar words semantically to already known linguistic entities. This means that RankBrain no longer just looks at keywords (and keyword density) but rather, it tries to understand the meaning behind any given search.

Although Google never really told us what RankBrain looks at if I had to guess, then I would say RankBrain looks at:

  • Organic CTR (Click Through Rate)
  • Time-on-Site (aka. Dwell time)
  • Bounce Rate
  • Domain Authority (in terms of number of pages with a ‘good’ CTR)
  • Pogo Sticking (when you quickly leave a page and go back to the SERPs) – made famous by Rand Fishkin.

Based on these SEO factors, RankBrain is constantly shifting pages around until each page has achieved its deserved spot on the SERPs.

The Sunday Talk – SearchLeeds SEO Conference

The Sunday Talk - SearchElite SEO Conference


Monday morning.
Smile. Send a thank-you email. Call just to see how they’re doing. Pick them flowers. Make them a cup of coffee. Give them a cherished book. Praise them publicly. Help them get ahead. Be proud of them.

How difficult is to make somebody happy?

New summer gloves from ARMR. Let me describe them to you: comfort. Very often when the customer can happily describe your product in one single word you are on the right path to success.
Meanwhile Happy Monday everybody.

Intelligent search and intelligent assistants: Exploring the AI- Era of Search.

Purna Virji, Microsoft.

Purna Virji and Omi Sido
Purna Virji and Omi Sido

Who is Purna Virji?

Purna Virji is Senior Manager, PPC Training at Microsoft. Named by PPC Hero as the most influential PPC expert of 2016, Purna specializes in SEM, SEO and Voice Search. With over a decade in search, she is a regular keynote speaker at conferences across the globe such as MozCon and SMX Advanced and is a popular industry columnist. An award-winning former journalist, Purna was the CEO of Purview Marketing prior to joining the Bing Ads team.

Useless projects: Where AI meets human creativity

Rob McGowan, Edit

Who is Rob McGowan?

Rob is a Group Strategy Director at Edit – agency that specialities in customer, data, loyalty and insight strategy, customer engagement, insight-driven marketing, communications planning and execution.

Entities, Search, and Rank Brain: How it works and why it matters.

Kristine Schachinger, Sites Without Walls

Kristine Schachinger with Juan González and Dawn Anderson at Searchleeds
Kristine Schachinger with Juan González and Dawn Anderson

Who is Kristine Schachinger?

Kristine Schachinger is the owner of SitesWithoutWalls.com and the CEO & Founder of The Vetters Agency. Kristine Schachinger has 17 years digital experience including a focus on website design and implementation, accessibility standards and all aspects of website visibility involving SEO, social media and strategic planning.

What lies beneath – ‘The Iceberg Approach’.

Dawn Anderson, Move it Marketing

Dawn Anderson and Gerry White
Dawn Anderson and Gerry White

Who is Dawn Anderson?

Dawn Anderson is an SEO & Search Digital Marketing Strategist focusing on technical, architectural and database-driven SEO. Dawn Anderson is the Managing Director of Move It Digital Marketing Agency, International SEO Consultant, Trainer, Lecturer and Speaker.

How to fix the most common technical SEO issues.

Craig Campbell, CraigCambellSEO

Who is Craig Campbell?

Craig Campbell is an SEO based in Glasgow in the UK who has over 16 years in the industry, starting out as a freelancer working from home to building up a successful digital marketing agency.

In recent years Craig’s focus has changed and is now providing consultancy and training services as well as speaking in any Digital Marketing events to help people learn from the experience Craig has made over the years.

The Mobile First Index: What, why and, more importantly, when!

Jon Myers, DeepCrawl

Jon Myers (DeepCrawl) at SearchLeeds
Jon Myers (DeepCrawl) at SearchLeeds

Who is Jon Myers?

Jon is an experienced senior leader with over 19 years’ experience within the Digital Marketplace working for large corporate organisations to startups within the sector. Jon has a strong understanding of all sides of the market, very strong business and people connections across EMEA and recognised for his experience and thought leadership within the European online advertising industry. Having worked in Paid Search since its inception, with many years’ experience in SEO, Display and Paid Social as well

He is a regular speaker/moderator at conferences worldwide and frequently judges Awards in the Industry. Currently, Jon is the Chief Growth Officer at DeepCrawl.

Will robots destroy us all? Putting ethical debate back into the narrative about the future of AI.

Kristal Ireland, Virgin East Coast Trains

Kristal Ireland at SearchLeeds
Kristal Ireland at SearchLeeds

Who is Kristal Ireland?

An experienced digital leader and digital transformation specialist, Kristal Ireland heads up the E-commerce and Retail team at Virgin Trains East Coast. With over a decade of experience in all facets of digital marketing and technology development, she has worked with some of the UK’s biggest brands to define and deliver digital futures fit for the modern day consumer.

SearchLeeds Conference Review

Honestly, guys, I am absolutely knackered. But let’s not talk about me. Let’s talk about the conference. SearchLeeds is getting better and better and better every single year. This conference – and it’s free – can compete on so many levels with so many paid conferences in the UK, in Europe and even in the United States.
Stephen Kenwright, Branded3 team honestly guys: Well done!

At the beginning of this week, I asked you to make somebody happy. So today I am thinking: What makes us happy?

And I can’t give you a definite answer as I am still exploring this subject but what I’ve realised so far is that the same thing can make us happy or unhappy at the same time.

Say I busted my knee yesterday. So today I could be like I can’t go to the pub and watch the World Cup. I can’t go and see my friends. I can’t play football. So I am unhappy, I am sad, I am angry. At the same time, I could be like hmm yesterday I busted my knee so today I can stay at home, read my favourite book, learn something new or maybe talk more to my mother and I am happy.

What makes us happy. I will continue exploring this subject. So if you really wanna know I think about happiness please do come back here next Sunday cause maybe my videos make you happy. No. You’ve got the questions and I can give you the answers.

The Sunday Talk – The Search Elite Conference

The Search Elite Conference


Hi Guys, I know I am pushing you every Monday to be happy, to work hard but let me also be very real with you: You are not going to fix your life in one single day or in one single week or even in a month.

On a macro level take it easy. On a micro level make one day perfect and then keep doing that every single day.

Happy Monday everybody.

Wednesday morning. On my way to the Search Elite conference. Special thanks to Sistrix for inviting me and giving me the chance to see some of my favourite speakers – Nichola Stott, Gerry White and of course Nick Wilsdon from Vodafone.

Nick’s presentation – How to use voice devices within your marketing strategy

Voice devices have faster adoption rate than mobile phones. This year they have hit the mainstream and should now become part of your marketing mix. Beyond the statistics, Nick will explain how voice can work for your business. What you need to prepare for voice strategies, what are the common pitfalls and how to avoid them. What role should voice play and how can these platforms give you a competitive edge.

Gianna Brachetti-Truskawa’s presentation – AI vs Human Translation in Localisation

Localisation is often misunderstood, or the resource requirements underestimated – we’ll show you what to expect when it comes to localisation and helps you decide why or when human translation might be a better fit.

Fili Wiese’s presentation – Structured Data Explained

Want to know how and which structured data to implement on your website? This no-hype session focuses on SEO tips that will help you move the needle. No complex theory but highly actionable SEO tips. This session will have SEO tips for all levels of experience. Join ex-Google engineer Fili Wiese to learn all about structured data and how to make it work for you and avoid common pitfalls. Having programmed websites and Google internal tools, Fili Wiese is the go-to guy when it comes to technical and international SEO.

Check Nichola Stott’s presentation here.

The Giant Speed Benchmark: Your Emotional Support Dog

We all know that mobile speed matters for user behaviour, conversion and is an important ranking factor; but what do we need to do? Which metrics really matter and how much time and effort should we assign to this?

Data without context is useless.

Because data without context is useless, in this session Nichola Stott gives you an introduction to speed and performance metrics for standard mobile configs, then she reviews the UK’s top 5,000 websites by sector, looking at the benchmark timings across key measurements (TTFB, RenderStart, VC, FL ). This will help give you the confidence and support required to understand “how fast is fast?”

Search Elite Conference Review

I’m gonna be totally honest with you. I am pleasantly surprised and I am eager to return to this conference next year. What started with a simple invite from Craig RaynerOmi, come on over mate. Tell us what you think about our conference’ ended up with a conference that has a clear objective. We gonna show you how to significantly increase your online visibility and make more money from your online business through search marketing.

Cristina Sturza
With Cristina Sturza – www.seomonitor.com

Do I have any suggestions for next? Yes. We need more of Jono Alderson. One hour of him is simply not enough.

Jono Alderson
SEO & CRO – No more Silos. The Panel Session

We are all focusing on platforms and technology and JavaScript. He (Bart Schutz) very much focuses on emotions, the behaviour of individual human beings and tries to optimise for that rather than the mechanics.

And then Tim who is a bit of anomaly…my words are going. Tim is an anomaly. What is it? Tim is an extraordinarily competent technical optimisation person and the jack of all trades similarly to Gerry.

Julia Logan, Jo Turnbull and Dawn Anderson
Julia Logan, Jo Turnbull and Dawn Anderson

Stop Making Excuses!

I am about to go to the gym. I have to be honest with you I haven’t been exercising a lot recently cause I’ve been very busy going to conferences, roundtables, travelling abroad. See finding excuses not to do something is the easiest thing on Earth. Let me repeat that statement.

Finding an excuse not to do something is the easiest thing on Earth.

Which reminds me of a saying: From the moment we are born, we begin to die. So when you think about it time is the most precious thing on earth. Not money, not fame not anything. Time. And the way we spent this time is entirely up to us. So like a CRO expert we have to start asking ourselves – Why?

Why am I spending time watching this pointless sitcom every single day? What’s the ROI? Why am I spending time every single day browsing on my phone instead of reading a book and really learning something new?

Why do I make these excuses?

How do they prevent me from moving forward?

How do they cripple my ability to get what I want?

See to get the right answers you need to ask the right questions.

Talking about questions do come back here next Sunday cause you probably wanna see me losing some weight. No. Cause you’ve got questions and issues in digital marketing and I’ve got the solutions.

The Giant Speed Benchmark: Your Emotional Support Dog | Search Elite 2018

The Giant Speed Benchmark: Your Emotional Support Dog - Nichola Stott


We all know that mobile speed matters for user behaviour, conversion and is an important ranking factor; but what do we need to do? Which metrics really matter and how much time and effort should we assign to this?

Data without context is useless.

Because data without context is useless, in this session Nichola Stott gives you an introduction to speed and performance metrics for standard mobile configs, then she reviews the UK’s top 5,000 websites by sector, looking at the benchmark timings across key measurements (TTFB, RenderStart, VC, FL ). This will help give you the confidence and support required to understand “how fast is fast?”

Slides:

Who is Nichola Stott?

Nichola Stott is a go-to expert on all things SEO. Following a position as Head of UK Search Partners at Yahoo!, she founded her own agency called Erudite in 2010 and has since helped a plethora of cross-industry international clients increase their revenue through Search.

Nichola Stott
Nichola Stott at the Search Elite Conference 2018

Nichola’s professional recognition includes being named in the BIMA Hot 100 Digital People, winning Best Use of Search at both the UK Search Awards and Wirehive Awards and co-authoring books including Econsultancy’s SEO Best Practice Guide and Hit me! How to Get Your Small Business to Punch its Weight Online.

What is Search Elite?

Search marketing continues to be the biggest and most powerful form of digital marketing. Search Elite is a conference designed exclusively for experienced search marketers. All the sessions are fast-paced, Q&A-packed, always informative and delivering the most forward-thinking digital strategies and tactics.