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The Core of SEO Client Reporting: More Than Just Numbers

Hello, fellow click-wizards. Did you know that in 2022, 34% of marketers credited Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for bringing in their most qualified leads? That’s right – SEO isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a crucial player in our digital marketing game. But to harness its full power, we’ve got to get savvy with our SEO client reporting.

This blog draws insights from seasoned SEO professionals Dana DiTomaso and Gus Pelogia on Crawling Mondays by Aleyda Solis and aims to guide you with practical, expert tips on simplifying your SEO client reports.

Understanding the Essence of SEO Reporting

Firstly, it’s crucial to distinguish between SEO reports and dashboards. Reports are about results and progress, while dashboards focus on the nitty-gritty diagnostic details. Remember, not everything needs to be in a report – target only what the decision-makers need to see.

Dana DiTomaso emphasizes the importance of aligning with clients on what constitutes a “report.” Clients may have varying expectations, from dashboards to detailed spreadsheets. Begin by establishing a common language and understanding of what the client truly needs.

💡 Expert Tips:

  • Set reporting objectives together and revisit them regularly.
  • Be transparent and upfront about what you can and cannot deliver.
  • Use the client’s language and terminology in reports.
  • Tailor your reporting format to meet the client’s specific needs.

Visual Over Tables

SEOs often default to tables, but many people are visual learners. Transform data into visually appealing formats instead of relying solely on tables. It’s not about the volume of data but the insights it provides.

Visualizations can often convey complex data more effectively than tables and Google spreadsheets. “The client doesn’t actually care about the 24 pages of data that you care about; they might care about these three things that matter to them. Don’t overdo it. Use their language and include microcopy in reports to explain concepts. Make sure clients understand what they’re seeing,” Dana emphasizes.

Aleyda agrees, “A common pitfall in SEO reporting is over-reliance on complex data presentations. Use clear and straightforward charts and graphs. The goal is to make the data easily digestible, ensuring that the presented information directly answers the questions related to the set goals.”

Crafting Reports That Drive Decisions

Align Reports with Business Goals

Reports should resonate with business goals and client requirements. If a CEO is more interested in ROI and conversion growth, tailor your report to these metrics. This customization ensures that your report is relevant and actionable.

Understand the metrics that are crucial for your client’s business. Reports should bridge the gap between SEO efforts and business outcomes. If your report doesn’t address the client’s key concerns, it’s missing the mark.

Tailoring Reports for the C-suite and Specialists

Use language and terms familiar to your audience. Avoid SEO jargon that can confuse decision-makers. If necessary, include microcopy in reports to explain terms and metrics. It’s not just about presenting data; it’s about making it understandable.

When reporting to the C-suite, condense the complexities of SEO into high-level insights. Showcase how SEO influences business goals, provide a snapshot of traffic and conversions, and offer a high-level view of ROI. Add a touch of competitor benchmarking to give executives a clear market standing. Remember the emphasis is on high-level insights like:

  • SEO’s impact on business goals.
  • Overview of traffic, conversions, and ROI.
  • Competitor benchmarking insights.
  • Opportunities for growth.
  • Risks and mitigation strategies.

SEO Specialists, on the other hand, revel in the details. They need in-depth analytics to tweak and tune their SEO strategies. To improve communication with their development team and content writers, specialists need comprehensive data on important SEO metrics that measure on-page optimization efforts like:

  • Keyword rankings and changes.
  • Backlink profiles and growth.
  • On-page optimization metrics.
  • Site ranking reports.
  • Site speed.
  • Broken links.
  • Page speed analysis.
  • Page authority.

🔍 Have you conducted your SEO audit recently? Here’s a 10-step SEO audit checklist by Semrush to get started.

💡 Expert Tips

  • Translate technical SEO jargon in the microcopy.
  • Provide a glossary of SEO terms for reference.
  • Use visuals to illustrate complex concepts.

Elements of a Good SEO Report

Conciseness and Relevance

Reports should be concise and relevant. Focus on results, the tests you’ve performed, and what’s next. This approach not only provides a snapshot of current performance but also sets the stage for future actions. Aleyda highlights the power of data storytelling in engaging your audience. This approach gives context to the data and influences future strategies. A narrative style can make reports more relatable and understandable. Especially for non-technical stakeholders, it helps build stronger client relationships.

“Don’t make everything equally important. Highlight critical issues that require immediate attention. Focus on executive summaries. Summarize what’s working, what’s not, and what actions will be taken. Results are great, but you need to show what’s happening next. Give clients that peace of mind, so they know what’s coming.” Gus says.

Leveraging Tools and Technology

Modern automated reporting tools like Swydo, Looker Studio, BigQuery allow for more streamlined and efficient reporting. Utilize these tools to create reports that are both informative and easy to navigate. “Use presentation mode and separate data into pages. Don’t put everything on one page; it will crash your report,” cautions Dana.

At the same time, Aleyda warns against the use of misleading KPIs, such as proprietary metrics from tools like Semrush or Ahrefs, which may not align with actual business outcomes. While it’s great to monitor them, for your client reporting – it’s critical to choose KPIs that truly reflect the success and impact of SEO efforts.

💡 Tips to Avoid Common Pitfalls

  1. Overemphasis on Length: Avoid the trap of equating the length of a report with its quality. Lengthy reports can be overwhelming and often unnecessary.
  2. Ignoring Client’s Business Metrics: Understand the metrics that are crucial for your client’s business. Reports should bridge the gap between SEO efforts and business outcomes.

The Path to Better SEO Reporting

An effective SEO report is less about data dumping and more about strategic communication. Tailor your reports to your audience, focus on actionable insights, and use the right tools to present data effectively. Remember, the goal is to make SEO reports a tool for decision-making, not just a monthly obligation.

By navigating these aspects of SEO reporting, digital marketers can turn their reports into powerful tools for strategy and growth.

Swydo Unifies Your SEO Data for Smarter Marketing Decisions

Now, with all that knowledge in hand, you can figure out exactly what tweaks you need to make to your SEO client reports.

You’re probably using Semrush, Google Analytics, Google Sheets, and Google Search Console, right? And maybe you have a few other favorites to throw into the mix. Here’s where Swydo steps in. It pulls everything together onto one simple dashboard or report. Imagine this: no more jumping between tabs, no more creating complex presentations, and definitely no more downloading endless CSV files.

Just open your Swydo dashboard, where all your tracking tools are synced. We have plug-and-play templates ready for you to start tracking your SEO data. Connect your data source, and you’ll spot trends and patterns in a snap. And if you’re not on the Swydo bandwagon yet, why not give it a whirl? We’ve got walkthroughs and a 14-day trial waiting for you. See you on the simpler side.


Data-driven Approach to Scale SEO

Botpresso founder Nitin Manchanda unlocks the secrets to a game-changing SEO strategy in this brightonSEO talk. Want to justify the ROI of your next SEO project? Follow Nitin’s approach here.

Can you tell us more about your topic, “Data-Driven Approach to Scale SEO,” and why you chose it?

As someone with an engineering background who transitioned into product roles and eventually became an SEO strategist, I believe in using a data-driven approach to scale SEO. This topic is based on my experience as a Global Head of SEO for Trivago and Omio and then, starting my own brand Botpresso. I chose this topic because working with these brands taught me a lot about the importance of a data-driven approach to SEO. Even if we make mistakes, a data-driven approach helps us understand where we went wrong and take calculated risks to improve. I’m sharing everything important I’ve learned about using data to scale SEO at Brighton.

Given the constantly changing algorithms and updates, how do you manage to contain everything related to SEO for your clients?

I can speak the language of developers, product people, marketers, and management. I understand that SEO is not just a marketing channel but rather an area that intersects with product and engineering because we’re building assets to improve user experience and convert traffic into value. Therefore, when working with different teams internally, such as developers, product managers, designers, and others, I can understand their perspectives and find common ground to manage SEO effectively. I can connect the dots and get things done.

What is one piece of advice you would give to beginners or newbies in SEO?

My first and most important advice would be to build something that enhances user experience rather than trying to please search engine bots. When working on anything related to SEO, such as content or internal linking, think about how it is helping your users.

Generating short-term traffic that doesn’t convert won’t benefit your website in the long run, as Google’s goal is to provide the best possible results to users. Therefore, it’s essential to focus on building assets that create a great user experience, as this is something that both users and search engines value.  If you can generate traffic for a short term that is not converting, Google will throw you out of the index essentially. So it’s better to focus on building assets that enhance user experience. By doing so, you can provide users with what they need, encouraging them to stay with you for the long term.

Are there any topics or attendees you’re particularly interested in hearing from?

Yes, I visited Brighton thrice as an attendee and spoke virtually last time. I know many speakers who are attending, and they deliver fantastic content. I am well-connected in the SEO community, and am very excited to meet lots of amazing folks there.

Do you see any trends specific to SEO in 2023?

The trend for 2023 is automation and artificial intelligence. Many SEO experts would agree with this, especially with the recent advancements in AI, such as ChatGPT and the announcement of GPT-4 by OpenAI. This year is all about leveraging AI to scale and execute tasks faster.

We have been using AI for the past four to five years, and we have weekly learning sessions within the team to discuss the latest technology and processes. For some clients, we have even produced content where AI contributed up to 80%. The results were fantastic, and we could scale the process at least 5x.  While we could rely 100% on machines to produce amazing content, we value user experience and ensure brand guidelines are met.

We conduct the research ourselves, break the topic into smaller chunks, and then rely on machines to produce content for those chunks. A person then reviews the content, fixes any factual errors, and ensures it aligns with brand guidelines. This human input accounts for the remaining 20% of the content, while the machines produce 80%. Optimizing the content production process has already resulted in positive outcomes such as impressions, clicks, and revenue for us, and we can say it is good quality content.

What are the most common mistakes that companies make with their SEO strategy?

Not investing enough time and resources into technical SEO. Many companies focus heavily on content creation, but technical SEO is just as crucial for ensuring that your website is discoverable and easily crawlable by search engines.

Many companies fail to stay up to date with the latest algorithm updates from search engines, which can have a big impact on their rankings. Companies also often neglect to take a holistic approach to SEO, failing to consider the impact other channels, such as social media and paid search, can have on their overall SEO strategy.

Another common mistake is failing to prioritize and align their SEO efforts with their business goals, leading to wasted resources and missed opportunities.

Finally, companies fail to measure and track their SEO performance accurately, making it difficult to assess the effectiveness of their strategy and make data-driven decisions. 

For companies with limited resources, adopting a growth mindset involves talking to people, building quick and dirty solutions, and collecting feedback to iterate and improve. I then suggest focusing on growth hacking instead of following a basic SEO checklist.

What are the top five apps or tools you use daily and why?

  1. Google Search Console (GSC): There is no better tool than the one which gives you access to first-party data. It’s a fantastic tool but very underrated. I’ve been using it for trend analysis, finding top and underperformers, coverage and indexing analysis, and much more.
  2. OnCrawl: My go-to SEO crawler because of the depth it covers, and it brings crawl results together with log data, GA, and GSC data in one place.
  3. Semrush: For research and position tracking. I love their Keyword Gap feature, which is mostly my starting point for any competitor research.
  4. Quickblink: It’s my monitoring tool that helps me avoid SEO horror stories for the brands I’m working with. The world might not know much about it, but they will soon know about it as I’m opening it for open use soon. Quickblink will let you focus on building and will take care of monitoring everything that matters for the business.
  5. ChatGPT: Latest addition to my toolkit. It’s kind of assistant to me now for writing PRDs, creating python scripts, summarizing my posts into LinkedIn posts, etc.

Nitin Manchanda is the Founder and Chief SEO Consultant at Botpresso. He led SEO for international brands like Trivago and Omio in the past. Currently, he is helping businesses grow organically through his consultancy.

Improve your SEO reporting with Swydo’s comprehensive SEO reports and dashboards.


10 Must-Have GA4 Reports For All SEOs

Love or hate it – if you’re a digital marketer, you cannot ignore it. With the Google Analytics 4 migration clock ticking fast, we have UK’s leading digital marketing agency MD and brightonSEO’s Measurefest speaker, Farhad Divecha, shedding light on the must-have GA4 reports for all SEOs. Here’s an updated slide deck to go along with your reading.

Tell us about your topic, 10 must-have GA4 reports for all SEOs, and why you chose it?

I’m very acutely aware that everybody’s being pushed to move to GA4, and I’m acutely aware that many people are unhappy about that. They find it very, very different and fairly challenging. I have also seen much information and misinformation about GA4 and its workings. I know it’s quite a powerful tool, but you’ve got to understand the system and make the most of it. At BrightonSEO, I will specifically uncover GA4 reports for SEO, show how to set them up via GA4 + GTM, explain insights to be gained from those reports, and discuss actions that SEOs can take from those insights.

How’s your experience with GA4 been?

Personally, I really like it. I think it’s way more powerful than Universal Analytics. I say this because we have been using Facebook Pixel for much longer than GA4, before it even existed. Facebook Pixel has so much flexibility in what you can measure and how you track conversions and important actions on your site —moving to a similar event-based model with much more ability to track important parameters and get flexible reporting is a step up.

One piece of SEO advice for folks learning the ropes?

The most important thing any SEO can do is look at the data and start realizing where they’re already — getting organic placement rankings and traffic — compare that to what they want to achieve and understand why that gap exists. 

Look at the traffic you get from certain non-branded keywords and understand what stops you from getting that traffic on the keywords you want to rank for. Usually, that’s a very good starting point, so understanding what’s working in some ways is also understanding what is not working. It lets you figure out how to reach Point B from Point A.

What presentations are you most interested in attending/speakers you are most interested to hear and why?

I remember looking at the list and thinking there were some really interesting ones — topical conversations about equality, embracing diversity, and how people can put their genuine, authentic sleeves forward. There are a couple of AI sessions that I’m looking forward to. And, of course, the SEO topics because it’s fascinating to see how deep some people get into it and try to reverse engineer the algorithm.

What has been your core mantra in driving your agency forward?

I think there are two things. It’s incredibly good client support and a laser-sharp focus on growing internationally at scale. We set ourselves up for some high client support targets within the company that we insist everybody meets. So when a client asks us for anything, we have to respond within four hours, and if it takes a little bit more time, we have to start working on the solution within 12 hours. We aim to deliver most solutions within 48 hours. Where they want tweaks, where they want things changed, where they want an opinion, where they want advice, that sort of stuff is resolved very quickly. That’s why our clients stay with us for as much as 10 to 12 years. The agency average in the UK is a bit more than one year. Yeah, so it’s a massive difference for us. We believe in always taking a step back, looking at the bigger picture, and delivering on the impact.

What are the top 5 tools or apps you use daily and why?

Apart from the obvious platforms (Office 365, Meta Ads, Google Ads, DV360, LinkedIn Ads & TikTok Ads), I personally spend time daily using:

  1. – Our marketing mix modeling tool
  2. Google Analytics – To track traffic & online actions for us & our clients
  3. Adobe cloud – For all things creative 
  4. Swydo – Reviewing daily activity reports for my team 
  5. SharpSpring  – Our CRM and marketing automation tool

Farhad is MD of digital agency AccuraCast. He advises corporations on their analytics and data strategy, and is passionate about using technology to improve performance marketing.

UK’s leading digital marketing agency trusts Swydo with their client reporting. You can too! Start your journey here.

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Creating Impactful Meta Campaigns With Less Data in 2023

With over 12 years of combined PPC + SEO experience, Veronika Höller has a trick or two up her marketing sleeve. In this chat, she shares expert insights on her upcoming brightonSEO’s Paid Social talk: “Create Impactful Meta Campaigns With Less Data.”  If you’re still working in marketing silos – here’s your cue to integrate. Here’s her Meta slide-deck.

Tell us about your topic, Create Impactful Meta Campaigns With Less Data, and why you chose it.

I have been working for a company in the health sector for two years. We have the exciting task of running successful campaigns – but many legal requirements bind us. Especially here in Germany, data protection is very tough. As a freelancer, I gained experience in the health sector and the challenge of working with few tracking options. Meta then closed the lid when iOS decided to give users more privacy. It wasn’t a shock since I’ve had to work with little tracking data for several years. That’s how I chose the topic. We have so many options to run successful campaigns despite data protection and the end of third-party cookies; we just have to be a little more creative.

My talk will guide people about why they need to get out of their silos, be creative and courageous, and test, test, test to create powerful campaigns. Even if you sometimes have to break new ground, such as creating test campaigns without targets. 

Could you give us an example of how you used this strategy to help one of your clients? How did you go about it?

As a freelancer, I supervised a great startup that brought healthcare software onto the market. The challenge was introducing a completely new product, which should get brand awareness as quickly as possible, should appeal to investors, and, of course, should be sold. 

Unfortunately, GDPR already existed here, and we couldn’t use every tracking tool we wanted. Therefore, to gather data, it was clear that we had to launch PPC and social paid campaigns as quickly as possible. 

However, since the target groups were so different, doctors and clinic staff, commercial employees, investors, and clinic managers – I had to find a creative way to collect these insights. 

“I worked out the different personas, then developed creatives and messages and set up test campaigns without special target groups – just to see who clicks on the ads and how exactly the target groups engage with the content on social media.” 

The best thing about social media is that you’ve identified your personas and can visualize them based on their profiles and interests. Beforehand,  I looked at the competitors and read the comments from dissatisfied users – perfect for pimping my ads because my software can do better.

Pro-tip: At the beginning of the campaigns, we had a lot of wastage, but after a while, we got more and more insights and data and scaled fantastic campaigns tailored to individual target groups. We analyzed the data and found that brand awareness had increased so much that we were targeting investors in addition to our buyer persona. After that, we decided to scale our campaigns by setting up a special campaign for investors. With the clear objective of finding as many investors as possible for our start-up. And it worked. They came to us. Normally we would not have addressed this target group digitally. We thought it was too impersonal. But we learned from it that investors could also be caught up online. It is only important to collect data once, accept wastage and then scale your campaigns. I’ve documented everything in detail, all failures and successes, so we can now run pretty good campaigns without much effort. And it works! 

The algorithm learns, and we, as social media marketing managers, should learn to trust the algorithm and its target group. And that’s exactly what my speech is about. 

What presentations are you most interested in attending/speakers you are most interested to hear and why?

I like listening to topics that I rarely deal with in everyday life. Machine Learning, Python, or organic rankings on social media platforms. My favorite speaker is Sarah Sal. I love her way of presenting social media topics – she is hilarious. On the PPC side, I love Pauline Jakober and Navah Hopkins because they are both amazing PPC marketers.

Do you see any trends specific to PPC reporting in 2023?

Due to the limited tracking and the end of Analytics UA, we have to start interpreting and merging data better to have a good basis for reporting successes and deriving optimization measures from the data.

“In 2023, we will have to invest more time in reporting, because we have less data available, and we have to work on the reports across platforms.”

Personas have been used successfully in SEO for years – and that’s exactly what we’re doing now in paid social. So it’s important to: 

  1. Know your persona
  2. Know your Unique Selling Points (USPs)
  3. Use a lot of ad texts and claims
  4. Build on your messages and creatives
  5. Create test campaigns without target groups – trust your creatives and messages
  6. Use this data to scale your perfect meta campaigns

We may no longer be able to track everything correctly, but our target groups and advertising messages remain the same. For example, if an ad comes up on Facebook that I don’t like, I don’t click on it. But if I’m interested in that product, I click on it. This way, the algorithm learns to offer me topics that interest me without us having previously made any special settings in the campaigns.

Who are your go-to people/ resources for beginners in digital marketing?

What are the top 5 tools or apps you use daily and why?

1. Google Search Console

2. Ryte

3. Screaming Frog

4. Google Ads Account

5. Facebook Business Manager

I see all data in one view: rankings, conversions, Ads, etc. And when needed, I can directly optimize client campaigns.

What advice would you give yourself when you first started digital advertising?

That’s a good question. I would advise myself to calm down and that it’s not a problem to make mistakes. You should always remain dynamic, creative, and willing to take side paths that lead to success. Not letting yourself be put under pressure –  trusting your own intention and experience and following this path. More self-confidence and belief in yourself; above all, celebrate your successes!

Veronika is a Global Senior SEO Manager and has worked in SEO and PPC marketing for 12 years. She continues developing her PPC and SEO marketing skills and encourages folks to leave the silo mindset.

Report On Multiple PPC Campaigns In Minutes

Time to think out of silos and ground your decisions with data insights. Communicate meaningfully with your team and clients, and start capitalizing on potential opportunities with Swydo today!

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TikTok Boom!

If your brand is not on TikTok yet, it may be time to rethink. In this brightonSEO spotlight, Rachel Fellows, Studio Manager at Red Bullet tells us how TikTok Advertising can make your brand stand out in front of a content-hungry audience. Here’s her TikTok slide deck!

Tell us more about your presentation on TikTok Ads and what you are going to unravel.

I’m going to delve into some insights on the boom of TikTok over the past few years and how companies can leverage this great engaging channel for their businesses. Ever wondered what it’s all about and how you can use it? I’ll be going into detail on that and some tips on how to start.

What has been your experience with TikTok Ads and what trends have you noticed?

From the B2C campaigns I’ve run on Tiktok so far, it’s been an interesting trend of high engagement and high impressions. These campaigns have been mostly upper funnel awareness but we did see some decent conversion as well. You can build up audiences fairly quickly but you have to make sure that your creative is engaging as audiences get bored easily. It’s also interesting to see some companies you wouldn’t necessarily associate with a more relaxed tone of voice really getting into the vibe of the platform. Trend wise make sure you’re creating for sound ON, music is a massive part of the platform!

Metaverse is going to be massive, I know that people are skeptical but I’m fairly confident it will become the new normal if given time.


What are your go-to resources if one wants to learn more about TikTok Ads advertising strategy and optimization?

I would recommend using Tiktok business learning as a starting point on how to start optimizing your ads. I’d also recommend Buffer’s excellent marketing guide to Tiktok; it gives some great practical advice and some background learning as well! I’d also encourage you to use Tiktok as a resource too there are loads of videos on advertising there as well.

Do you use TikTok in your personal life too? What are your fav trends?

I use Tiktok in my personal life ( I have a whole 20 followers!), one of my favorite bonkers trends at the moment is people running with an ‘item’ to Johnny Cash’s song ‘Ring of Fire’. It’s silly but very funny and just goes to show how something simple can go viral.

What tips do you have for attendees to maximize their time on-site at brightonSEO?

Plan ahead, don’t worry about watching everything just go to the talks you’ll get the most out of you can always watch the recordings/look at the slides for the others at another time. Make sure you check out the exhibition stalls as well.

What presentations are you most interested in attending/speakers you are most interested to hear and why?

I’m looking forward to Diana Andreea Mereoiu’s talk on ‘B2B strategy for Paid Social‘ at the Fringe Event on Oct 5, 2022. More often than not the focus is on B2C so it will be great to hear strategy ideas for the B2B nuances.

What are the biggest challenges you face in PPC campaign management?

The biggest challenges at the moment are the uncertainty over CPC cost, budgets keep having to go up and the market is getting more and more crowded. I am also interested in the direction of automation and AI; in a few years’ time what will our role be as marketers?

What are some exciting trends in Paid Digital Marketing?

My favorite thing about Paid Digital marketing is that there are always new channels/things to try out! Metaverse is going to be massive, I know that people are skeptical but I’m fairly confident it will become the new normal if given time. I also think users are becoming more and more aware of their privacy rights and how their data is used.

What are the top 5 tools or apps you use almost every day and why?

  • Headspace – I use this every day to meditate and clear my thoughts, it really helps with my mental health and feeling calm. 
  • Tiktok for obvious reasons. 
  • Google Ads – It’s easy to use and I can keep an eye on my accounts on the go. 
  • Spotify – I find it impossible to concentrate without some music on in the background and the odd podcast.
  • Whatsapp – For obvious reasons again!

What was your worst job and what did you learn from it?

Without going into too much detail, in my worst job, I was really struggling with my mental health and found it very stressful. I was being gaslit by a manager and the work just kept piling on, when I left there I felt the most sense of relief! I learned that no matter what you have to put your health first, no job is worth staying awake at night worrying about it. If you feel like you’re not being listened to, it’s too overwhelming or you’re starting to feel the effects physically then it’s time to move on to something better!

What advice would you give yourself when you first got started in marketing?

Offline marketing is not for you bestie! Try everything you can, learn from the best, and keep pushing yourself.

Rachel is head of client and account services at Red Bullet Web Design and has over 8 years of experience in Paid Digital marketing. Rachel has worked with a range of different sectors and companies enhancing their digital offerings.

In a very short span of time, TikTok now sits on the high table with biggies like Facebook and Instagram turning out to be one of the most valuable platforms for brands across the board. Analyzing, optimizing, and tracking your TikTok Ad campaigns is now easier than ever with Swydo’s TikTok Ads integration. Go on, give it a try, and have your own TikTok Boom! 

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Better Together: SEO and Paid Search

SEO and PPC need not be on the opposite sides of the ring. If you want to get the best bang for your marketing buck, it’s time to harness the power of integrated marketing. Becky Simms, Founder & CEO of Reflect Digital, shares her thoughts in our next brightonSEO speaker series.

Tell us more about your presentation How to integrate SEO and Paid and what are you going to unravel.

My talk at brightonSEO is about the fact that your customer does not care which channel they find you on – which means we should stop being so hung up on our favorite channels and instead look at a more integrated approach. 

I see it happen all the time, specialists fall in love with their channel but forget that part of making their channel more successful is often working closely with other channels. For example, organic search might drive a fantastic amount of ‘awareness’ traffic, but traffic is vanity if nothing happens from it. The SEO leader in this case needs to be talking to their colleagues in email marketing and paid to look at how they can devise a strategy to ensure this hugely valuable traffic is taken on a journey towards conversion. 

It is all about having a more zoomed-out view of the wider strategy to ensure you are truly thinking about how to deliver what the business requires, not a tick box to hit a single KPI.

One piece of SEO advice for folks trying to learn the ropes?

Being inquisitive is key to learning the SEO ropes, question everything, and ensure you are signed up for the many amazing blogs out there to keep your knowledge on the pulse. There is so much to learn and things are changing all the time – finding your best way to stay on top of this is critical to ensure you can be at the top of your game. 

Also, finding a mentor can be really helpful – someone who may either be deeply knowledgeable about SEO or maybe a bit more generalist to help give you wider context for the SEO strategies you are considering. But either way – having someone you can bounce ideas off of, learn from and collaborate with is amazing. 

Understanding your audience and where they spend their time, how they do their research, and what motivates them is gold dust to your strategy. 


What tips do you have for attendees to maximize their time on-site at brightonSEO?

To get the most out of brightonSEO you need to plan ahead of time, there are so many amazing talks going on, to be sure you get to the talks you want to see you need to plan your agenda. Also make sure you use it as an opportunity to catch up with colleagues, clients, and friends – find out who is going and plan the trip – it is so busy on the day you can’t guarantee bumping into someone.

What presentations are you most interested in attending/speakers you are most interested to hear and why?

Oh there are so many, I mentored about 20 of the speakers for this event and I would love to see every single one of them, but as I am moderating this won’t be able to happen. Looking at the schedule, some of the must-sees in my mind include:

  • Alice Rowan – What the (cluster)f*ck? Convince Google you’re an expert and plan your content faster
  • Luke Carthy – A definitive talk on perfecting faceted navigation for SEO and sales growth
  • Areej AbuAli – Unlocking the hidden potential of product listing pages
  • Stacey MacNaught – Journo requests: How to get more out of HARO with less wasted time
  • Hana Bednarova – Proactive and reactive PR: going beyond just awareness calendars 
  • Daniel Cartland – How to get 10x better at SEO, without learning any more SEO

These are all awesome speakers with interesting topics – but this is just scratching the surface of the agenda, there are so many great talks – I am very thankful for the online version to replay sessions!

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Our human-led approach, not just in the work we do, but how we do it. We are a super personable business, we work with clients that we like working with and that like working with us – relationships are key to our success. Our behavioral science approach to marketing is also a great pull for clients, as not only does it sound really interesting – but it delivers the insights we can help our clients achieve, ensure they know their audience better, and can build strategies with a high opportunity to drive results.

What do you think is the most exciting trend in digital marketing right now?

We are focusing a lot on customer journey mapping currently which massively plays into my talk. Understanding your audience and where they spend their time, how they do their research, and what motivates them is gold dust to your strategy. Without this knowledge, you could be alienating your audience without realizing it, or missing a massive opportunity to find them. It is wrong to assume something that works for one audience will work for another, research is the bedrock of good strategy and I am pleased to say I can see more and more businesses coming around to this reality.

Do you see any trends specific to PPC reporting?

We are currently enhancing our reporting to ensure it is easier to see the bigger picture across channels as well as deep dive into individual channels’ performance such as SEO and paid media. Having the bigger picture view aids us and our clients in being more strategic and seeing how the different channels support each other.

What are the biggest challenges you face while running an agency, and how do you cope with them? 

Running an agency is always challenging – when things are good, resourcing tends to be the biggest headache, when things are not so good sales tend to be the biggest challenge. We are currently in the resourcing headache, trying to recruit talented people that are the right fit for today and our future growth ambitions. I cope by knowing there is always something and you do just need to ride the wave – I have an amazing leadership team that helps ensure we’re always in the best position possible, whichever wave we’re riding.

What are the top 5 tools or apps you use almost every day and why?

  • G Suite – is just amazing, we use it across the business for everything from email to word docs, spreadsheets, and presentations – it really aids collaboration.
  • Slack – is our main communication tool in the business and across the wider LAB Group, we also have lots of clients and partners connected on here too. 
  • SEMRush and Search Metrics are my go-to SEO research tools – so when I am looking at sales opportunities they are key to help spot opportunities to talk about. 
  • LinkedIn is my main online networking source, I use it to connect with colleagues/clients past and present and it is probably our number one recruitment tool.

What was your worst job and what did you learn from it?

Tough question regarding the worst job… probably one of the agencies I worked for before starting Reflect Digital. They weren’t bad all the time, but they lacked the integrity that I ensure runs through Reflect, and without that, it made it hard to love working there at points. Although I will be forever grateful to them for teaching me the type of company I didn’t want to create.

Where do you see your company in the next 10 years?

Our 10-year vision is to have a more global presence, we help clients worldwide currently, but we’d like to have more team members in different countries to help support this growth. I see us staying true to who we are today and ensuring we are always pulling our customer’s view back to the big picture to ensure every decision is part of a wider strategic plan with their main business goals in view.

SEO + PPC with Becky Simms

Becky has spent the last 15 years working in digital marketing, starting Reflect Digital in 2011, which is now a team of over 35 digital specialists. In 2021 and 2022,  Becky was listed in the BIMA 100, a list of the top 100 people shaping the future of the digital industry.  Becky’s passion for digital lies within understanding human behavior. It is her belief that as marketers we can best achieve our goals by helping our customers and we can only truly help them if we understand their needs and can craft a strategy around this.

You can’t improve what you don’t measure. So, the first thing to do to start taking your SEO and PPC efforts in the right direction is to draw baseline measurements. For this, you might be collating SEO data from different tools of your choice, such as Google Analytics, Search Console, Semrush, AccuRanker, etc. Consider using Swydo to create SEO audit reports as it will improve your efficiency and help make your audit report readily accessible to everyone on the team (and share results with clients, if you’re an agency). 

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