Earlier this month, Chris and I ventured to the DistilledLive Meetup in London; lots of networking and three insightful talks covering testing, link building and the broader state of SEO play in 2017.
So, what were our three key takeaways from the event? Read on...
1. It's SEO, but not as we knew it
It's vitally important that those of us dispensing SEO advice continue to learn and to challenge our assumptions, never standing still. Best practices and those nuggets of wisdom that we learned during our first steps into the SEO world may no longer hold sway; in this fast-moving environment, we can develop our own collection of best practices by questioning, hypothesising, testing and discovering.
The fundamentals of SEO are core to our efforts, but who knows what the next Google update will unleash? How can we be sure that our previously held beliefs are still true? It's still SEO, but maybe not as we once knew it.
2. Pop your local bubble and seek more knowledge
Being an island-based agency, we can sometimes be guilty of focusing our sights within our coastlines. Chatting to business owners and managers from varied backgrounds and from many locations, it was interesting to find that many agencies can fall into their own local bubbles - London agencies may never look beyond the M25 whilst northern businesses may only focus on Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds. We all fit nicely into our local ecosystems and there can be a tendency to take interest in opportunities close to home.
When we pop these bubbles, however, we gain more knowledge, explore new opportunities, and generally feel refreshed by meeting new people and discovering new ideas (I certainly do). We'll continue to journey to events beyond our shores and to make exciting connections around the creative industries. Our knowledge will only improve, and our clients will benefit.
3. Deliver on - and exceed - expectations
The final takeaway almost seems obvious, but can often be forgotten.
As digital consultants, marketers and web developers, we trade in knowledge. Our clients often have a fair grasp of our skills but rely on us for ideas and results. In a competitive environment, it's time to exceed expectations and genuinely surprise our customers. We shouldn't aim to hit targets, we should aim to smash them.