10 Top Search Marketing Tips

The internet is full of the latest predictions and trends for Digital and Search Marketing for 2018 written by journalists but sometimes it’s best to get the opinion straight from the horse’s mouth – from the marketers and thoughtleaders who are at the coal face every day, and to find out what is important to them. 

We sponsored the Search London Meetup on Structured Data recently and took opportunity of the fact that we’d bought the drinks to interview the attendees, and press them for their top marketing and search tips. 

We were extremely lucky to have a selection of Search Marketing thoughtleaders at the event including the wonderful Lexi Mills from Shift 6 and Manuel Martinez from The Stars Group and they were all happy to oblige -  so here are their top tips for Search Marketing success in 2018

Tip 1. Use a tool like SEMRush, HREFs etc to find out where your competitors are gaining new rankings and build targeted pages to beat them

Compare your competitor data over a date range to identlfiy when they have added new content and use the tool to find gaps in the market using your competitor analysis  e.g. SEO Monitor was used to find gaps in the market that could be exploited for SEO success on pancake day 

(from Tom Capper at Distilled)


Breakdown what has previously worked for you (or your competitors) into a subject.  Then look for a precedent (something that typically always works) and augment your own intelligence

The best content comes from when you decide to make something exist that didn’t exist before.  We don’t often put enough time into creating something truly unique. 

'The best PR stunts are not faking a truth, but making a truth!'

(from Lexi Mills at Shift 6)

Bonus tip - Build campaigns that work every year

Tip 3. Ensure that you have tracking on everything

Get up to date with Google Tag Manager and Google Search Console, not just Google Analytics

(from Jo Turnbull at Search London/SearchMetrics)

Tip 4. Position 0 trumps everything in the world 

Voice Search only uses Position 0!  (Google Snippets too)

(from Dixon Jones at Majestic)

Tip 5. Optimise for Speed

In July 2018 speed will become a ranking factor for mobile searches.  You will need to have a good CDN (Content Delivery Network) and make everything nimble – your CSS, your browser cache etc. Ensure that you use HTTP2 to help with your load time too

(from Manuel Martinez - SEO Consultant)

Tip 6. Produce well-written meta descriptions

They have huge potential to increase click-through rates 

(from Tim Sheed at Search London/Tela)

Tip 7. You MUST market to everyone – not just your target audience

Google rewards User Experience (UX) which is broader than customer experience. The relationship that ALL visitors have with your brand impacts your performance so ensure that you aren't just focusing on your key customers.

(from Jono Alderson at Distilled)

Tip 8. Use the Schema App to get a really deep dive into very specific Structured Data 

You can find the Schema App at but if you want something a little easier then check out (owned by Merkel, the big US data company). Give the Merkle Technical SEO Schematic Markup Generator a try at (this only out puts JSON LD, but you can implement via Google Tag Manager). 

Merkle SEO tool

You can use it for your own website, organisation or local business. It can be really useful for different addresses or even types of phone number such as sales/support/emergency e.g. car rental – where you want the emergency phone number to only show in a relevant location

There is also a Google Structured Data Testing Tool which can test your code either by copy/paste or directly from your site and reveals any errors.  The image below is the Moz site in the tool

Moz also have a structured testing tool.

Google Structured Data Test

Why is implementing Schema via Google Tag Manager (GTM) such a good thing? If GTM is installed you don’t need a developer to implement JS for you, you can do it yourself.  It is very useful for agencies who might not have complete control of a server or in house marketers who might need to resource out this work. If they have GTM they can do it themselves very easily.  To learn more see

(from Sean Reilly at MCM Net)


Tip 8.1 -  Use the Google Testing Tool - run every page through it!

Get a bookmarklet for it too and plug any page into the tool  It’s totally invaluable

(from Gerry White at Just Eat)

Tip 9. Use Facebook reporting to track competitor pages

Use the standard free Facebook reports and select Pages to Watch (competitor pages).  Export the data to get a full breakdown by individual post and post type (you will need to select post rather than page).

The most important metric to look at is ENGAGEMENT/REACH (work it out in Excel).  In other words, are you giving your audience the value they want?

(from Robin Lord at Distilled)

Tip 10. Understanding people is more important than understanding code

The psychology is more important than the software

(from Matt O'Toole at Authoritas)

Explore Digital would like to give a huge thank you to all of our wonderful tip givers above and we hope our readers will be able to implement some of these and improve their search results.  If anyone would like any further advice on any of the above please get in touch with

If you work in Search Marketing (SEO, PPC, biddable, social media, content, paid, email, referral, SEM) and haven't been to the Search London Meetup yet then you should give it a try.  They're a super friendly bunch, you're guaranteed to learn something new about Search Marketing every time, and you might even bump into the Explore Digital team whilst you're there.




Added 22-Feb-2018