SEO Insights > ReadingSEO Roundup – January 2020

ReadingSEO Roundup – January 2020

Posted by Chloe Smith on January 29, 2020


After seven awesome events in 2019, ReadingSEO was back at Central Working in Reading for the first event of 2020. Hosted by Blue Array’s own Matt and Nicky, and with an awesome all-female line-up, this was not an event to be missed. You know what they say, start as you mean to go on! 

Fuelled by the usual pizza and beer, we settled down for the talks from speakers Karen Julia, Nat Arney, and Helen Pollitt

Karen Julia, Niche Down, Numbers Up!

First up, we had Karen Julia, with her talk Niche Down, Numbers Up!. Karen has been providing SEO services for people in the photography industry since 2015, and is a wedding photographer herself. She thinks that the key to generating more work and reducing competition whilst also enjoying yourself (with a lot of puns) whilst doing it is finding a niche

Key takeaways from Karen’s talk included:

  • Finding your niche comes down to choosing an area you have interest or expertise in, uncovering the pain points in the industry, and delivering value and solutions to the community using SEO.
  • Being an expert in your niche not only makes marketing and networking easier, but it means that clients come to you because you’re seen as a trusted option, and the risk of not booking you becomes too high.
  • When designing your niche SEO business, design with profits first, review financials regularly, and make sure you know your profit margins.

Find Karen’s slides here


Nat Arney, In House vs Agency. Fight?! 

Nat is an SEO Manager at Alternative Airlines. She’s worked both in-house and agency side, working for both smaller and bigger brands, from a dog hotel to banks. In her talk, Nat covered the pros and cons of working in-house and in an agency. 

Key takeaways from Nat’s talk included:

  • Benefits of working agency side:
    • Tried and tested strategies, 
    • Easier handover when someone leaves
    • Wider talent pool
    • Access to more tools.
  • Downsides to working in an agency:
    • You can experience a lot of communication barriers
    • Having to prioritise clients (who expect the world for their money) 
    • Dealing with competitors trying to poach clients.
  • Benefits of working in-house:
    • The ability to form close relationships with stakeholders and internal teams
    • Having a full understanding of the brand and the products they offer
    • You own your work.
  • Downsides to working in-house:
    • You’re accountable, so if things go wrong, it’s down to you 
    • You might be the only SEO in the company, and people might not know or understand exactly what you do 
    • You may have to do non-SEO work to help others.
  • Agency and in-house can work together with training, using technical advisors to win over stakeholders, making connections with others in the business.

Find out more in Nat’s slides, here


Helen Pollitt, Standing on the shoulders of giants: beating the big companies at SEO

Helen recently started her own SEO agency, Arrows Up, with the help of her cat, Kevin Bacon. In her talk, she guided us through ways of still appearing in SERPs when competing against big competitors. 

Key takeaways from Helen’s talk included:

  • Smaller businesses have to compete with large companies with brand name associations and designated marketing teams, whilst they may lack resources and budget.
  • It’s important to remember that all giants can fall; processes can be slow and hindered by bureaucracy, and they’re restricted by brand tone. Take advantage of this and enhance your strategy as a smaller business by moving when they can’t, learning from their mistakes, and experimenting to find what works.
  • Keep an eye on trends, and optimise for future searches and long-tail queries within your niche. 

Find Helen’s slides here


Not only did the attendees of this month’s ReadingSEO get a ton of knowledge thanks to our three speakers, but they were entered into our prize draw for a free BrightonSEO ticket for April’s event! If you want to be in with a chance of winning, make sure you RSVP and attend our next two events. 

Next month’s event will be held on the 13th February, and we hope we get to see you there! 

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Chloe is an SEO Manager at Blue Array. They were previously a copywriter and editor and they are always noticing things others don’t. In their spare time, Chloe is a performance poet and blogger.

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