LondonSEO Meetup – February 2022 Roundup
LondonSEO returned this month, with our first in-person event in two years. It’s safe to say that it’s been a long time in the making!
As we know, the disruption of Covid-19 put a halt to many aspects of life. In-person networking was one of many business activities that have sadly been put on hold over the last couple of years. After hosting a successful online meetup in January, we felt that it was the right time to get together to enjoy some great talks, pizza, and a beer or two.
Located in Central London, Simply Business kindly provided us with the perfect setting to stage our event for the evening. Their vibrant and open-feel auditorium provided us with plenty of space to network with fellow SEO professionals while feeling safely distanced. A big thanks to Beatriz, Phil, and the entire Simply Business team for providing us with a very warm welcome for our comeback event.
Hosted by Liam, SEO Manager at Blue Array, the event opened up with some networking before we welcomed our three speakers to the stage. Our speakers for the evening were:
Lydia Glass – SEO Manager at Blue Array, who joined us to speak about “Imposter syndrome in the SEO industry & how this impacts client relationships”
Itamar Blauer – SEO Manager at Cure Media, discussed “How to challenge yourself and avoid complacency in your SEO career.”
Danny Richman – Digital Business Consultant, Mentor, & Trainer, covering “How to perform Keyword Research with GTP3’s AI.”
Here’s what we learned…
Imposter syndrome in the SEO industry
Lydia was the first to take to the stage to talk to us about the concept of the ‘imposter syndrome’ (IS). A surprising statistic that Lydia shared is that 82% of us have experienced IS in some way. With our industry being notorious for being ever-changing, Lydia highlighted some of the pressures that we often experience:
- SEOs are often loud about their successes but quiet about the failures & learnings in the process
- There is pressure to be a thought leader
- Due to the ever-developing SEO world, it is difficult to stay up to date with industry news (subscribe to the newsletter)
- Everyone has their own opinion, and there is rarely the one correct answer
- It’s hard to know what works and what doesn’t
Types of imposter syndrome
Lydia also highlighted that IS has several different shapes and forms. What one person might be feeling could be completely different to another person in a similar situation. Here are the different types of IS that you might have faced throughout your career:
The Expert – You never feel good enough despite being extremely knowledgeable. They often feel like they are less experienced than their colleagues.
The Perfectionist – You accept nothing less than the absolute best no matter the impact on your own well-being and mental health. They often set impossibly high standards for themselves.
The Natural Genius – You struggle with perfectionism but also set out to achieve lofty goals on the first try.
The Soloist – You have extreme difficulty asking others for help. You must prove your own worth through productivity.
The Superperson – You may feel inadequate and continue to push as hard as possible, regardless of the consequences on mental, physical and emotional health.
How does imposter syndrome impact clients?
The talk then focused on how IS can impact client relationships if not managed correctly. Lydia shared insights around the typical agency/client relationship and where things can sometimes go wrong. This was outlined in the following slide:
A few key takeaways that we’ll be thinking about from Lydia’s talk are:
- We are all different, we can all have multiple IS characteristics, Identifying these will help break the IS cycle
- Your own mental health is as important as your 9-5 job
- 7/10 of us feel like an imposter – you are not alone
- ‘Real’ Imposters do not suffer from IS
Avoiding complacency in your SEO career
Next up on stage was Itamar, discussing how we can challenge ourselves and avoid complacency. Itamar kicked off with a simple question to the room – “raise your hand if you have ever been complacent?”. It was pretty clear that most of us had, in fact, been complacent at some point in time.
The good news is that Itamar was quick to point out that complacency isn’t always a bad thing. It’s unhealthy to run at 100mph all of the time. You’ll burn out and spread yourself too thinly. However, if you want to progress in your career – whether that’s SEO or elsewhere – investing in growth and learning new things is essential.
Complacency is described as:
“Showing smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one’s achievements.”
Complacency and SEO
Unsurprisingly, the SEO industry moves quickly and it’s important to adapt as new ranking factors and algorithm updates come along. Warning – you may have Bowie stuck in your head for a while now…
Itamar shared a nice example here. If you worked in the SEO industry in the mid-2000s, then you might have dabbled with some backlinking techniques that we don’t consider to be best practices in the modern world. You know, the shady stuff like PBNs and forum spamming. If you became complacent and tried to run with these tactics now, you’d likely be hit with a manual action.
While this is a pretty extreme example, the point still stands. Our industry is constantly evolving as search engines become smarter. Make sure that you are keeping up with changes and expanding on your learnings (did someone say GPT3?).
How to avoid complacency
Be honest with yourself – Are you open about what you don’t know? Take the time to consider the areas in which you do not experience often.
Surround yourself with people that know things that you don’t – submerge yourself in an environment that will constantly offer different perspectives and help you grow.
Challenge yourself – Ask questions, experiment with new SEO areas, take initiative on new tasks. There is no harm in trying something new, as they are all steps in the right direction.
If you’re not progressing, take action – Speak to your manager, consider pursuing a side hustle, change job (If all else fails).
Be critical – Consider what more you could have done when working on projects. Assess what went well and be honest with what didn’t go so well. Learn and strive to do better in future instances
Celebrate your wins, and assess your feelings properly – Be proud of yourself when you are doing well. It’s also important to associate positive results with a positive mindset.
Attending conferences and meet-ups – This in itself shows a willingness to learn, it helps you strengthen your professional network and it provides ideas and opportunities.
A few key actions that we’ll be taking from Itamar’s talk are:
- Take some time to really understand where you’re at in your SEO career and where you’d like to be
- Create a PDP if you haven’t got one already
- Don’t wait around for progression if you feel like no action is being taken
- Remember that our industry is open & collaborative if you need support
Keyword research using GPT3
Our final speaker of the evening was Danny, who kindly agreed to speak just 48 hours before the event was scheduled to start. Danny shared a talk around GPT3, which is a language model that can produce human-like text through deep learning. The language was created by OpenAI, a non-profit research lab with over $1 billion invested from Elon Musk and others.
The talk focused on how we can use GPT3 in SEO (and wider afield) to be more efficient and accurate when it comes to keyword research and topic clustering.
What can GPT3 be used for?
GPT3 is a ‘learning language prediction model’ and has somewhat unlimited capabilities when it comes to SEO applications. Danny talked us through some of the ways we may be able to utilise this mind-blowing AI:
Talking – Danny showed us a quick example of the GPT3 playground, which allowed him to have a chat about his day and what he’d been up to. By simply providing short 2-3 word inputs, the programme replied with cohesive and coherent answers – much to the audible shock of the audience.
Categorisation – By inputting a list of companies and their industries [Apple = technology], GPT3 was then able to categorise at scale. This particular example might come in handy for an eCommerce fashion brand that is looking to locate competitors or inspiration from a large pool of business names.
Building regex – If regex is something you find confusing like a lot of us out there, one function is that GPT3 will write them for you! Input a phrase in the queens English, for example: “contains any character other than an I, asterisk, ampersand, 2, or at-sign” the AI will return the Regex formula – [^i*&2@].
Using GPT3 for keyword research
To close out the talk, Danny shared a practical example of how GPT3 can be used for keyword research. After pulling keyword data from Ahrefs around “conspiracy theories”, Danny wanted to classify whether each query related to a legal issue or not. For example “murder conspiracy” would be relevant, whereas “flat earth conspiracy” is not related to legal conspiracies. Danny shares a step-by-step guide in his blog.
Danny also showed us a tool called copy.ai which utilises GPT3 and can be used to create descriptions and meta descriptions of products. We were all expecting a very ‘robotic’ response however, we were all surprised at the fluidity of the description and the detail of context this tool was able to provide.
If we scratch the surface of Danny’s talk, here are some of the key takeaways:
- GPT3 and other tools can automate the time we spend on monotonous tasks
- Automating tasks can be more cost-effective and accurate than the human eye if our commands are clear
- Robots are going to take over the world
Join us on Thursday 17th March for our next in-person event. You can keep up to date with tickets via our Twitter page @LondonSEOMeetup.