Digital Drop In Event: Standing Out In Search

Published on March 5, 2018 by Alex Eade

Education and training is one of the best parts of the job here at Footprint Digital. We love getting up there, presenting, and teaching our wonderful clients and partners (and anyone else who’ll listen) about digital marketing. In her new role as Head of Client Services, Hannah took on the task of organising and running a Digital Drop In event this February.

Hannah and her team of Relationship Managers greeted guests at the Lepra building in Colchester, just a short walk from our own offices.

The ominously named ‘Beast from the East’ was set to hit the week of the Digital Drop In, and we were all quite worried that snow would stop play! Fortunately for us, the weather didn’t prevent a good turn out and most people were able to make it.

Hannah felt that there was a really positive environment at the event, and everybody turned up ready and eager to learn. It provided a fantastic opportunity to network, and the one to one sessions at the end of the event provided clients to ask any questions and gave us some really valuable feedback.

Don’t Ask Your Head Chef to Chop Carrots

We kicked things off with a quick introduction to Footprint Digital and Tom B gave a great analogy – comparing a Marketing Manager to a head chef. You wouldn’t expect your Head chef to do everything in the kitchen, so why would you expect your marketing manager to be able to do everything in the office?

Delving into Google Analytics

Caroline and Hannah focused on Google Analytics, highlighting the importance of search engines on day to day life. They explained that there have been 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide, and 15% of Google searches have never been searched before – meaning plenty of opportunity to reach these people! They introduced the group to Google Panda and Penguin, and highlighted the importance of Google’s mobile first index and how voice search is changing the way we live and search.

The Apollo Analogy

Thomas took inspiration for his presentation from the Apollo programme, and President Nixon’s goal to put a man on the moon and return him safely. At Footprint we believe you can achieve anything you set your mind to – so this goal is something that resonates!

Thomas used this goal as a comparison for the importance of having a goal as a business, and the strategy that is created to achieve this goal.

As JFK said,

‘We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organise and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win’.

He also made a comparison between the Rocketdyne F-1 engine, 5 of which powered the S-IC of the Saturn V and generated 6.77 kN of thrust at sea level, and Google Analytics.

With the F-1 remaining the most powerful engine ever produced, this was an illustration of how powerful GA is in understanding your website – this being a very powerful engine itself.

With all that power comes the opportunity to get all the information you need to achieve you goals online.

It’s also an interesting comparison as the computing power onboard the LM is the equivalent today of the average desk calculator, showing how far technology has developed!

Unfogging Backlinking and Signals

Reuben felt that the wintry weather was the perfect backdrop for an in-depth look into backlinking and ‘signals’ – often SEO’s foggiest topic.

At a basic level, while most SEO is looking at how your website looks to outside users, signals are the opposite; looking at how factors outside your website can affect your SEO and search performance.

He started with a brief explanation of the difference between types of signals – some of which are ‘ranking factors’ (important for search engine algorithms) and some which aren’t. The key takeaway from this is that while ranking factors are very important to look after, such as pursuing quality backlinks, it is also very important to look after the other aspects such as your social media profiles and user reviews.

Link acquisition methodology was the main focus of the talk, and this was boiled down to an 8-factor checklist:

  1. Get links in directories
  2. Ask your contacts/partners for links
  3. Create incredible content that people will want to share and link back to you
  4. Promote the content you produce, for example on social media
  5. Social Signals – use your profiles to create an online persona and drive traffic to your key pages
  6. Always aim for 100% user engagement – A retweet from the right person can lead to more sales than 100 phone calls!
  7. Look after your mentions/local citations, and make sure they include your name, address, and phone number (NAP).
  8. Try and get as many good reviews as possible or answer the bad ones as helpfully as possible.

Overall, Reuben thought that the talk went really well and he was thankful to be able to impart some value to the people who attended the event!

Maximising Your Upcoming Promotions with SEO and PPC

Hannah then ran through how using a marketing calendar effectively can maximize your overall marketing strategy.

She explained the essentials of a marketing strategy, including understanding your audience and having brand consistency.  She broke things down into two stages.

The first was ‘planning for success’. This was all about plotting each core area of marketing activities on your calendar, including Seasonality, Events, Internal Key Dates, SEO, Content Strategy, PPC and Social Media.

Stage two ‘Doing More Than the Ordinary’ was about maximizing SEO, Content, PPC and Social to make the most out of your calendar.


If you are interested in attending our next Digital Drop In event, it is taking place on 22nd May 2018. Topics will be very different so if you attended the last Digital Drop In, you’ll be sure to learn something new!