Caliber SEO Breakfast Event — May 2017

Get the lowdown from what was the hottest ticket in town…

by Alasdair Peoples, originally posted on May 17th 2017

In May, Caliber hosted an SEO Breakfast Event. We welcomed a lively group of senior digital marketers, from a variety of high-street brands, to the Zetter Townhouse. Caliber’s Client Services Director, Patrick O’Neill (pictured), played MC to the proceedings.

First up, our resident SEO specialist Martin Reed gave his hot take on the latest trends and challenges in contend-led digital marketing, and technical and mobile SEO, with highlights including…

Mobile user experience

80% of people now use a smartphone daily. Indeed, it’s likely you’re reading this on your phone now! Mobile optimisation isn’t going anywhere soon and is still key for rankings. If you’re unsure whether your website is mobile friendly, Google’s Mobile friendly test can help. If your results come back negative, stop everything you’re doing and drop us a line.

Site speed

We’re an impatient lot in 2017. 53% of people will leave a site that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Martin recommends testing your site in real world situations on various browsers, using mobiles, tablets and desktops. You can also check site speed on Gmetrix.

Interstitial pages

Let’s be frank: interstitial pages = crappy user experience. 69% of people are more likely to make a purchase from a website that matches their search intent. It follows that shoving an interstitial page in the customer’s face risks disrupting their desired journey. And Google penalises both pogo-sticking and bounce rate. So, there’s a simple solution — don’t use interstitial pages.

Google Voice Search

By 2020, it’s projected that 50% of all searches will be done by voice! As this becomes more prevalent, it increases the importance of structured data. Martin recommends utilising to help Google understand your content and creating conversational content that matches user intent.


From January 2017, any sites collecting personal data including passwords and card details were marked as insecure unless updated to HTTPS. From October, any site collecting any type of data will be marked as insecure unless you update to HTTPS, so it’s going to be integral that your website is up to date. Otherwise, expect a big drop off at the point of purchase.

Algorithm changes

There have already been 6 or 7 by May 2017 already! None so far have been fundamental changes. But don’t go chasing algorithms. Instead, concentrate on creating the best possible user experience.

You can take a look at Martin’s full presentation here.

Not on the High Street

Following Martin, we were delighted to introduce Richard Shove, Head of SEO at Not on the High Street, who shared perspectives from his personal experience of working both agency-side and brand-side.

As in all good partnerships, the central pillars that ensure both parties reap the best rewards are collaboration, shared end goals and communication.


Finally, a Q&A session proved the quality and knowledge level of our guests. Caliber’s Client Services Director Patrick O’Neill, along with Richard and Martin, fielded questions on subjects ranging from Bing Optimisation to Linkbuilding vs Linkbait’.

Such was the level of interest and engagement that our guests mingled, networked and chatted almost until lunchtime. One attendee emailed us immediately afterwards to tell us they were already putting their new knowledge into practice, which is wonderful to hear.

We are already planning our next Caliber SEO Event and hope to see you there for another great session!

In the meantime, if you have any questions about any of the subjects covered above or a separate SEO issue, don’t hesitate in contacting Patrick O’Neill on 0131 516 9363 or




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The Smart Organic Marketing agency. Insight-led SEO, Content Marketing & Digital Communications.

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