Creating content for a crowded market

Even for big brands, entering a crowded space can be difficult with lower chances of success. Just to put this into perspective, in December 1.7m blog posts were published each day on WordPress sites. In December 2015 we spoke about drink driving and championed road safety for General Insurance yet knew we needed a unique angle; something credible whilst interactive for users to take notice of and resonate with. We broke through and turned a famously negative story in to a positive one and developed a designated driver finder, encouraging users to designate a driver over the festive period.

Designated Driver Finder Hompage image 1Designated Driver Finder Wheel image 2

The simple functionality allowed 5 user names to be entered and a driver chosen at random. We added an engagement feature which rewarded the driver with an IOU, owed to them by their friends. This added humour and increased shareability.

As our main objective was to generate links we commissioned research to add credibility. Unique data partnered with interactive onsite content allowed us to attract links and brand mentions from top tier websites. We also tracked engagement on blogs who featured our content and found various angles such as Christmas mocktails and shared their stories.


Jen Bowden, SEO Manager – @jenbowden1

SearchLove London – 2015

Hello, I’m Jen, and I’m a SEO Executive at the Co-op.  SearchLove is arguably one of the best search events of the year,  I attended this years event and learned far too much for one post so I’ve decided to highlight a few gems.

The Future of Queries

Tom Anthony, head of R&D at Distilled sees queries changing a lot in the future, one trend being implicit signals over explicit as users expect us to know the context of their query. The explicit aspect of a query would be ‘co-op store’ while the implicit aspect would be for us to know that they are on their iPhone on Balloon Street, Manchester. As we look to the future we will be using the data gathered through wearables and beacons to enable us to delivery hyper local results depending on whether the user is walking or running, or simply stood on the other side of the road.

This data will then influence another future trend, compound queries. Google no longer deliver results from each query independently and instead use previous searches and user intent to deliver a more accurate result. If marketers start thinking about the users intent rather than keywords they will soon be able to cut out competitors and serve the user direct. Great example using Google’s voice search below

An SEO Approach to Content Marketing

Anum Hussain, Growth Marketer from HubSpot tried and tested a few tactics when building a content strategy for new website, Sidekick. Her tactic began traditionally; producing SEO site pages, building high quality relevant links and increasing social shares, yet her results really began to change when they updated historical content with related site links and doubled down on one topic across all content. This is a simple tactic that reminds us how effective some onsite fundamentals can be, and one we definitely plan to start increasing.

Be a Unicorn

Larry Kim, founder and CTO of WordStream taught us his best Facebook and Twitter advertising hacks of all time reinforcing the phrase we’ve used a lot over the past 12 months, “you’ve got to pay to play”. He suggests to only promote content that would work organically and so if it takes off organically then promote it, it’s all about being reactive. Not only will it save you time finding good content (unicorns) it will also save you money if you promote it to the correct audience, or retarget users for an extra push.

Larrys Pyramid Scheme

Accelerated Mobile Pages

Will Critchlow, CEO and co-founder of Distilled shared some practical advice on a topic that has been a talking point of late, download sizes (his diagram explains the industries’ issue pretty well).

Will downloading content


AMP (
accelerated mobile pages) has launched to combat this with many top tier publishers on board. Try it out here (on your mobile) or use this guide to start creating an AMP page.

Chasing “perfect

Ian Lurie, CEO of Portent stressed we need to start chasing the human algorithm, it’s the only one that doesn’t change and the one we should already understand. Understanding what humans want from our content instantly moves us closer to perfect. Things to consider;

  • Content delivery
  • Rational navigation
  • Correct targeting
  • Broken links
  • Speed

…plus many, many more.

The Algorithm

Rand Fishkin, founder or more preferred title, Wizard of Moz, shared some fascinating data on where the algorithm is moving and reinforced many of our theories. Our perceptions have been that the algorithm is flattening and he produced the data to prove that. However, as more ranking factors are added to the mix, links are just as important as they were, meaning we need to stick at what we’re good at and continue building great links while incorporating the rest. I’m sure you’ll want to read all about search ranking factors 2015 in full.

I hope you found this round up useful, as I said there was so much information that I didn’t manage to squeeze in but you can find it all here, let me know what you think below or find me @jenbowden1