Search Leeds came back to the First Direct Arena for the fourth time yesterday and team Content headed over to see what everyone had to say. Read on to see what they took away as the key themes of the day.

Becky – Organic Search Content Manager

One Search

A key theme that came out of our day at Search Leeds was collaboration. Speakers were keen to push the message of how channels should be working together, sharing ideas, insights and reporting. We are all working towards the same business objectives and sometimes one channel will need to pull back in order to make another channel work.

Data, Data, Data

Working in search gives us all a big advantage as we have access to so much data. One of the most insightful talks mentioned how we can use Screaming Frog to help us make informed choices when it comes to outreach. You can scrape articles and pull out data that can help you make decisions around launch dates, target publications and even the types of words you should use in the headings.

Fran – Social & Content Manager


In the opening talk on the main stage (by Kirsty Hulse of Manyminds), a common theme for the day was set: using emotion to connect with consumers. Now this idea itself isn’t news to me. But it was interesting to see research, including MRI scans from the University of Doha, that has proven how consumers react to things with their feelings and emotions. In particular with ad recall. As marketers, we should prioritise the emotive hooks our campaigns will have when brainstorming new ideas. What are we asking people to think? To feel? A cool idea may just fall flat if it isn’t stirring up an emotional connection with a consumer.

Tom – Senior Organic Search Manager

Search Intent

While by no means a new concept, with articles talking about search intent as early as 2004, people have begun to really sit up and take notice. This was particularly prevalent at SearchLeeds with most talks at least referencing search intent in one way or another. As is usually the case in the search industry this trend has come from Google getting ever more complex and sophisticated in their algorithms, which has meant that search strategy has had to keep up or be left behind. With SERPs now including multiple formats such as: featured snippets, images, videos and articles it has never been more important that you understand the search intent of your target audience and that this informs content strategy. While this may be the latest trend it isn’t likely to be a fad and will no doubt be what search marketers are talking about for years to come.


Search events have a few things that will always get mentioned and SearchLeeds is no different. Optimising to improve your pagespeed was mentioned in pretty much all of the tech SEO talks we went to. While it certainly isn’t a new thing, the importance of pagespeed warrants the large amount of coverage. At this point anyone not optimising for speed is at a real risk of falling behind, irrespective of the industry they are operating within.

Nikky – Senior Content Executive

Search listening vs. social listening

Sophie Coley (Answer The Public) explained how crucial search listening can be as part of our audience insight. Social listening is the process of tracking and monitoring conversations online (and a process that we use frequently to discover how audiences behave and express themselves on social media) but how much can this tell us about the way people actually think? There are things we tell Google that we wouldn’t tell our partner, friend, even doctor. What we search is unfiltered which is why search listening can be so valuable when it comes to understanding our audiences way of thinking.

Did you go to Search Leeds? Drop us a line with your thoughts about the day at [email protected]