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2 min read

Brighton SEO: Duane Forrester – Markup, User Driven Change and Your Future

This article was updated on: 07.02.2022

Duane Forrester opened his talk with an exercise in networking. Every person was asked to introduce themselves to the people around them and tell them why they should want to know them.


The idea of influentials is that you want to identify people who have an audience. But Duane suggests traditional celebrities are losing ground to YouTube celebrities. There’s a shift in how people are consuming information; engagement vs push is the new paradigm.

There are companies out there who think the way to attract people is to simply push out messages. But that’s not the case at all; it’s truly about engagement.


If mobile isn’t your number one priority, you’re losing. Investments in AI and assistants need to be happening. Apps have taken over, consuming 50% of our time.

Mirroring Bing’s James Murray’s interview points, Duane suggests voice is a growing priority and that we need to factor AI and assistants into our strategy. As mobile use starts to stagnate (we now have more devices than we have people) so technology companies are moving into embedded AI, such as connected cars, tablets, etc.

Growth in ‘near me’ related queries is stagnating as people assume the results will automatically be ‘near me’. General consumers now understand that they no longer have to say ‘near me’; it’s implied, assumed and the data backs that up.

76% of people who use location search visit the business within 1 day. 28% of that results in a purchase. If you have a bricks and mortar business, this is where you need to be investing your time.

Voice search

Voice search is huge. We’re in a ‘digital land grab’ where hardware brands are creating tools for voice search; Google Home, Amazon Echo, Cortana, etc.

Context (as Bing told us in our recent interview, too) is key.

6 Tactics to Compete in Voice Search

  1. Keyword focus; focus on the long tail, conversational queries
  2. Build detailed answers
  3. Mark up your content
  4. Make sure your entire website is clean and accessible
  5. Mobile friendly matters
  6. Secure your site – move to HTTPS

Augmented reality

To win here, you need to markup and digitise your products. Ikea are doing a great job of this, and everyone, says Duane, can participate in this, no matter what size of business you have.

Tactics of successful brands

  • Loyalty programs
  • Rewards for social media engagements
  • Amplifying their CSR
  • Integrated campaigns
  • YouTube; you cannot ignore this, new audiences are very visual
  • Reviews matter
  • Customer journey – understand your personas