The Impact of Web3 on SEO: A Comprehensive Analysis

In the ever-evolving landscape of the internet, businesses have long strived to secure visibility and attract users to their websites. Consequently, search engine optimisation (SEO) has remained pivotal for online success.  

As the internet progressed from web1 to web2, the importance of SEO only intensified and diversified. However, the advent and proliferation of blockchain technology mark the beginning of a new era known as web3, which has significant implications for the future of SEO.

Defining Web3 and Its Distinctions from Web1 and Web2

Web1 represents the initial incarnation of the internet, often called the ‘read-only’ internet, as it primarily facilitated the passive content consumption created by a select group of developers. 

Web2, on the other hand, ushered in the era of the ‘participative web,’ where users actively engaged in content generation through platforms like social media and content-sharing websites such as Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

With the rise of web2, SEO expanded to encompass diverse elements, including optimising for various browsers, devices, content management systems (CMS), and many content types. Where ‘participation’ is a determinant factor, community-based feedback, from forums to social media and even review websites, all factor into a customer’s decisions and, ultimately, a brand’s performance in web2.

However, Web3 introduces a paradigm shift by presenting a decentralised, transparent, and user-centric internet. 

The Implications of Web3 on SEO: Familiar Aspects and Novel Considerations

Despite the nascent stage of web3, both familiar and unique aspects will shape SEO strategies in this new landscape.

Continuity in Web3 SEO:

Focusing on user-generated content: As decentralised identity and user-controlled data gain prominence, SEO professionals must increasingly emphasise user-generated content as a ranking signal. Encouraging strategies to stimulate user-generated content, such as reviews, social media posts, and other trusted user-generated content, will be crucial for decentralised search engines.

The greater importance of Community Engagement and Management: As Web 2 evolved and reached a mature stage under the guidance of users, the significance of brand-oriented communities grew exponentially, becoming a critical factor in ensuring success. The degree of audience engagement directly correlates with a company’s likelihood of achieving favourable outcomes. Search engines such as Google have recognised this trend, progressively assigning greater importance to customer relations and reviews when determining the positioning of websites.

In this context, we classify this form of engagement as passive. This is because community engagement primarily revolves around experiences with the company, which distinguishes it from the emerging Web3 paradigm. Leveraging blockchain technology, users actively engage with the brands they support and contribute to shaping the brand’s future. Consequently, companies must embrace a more extensive spectrum of engagement methods, encompassing online/virtual events, live Q&As, and a concerted effort to foster real-time communication with users.

Adaptation to new ranking factors: Given that decentralised search engines are likely to employ distinct ranking factors and optimisation techniques, SEO professionals must be prepared to adapt their strategies accordingly. Experimentation with novel optimisation techniques, such as blockchain-based link-building strategies and innovative methods for assessing search engine performance on decentralised platforms, will be essential.

Distinctive Features of Web3 SEO:

Decentralised search engines: With the proliferation of websites and applications on decentralised platforms, traditional search engines like Google may experience a decline in dominance. Decentralised search engines that leverage blockchain technology to index and rank content may gain popularity. This shift necessitates SEO professionals’ comprehension of new ranking factors and optimisation techniques specific to decentralised search engines.

Blockchain-based identity and Community Power: Web3 is founded upon decentralised identity, enabling users to control their data securely and share it across various applications. SEO may be impacted as user-generated content, such as reviews and social media posts, assume greater trustworthiness and value as search engine signals alongside brand-created content.

Cryptocurrency and SEO: The rise of cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based payment systems necessitates considering optimising for cryptocurrency-related keywords and phrases. SEO professionals may need to optimise for specific blockchain platforms, cryptocurrencies, and related terms like “crypto wallet” or “decentralised exchange.”

What’s more, where paid keywords stand shoulder-to-shoulder with organic keywords and SEO, Web3 presents an opportunity, not only to optimise for blockchain terminology, but to monetise them. With an emphasis on empowering users to monetise their data, companies in the space are already offering brands the chance to OWN specific keywords. Meaning, instead of paying for keyword positions, the future internet may see companies directly earning revenue for whenever their owned keywords are used within a decentralised search engine.

In conclusion, the advent of web3 ushers in a new era of the internet with profound implications for SEO. While some aspects of SEO remain familiar, such as user-generated content and adaptation to evolving ranking factors, there are unique considerations to navigate, including decentralised search engines, blockchain-based identity, and the integration of cryptocurrency-related optimisation. By recognising these dynamics and proactively adapting strategies, SEO professionals can position themselves for success in the web3 ecosystem.

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What can behavioural psychology teach us about digital marketing?  

Woman with a green megaphone

Branching from traditional psychology, which looks at the mental or behavioural characteristics of an individual or group, digital psychology has grown in breadth and scope, particularly within the realms of marketing.  

When applying behavioural psychology to the online world, this is known as digital psychology, which can help companies assess how people use search engines, what they are looking for, how they interact with content and ultimately, how customer behaviours can be influenced.   

This article explores the relationship between marketing and psychology, and how this can build customer loyalty and lead to long-term business growth. 

Why is behavioural psychology important within digital marketing?

Creating a bond between your customers and your brand is at the heart of behavioural psychology. This means garnering a basic understanding of the customer’s needs and relating to them on an emotional level to cement trust between both parties. 

Relying on longstanding authority and reputation within a certain industry is no longer the solidifying benchmarker for guaranteeing customer loyalty. The rise of social media platforms, such as YouTube, TikTok and LinkedIn, have upended traditional marketing strategies. Shareable content is influencing the way brands engage with their customers and the number of followers or on-platform engagements have become key metrics that can impact your overall position.  

Developing positive, personalised engagements with your customers is now expected, and by capitalising on this relationship, brands can find new ways to attract and retain customers, expand their reach, and personalising the customer experience. 

Furthermore, by understanding the customers’ need and how they make decisions, you can reduce the risk of overwhelming them or complicating their purchase journey. In The Paradox of Choice – Why More Is Less, psychologist Barry Schwartz explored how too much choice can negatively impact decision-making and customer behaviours. 

By offering a select number of products and services, customers measure the pros and cons quickly and efficiently. This, in turn, can positively influence customer behaviour and support the creation of long-term, positive digital marketing strategies that yield results. 

Build trust between brand and customer 

A 2022 survey by McKinsey revealed that when purchasing goods or services, customers consider both trustworthiness and robust data protections to be nearly as important as other significant decisions, such as price, quality and overall convenience. More than half of the respondents also stated that they often or always make online purchases or use digital services only once they have established the company’s reputation for being trustworthy with customers’ data.  

Trust around data is essential for digital marketing, which uses various types of customer data to create highly targeted campaigns. Examples include: 

  • Demographic information – age, sex and location 
  • Behavioural data – how customers engage with your brand, e.g., desktop/mobile, purchasing activity, leaving products in virtual ‘baskets’ when exiting your website  
  • Lifestyle data – whether customers have children, their hobbies, their disposable income and more 
  • Personal data – name, address, email address, phone number, bank details, and more. 

With such vast amounts of data held, businesses must therefore remain conscious of the responsibility to treat data sensitively to maintain the trust of the customer. McKinsey noted that 40% of respondents surveyed stated that they have since moved their business from a company upon learning that data is not protected.

Build an emotional rapport  

By gaining a deeper understanding of the customer need, businesses can shape content, products or services and build an emotional rapport. Customers who feel emotionally engaged with a brand are at least three times more likely to recommend their product or service. Additionally, businesses can better demonstrate how they meet the customers’ needs through products/services and marketing, e.g., by personalising the customer’s experience to reflect their values or identity. 

Loyalty schemes are a good way to build and capitalise on these emotional connections. Providing much-desired incentives and rewarding returning customers can drive long-term retention, encourage customer engagement and further cement trust in your business.  

Promote engagement and long-term growth 

Several behavioural psychology tactics can be significantly beneficial within digital marketing and look to promote customer engagement and authenticity.  

A key example is social proofing. Established by US psychologist, Robert B. Cialdini in Influence: Science and Practice, it refers to the “psychological and social phenomenon wherein people copy the actions of others”.  

In marketing, social proofing can be seen through customer feedback and influencer sponsorships. Sharing positive reviews or a recommendation from a popular influencer can encourage customers to make a purchase, while bad reviews will likely put them off.  

Digital marketing tactics that utilise behavioural


Utilising behavioural psychology within digital marketing will help your business to gain an increased knowledge of what customers are searching for, what they purchase and why, and in turn, build customer loyalty and long-term customer retention. 

Here are various ways that behavioural psychology is used within digital marketing strategies, whether knowingly or otherwise: 

Mind your language 

Using language that reflects your target demographic and subject matter is key to building a relationship with the customer, create a sense of understanding and ensure engagement. The way in which your content is interpreted can also be coloured through a prism of cultural considerations, the personal experience of your reader as well as longstanding traditions, which impact customer behaviours. 

The psychology 

Psycholinguistics have found that human behaviours can be impacted by: 

  • The type of language used and how words are structured and formulated (morphology)  
  • How your sentences are structured (syntax)  
  • What your words mean (semantics)  
  • How the language sounds when read aloud and processed by customers (phonetics and phonology) 
  • How additional context can support the meaning of your content (pragmatics) – ensuring content is accessible and allow the customer to process information quickly and easily. 

User-friendly design  

The way in which your products and services are organised and displayed online can influence a customer’s purchase decisions or confidence with the brand.  

The psychology 

to the importance of usability and accessibility in website design cannot be overstated. Psychologist George Miller’s influential paper The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information explains that the average human can retain around seven pieces of information at one time to their working memory. In website design, it is therefore common for designers to allow for no more than five items on the page for customers to choose from when navigating to different areas of a website. 

Supporting this further, British and American psychologists, William Edmund Hick and Ray Hyman explored the link between the number of stimuli available and how an individual would react to various stimuli. They found that increasing the number of stimuli increases the time for individuals to respond. So, reducing the number of options and splitting larger tasks into manageable, bite-size chunks to minimise the risk of overwhelming customers.  

Free trials 

Free trials are an excellent way for digital marketing companies to attract new customers. But there is more to it than just giving out a temporary freebie… 

The psychology 

Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky coined the term ‘loss aversion’ – whereby the pain of losing something valuable is more powerful than the pleasure of gaining something.  

In marketing, if a customer obtains a free trial of streaming platform Netflix, for example, but must then cancel, the negative impact of this would be more acute than if the trial had been skipped and the subscription purchased straight away. This feeling makes customers less likely to cancel the subscription – they don’t want to avoid (aversion) losing out (loss). 

Create a sense of urgency 

When looking to purchase a product or service, cost is always a significant influencing factor, but how long should it take for a customer to decide? Sales and marketing strategies that employ ‘flash sales’ or ‘in demand’ messaging can expedite the decision-making process while making the cost more attractive.  

The psychology 

Customers’ tendency toward choices that are free of financial or commercial risk is due to risk aversion, which is commonly defined as “the tendency, when choosing between alternatives, to avoid options that entail a risk of loss, even if that risk is relatively small”.  Within digital marketing, companies can take a deep dive into what customers are looking for and develop key strategies that home in on customer support and ensuring that their products and services will lead to positive outcomes. 

This can be seen, for example, with certain pricing models that employ the ‘decoy effect’. If a small candle is £10, a medium candle is £20 and a large candle is priced at £25, the medium size has provided a benchmarker. Customers will likely opt for the larger option as it is only five pounds more than the medium size, and psychologically carries less risk. 

Build reciprocity and respect 

We have all been in the situation where you are caught off guard when a colleague or friend gives you an unexpected present at Christmas. Feeling guilty, you quickly nip to the shops to get them something in return. The feeling of being indebted and sense of reciprocity is universal and can also be seen in marketing – for example, by giving away free items alongside ordinary purchases (or those over a certain price), which makes customers feel indebted to the brand. 

The psychology 

In his book, Influence: Science and Practice, US psychologist Robert B. Cialdini considered ‘Seven Principles of Influence’, with the first notably examining the human element of reciprocity. He found that even if a gift is not liked or wanted, the recipient will feel the need to reciprocate. It can also open doors for customers to further their affiliation with a brand, leading to long-term customer retention. 

Gain an edge over competitors 

The way in which your website is designed, how your products and services are presented, as well as the language used will all play a key part in building an effective digital marketing strategy, influence online consumer behaviours and gain an edge over the competition.  

Such marketing strategies can offer proven results, regardless as to whether brands take a psychological approach. Most business people won’t be experts in behavioural psychology – and that’s ok!  

However, by deepening your understanding of the psychology around these techniques, you can place a stronger focus on what customers want and how they use or consumer products, services and content. The outcome is a long-term relationship based on trust and emotion, rather than one based purely on short-term financial gains.  

With regards to digital marketing, this could be implemented by providing essential tips, advice or guidance, which would then entice users to purchase products or services, knowing that your business is a trusted and authoritative source. 

Get in touch to find out how we could help your brand.

The importance of website speed and how to set up a CrUX Dashboard

Person creating content on laptop inline with E-E-A-T

From content to web design, Google emphasises making everything user-centric – and it is no different when it comes to website speed.

Core Web Vitals is the latest tool launched by Google to improve user experience by measuring site speed metrics. It joins a collection of previously introduced tools such as Pagespeed Insights, Mobile-friendly Test, Lighthouse, and various initiatives including the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) format, Chrome UX Report and 

In this article, we explore what Core Web Vitals is, why it is important for your website and how you can set up a Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX) to gain meaningful site speed insights.

What are Core Web Vitals?

Core Web Vitals (CWV) are a set of metrics that measure the user experience of a website, including loading speed, interactivity and visual stability. The Core Web Vitals metrics are considered important indicators of a website’s overall performance. Google uses them to determine the quality of a website and its ranking in search results.

What are the Core Web Vital Metrics?:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): measures loading performance at the point where the bulk of visible content is shown to the user. To provide a good user experience, LCP should occur within 2.5 seconds of when the page first starts loading. 
  • First Input Delay (FID): estimates the delay between loading a page and interactivity (when a user can click a site function, for example, to expand a navigation menu). To provide a good user experience, pages should have an FID of fewer than 100 milliseconds. 
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): calculates visual stability on a scale starting at 0. For example, content loaded via JavaScript causes the page to visually ‘shift about’, which is classified as a layout shift. To provide a good user experience, pages should maintain a CLS of less than 0.1. 

A page passes the Core Web Vitals assessment if the 75th percentiles of all three metrics are ‘Good’. Anything less and the page does not pass the assessment – it is categorised as ‘Need improvement’ or ‘Poor’.

Note that the metrics listed above are just Core Web Vitals. There are many other Google and third-party tools that help you to measure your digital marketing performance

How do Core Web Vitals score impact your site?

A Core Web Vitals (CWV) score can impact a website in several ways. A website with poor CWV scores may experience:

  1. Lower search engine rankings. Google uses CWV to determine a website’s quality and ranking in search results. If you have poor CWV scores, competing pages with better scores will rank higher and get more traffic.
  1. Increase user engagement. A website with poor CWV scores may take longer to load, be less responsive or have visual elements that are constantly moving or flickering. These issues can create a negative user experience and even cause stress, leading to decreased engagement and increased bounce rates.
  1. Loss of revenue. A website with poor CWV scores may decrease conversions and sales, as users may be less likely to complete a purchase or form submission if they are frustrated by the website’s performance. They may even struggle to find your website in the first place if competitors rank higher.

There are many studies that show how improved site speed can optimise conversions:

  1. Brand damage: A website with poor CWV scores can reflect poorly on a brand, as users may associate the website’s poor performance with the brand itself.

So now you have learnt about Core Web Vitals, but what is a good way to visualise your metrics?

What is the CrUX Dashboard?

The Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX) is a dataset provided by Google that contains user experience metrics for millions of websites based on real users who visited them.

CrUX Dashboard is a dashboard that displays user experience metrics information of a particular website based on data from CrUX. It has 13 reports, including an overview of the site’s CWV. The other reports provide information on diverse user experience metrics, such as First Contentful Paint and Time to First Byte

This dashboard will help you to gather useful insights about different user experience metrics and their trends.

How to set up a CrUX Dashboard step by step

  1. Visit the CrUX Dashboard template URL and provide authorisation to Google.
  2. Enter the origin URL i.e. the website you want to analyse. Note that it doesn’t work with specific pages of a site, only the domain.

  1. Click the “Connect” button in the top right of the screen.

  1. The schema page will then open. This displays all the parameters included in the data set that the dashboard will use to generate your report. You don’t need to update or configure anything at this point.

  1. Finally, click on “Create report”. You will now see the dashboard with a number of reports about different page experience metrics.

And with that, you have a dashboard that you can use to explore and analyse the user experience metrics of your website. If you would like support with a Technical SEO audit or how to use data to implement a meaningful performance marketing strategy,  we’re here to help.

Get in touch to learn more about our SEO expertise and services.

B2B Marketers Need Content Personas

Green and white ellipses

Audience personas have anchored modern B2B marketing for decades. We’ve gotten increasingly detailed, even scientific, about our prospective customers’ daily lives — everything they do, think, experience, and feel within their work and beyond. Most of us wouldn’t think of going to market without that insight, particularly if our product involves a complex purchase cycle.

Yet the conventional marketing model hits an emotional chord upfront, then abandons feeling when buyers need it most — the extended period where they seek helpful information. Brands can no longer afford these intrinsic emotional lags.

As a deeper understanding of customers leads us to develop more elaborate content ecosystems, we need to create experiences that connect with their emotions at each stage of the journey. To do it, we need to think about content in different flavors or “personalities.” That way we can systematically support awareness, consideration, commitment, and satisfaction, in a more fluid environment.

Understand the emotive journey. What happens to people, emotionally and rationally, when they engage with content at different stages of exploration and consideration? When we know this, we can identify gaps where they need more empathy, information, or storytelling.

Advocate for the category. The more complex the product, the more we need to start by explaining the problems our category can solve and portray the better business (and life) products like ours enable. Think of it as the human solution.

Teach, then promote. Educational videos and downloadable white papers (content/tools) give customers the understanding they need to be confident. Then they can appreciate examples of what the product can do.

Support with storytelling. Storyteller content establishes credibility and connects emotionally by providing relatable examples. In particular, this often includes stories of real people who have solved similar problems with help from the brand to provide assurance.

Align the entire experience. Using content personas effectively means delivering an effective experience at each stage in the buyer’s journey. For example, advocating for the category moves prospects to actively consider a purchase, then more educational content makes them comfortable taking a meeting with sales. Having a diverse array of content and mapping it to the buyer journey creates a better experience for them and better performance for marketers. This is equally important post-purchase.

Customer personas are fixed, but content personas are fluid. B2B needs to transcend the convention of simply intercepting people, and instead meet them with the appropriate emotion for each touch point. By introducing a content mix with specific purposes, we can bring emotional connection throughout the buyer journey and beyond.

This article was originally published in an earlier edition of Marketing Insider.

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Generative AI: A Creative Revolution in the Marketing Landscape

Visualization of a green ball on the palm of your hand

By Mathias Ramos, Art Director, Dallas – published on ANA

Over the past several months, the increased availability of high-quality generative artificial intelligence (AI) has changed the way we write and create. Epitomised by systems like ChatGPT and Midjourney, this new game-changing technology is having a ripple effect across all industries, actively bestowing on us the ability to generate content, solve problems, and answer questions faster and often more accurately than most people can manage.

It’s easy to fear change so integral to the way writers and creatives operate, but understanding how these platforms work and leaning into the changes they are creating will be vital to recognising them for what they are—powerful tools for any and all professionals.

Traditionally, the creative process has been labor-intensive and time-consuming, often involving numerous meetings and brainstorming sessions before the actual process of content creation can take place. Generative AI promises to accelerate this process. This technology can effectively empower any individual to take a simple prompt and create a relatively strong written piece, photograph or graphic. With AI in the mix, brief discussions with account teams can swiftly turn into actionable creative ideas, generating a dynamic that is incredibly efficient and versatile.

Generative AI’s influence is also set to reshape the consumer experience. As AI becomes more adept at tailoring content, creatives will be able to create an increasingly personalized online environment for customers. If someone is shopping for a car in California, advertisers could use cookies and customer data to serve them a social media advertisement showing their dream car driving up the coast, while a customer in New York may see theirs rendered on the streets of Manhattan. This shift allows advertisers to cater their messages more effectively, creating marketing strategies that can connect with customers at a new level.

Many have been vocal about the potential for AI to automate jobs and, ultimately, replace writers, graphic designers, customer service roles, musicians, and more. While this is an understandable fear when we’re talking about computers that can think, write, and create faster than us, we shouldn’t let this fear control our view of AI.

Instead, we need to embrace new and emerging technologies and use them to enhance our jobs. The risk of trying to avoid AI is akin to the early days of social media, where those who failed to engage with platforms found themselves struggling to catch up. Like all new developments in any industry, adoption is essential to success.

As the saying goes, “With great power comes great responsibility.” While many are using AI to create fun pictures or write elaborate stories, there are ethical implications that come with widespread availability of these powerful tools. Facets of AI such as “large language models” need stringent fact-checking, ethical guidelines, and codes of conduct.

Similarly, boundary-setting for voiceover technology will become increasingly important as these models become more lifelike with every passing day. From a professional perspective, given the sensitive nature of client information, it’s crucial to establish a comprehensive framework to mitigate potential risks and misuse. As we continue down this path, we need to hold individuals, companies, and creative teams accountable for their use of AI.

It isn’t a question of whether AI technology is here for the long-haul — we can safely say that it is. But the future of generative AI, from our vantage point in the creative space, is cause for optimism. AI won’t fully replace us, at least not yet. But it is a new tool, and it will change the way we do business, just as the printing press, internet, and email did.

AI also has the potential to free up more time for us to focus on higher-level, strategic thinking, and pursue the activities we genuinely love. The marriage of creativity and generative AI is ushering in a new chapter in the marketing industry, and to make the most of this revolution, we must remain adaptable, ethical, and forward-thinking.

To find out more about AI and its use in marketing, find our related articles below.

AI and the search experience – good or bad?
AI content writing: is it really the future?

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Gravity Global wins big at the TITAN Awards

Exploding green apple

Gravity Global recently received a series of prestigious accolades at this season’s TITAN Business Awards. These awards attracted over a 1,000 entries from 56 countries. It was therefore an honour to be named Marketing Agency of the Year 2023, a long with a host of Platinum and Gold Awards – 13 categories in total, including Financial Services marketing, Banking and Best Integrated Marketing campaign. 

While Marketing Agency of the Year is a phenomenal result for us, we also celebrate the category awards as it honors not only the clients who trust in us, but also our talented teams who create and deliver the award-winning work.  

We strongly believe in sharing our work and putting it forward to be judged against our peers because it contributes to elevating creative standards, and it independently proves the effectiveness of the work we do with our clients. 

To find out about how we could help you and your brand, get in touch.

Current & Next SEO Trends – Staying Ahead By Adapting And Evolving SEO Trends  

Technical SEO review. Set of data on laptop screen

It goes without saying that every year will bring fresh marketing challenges, so in order to thrive marketers absolutely must stay ahead of the curve. That’s not always easy – no one likes to make decisions based on a crystal ball, but the best we can do is make educated guesses on where the current trends will lead us next. 

SEO – in permanent evolution 

As an SEO specialist, you can’t afford to stand still. For a long time, it’s been all about hitting the top of the Google rankings, but SEO is changing in line with people’s search habits. Bing is gaining traction, and, at the same time, forward thinking marketers are applying SEO tactics to their social media platforms and achieving great results. These different channels have different audiences which may require varied approaches, but exploring these avenues will pay dividends. 

Another key factor in the future development of SEO that is reaching critical mass is AI. Automation and the use of Artificial Intelligence can allow small businesses and agencies to scale up their efforts, but it’s essential that users understand the technology – both its advantages and its limitations. Chatbots, automation, call analysis for keywords, data analytics, and interactive and virtual videos are the tools of the future – but it pays to remember, a tool is only as good as its operator. 

Some things don’t change 

You can change platforms and automate all you like, but wise marketeers understand that some of the essentials remain just that – essential. Foremost among these is providing excellent content that speaks of brand authority, thought leadership and adds real value for your clients. By building your reputation on such solid foundations, you’ll stand out for your expertise, and you’ll find it easier to convert referrals into relationships.  But did you realise that this is now an area ripe for using tracking and analytics to leverage your expertise. Use your website and your social media platforms to understand your customers’ pain points and provide solutions – if they can see the benefit in interacting with you, they’ll provide the data you’re looking for. 

New ways of using data 

Being able to access data that justifies your offering and proves the ROI for your services is a reliable way of retaining clients and increasing their confidence in your relationship. The same data has internal uses as well – track where you’re making money and hold yourself accountable in areas that are weak. Follow where the data leads you and you’ll start to perform better, for your clients and yourself. When you use data to lower the cost of customer acquisition, you’ll be in a position to pass more value on to your clients – money saved through marketing analytics. 

Furthermore, now’s the time to prepare for the demise of third-party tracking next year. When cookies disappear, companies will become more reliant on collecting first-party data. Don’t wait for that to happen – start planning now how you’ll harvest the information you need. There are various options – using opt-in to collect data directly, by partnering with large publishers who have knowledge of content consumption, and by increasing your use of contextual advertising. Work out which mix will work for your business and get the mechanisms in place. 

Another area in which data is becoming increasingly critical is in the optimisation of paid ad spend. If you can harvest detailed data by tracking traffic and engagement across a range of platforms, the resulting data insight will be able to separate out hot leads and conversions from bounces and poor-quality prospects. If you report different types and values of conversions back to Google Analytics, this data can be used to obtain higher-quality clicks that will benefit your business. 

Google Analytics 4 is coming 

Are you ready for the switch from Universal Analytics (UA) to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) in July this year? Do you understand what’s changing? GA4 is a whole new way of analysing data and the old-world order, in the form of UA, is coming to an end. The best way to prepare yourself is to start running the two systems side by side, so you can appreciate the differences and take advantage of the big new improvements GA4 is bringing. This means that by the time UA disappears, you’ll already be comfortable with GA4, and you’ll have several months of data to work with. 

Looking beyond 2023 

Forewarned is forearmed, but looking into the future of SEO can sometimes seem like guesswork. Keeping an eye open for future trends is part of the job, so what might we be seeing in the years ahead? 

Messages will become conversations – the way in which brands communicate with clients is changing and this will continue. Your sales message is no longer an info-dump. Your customers want to be part of the conversation, and they want you to hear their needs. Direct engagement will grow, touchpoints will multiply, and consumers will expect co-creation. The challenge marketers face will be to create consistent messaging across multiple platforms, while reacting and responding to the desires of different consumer groups. 

Brands will have to respect Gen Z values – as the economic power of this new generation blossoms, marketers will have to start seeing the world through their eyes. Diversity, gender expression and equality are important and Gen Z spending is led by their values. They will be looking for products and services that not only reflect this, but companies will have to put their money where their mouth is by incorporating these values into the way they do business and conduct themselves. Authenticity will change from a buzzword to an increasingly important strategy for success. 

Blended experiential advertising – the internet of things is gaining currency and the digital world is becoming increasingly enmeshed with the physical world. Customer journeys will entwine the physical with the digital as brand interactions become experiential. The demand on marketers will be to build trusting relationships in new ways with multiple touchpoints that are both digital and physical – with no friction between them. This will come into being against a backdrop of increased privacy concerns that need to be squared with a more in-depth customer relationship demanding tailored interaction.  You’ll need to be responsive and on message, while still considering sustainability. 

There’s a lot of food for thought here, so where do you think the future will take us? 

To find out more about Insights and how to get the most out of your data, get in touch.

BrightonSEO 2023: Key insights from MeasureFest (GA4-Con!)

BrightonSEO logo on the building

In April 2023, BrightonSEO – the ‘world’s largest search marketing conference’ – opened its doors to  around 6,000 digital marketing specialists from across the world who descend on the UK’s south coast for three days of talks, networking and taking photos of the (surprisingly sunny) beachfront through the windows of the Brighton Centre!

Whilst the main conference took place from the 20th to 21st,  the day before included various fringe events which focused on the more niche areas of digital marketing, including web analytics and conversion rate optimisation, paid social, paid search, digital PR and affiliate marketing. Our Insights team at Gravity Global Performance Marketing attended ‘MeasureFest’, the data-centric fringe event for web analysts and CRO experts.

After watching various talks on how to record, use and get the most out of data, the team has compiled the key insights from the event below:

GDPR and ePrivacy considerations for A/B testing

What better way to start a day than with cookies! Unfortunately, there was not a chocolate chip in sight, only a discussion on the “dos and don’ts” of collecting user data for the purposes of A/B testing. Rowenna Fielding did a very good job of turning data protection and privacy regulations into an interesting topic, which is no mean feat.

The talk began with the difference between GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) and ePrivacy, that being GDPR governs how data representing individuals should be used and ePrivacy governs how devices connected over a public communications network (the internet) are allowed to communicate with each other. A common misconception is that cookie consent banners are a result of GDPR being published in 2016. But this actually began with the 2002 ePrivacy Directive (2003 PECR in the UK), which states that if it is not required for the communication to function and if the user hasn’t specifically requested it, then consent must be provided before data can be read off or written onto a device. GDPR only updated laws regarding cookie banners and the definition of ‘consent’.

Rowena then went on to discuss how the laws set out in the GDPR and the ePrivacy Directive can impact A/B testing. For instance, the basis of an A/B test is to find the most engaging format of a website/webpage/website element, which when put to its extreme could include what can be classified as ‘deceptive design’. ‘Deceptive design’ refers to website or app designs that intend to manipulate an end user into acting against their own wishes, such as hiding a ‘Reject all’ cookie button by using grey text on a grey background. While this type of ‘deceptive design’ is technically legal under the ePrivacy Directive because the option to reject all cookies is available, it is neither fair nor transparent and therefore could be considered to be a possible breach of GDPR.

Some of the possible solutions to this issue include:

No longer performing A/B tests (can you imagine how that went down in a room full of CROs?).

Get consent first (though asking for a user’s permission to be tested on is likely to result in a ‘no’).

Bury your head in the sand (which has been the industry’s preferred option since 2003 – and whilst no one has yet been litigated for this, it can cause you to fail a compliance audit).

The fallacies of A/B testing

Sticking with CRO, Ellie Hughes took an informative and in-depth look into the many common misconceptions relating to A/B testing. Myths relating to both the planning and statistical analysis sides of testing were explored, with clear and insightful explanations of where the issues are and how best to avoid them within conversion rate optimisation projects.

With planning, for instance, you may think that an A/B testing programme is better with a long backlog, and hence the best approach is to create a list of all the possible experiments you could conduct before prioritising them and then executing. However, with such a long list, it’s never going to be possible to deliver all of them – as you learn from the results of the tests that you do conduct, priorities will change, and the list will rapidly become out-of-date. It’s better to continuously look at the data you collect to look for support for new ideas, while disregarding those which have no data currently available to support them.

On the statistical side, some believe it’s possible to interpret experiment results and the associated statistical confidence repeatedly throughout the duration of an experiment. However, the results can massively vary throughout, particularly in the early stages when unique visitor differences between the variants are more influential. The truth is that ideally, a sample size should be determined in advance, and be stuck to throughout – and that all results should only be analysed with the assistance of a specialist data scientist or analyst, to avoid incorrect conclusions.

10 must-have GA4 reports for all SEOs

With the UA deadline looming, it was very unlikely that an event dedicated to website analytics would not mention Google Analytics 4 at some point. Farhad Divecha ran through a quick-fire session of the top 10 GA4 reports for SEO, how to create them and how to gain insights from them. Those reports are:

  1. Google Search Console (via connecting the two platforms)
  2. Conversion Paths (via path exploration)
  3. Segmentation of Organic Traffic
  4. Site Speed
  5. Referral Traffic (via free form exploration)
  6. SEO Landing Pages
  7. SEO Paths (via path exploration)
  8. Data Stream Breakdown
  9. Content Stickiness
  10. Scroll Tracking (using additional scroll events in GTM)

One significant difference between Universal Analytics and GA4 is the custom reports functionality. Whilst the ability to create custom reports was available in UA, the number of varying reports the platform provided as standard meant that there was often little need for custom reporting. By contrast, GA4 comes with fewer standard reports and puts more emphasis on custom options, giving the end user an opportunity to make their data their own.

The tools for an inspiring GA4 onboarding experience

In addition to Farhad’s talk on the best in-platform reports, Agata Adamiak discussed additional tools outside of the GA4 platform in their talk “The tools for an inspiring GA4 onboarding experience”. The talk focused mainly on the use of dashboards and slide decks – two data visualisation formats used every day in the world of digital marketing. Agata emphasised the importance of knowing your audience and including the right people for the build.

By knowing the audience that will see and use the data visualisation, you can determine what format, KPIs (key performance indicators) and level of detail is appropriate. A dashboard showing high-level metrics of a paid search campaign would be ideal for daily or weekly monitoring of performance by the campaign manager. A slide deck that follows a user journey, including works completed and their results at each stage would be more suited to an annual review meeting with a client or board of directors.

As well as knowing your audience, Agata discussed the importance of including the right people within the process of building dashboards or slide decks. This includes the use of data engineers or scientists to help automate the pulling, transforming and loading of the required data, data analysts to select the appropriate charts and visualisations and pull key insights and designers to bring the data to life in an eye-catching way. This should help to avoid too much manual data entry, the inclusion of unhelpful visualisations or generic templates. This is certainly an ideal scenario, as having experts in each of those areas is a luxury not many companies or agencies possess.

Overall MeasureFest April 2023 was incredibly insightful for those that work in CRO and with A/B tests or analysts that wish to get more from their data and those going through the transition from Universal Analytics to GA4 – which is pretty much all of us! Our Insights team left with plenty of new ideas to put into practice, and the reassurance that our current approach as an agency to GA4 transition and reporting is BrightonSEO-recommended.

To find out more about Insights and how to get the most out of your data, get in touch.

It’s time to challenge “switch off, switch on” corporate thinking.


A proliferation of data has become the CMO’s greatest enemy, reinforcing short-termism in corporate behavior. Aligning tactical measures with the drivers of growth from “brand-to-demand” can shift the C-level conversation to the long-term strategic role of marketing in corporate performance.

As economic headwinds are starting to blow and forensic analysis on return on investment becomes the corporate focus, how well do you defend your marketing budget, or are you at the mercy of the unwanted phone call which says you need to make cuts and focus only on short-term demand?

There’s plenty of research proving that on a good day, as few as 5% of B2B buyers are actively seeking to purchase. And as the economic belt is tightening, I’ve seen evidence that this figure has dropped to as low as 1% of buyers being active in some sectors. The only chance most marketing teams have of converting this small pool of buyers to revenue is to divert all their budget away from “top of funnel” to solely fund demand level activity.

Slowly, but surely, the 99% of buyers currently inactive will gradually disengage with their brand, and the top of the funnel will run dry… but of course, as soon as economic recovery emerges, marketing will be expected to flick the demand switch to “on” to outperform the competition for growth.

And we all know the problem with that!

The problem facing many marketing leaders is being able to confidently prove to the rest of the C-suite the need for an always-on approach to marketing from brand-to-demand to ensure the complete funnel is in sufficiently good health, so that when strong demand returns, activity can be rapidly ramped up.

Availability of data is certainly not the issue. In the past two years, humankind has generated more data than in the whole of the rest of history. And sometimes it feels like much of that data resides in the marketing function. There is a sea of what I call “trap door data” that marketing departments fall into, demonstrating the success of individual tactics to a granular level.

The real issue is that the data the CEO and CFO are interested in are not search performance, content engagement or even attribution modelling. They need the bigger picture – to know that every part of the marketing spend will lead to recovery and growth.

And until marketing talks and judges every part of its own performance in terms of growth drivers, it will always be subject to short-term “switch off, switch on” and quarter-to-quarter budget commitment.

Instead of focusing on tactical performance metrics, measure marketing in terms of how it’s powering the critical drivers of demand. Working with Gravity’s F.A.B. (Fame. Admiration. Belief.) marketing performance model, many of our clients have seen the benefit of measuring the inter-relationship between brand and demand activities and the transformational ROI this delivers. Becoming empowered with the data and language to challenge and shift the perception of marketing and move away from “switch off, switch on” for good. 

Low cost, high impact: How pursuing sustainable success can achieve more sales


The rallying cry of marketing briefs invariably include calls for low cost and high impact but when searching for this state of high performance with your marketing activities, how truly convinced are you from the outset that you will achieve the business ambition? How sure are you that you have the most efficient marketing plan that will deliver the business case? Do you have the complete data to support or are there gaps? Are you completely sure the marketing activity will return a positive ROI?

Below are some common phrases used to justify the billions of dollars that the marketing industry spends:

“It should work but we will certainly test and learn”

“It’s really disruptive so will work well”

Amazingly creative and customers will love it”

“This is so much better than the last campaign”

“It’s really very strong and connects right across the customer journey.”

What other function in your business evaluates activity so subjectively and with such little evidence?

This lack of certainty is because the formula for achieving sustainable success is constantly subject to opinion and debate.

Time for all this to change.

At Gravity we have developed an approach that aims to remove the debate by studying what marketing levers brands can pull to achieve growth.

This strategic development process has been developed from extensive research into identifying what makes some companies grow faster than others.

And it simplifies the complex:

The findings show that there are three main levers brands can manipulate to achieve sustainable success. We named them Fame, Admiration and Belief. FAB for short.

FAME is a measure of how well people know your brand and understand what you do.

ADMIRATION is the strength of how emotionally predisposed people feel towards your brand.

BELIEF measures the strength of people willing to engage and commit to your brand and recommend you to others.

No single attribute can deliver success on its own, and all three need to be in balance for a business to maximise success from Brand to Demand.

Each lever has twelve critical success measures that provide hard data for better decision making and provide a blueprint for which levers need to be pulled to achieve the desired outcome.

Applying FAB enables us to benchmark our clients’ current brand and market performance, define their future go-to-market programmes and measure, track and enhance the marketing activities across all the critical factors for success.

We have seen how, by using FAB, we are able to deliver a Share of Attention disproportionate to market share and marketing investment that accelerates market growth, delivers sustainable success and provides a return on every £, $ or € greater than the industry benchmark.

FAB is the methodology we used to develop the Profit Hunter Brand to Demand programme for Embraer, now famously described as the world’s most successful B2B programme with over 50 awards for excellence across all marketing activities and delivering $15.3 billion in orders.

Want to hear more, or find out how we can help accelerate your brand? Get in touch today.