On Thursday, fresh off a flight from the European Search Awards in Berlin, we joined forces with Google for our Discovering and Demystifying Digital event.
While we didn't arrive gong in hand, the spring sunshine made for good spirits as we assembled at The Hive on Lever Street.
The aim of the afternoon? To uncover the latest trends and lay all those digital marketing misconceptions to rest.
What is Google Partners?
To get us underway, Google AdWords Account Manager Navid Beni introduced the concept of Google Partners to the sixty-plus guests in the room.
He spoke in depth on how, via Partners, agencies and digital marketing professionals can access specialist industry research and updates, essentially outlining the value of Partner agencies to businesses.
Following an insightful introduction, his colleague Mark then got on stage to discuss the changing trends in consumer behaviour, explaining how technology might have changed but as people our wants and needs are very much the same.
He said that nowadays, 77% of us read online reviews before buying. Something unheard of back in the pre-smoking ban world of 2004, where Nokia 3310s were all the rage. A technologically primitive time when we spent more time reading physical newspapers than we do in 2015, with more of us now preferring to access content online.
Mark really underlined how the process of buying works through the purchase funnel, and how online is now vital, surely converting those in the room who remained on the fence when it comes to their digital marketing efforts.
Busting some myths
Dan Nolan, our very own CEO, then took to the stage to bust some myths, Ghostbusters style.
He spoke about the importance of quality links placed on reputable websites and writing content for people - not search engines. And despite his European jaunt, he assumed his familiar fountain-of-knowledge role, revealing the principles of digital and the secrets behind some of theEword’s successes.
Next topic up - Mobilegeddon.
No, not a Day of the Triffids-style apocalyptic horror movie in which mobile handsets revolt against humanity’s control over Planet Earth, but Google’s latest algorithm update designed to reward websites that are optimised for mobile devices by ranking them highly.
This continued nicely from what Matt mentioned earlier on - that 90% of people now move between devices when looking to buy.
Dan then handily directed those gathered to our Mobile pagespeed test where you can enter the URL of your website to see if it is mobile friendly.
Top ten digital marketing tips
Kleon West, our Business Development Director, then ran through his top ten digital marketing tips, giving his own personal masterclass.
Conscious of the rising temperature in the room, Kleon whizzed through his advice, delivering nuggets such as the fact that B2B companies who blog regularly generate more leads than those who don’t.
Doing his thing, and showcasing the prowess that saw him win Insider North West Young Business Professional of the Year the very same evening, his stimulating half hour talk contained an array of references to the likes of Robin Van Persie and Taylor Swift amongst others.
Then, after Kleon brought proceedings to a close it was out onto the terrace, a fantastic setting with views of the city and the ideal location for a little early evening networking.
Thank you to everyone who came to the event and special thanks to Navid and Matt from Google for their excellent insight.
Special thanks goes to The Studio for looking after us all afternoon and allowing us to make the most of their space and enjoy impressive views over the city.
— Daniel Nolan (@iamdanielnolan) April 23, 2015
— theEword (@theEword) April 23, 2015