Search and Conversion – Digital Elite Day 2019

Last Thursday I headed up to London to attend Digital Elite Day – a premium search and conversion conference with high grade experts from various corners of the digital marketing world. The event included two streams of speakers running alongside each other, one Analytics and CRO focused and the other aimed at Search.

It was hosted at a premium venue in Borough High Street. There were around 300 attendees, which provided a great networking space for soliciting and collaborating during the light breakfast and impressive lunch.

Speakers included Jo Turnbull – Director at Search London, Aleyda Solis – Orainti, Jill Quick and Aiden Carroll – Colouring In Department, Izzi Smith – SEO Manager at Sixt Rent A Car, Craig Sullivan – Optimise or Die, Stephen Pavlovich – and Jordan Lentze – as well as many others.

Topics ranged from SEO link building secrets, cognitive biometric data such as how pupil dilation and eye tracking affect online browsing and buying behaviour, optimising for the future using progressive web applications, insights into’s a/b testing behind a log in and of course getting better data and insights in Google Analytics.

Each presentation contained insights only gained by working things out the hard and long way, so I was very grateful to the experts that shared their knowledge.

Here are my top 3 takeaways from the day…


One of the most insightful talks for me was Aleyda Solis – PWA’s SEO: Optimising For The Future Of The Web. Having not kept up with apps and mobile web development beyond responsive issues in the last few years, this highlighted a massively important area to focus optimisation around.

A Progressive Web App (PWA) is an “enhanced” web application that unlike others, provides a native app-like experience to Web users by using a set of technologies that allow them to combine the best of both, the app and Web functionalities in a secure environment.

The benefits are simple – quicker load speeds and increased usability, which all adds up to better engagement and conversion stats. PWA’s are supported by all major browsers including on desktop. Lighthouse in Chrome DevTools has a very useful auditing tool to start playing with.

Aleyda Solis – PWA’s SEO: Optimising For The Future Of The Web

Slides from Aleyda’s talk:


Ben Ambridge Professor of Psychology at Liverpool University presented his interesting research into browsing and buying behaviour.

For example, pupil dilation can be a response indicating the users level of engagement with a certain element on the page. Pupil dilation is associated with arousal, concentration as well discomfort so lots of testing and analysis is required to draw conclusion, but it gives an interest platform to testing emotional triggers for conversion optimisation.

The key take away was the conclusion that users respond better (engagement and conversion) to personalities rather than brands.


Craig Sullivan and Charles Meaden gave a very valuable seminar on Google Analytics. They shared their hard-earned secrets on auditing – dealing with inheritance, pollution, skewing and enrichment of data.


Some things to focus your next analytics audits around are:

Data Collection – Broken or ineffective for most companies. If the data collection layer (tagging, data layer, data flow to GA) is broken then the entire analytics account is going to be polluted. Check this, tweak this, fix this first and audit regularly to prevent the flow of bad data which in turn will lead to bad decision making!

Bots, Spam and automated hits – It will skew your data, lower your conversion rate, increase bounce rate and lower time on site. Basically, make your website, service or product look worse than it is. Craig recommended monitoring Network, Hostname, Bounce Rate, Browser, Geo-IP, Screen Resolution using segments and filters as well as the Session Distribution report to identify this pollution source. Then it is a case of filtering the offenders out.

ITP 2 and Safari –

‘With ITP 2.1, all persistent client-side cookies, i.e. persistent cookies created through document.cookie, are capped to a seven day expiry’

This effects all iPhone, iPad and desktop Safari users. Most tools track attribution for longer than 7 days and this will result in existing visitors looking like new visitors, but only those using the offending browser. The result is skewed data, skewed a/b tests, skewed attribution, etc. So make sure you aware of it!

If you would like to learn more about Google Analytics and getting the best from your data, speak to our team about our Google Analytics and Tag Manager Audits