Brighton SEO April 2015 Round-up

The low-down on this year’s BrightonSEO.

RAD SEO returned to BrightonSEO for another great conference hosted by Kelvin Newman. The event was divided up into three main stages and Roundtables, which were sponsored by companies in the industry. Each panel had three speakers and were allocated twenty minutes each to give a presentation on their chosen area.

The day kicked off with an introduction by Kelvin, who replaced his intended cinematic opening of a fire-walker with someone from the audience who replicated this walking barefoot across lego.  There was a large crowd in the main conference room packed with SEOs, geeks and believers, settled in for a full day of presentations on SEO, digital marketing and content and design.


The Speakers and what we can take home.

Erica McGillivray:
Show Your Flare and Pivot for Social Image Sharing

  1. Challenge audiences
  2. Take risks
  3. Make a human connection

These are three of the main psychological triggers for image sharing and can be applied to almost any social marketing content you may be wanting to get out there.

Vicke Cheung:
Designing Content for Mobile

  1. Embrace the meaning of Mobile First
  2. Performance is key
  3. Always be user-centric

These key points from Vicke’s talk hammer home three important aspects of design in today’s world. With Google’s upcoming mobile-biased update, it will be increasingly important to design from a mobile-first perspective. It is also always key to remember that performance is more significant than appearance when it comes to web design and that ties in with being user-centric as all content is designed for the user. If performance is bad, no matter how good it looks, the user will move on.

Iain Haywood:
Making Your Competitions fun

  1. There is more than one type of entrant
  2. Your competition is unlikely to be a panacea
  3. Incentivisation fundamentally changes the nature of intent

These were Iain’s three golden rules for making a competition. They are useful because it is always important to remember that your competition will appeal to a cross section of different people, some who genuinely care about the competition and others who don’t. A competition is highly unlikely to be a massive game changer for your business, but Iain noted how offering a prize will change the way people compete in your competition.

Jon Earnshaw:
Cannibalisation – the SEO’s biggest nightmare, and how to identify it

  1. Monitor the visibility of your content daily
  2. Check for Internal Cannibalisation first
  3. Always investigate suspicious flux

Monitoring the visibility of your content is both important to avoiding an SEO disaster and improving User Experience. This will make you aware of what is going on with your site and will allow you to make any corrections to avoid a sudden drop in rankings. Regular monitoring also ensures that your content can be easily found by any user who may be looking for it. Internal cannibalisation should be checked for first as it is the most common form and the easiest to fix. Jon was determined to emphasise that you should always investigate suspicious flux and we definitely agree with this point. There will always be a factor influencing why your rankings are behaving in a specific way and it is important to investigate flux early to put an end to any potential problems which may cause a greater drop in ranking.

Dave Naylor:
The Future of Search

  1. Google is becoming more conversational
  2. Agencies need to involve mobile in optimisation
  3. Optimise for Google, not users

Dave theorises that Google is beginning to be able to pick up the context in which people are searching and will tailor the results based on this context, lowering the emphasis on optimising for Keywords. Dave also states that with the upcoming Google update, it is important to make sure your website is fully optimised for mobile. Finally, Dave emphasised the importance of optimising sites for Google as well as for users.

Simon Penson:
The Head Term is dead

  1. Audience Understanding
  2. Research Methods
  3. Context kills the Head Term

When beginning context research it is important to gain an understanding of your audience, which can be done through existing and social data. Simon gave several research methods and tools for keyword research and competitor research and recommended tools such as keywordtool.io and SEMrush. Simon also believes that as Google is beginning to understand how context works, the head term will prove less significant and fundamentally change the way people search.

Ian Miller:
Context is King

  1. It’s Necessary.
  2. Mobile First!
  3. Plan (What are you building to)

As was implied by the title of his talk, Ian was keen to get across his belief that context is becoming an increasingly important factor for SEO. Another useful takeaway from his talk is the idea of having a content strategy to know where your content is building towards. Ian, along with many of the day’s speakers, were emphasising the significance of Google’s upcoming update on mobile-friendliness and how imperative it is to optimise your site for mobile.

Other speakers and takeaways:

Matthew Barby:
10 Ways to Build a Link in 20 Minutes Flat

  1. Combining great links and great content is important to a great SEO strategy
  2. Wikipedia can be a great source of easy, yet authoritative and relevant links
  3. Try and use BuzzFeed’s community

Natalie Wright:
The Power of Backlink Discovery

  1. Backlink discovery helps you prioritise your SEO tasks and ensures you can be proactive instead of reactive with links.
  2. Monitoring links can help you make informed decisions on opportunities
  3. It will help you keep a healthy backlink profile

Samuel Scott:
Stop Thinking About Links. Start Thinking About Publicity!

  1. Publicity is more important than obtaining back links
  2. Links are natural by-products of good marketing and PR
  3. We’re digital marketers, let’s do digital marketing

Hannah Smith:
Jaws in Space (How to Develop & Pitch Creative Ideas)

  1. People share ideas, not formats
  2. Get clear ideas so you can explain to your client why this content is right for them
  3. The relationship between social shares and links is not as you might think

RAD SEO attend as many related events and conferences during the year to network and maximise the team’s knowledge whilst staying up to date with all the latest tactics and strategies being used by others.

When it comes to SEO, the learning never stops.

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