Brighton SEO: Key Conference Takeaways

Jodie King

Contact Jodie
Connect via LinkedIn

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Brighton SEO is the UK’s leading digital marketing conference for anyone in the digital marketing industry – everyone is talking about it today! The conference takes place twice a year in Brighton (of course), bringing together some of the best speakers and a series of training workshops.
Being one of the most popular natural search conferences in the UK, the event is attended by a mixture of delegates from agencies, in-house marketing teams and business owners, not just from Brighton but London and all over the UK and Europe.
Our team in the office have been busy listening to the talks all day on the live stream whilst doing normal work of too (that diminished greatly as the conference took over our thoughts)! This blog discusses the top takeaways from the popular event. So here is the important stuff, some of the key notes from a selection of the talks various members of our staff have been listening to and with their comments underneath . There could have been more as we missed some key seminars that hopefully we will be able to catch-up on over the weekend on YouTube (because we are that committed). Enjoy!

How Generation Z is Driving Change in Search UX: Brighton SEO 2016 – Nichola Stott

Just a fantastic presentation about how the audience is changing and who we have to watch out for is Generation Z. Check out this slidedeck that also makes reference to two other slidedecks available from Google key speakers. Just a foundation of fantastic information that we really cannot summarise – see for yourselves!

Why SEO Needs to Get Emotional – Lisa Myers & James Finlayson

Anyone working in the digital marketing industry whether in house or in an agency uses the same tools all the time which has all the same data in it so everyone ends up at the same conclusion. So to break the mould what can we do? Get emotional with our marketing campaigns!
What is the reasoning behind this? When we make a decision to buy a product we make them emotionally and not logical as that is the part of our brain which reacts first. We lust for that new pair of Jimmy Choo shoes or that new Apple watch and have already made a decision emotionally that we want it first.
If we invest emotionally through collaboration with other interested parties then we will achieve much better outreach results with links from higher authority websites.
Currently the SEO industry is really geeky and relies on data however these guys have come up with a clever tool ‘Lava’ to satisfy our need for geeky data but also help us connect on an emotional level with our campaigns. It is the first emotional search engine! For example it shows a trend of people’s feelings about a person, subject or product over the past 6 years – who is the most hated person out of Donald Trump, Katie Hopkins and Vladmir Putin? Who do you think? Comment, message or tweet us with your thoughts!

Marketing to Local Businesses – Greg Gifford

As we run local SEO campaigns for our clients we were very keen to hear what Greg had to say, there was so much useful information in Greg’s presentation that we struggled to keep this short! For any local businesses marketeers we highly recommend that you go through his presentation here:

So what we learnt about local: If you want to reach a local audience then you can simply just have a website and do SEO anymore, there is so much more to local SEO these days. Here are the main top tips from Greg:

  1. Read your content out loud – if it’s not something that you would say to a customer face to face or over the phone then you are writing it incorrectly.
  2. Make your blog your local destination rather than just talking about your product – people want to read interesting articles, share interesting information about the local information so your site will show up for a lot more local searches.
  3. Show up in nearby cities with Local Sites
  4. Get links from local businesses – Instead of focusing on getting links from big high domain authority get local links from local businesses. Local links are so hyper local
  5. Don’t be afraid of low domain authority links
  6. Add tracking parameters to GMB links – those clicks will be counted as direct not organic search so you need to put tracking parameters on them.

For local businesses you can follow the Local Search Ranking Factors by Moz which uses information from the top 40 ranking local businesses worldwide. Another useful link which helps to explain Local Business marketing and how to do it effectively is here.  
If you keep up to date with what is going on in the US then updates are rolled out months before the UK so by the time the update hits us we already know what the update is targeting and what we need to do. Pigeon was rolled out 6 months in the US before it hit the UK – that’s how you can get ahead of everyone else!!

How to build Useful Audience Personas to Guide your Digital Marketing Strategy – Laura Hampton

Such a simple but powerful marketing tool that so many companies still bypass in a rush to get content in front of potential clients. But, they haven’t stopped to think about who those audiences that they are reaching out to are.
What do they do? Why would they buy from you? Where are they located? What are their interests? What challenges do they face?
Laura captured the art of pulling together audience personas perfectly with her four step approach:

  1. Gather basic audience information – ask people:
    1. What they need?
    2. How do they find you?
    3. Why do they buy?
    4. Where are they based?

You can get valuable information from sales data and asking the sales team how they qualify leads?
2) Audience motivations
This is where you really investigate what challenges they face, what interests them and really get to their pain factors. Thinking about what inspires them, worries them, engages them. So many questions so few of them ever asked!
She recommended: which is a tool we use frequently to expand out on saearches people may make around keywords and phrases because what we really need are the questions users ask so we can look into supplying the answers.
Read through FAQs to see what audiences ask about regularly, consult forums and follow conference topics as this is what your audience wants to learn about. What are your audiences discussing on social media?
3) Research topics
This is where you research the industries and areas of relevance, leaving no stones unturned. You find your mainstream information that everyone has covered and then you highlight some niches and pursue those as well. This is the time you compiles your quantitative and qualitative data.
4) Build out personas with human aspects
Then you just need to layer in what people respond to in terms of language use and terminology. Enable them to connect to your content with easy to understand, conversational language or whatever it is you know your audience responds to best following on from the research you have done!
Laura pulled up a slide that showed a company that had mapped out their personas on the wall so that they never forget them. Just images and key attributes so they were a strong reminder of who they wanted to strike up conversations with.

Those are our key takeaways from some of the seminars we watched live from the office and thoroughly enjoyed. What a fantastic event that is great to tune into and be immersed in a fast paced brilliant industry so that we leave on a Friday full of big ideas and motivated to the hilt!


Free Website Audit

Let's get started

Find out how your website is performing and what needs fixing!

Find out more

About Events

We hold various events and training days at the Digital Hub - Mosaic. Find out more.

Free Website Audit

Let's get started

Computer with website audit example on the screen

What our client say...

“Richard and his team took a lot of time out of his day to come and visit us, see our products, see what we’re about and understand our industry. The results, they speak for themselves really.”

Chris Brady
CEO & Founder
1 Stop Spas