BrightonSEO 2017 – Our Top Takeaways

April 10th, 2017 in SEO 5 minute read

At Zeal we are keen to keep up to date with the latest industry trends and go out of our way to ensure we are at the top of our game. And so last week the SEO & Outreach team made their way to sunny Brighton where we attended the biggest growing UK search conference BrightonSEO.

Zeal SEO & Outreach team at Brighton SEO

Before the conference even started we were already learning! Abby, the newest member of the team, spent a full day at a training session provided the day before the conference learning all there is to know about link building. Hear her thoughts on the training below;

“I had my first BrightonSEO experience and it was brilliant! I arrived a day earlier for a digital PR link-building training session which I found insightful.

Throughout the day we went through the basics, such as, why link building is important, how it benefits both the client and the agency, but we also delved into the subject with topics such as:

  • The correct and incorrect way to approach journalists and bloggers.
  • Sourcing data to help push a campaign.
  • Diverse ways to identify your audience in the most detailed way and much more.

All backed up with case studies, this helped me understand how and why certain campaigns are more successful than others and how not so successful ones can be improved.

One of my favourite tips was mentioned during the ‘campaign ideas and processes’ segment, the ‘what would Kanye do’ brainstorming, which basically means think huge, think insane and write it down – once written, tame the idea into something more manageable but just as spectacular. I found this helpful because I tend to struggle with campaign ideas, simply because the first thing that pops into my head is too out there, causing me to scrap the idea completely, now I feel confident enough to put the idea down and work from there.

The motto of the whole conference is ‘helping search marketers meet, learn and do their job a little better’ I do feel as if I’ve learnt some new tactics that will help me do my job better.”

The rest of the team arrived bright and early Friday morning, ready for a day of geeking out over SEO! We’ve put together a few takeaways from what we thought were the most inspiring talks.

Brand: The Only Future Ranking Factor – by Malcolm Slade

Brand identity and awareness is quickly becoming one of the most important ranking factors for Google. It’s important to be memorable, use on- and offline marketing, use PR to drive people to your online content, and craft good SERP listings to get people thinking, talking, and searching for you.

Persuading Consumers to Part with Their Cash – by Lotty Chudley

One great tip from Lotty was to make sure to talk to your customer services to see what issues and questions they get from customers and then use those for your content strategy. The use of social listening can generate insights into what your target audience’s pain points are,  and analysing what website visitors are writing in your search box can give you an idea what content you need on your site.

Speed is essential for a successful website today. Some quick fixes to make sure your customers have a seamless journey through your website include, simplifying forms, creating urgency, and building an interactive design that makes it easy convert.

Conversion Optimisation Slides by Lottie Chudley at Brighton SEO

AI and Structured Data: How Voice Search Raises the Stakes for Businesses –by Raj Nijjer

Search is no longer the 10 first links on the first page of Google: we ask a question and we get structured answers which can include reviews, prices, or a location. It’s important to make sure that all the right attributes are there including ratings, opening times, prices, WiFi availability etc. A simple mistake such as not having your opening times can make you miss out on an opportunity to rank.

Why SEO and Content Marketing must always be data-driven – by Marcus Tober

If you have a large website with a lot of old content, make sure to clean it up. If you’ve got old blog posts that you can’t re-purpose and don’t generate any traffic to your site, just get rid of them.  Also make sure to make your content more user friendly by adding colours, lists, paragraphs, more breaks, and images. You can go back and do this to old content.

The 8 Step Checklist for Creating a Show Stopping Distribution Plan – by Julia Ogden

When creating a campaign, find out who your audience are, not just by assumption but using programs such as the Facebook audience insights and YouGov profiles, and through these programs create personas. Once you know exactly who you’re targeting, design a campaign that covers every angle possible to relate to all personas.

How to Rank in the Answer Box – by Adrian Phipps

When you want to appear in featured snippets, start with the SERP’s you are already in, not the one you want to be in. Aim to answer the target question within the first 100 words and the page title. Understanding your user’s intent gives you a better chance of ranking in answer box, it’s all about finding out your customer’s needs, wants, and desires.

Utilising Search Console for SEO Quick Wins – by Laura Hogan

One great tip in relation to looking at internal linking, is to make sure that your priority pages (for example your product pages or form fill pages) are on top of the list of most linked to pages. Laura also gave her top 5 uses for search analytics reports, including finding keywords that are just off the first page and target them in your strategy for quick wins, using the data to apply to other channels such as PPC, and check trends through impressions and queries to understand seasonality.

Search Console takeaways slide by Laura Hogan at Brighton SEO

WordPress Optimisation Beyond the Yoast Plug-in – by Roxana Stingu

Speed is a very important factor when it comes to SEO. Cleaning your database is a great way to speed up your site. For example, do you have several revisions for a blog post you’ve been working on for a few weeks? Make sure to clean out all of those old revisions in your database when you’ve finished your blog.

Speed is even more important for mobile. One quick win if you have a page which isn’t loading as fast as you would like is to optimise the order in which your resources load, for example make sure the above the fold content is downloaded first and you might see bounce rate drop!

Brighton Beach photo by Tanya Searing at Brighton SEO

We had a brilliant day and soaked up so much information our brains hurt! Thanks to all the speakers on the day and to the beautiful weather which shone down on the conference. If you’d like to talk to us about any of the above topics and how we can help further your own SEO efforts don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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