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Brighton SEO: Top Tips and Session Write Ups – April 2016

This article was updated on: 07.02.2022

Brighton SEO is a twice-yearly conference which welcomes more than 1,700 SEO experts to share advice, tools and techniques.

It’s a fantastic opportunity for anyone working in marketing or wanting to better understand how to promote their brand. But spaces at the conference are limited and many people may simply not have the time to spend a day out of the office. We’ve put together our top tips from the event for you here, with links to the sessions and summaries. Enjoy!

Brighton SEO Session Summaries

We were live blogging through much of Brighton SEO and have provided summaries of the talks we as we live blogged them here for you here:

Brighton SEO: Tops Tips and Themes

There’s a lot you can tell about the digital marketing industry from the topics covered by Brighton SEO speakers. A few years ago, topics included keyword optimisation and link building. Last year, speakers focused more on brand and PR. This year, we focused more on the user, and how to better understand the audience. Search as a whole is evolving and with it, the topics of Brighton SEO evolve too.

On Page Optimisation

On-page optimisation is one of the most basic elements of SEO. But it is an area where many businesses are missing out, as the complexities of site crawl, usability and keyword understanding evolve. It was a popular topic at Brighton SEO 2016 and here are some on-page tips we picked up:

  1. Don’t overlook load time. I felt page/site load speed was a popular topic this year. Of course we know it’s important, but sometimes can be de-prioritised as we focus more on technical audits, content and backlink profiles. Here’s a good resource, if you want to learn a bit more – Tom
  2. Do not neglect your on-page strategy, not only from an optimisation perspective but from a technical and conversion-led, psychological perspective too. Everything needs to be fine tuned and honed to meet your bottom lines – Pete
  3. Keyword research still matters. When conducting keyword research, be sure to thorough in order to scope out the entire search landscape and content opportunities available – Pete
  4. Onsite strategy is so important. Similar to before, we all know it, but it’s always good to have a really solid refresh. James Perrott from Zazzle certainly provided this. You can find his slides and a transcript of the talk here – Tom
  5. Rich snippets – Look to introduce answer and question formatting within your content for your audience. Google seems to really like this as long as it’s clear. Review your current pages good search viability and see if you can introduce this – Edd

Technical SEO

  1. International and large scale SEO was a little underrepresented IMO. Matteo Monari’s illustration of the combination of two large Moroccan sites (>1mm daily visits each) was a good reminder on the importance of planning ahead for ‘big business’ needs and therefore being allowed to play a little with creative technical SEO (cloaking, temporary redirects, etc) which are sometimes needed to solve board room requests. The anecdotes about the hreflang tag reporting were also good to hear! – Aaron
  2. Oliver Mason’s talk on server log debugging was a whistle stop tour around ever-so-slightly more hardcore approach to SEO where server log debugging may sometimes be needed. I’d strongly recommend any programmer/SEO/sysadmins take a look at what he was able to demonstrate through what are effectively very simple terminal commands. It’s good to have this variety and to show that SEO can still very much be a technical role and if you’re going to do it well you need to be comfortable with some tech speak – Aaron
  3. Jon Earnshaw revisited mysterious flux again, which was great to see. We’re actually building this method of “stolen opportunity” tracking into our own software product so hats off for the inspiration! – Aaron
  4. Creating unique content caused pages to reappear in SERPs after only 10 hours. If you see fluctuations within the SERPs, it may be worth reviewing onsite content as a quick reaction to drop in search visibility – Edd
  1. It’s not necessarily about the number of links you acquire. In conjunction with this, look at the number of linking root domains, anchor text, link velocity (the frequency at which you or others link build). Link building is not a one size fits all approach and varies upon industry – Pete
  2. Greg Gifford’s local SEO tips were great. He argued that small, local links or nofollows were just as important for a business’ local performance in Google’s eyes, and should not be ignored in the pursuit of the big results – Rob
  3. Local SEO – Don’t just disregard link/coverage based on metrics. Local websites normally carry a low domain authority but these will pass you a ton of local SEO value – Edd

UX and Audience

  1. Make a website that works so well for users, so it would be a shame for Google not to have it ranking in the search results – Georgia
  2. Sense check your PR and content campaigns to ensure they appeal to your specific target audience and avoid messaging which highlights negative attributes of that audience – Georgia
  3. Creating your personal brand is really important, as Mel Carson said. As is buying your own name domain making it work harder for you – Rob
  4. The future is all about Generation Z, (>40% of consumers by 2020), so get to the point with your content! – Rob

Impression at Brighton SEO

2016 was the first year that we appeared on stage at Brighton SEO! I (Laura Hampton) spoke on the topic of audience personas; you can view my slides and the video of my presentation here:

Did you attend?

Brighton SEO is always popular and this year, its 1700 tickets sold out within minutes.

If you were lucky enough to attend, we’d love to hear from you! Let us know your favourite speakers and your top tips, and we’ll share them via our social channels.