A brief review of BrightonSEO 2015
17th April, 2015
There are marketing conferences and then there is BrightonSEO.
Last Friday, I got to stretch my legs and get out of the studio to join over 2000 search marketers at the UK’s biggest SEO conference, BrightonSEO.
To briefly summarise, this event brings together the UK & Europe’s finest digital and search marketers for a full day of talks, seminars and clinics for anyone who works in digital marketing and is interested in the current state and future of SEO.
As a newcomer to this event, I went with an open mind, ready and willing to soak up as much expert SEO knowledge as I could.
Upon arrival, the vibe of the event was relaxed and welcoming. A very smooth admission experience preceded the sponsors’ exhibition stands in the main hall. This allowed us to meet a few of the sponsors and other attendees while we got our all-important caffeine fix. The Nexus team designed and installed the Twist stand for premium sponsors Pi Datametrics, so this was also a good chance to see their stand in full swing.
There was a resounding feeling (which remained throughout the day) that everyone attending was there for the same reason: to meet like-minded digital marketers while picking up a few handy tips from the industry’s top minds along the way.
The event was brilliantly organised by Kelvin Newman, who was ever present to answer questions and whose hard work and dedication to the event was clearly reflected in the smooth running and friendly smiles seen throughout the day.
The relaxed approach to the event actually made for a perfect learning environment too. It allowed us to get a good dose of SEO know-how, learn lots of tips and tricks from the seminars and speakers while having the chance to network and discuss the topics on the schedule – and the sun was out, which always helps!
The main takeaway for me however, is that in the world of digital marketing, I am not alone. This may seem like a rather obvious thing to say when attending a conference of over 2000 attendees, but for those of us from small businesses, who work in small teams of just one or two, having the chance to meet, converse and learn with other like-minded SEO heads can be hugely reassuring.
No matter the size of the business it is comforting to know there are many other marketers and marketing teams out there that are going through similar SEO dilemmas and we are not alone in our efforts.
If anything, BrightonSEO 2015 has confirmed to us, that even after all our content marketing, link building, content creation, PR & analytics there’s still plenty more tactics to start applying on this ever-changing and arduous SEO journey. A journey we all have to take and we all have to sustain.
Here are a few short summaries from my favorite talks and my top takeaways from the experts…put in much simpler layman’s terms so you can immediately grasp their benefits and applications.
Images are still winning when it comes to social media
Erica McGillivary from Moz presented a really interesting talk about the essentials of optimising images on social media by creating high contrast, clean, bold, branded and unified images and typography that psychologically works for audiences and therefore begs to be shared. And don’t forget to use open graph tags when sharing your content! http://www.slideshare.net/ericamcgillivray/social-image-sharing-for-brightonseo-2015
Web Designers need to design mobile first
Distilled designer, Vicke Cheunge, had an important message for all the designers at the conference asking them to “Embrace the true meaning of Mobile First”.
The importance of mobile friendly content has been heavily discussed lately and was very much on topic during the conference. With Google’s imminent “mobile-friendly” update next week (click here for more details) it was great to hear about the significance of mobile content from a designer’s point of view.
Key Takeaway: Embracing this rule and being aware of mobile constraints from the very start will ensure designs only feature the vital elements of the content to begin with. This will avoid overloading content with unnecessary fancy elements that are just not compatible or necessary when served on a mobile device.
This slideshare has set our design team alight as although the Nexus studio are already adopting this rule for the majority of their digital designs, it is a great reminder how essential it is to make design decisions with context and the user in mind! VIEW OUR FULL SUMMARY OF VICKE'S TALK HERE.
Don’t be fooled and always be on the look-out for a suspicious flux
Jon Earnshaw, from Pi Datametrics gave a really interesting talk. He discussed the ongoing growth of “cannibalisation”, the need to keep a very close eye on our content and to be sure to tell Google exactly which web pages are trophy pages to avoid being penalised for conflicting sub domain pages.
Having experienced a few of these issues with our own site last year, it was very interesting to learn that these issues still affect some of the largest businesses too.
Key Takeaway: Google needs to know which pages are the main pages for each and every key search term in order to avoid “semantic flux” and to ensure your top pages do not lose rankings due to co-existing web pages from your own site. For visual examples of conflicting domains & cannibalisation, take a look at the slideshare for Jon’s talk. http://www.slideshare.net/jonathanearnshaw/seo-46813620
VIEW OUR FULL SUMMARY "In praise of the Canonical tag"
Missed out on BrightonSEO? Fear not. I have placed the direct slideshare links for a number of the best talks below.
Sameul Scott told us to do “Real Marketing” and our links will naturally flow…
Iain Haywood – Running a competition? Forget the prize, make it fun and they will come…
Mathew Barby offered a number of tricks and tools to build some great links fast…Reddit being one of them.
Natalie Wright, ‘Backlink Discovery’ can help you to recognise link opportunities and will make you creative in the way you find and secure links…
Hannah Smith told us to avoid formats & start creating really good, creative ideas that your target audience actually cares about. Ask yourself, would I look good sharing this?
Search Candy has neatly listed all the side decks of the day in one place so go and take a look.
Let me know what you learn or contact us to discuss how you too can develop your own digital presence.