BrightonSEO 2018 Review
Back in 2007, Kelvin Newman started the first BrightonSEO on the top of a pub with 12 people. Fast forward to 11 years later and Cosmik Carrot was invited for the first time to BrightonSEO 2018 at the Brighton Conference Centre with a total of 4000 attendees from over 40 countries around the World. Ben Bradley had the pleasure of being there to check out all the latest talks with plenty of takeaway’s from the day’s events.
Ross Tavendale – Data Journalism: A practical guide to winning big links
First up to kick off the event was Ross Tavendale with his talk on ‘Data Journalism: A practical guide to winning big links’. His agency came up with a ‘RAPTOR’ process to work out who they were marketing to.
- Research – Who are we talking to?
- Angles – What do they care about?
- Pitches – How do we talk to them?
Using a 3×3 grid RAP sheet, that then provides 9 potential headlines to get journalists interested. The next process is the discovery phase to collect the data to support some headlines. Facebook Insights has a lot of information available to build the particular user profile that you are talking to. This can either support assumptions, or find new insights that to add to the headlines. The overall goal is to create a data story for journalists to pick and run with across digital media.
Sarah Bradley – Getting Millenials’ Attention on Social Media
Sarah’s talk was based on her background and job working for previous universities and working for her existing role at Oxford University in their marketing department. She brought it to everyone’s attention of the assumed built up profile of who Millenials are, what they stood for, and what their aspirations are in life. A Millenial is someone born between 1981-1996.
Sarah enlightened us to a story of how, and when she agreed to let a selection of students take over their marketing department for a whole week. Also the lessons she learnt about the people her department were trying to talk to in their marketing communications. The first thing she realised, was that she new nothing about the so called Millenial generation. A larger percentage of the student population are actually mature students rather than the perceived notion of being mostly under 25 year olds. The culminated process meant Sarah and her team are now able to communicate and market to their student audience far better.
You can read all about the 11 things Sarah Bradley learnt when she let students do her job.
Bobbi Brant – How to Use Live Video in Content Marketing
To finish off the Content Marketing session, we were given an insightful talk about how to use Live Video in Content Marketing by Bobbi Brant from Kaizen. She provided us with some great statistics like “78% of online audiences are already watching Facebook Live content and 81% watch more live videos in 2016 than in 2015”. The first big decision on using live video, is to decide on which platform to use. Bobbi’s recommendation is to use the social media platform that you will get the most engagement from. After deciding which one, then you need to promote it for at least a week so people are aware of it taking place.
In regards to the actual live content, it seems best to have some structure of what you are going to talk about, and best with a sturdy camera position from your smartphone. The longer the video, the more engagement there is likely to be. The statistical analysis has proven that live video provided an amazing 1050% higher engagement than an average tweet. This was also only after the second live video attempt.
The 4 tips for live video success are;
- Promote it
- Don’t be scripted – be prepared
- Don’t set times, set sections
- Don’t go it alone – have help
Matt Siltala – Are you a content creator, or a content documenter?
All the way from Phoenix, USA, Matt Siltala kicked off the second session all about Content Strategy. He gave us a great talk on how his agency gets all the data they need and creates an awesome infographic for the client. Then from there, they then take small parts of the infographic and create small infograms that can be re-used over and over again in various medias. These can range from blog banners, social content, white papers, website banners, powerpoint, and micrographics. Once the topics are established, a content campaign can be structured and planned around each topic with a variety of content created.
Matt gave two great examples how they repurposed the same content. The first one was for a clinic in removing varicose veins, where a selection was re-used multiple times with new content. The second great example was when Matt’s agency created an infogram of social media users with the use of cats. It was so popular, it went viral multiple times. After a period of time, they did an updated version of the cats. They then went with dogs, which was even more popular, and then they also moved onto movie characters. Each time everyone got the same information across, but the content appealed to different users each time.
John Brasington – Contextual optimisation: How to create value led content for your ecosystem?
Up next was John Brasington with a very detailed and in depth talk about putting search data at the core of your digital strategy. He talked about understanding the existing eco-system that you have, before you add new content to it. You should also think about how that new content will affect the existing eco-system. Only complementary content is worth adding, but ensure that you review any conflicting content at the start and work out how to deal with it.
John then gave some examples of how by using Google we can see any potential conflicting content, and then make a decision on whether we add to the existing the content, or replace it altogether.
Meg Fenn – Using stunning design to leverage your SEO
To close the Content Strategy session before lunch was Meg Fenn from her designer experience and knowledge on ‘using stunning design to leverage your SEO’. Meg showed us a great array of quality designs on her slides, while she talked about how important design is in making the conversion of users for SEO. Fundamentally, ‘Design helps people trust’. Trust can then deliver the results of user experiences on a website. This is why collaboration is key with all stakeholders involved.
Google has always indicated that it is the User Experience that is key, and that is why it rewards well designed sites as a ranking factor, as it will see the site as high quality. Inbound links, higher rankings, happy clients.
Purna Virji – Marketing in the AI-Era of Search: Your Guide to Creating Exceptional Customer Experiences
Purna Virji did a great talk all about the tone of voice in the AI-Era of search. She gave some great examples of using ‘Homer Simpson’ and how you should talk to him, or ways not talk to him. This is the same for AI devices. What we expect a human to say, needs to be considered for the AI devices that we are creating. If you are creating a chatbot, then it is important to provide the human answers back to the human user. Otherwise, this can provide a a mix response to the customer, and can ultimately lead to a poor customer experience.
Stuart Shaw – A Voice Assistant Investigation
Stuart started his presentation with explaining how we’ve come full circle with searching on the web. First it was full sentences. Then as human’s realised how the search engines were not that great to understand a full sentence, we then moved on to a few keywords. But now, we’re moving back towards natural search with intent matching being seen more frequently.
The growth of voice search is so important as it is the most natural way for everyone to consume and engage with products. This is why by 2020(ish) people reckon 50% of us will be using voice search on a regular basis. Using the correct schema is going to mean that your website is more likely to feature as a possible answer in the featured snippet of Google. This is mostly for questions, but other uses are on the increase with the schema evolving all the time.
Greg Gifford – How to use local to rock in mobile and voice search
After seeing Greg’s talk online from BrightonSEO last year, I was really looking forward to seeing what he had to say this year. As part of the Voice Search session, he gave us a whole 116 slides of Samuel L. Jackson movie caption’s for his slides presentation. The bottom line from Greg, is that Voice Search is still ‘search’, its just a different way of submitting that search phrase to Google. However it is changing the following;
- Query length is much longer.
- Long tail/conversation queries are the new normal.
- Focus on user intent locally.
- Most purchase transactions are still not done via search, and are unlikely to be.
- Informational intent is the key to voice search.
Björn Beth & Svetlana Stankovic – Making Data Dreams come true: Bridging the Gap between Ranking Factors and SEO Strategy
For the penultimate session Björn & Svetlana gave the auditorium an insightful view of the the types of data and ranking factors that you should be looking at, depending on the market sector. So if you are in the Travel sector, TripAdvisor would be a huge ranking factor that you would need to work on to increase your overall rankings.
Marie Haynes – Super Practical Nuggets from Google’s Quality Raters’ Guidelines
I’ve heard Marie Haynes talk about Google updates on a few webinars before, so to hear her live talk was quite refreshing. The practical information was all from Google’s quality raters’ guidelines, and she insisted how we should all be looking at those guidelines in far more depth. Those guidelines are the clearest indicator as to what changes we should be making to our sites to expect an increase in rankings. Marie recommends reviewing locational reputation websites for any potential affects. If you can find high quality authors writing in reference about your site, then this will prove beneficial in the eyes of Google.
Luke Sherran – Video ranking factors in YouTube
Luke had the prestigious slot just prior to the keynote from Rand Fishkin. Luke gave an excellent presentation on the power of YouTube and the potential ranking factors to consider. There are over 1.5 billion logged in users to YouTube, and over 5 billion videos are watched every day. Fact still remains – YouTube is the World’s second largest search engine. Not something to ignore, but to take advantage of. Meta data is becoming less important, and used much more for relevance.
Key metrics to consider;
- Watch time – more time watched, increased metric.
- Session starts – Starting new sessions are a positive metric, ending a session is a negative metric.
- View velocity.
- Social signals – engagements and shares, etc.
- Video quality.
Rand Fishkin – The Future of SEO is on the SERP
Rand Fishkin didn’t disappoint as the keynote speaker, and you can watch the video below to see his presentation.
Here you can read DeepCrawl’s in depth review of Rand Fishkin’s keynote.