behind the scenes at brightonseo 2019

What We Learned at BrightonSEO April 2019

Richard Marriott 5 years ago

As a long term partner of the now iconic BrightonSEO event, Zazzle Media is always looking at ways to improve and extend the learnings taken from the event.

And for the first time ever we are launching not just a ‘top tips’ round up but podcast coverage - a three part series of takeaways from the event.

This week we kick off with our intro and event roundup, which you can find below, alongside our top tips from several Zazzlers that attended...

BrightonSEO podcast

Our takeaways from BrightonSEO

Sam Rice - Strategy

This was my 4th time at BrightonSEO and this year was the best yet without a doubt. A great mixture of talks appealing to everyone from beginner to marketing manager to full-on SEO Jedi. I’m relatively new to the digital world with just 2 ½ years’ experience so it’s great to get out into the digital community and mingle - taking in all the experience people have to offer.

As a Strategy lead, BrightonSEO really solidified my belief that the most important aspect of a campaign is that we utilise all tools at our disposal to generate a strategy and report on the success of them - and the BrightonSEO event offers a great way of interacting face to face with the minds behind the tool.

Top tip from the day: Understanding your tools is key to proving ROI for any campaign. Read about your tool updates, and do some in-depth research on it's capabilities. Some people only scratch the surface of what is possible, so once you have a grasp of the wider functionality, you will find it much easier to prove your successes.

Tom Wilkinson - SEO

BrightonSEO was vibrant as always; there was a strong focus on the current advancements for data-driven SEO strategy and innovation round tackling Technical SEO issues. It was interesting to see a range of different companies from an array of sectors, and well-known third party tools provided new insights into functionality.

I think April's BrightonSEO showed that search is so much more than just the basics and SEO's have adapted to a new way of delivering data insights and innovation - meaning they can provide clients with reliable, in-depth reporting and strategic angles.

Top tip from the day: Keep on top of innovation in the industry, sometimes it moves so fast that it does feel like you are constantly chasing your tail - but your brand or client will thank you for it! Start with in-depth reporting: figure out what your most important KPI's are and then find the tools and information which will support you in achieving these goals.

Ellie Roddy and Carris Boast - Content

We attended BrightonSEO in order to roam around the event and speak to the attendees to discover what they like about this particular conference, what they learned on the day as well as wider SEO trends and challenges. One of the key things we noticed was that it isn't specifically for those that work in SEO roles as we had previously assumed. There were actually people from a range of departments including content, marketing and PR across various industries which just goes to show the impact SEO strategy has on the success of campaigns from start to finish.

One of the comments that stood out to us on the day came from Ken McGaffin, Head of Marketing at Majestic - you can hear him on the podcast! He said it's interviews with people and stories that make content come alive because we are all interested in what others say. He thinks it is easy to forget to involve people and therefore content writers need to understand they need SEO but must add to that with a human interest angle for a winning formula.

Top tip from the day: If you’re working in SEO, you should first think about how your own team work together but also how they work with other teams in the business. You could send out an anonymous feedback survey to the wider teams to see where you could improve relationships. This way, ideas are not lost through bad communication and campaigns can run smoothly and effectively. This is why we think the biggest takeaway is the importance of collaboration.

Mark Chisholm - SEO

After the long drive down to Brighton, it was nice to be able to grab a seat in the upper wings of the main auditorium just in time for the 'Snippets and Schema' session. With a sea of what felt like a thousand laptop screens glowing in the darkness of the auditorium below me, the anticipation was building for me, being a BrightonSEO newbie. Izzi Smith kicked off proceedings with a very engaging talk on 'Driving Meaningful Clicks with Enriched SERPs'.

For the next session, I had already placed a big star on the 'Crawl Management' talk in my itinerary as being one to visit. I clearly wasn't the only one looking forward to this talk as even arriving early it was standing room only in the smaller syndicate room. For me, this 'Crawl Management' session was the highlight of the day. Areej AbuAli's talk took a complete 180 degree turn from talking in depth about an SEO framework she had visualised, to challenges faced from a client management perspective in getting it implemented.

A shout out also to Anders Riise Koch who demonstrated some pretty nifty data visualisation techniques and Robin Eisenberg for talking about crawl budget vs rendering budget; a result of JavaScript frameworks that are becoming ever more popular. This is something the modern day SEO needs to have a handle on.

It was also great to spend some time hanging around the Zazzle Media stand, feeling the general buzz of the event and seeing our team interacting with some excited digital managers. Until next time BrightonSEO!

Top tip from the day: The Crawl Management talk gave a valuable reminder to all SEO's that no matter how perfect your vision is, just as important in your thinking should be your clients needs, capabilities and in some instances, the politics of their organisation. Start an open and honest conversation with your clients about this now, so that campaigns don't hit any roadblocks. Or if you are in-house, consider what you have time for, and what the biggest priorities are for your brand - this 'big picture' thinking will allow you to prove results in the most crucial areas.

Keep an eye out for some more podcasts coming soon, where we talk to John Mueller - a Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, and BrightonSEO's April keynote speaker! - about the state of the SEO industry, and we also speak to our very own Stuart Shaw about his Long Tail Content Strategy training session! You can find our previous podcasts on our Soundcloud.

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