5 Takeaway Tips from BrightonSEO

It is the biggest SEO conference for digital marketers covering topics from content marketing to link building; BrightonSEO instructs, informs and inspires attendees from across the UK.

Dan and I were pumped for the conference, getting up at 6am to get the train into Brighton! After a day of insightful talks, I’ve demised 5 useful takeaways from the events that we thought we’d share with our readers.

  1. User Experience & Unique Content Trumps Looks

When looking at our website our initial instinct is to question its appearance, as this is the first thing users notice when they arrive at our page. However during a Q&A session with ex-Googlers Fili Wiese and Kaspar Szymanski, they both noted that actually user experience and unique content is the most important focus points when updating your website.

Szymanski emphasised how we shouldn’t get caught up in the aesthetic qualities of a page but instead we should be angling our focus towards user experience and constructing a relevant website that users will find easy to use with helpful information to answer their search queries.

Wiese elaborated on this and said that making a unique site was important:

“If your website has the same information as your competitors, then why should it be ranked higher against them?”

An obvious question but something many of us wouldn’t have really thought about and highlights the importance of relevant and unique content on your site.

  1. Adapt & Update Content for Success

Marcus Tober completely understands the significance of content and believes that it is the heart of a successful website.

With Google’s search algorithms always changing, it’s imperative to keep updating your practices accordingly (being a Google Partner, this is paramount to our search marketing). Tober highlighted that previously, keywords were seen to be key to a better search ranking but today it is engaging, relevant and conversational content that is the best way to increase rankings.

What makes content relevant? Well, that would be dependent on the user and their behaviour. Tober commented that a user’s behaviour is different on different devices. On mobile, users are looking for localised and immediate results to their search queries, therefore, mobile searches are used more for awareness or inspiration than for sales.

This means that sites will have to be optimised differently as user intention is different. What with user intent always changing, we must change our site’s content all the time. Every 6 months or so, it is best to go through each page of your website and check to see if your content is up to date and relevant to your visitors.

For the full presentation, see Tober’s slides here.

  1. Site Speed Increases Conversions

We’ve known for a while that site speed is pretty vital for user experience but did you know that it is important enough to affect your sales? Apparently so, according to Tom Bennet. From his presentation slides, these two examples prove there is a definite correlation between site speed and conversion rate.


Mobile sites are also a prime example of the importance of speed. With the introduction of AMPs and Google’s new mobile algorithm being released soon, having the best mobile site possible is key. Similar to what Tober was enforcing, mobile users want immediate results. However, the question is – how do you make a site speedy?

Throughout his presentation, Tom gave us a breakdown on ways to heighten site speed by using GTMetrix.


He covered all components of a site from image size to using different fonts. With site speed being measured against your competitors, it is worth having a look into, to make sure you stay ahead of the game.

“Remember the performance golden rule: at least 80% of the end-user response time is spent on the front-end of a website, so it you’re optimising performance, start there.” – Tom Bennet

For more information, on how you can make your site the Speedy Gonzales of the digital world, click here for a link to his slides.

  1.  SEO is getting Emotional

    As anyone working in SEO will know and what with the previous takeaways from the conference, fresh and compelling content is a key factor in a successful SEO campaign. Also, making sure this content is shareable and linkable increases the likelihood of success greatly.

    Lisa Myers and James Finlayson of Verve Search presented a compelling case as to why you should be using your content to connect emotionally with your audience to improve the success of your outreach and link building campaigns.

    The full slide deck can be found here.

    That’s not all, though. They’ve been busy developing an ‘emotional’ search engine which can be seen at http://lava.vervesearch.com/.

    Lava doesn’t tell you what something is, it tells you how people (well, the media) feel about it. I believe Sentiment Analysis was the term that was used.

    I think it’s fair to say that ol’ Tony’s stock has taken a few hits over the years!


  2.  Remember IFFF when using Social Media.

BrightonSEO came armed with content and SEO tips but how about social media? Natalie Jones from Woorank delivered an excellent presentation on how to use humour in social media to grow your followers. It’s easy for many businesses to set up a social media page with the sole intent of just brand awareness yet Jones breaks this down into Identity, Feelings, Focus and Freedom.

Identity – Think what you want do you want to communicate to your customers? What type of brand are you? What are your values, morals?

Feelings – Playing on people’s emotions is a great way to get followers retweeting and sharing your content. A cute video of a puppy or a video of someone overcoming their fears or a meme of something that makes us LOL –  these triggers our emotions, gets people thinking, talking and sharing.

Focus – Your focus changes depending on how an audience reacts. You also gain different followers for different social channels, so figuring out who you are targeting is key.

Freedom – Take risks, be brave. Be adventurous with your posts, test out what works best and take the plunge.

I found these four notions helpful for businesses of any size, as it makes us rethink our social campaigns to decipher the main question – what are we actually achieving and how do we achieve it?

BrightonSEO was a huge success and due to the large volumes of people attending this year, they are doubling the size for 35,000 attendees. Click here for more info on how to attend the next BrightonSEO in September.