Brighton SEO Blog


Brighton SEO 2014

Twice yearly, Brighton hosts an SEO and digital marketing conference, where top industry speakers give the low down on SEO developments as they happen and look to predict future changes.  Need to keep up to date with new developments?  We bring you all the latest in a nutshell:

Key Conference themes

  • Content is king, ultimately users will only interact with and share content which is engaging, fresh and focused.
  • Links are still critical but need to evolve naturally through sharing.  Focus on building good links and remove bad, spammy links.
  • Mobile responsive content is critical as mobile is set to overtake desktop usage moving forward.  Social sharers are on mobile.
  • Understand what people click and why, test headlines and click through rates.  Click-baiting – punchy headlines to hook users in and promote sharing.
  • Love of ‘social’, social sharing continues to evolve at a rapidly increasing rate.
  • Companies need to adapt quickly as SEO is constantly evolving with a continual stream of new developments.
  • Ensure content suits the audience, especially with a global presence, consider regional differences and accurate translations.


Huge emphasis on great content

The over-riding theme throughout the conference was the need to develop appealing content which viewers will want to share.

Malcolm Coles (General Manager of the Daily Mirror) spoke about creating content that people cannot help but share.

Tim Grice (Director of Search – Branded 3) claimed if your content fails to engage then your website will loose traffic.  Tim discussed the Google Panda algorithm – now it’s picking up if calls to action are unclear, if there’s poor navigation or high bounce rates.  Advice? – Identify poor performance using Google Analytics.  If your content isn’t engaging, survey your customers and ask what would they want to see.  Seek new avenues to engage such as blogs, forums and reviews as well as social sites.

Vicke Cheung shared her ‘Tips For Designing Great Content’.  As a designer Vicke highlighted the importance of how you brief your designer and suggests for collaborating especially in the early visual research stages so opinions can be sought.  Vicke also shared some links – Typekit for free typefaces and a site called Stocksy for great alternatives to stock photos and images.

Ask clients for images in order to build up a bank of good visuals for your content.  Images within Flickr can positively impact your SEO.

Which presentations stood out for us?:

Adrian Durow – Think eyes not just keywords
(What do users look for on a Google listing?)
Conversion rate optimisation is just as important as search engine optimisation, if you get to the top lists on Google search pages but users do not click through to your content or click on a call to action, the SEO element is wasted. Adrian’s presentation was insightful, outlining research he had carried out using vision software to see where users eyes look on search pages.
Elements of a company’s search result listing that received particular attention in Adrian’s study were:
  • ‘Award winning’ or ‘World class’ in the title
  • Numbers in the title
  • Authorship to a lesser extent
  • Review language got attention
  • Keywords at the start of the title
Stacey Cavanagh’s – “The Habits That Land You Links”
(The importance of good links)
Matt Cutts from Google’s web spam team has stated that Google have experimented internally with an algorithm that ignores backlinks “it turns out that backlinks, even though there’s some noise and certainly a lot of spam, for the most part are still a really, really big win in terms of quality of search results”.
Stacey’s 3 key ways to create good habits:
1 Ideation – Content marketing needs a constant flow of good ideas. How? One method described was the 6-3-5 method of brainwriting.  In short, get 6 people to discuss content for a specific problem, they have 5 minutes to come up with 3 ideas.  They then pass those ideas to the next person who uses them to inspire 3 new ideas.  Repeat until all 6 people have written on each sheet = 108 ideas.  This should be supported by other formats of course such as verbal brainstorming and crowd feedback.
2 Asset Generation – Complete an audit of current assets i.e. where are current visuals/content appearing on the internet.  Collect images from clients, share images on Flickr under creative comms and be clear on how users can credit you when using your images.  Can create content/stories from surveys.  Consider offline content also, the basic aim is to achieve coverage and coverage = links.  Collaborate with others to expand your coverage too.
3 Outreach – Audit your contacts, create an evolving list of bloggers, journalists and relevant contacts , monitor them closely i.e. using platforms such as, vary your approach and monitor for best results.
SEO – The Future
Rich Kirk gave a motivating talk about the future of SEO “SEO The Bigger Picture” Comparing Paid, Earnt and Owned coverage i.e.:
Paid – Paid advertising/marketing online
Owned – Actions and content created by a company to market their brand
Earnt – Shares, Posts, Links created by users engaging with a company’s content
The over-riding theme was for organisations to build great experiences for their audiences and ‘owned’ media will get priority in company’s strategies moving in to the future.


Conference takeaways

Seems we are on track with our predictions for 2014 outlined back in January’s blog.
  • Content – keep it interesting, relevant and interactive to promote sharing.
  • Do not duplicate content or text across your website, keep all content new and fresh.
  • Test headlines to see which are most effective at producing click-throughs to your web content.
  • Links are still key to effective SEO, backlinks are still required by Google in order to ensure search pages provide most relevant results.  However, bad links negatively impact on results and need to be removed.  The focus for 2014 is to create good, natural organic links resulting from good content.
  • Technical SEO lessons included ‘crawlability’, good site maps work, bad site maps are detrimental to SEO, understanding where Googlebots go and that slow to load web pages affect a websites organic rank (too slow for bots).  Checking webmaster tools for crawl errors.  Rest assured that’s our job here at Front Page Advantage, to ensure our clients sites are optimised and effective.
Could your company website benefit from a full SEO audit?  Contact us today on 0845 2703328 to learn more.