April 2018 Brighton SEO: Talk rundowns and presentation slides

Catch up on September's BrightonSEO

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It’s that time of year again: Brighton SEO is back in town and us marketing delegates are in for some pure SEO delights.

Showcasing dozens of talks from marketeers across every SEO discipline imaginable, the UKs most renowned search expo has left us a bit spoilt for choice.

After careful consideration, we’ve plumped for the beautiful bunch you see above.

With our notepads at the ready, we can safely say we are prepared to soak up all the SEO goodness there is, across the fields of content and strategy.

We’re bright eyed, bushy tailed (definitely didn’t peak last night at the pre-party) and eagerly anticipating the first talk of the day…

We’ve tried to attach all the presentation slides and a few accompanying notes, for good measure.

Disclaimer: We apologise in advance for any stream-of-conscious – it’s a long day!

Disclaimer 2: We will add slides as soon as humanly possible (i.e. when speakers upload)


10.00am session – Strategy – Linkdex SEO Now Theatre

Tom Anthony – New types of search query: The future of SEO

Tom Anthony | Distilled | Head of Research & Development | https://twitter.com/Distilled

Up first is Tom Anthony from Distilled. Here are our notes…


The future of search tech

Home search devices

  • Google Home
  • Open-source alternatives

These are smart devices which you can interact with, to control different parts of your own home (i.e. lights and temperature). Search engines will be able to collect all types of different intelligence and personalisation data via these devices.

The idea is that one day every device you interact with will know who you are. It’s safe to say we’re all pretty terrified.


Google Glissando

Google are making interfaces which can recognise hand gestures and understand your needs when conducting these movements, so that you can interact seamlessly with every device.

Tom showed us a clip of a dynamic voice search example. We were surprised and a little embarrassed to find that Google can hold a conversation better than we can.

Using contextual language – Google answered in-depth questions on the subject ‘Tower Bridge’. During the second and third question the user omitted the words ‘Tower Bridge’ and replaced with the pronoun ‘It’. Google continued to provide the correct information.

Mind. Blown.


‘Collapsing the funnel’

According to Tom, the search and purchase funnel is being increasingly collapsed down into a matter of seconds as a result of voice and dynamic search i.e. Apple’s Siri.


Ambient, faceted ecommerce

Tom predicts that the SERPs will serve ecommerce products and search results directly to you, rather than you having to locate products yourself i.e:

  • You conduct your product query search in Google i.e. “Fridge for sale”
  • Google will then collect all the fridge products it can source from Curry’s, Argos etc. – and list those inside the search engine, with a filter/facet sidebar, so that you are able to purchase instantly.
  • As a result, conversions will happen in-situ.


Tom Anthony | Brighton SEO talk slides | September 2016


Stephen Kenwright – Best practice is not enough

Stephen Kenwright | Branded 3 | Director of Search | https://twitter.com/Branded_3


It seems everyone’s feeling a bit bad-ass this morning – fourth swear-word of the hour no-less! Nothing wrong with a bit of colourful language.


Here’s our brief notes and summary:

Stephen kicks off by suggesting that Google’s best practice SEO guides are making us all a tad complacent– too many of us simply tick off the main things and stop there.

We need to be asking what’s in the queue next? What questions do we need to be answering?


Google’s best practice tips aren’t 100% fool-proof!

  • Google says that internal linking doesn’t necessarily have a positive impact on rankings, but testing has proved otherwise – cheeky so and so’s!
  • Don’t take Google’s best practice as gospel – test yourself and test Google. Harass John Mueller (don’t) and dig deeper to find the answers.
  • Take Javascript as an example. Google has to catch up with best-practice from other sources on this subject, as they never used to use it.
  • Technical SEO has changed a great deal, so the best practice guides out there don’t necessarily cover all of the possible SEO opportunities out there.


Thin content

Stephen gave another example of Google being a bit contradictory, using the search query “When do the clocks go back?”

Google answers this query with a rich snippet and serves alternative, surplus information (i.e. the reason clocks go back).

But the top organic result is made up entirely of thin content.

Running it through a tool would have flagged this thin content, so why is Google ranking it?


A great talk from Stephen as always. Gave us some juicy SEO gossip!

Stephen Kenwright | Brighton SEO talk slides | September 2016



11.45am session – Content strategy – Linkdex SEO Now Theatre

We remained seated for the second session in the Linkdex theatre. The Brighton Centre’s a hive of activity around us but, blissfully, we’ve bagged a seat beneath the air-con (result!)


Martijn Scheijbeler – How Publishers do content marketing?

Martijn Scheijbeler | The Next Web | Director of Marketing | https://twitter.com/TheNextWeb


Martijn takes to the stage, and the taboo tally is on the up once more.

He starts off by controversially challenging the marketing delegates mantra ‘Content is king’ – he’s calling BS.

Here are our notes:


1 – What

Identify your goal: awareness, revenue, leads.

What’s your editorial vision?

Do you know what you’re covering? What’s your angle?

Do you want to:

  • Entertain
  • Educate
  • Persuade
  • Inspire

Martijn advises us to create style and tone of voice guides (on capitalisation, grammar etc.)

According to Martijn, Schema provides a brilliant opportunity: It allows us to outline the contextual information related to our content.

And we have to use Schema because… “At the end of the day, search engines are fucking stupid” Official quote OTD. We love this guy.


2 – Pitch

TNW receive 150,000 pitches a year. Martijn’s top tips for getting it right are:

  • Don’t misspell his name – Martijn is very passionate about this so take note!
  • Make it personal
  • Make it short and simple


3 – Create

Remember: “You don’t have to create shitty infographics all the time”

Be reactive to trends and news.

The Next Web’s blog post titled: “Our boss is forcing us to play Pokemon Go during work hours” – took 2 hours to go live, and resulted in:

  • 40,000 PV’s in 2 days
  • 79 referring domains
  • Tonnes of coverage


Martijn’s takeaways:

  • Create a real strategy
  • Process – don’t make it too long
  • Reach out to have your content read
  • Make your pitch personal – we’re all humans!
  • Have fun


Martijn Scheijbeler | Brighton SEO talk slides | September 2016

Lauren Greatorex – No Idea? How to create B2B marketing ideas that sell

Lauren Greatorex | Man Bites Dog | Marketing Director | https://twitter.com/manbitesdogb2b


Lauren gets straight to the nitty gritty, somewhat controversially comparing content to teen sex: Everyone thinks people are doing it but they’re not, and if they are, they’re not necessarily doing it very well. A good analogy, we’ve decided.

According to Lauren, without a strategy – everyone is doing content for the sake of doing content.

5 reasons for content discontent, or setting yourself up to fail

  1. Marketing automation tools don’t make up for poor ideas
  2. Lack of clear direction
  3. Backseat drivers
  4. Chaotic pit stops
  5. False starts

Doing the above can confuse your audience, meaning they misunderstand your offering or what you do.


A lean mean content machine

Hero content: This refers to your master asset (i.e. website)

Hub content: You purpose this from your master asset (i.e. blogs, infographics)

Hygiene: This is the sales collateral (i.e. Case studies, how to guides etc.)


All of this content needs to have a unified message and theme. Once you’ve got that decided you can:

Create -> Adapt -> Repeat


A big idea must make you…

Think: The idea needs to be original or have a new spin.

Feel: You must make content relevant to your user – H2H (human to human) as opposed to B2B.



Lauren Greatorex | Brighton SEO talk slides | September 2016



Kirsty Hulse – SEO: Getting personal

Kirsty Hulse | Manyminds Digital | Managing Director | https://twitter.com/manym1nd5


The main message here of Kirtsy’s talk: Stop avoiding content personalisation!

The first slide is definitely a winner. It’s a photo of Kirsty dressed up as a Google Update for work – Penguin to be precise. We’re taking notes.


This refers to the real-time individualisation of a site.

  • 52% of marketers see personalisation as vital
  • 75% of consumers like it when a brand personalises their content
  • 13% of people would give up sex for a month to be served the right interesting content…


– Cue Britney gif complete with judgemental face –


Everything’s about personalisation these days, according to Kirsty. News sites are personalising their homepages based on your data, and intelligent Personal Assistants can make active recommendations about you at the drop of a hat.


The rise of angularjs

Angularjs is a framework intended for single page apps. They’re flashy, they’re modular, they change according to what you need at that time, and they could spell SEO Armageddon. This framework does away with static content/URLs and linking etc.

Kirsty points out that SEOs are usually so agile, but are ignoring this new framework. What are we like – eh?


Google Webmaster Central

“It’s always advisable to use static URLs as much as possible”

Yet more outdated best practice tips circa 2008 (harking back to Stephen Kenwright’s earlier talk).


We need to stop being so afraid of static URLs!

“As more content becomes dynamic – SEO needs to be part of that conversation. We need to start claiming personalisation as one of our SEO babies!”


Stop clinging on to static URLs – let it go man. Just Let. It. Go.

We need to serve the people the most relevant content.

“Google’s an arsehole that doesn’t give us any data” (Best quote of the day – after Martijn’s!) so we need to start mining personalisation data to inform our marketing strategies.

Using this data, we can create content based on what we know people want, then track it back and segment it in GA.

We can group according to persona’s and create landing pages specifically catered to the user based on the personalised data we’ve collected – dynamically targeting based on user preferences.