BrightonSEO April 2018: Talk roundups and slides

It’s time for BrightonSEO 2018. We’ve slogged through the winter months and are ready to be rewarded with – what do you know – more rain! But it’s ok because we’re about to get some SEO goodness to brighten our day! (CANNED LAUGHTER & APPLAUSE)

Catch up on the latest BrightonSEO

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From Organic search, to PPC, Social and PR; The world’s most digital-savvy, across all disciplines, flock in their droves to Brighton seafront twice a year, every year – and BrightonSEO 2018 is no exception.

We’ve been taking down all the awesome insights from the below speakers, and some helpful tweets too. Incase you missed them you can catch up on the action below.

Slides will be added asap!

BrightonSEO 2018 - Content session - Speakers - Eleni Cashell, Steve Rayson, Giles Palmer

Content session 10.00-11.15

Content is part of our bread and butter at Pi, so it made sense for one half of the Pi team to head straight to the content session where our partners at Brandwatch were speaking. We explore tips for unique content placement, and getting our content noticed on a daily basis.

Eleni Cashell – How to Unleash The Power Of Unique Content

Eleni Cashell | Hotcourses group | @HotcoursesGroup | @EleniCashell

Eleni takes to the stage to tell us of the ‘Worst year of her life’, and how we can learn from her mistakes!

She is the Editor of two websites which gather and distribute information across higher learning for students looking to choose their universities.

To begin with, the content (images, videos and copy) was provided by the universities themselves. Eleni soon began to realise that this was a major issue – the content was not consistent and, more importantly, it wasn’t unique.

In fact, 295 institutions providing similar content spelled disaster for the websites in the Search Engines – and Eleni soon realise that 250,000 words worth of copy need to go!

29% of the internet is dupe content. Search engines don’t know which versions to rank! Search engines want and reward unique and long-form content, written specifically for your site.


  • Find and list your dupe content
  • Assemble your team
  • Form a game plan – with internal comms and who needs to be involved
  • Guidelines – make them strict & easy to understand
  • Create a shared doc – work together
  • Promote your unique content – be proud
  • Report on your increased traffic
  • Evolve

See slides here:

Steve Rayson & Giles Palmer – How Metrics and Data Drive Content Effectiveness

Steve Rayson | BuzzSumo | @steverayson
Giles Palmer | Brandwatch | @joodoo9

Next up, we rubbed our hands with glee while our partners at Brandwatch took to the stage, alongside BuzzSumo – so excited were we to get some data-driven insights! (Yes, we’re all a bit keen – It is BrightonSEO after all).

Giles and Steve took to the stage for a ‘Fireside chat’ (on an enviably comfortable looking sofa), to discuss content trends.

Together, the team were talking through their 2018 content trends report based on the links and shares of 100m articles published in 2017, using the Buzzsumo database.

Content trends report 2018 results

  • Only 5% of content got more than 343 shares
  • 50% of content got 4 shares – in 2015 the median was 8 shares
  • 70% of all content got 0 backlinks
  • There’s been an increase in dark social
  • People are more likely to link to and share research content or referenceable content
  • 17% of people get their industry news from the dark social channel, Slack


“It’s never been easier to create content, it’s never been harder to reach your customer” Steve Rayson

In a world of content saturation (40,000 articles on Bitcoin alone during the Bitcoin hype!), Steve and Giles tell us that it’s imperative to build our authority, and create high quality content, to increase our reach and build our brand.

Preferably, they recommend research based content which is referenceable, engaging and insightful so that readers will want to share (via social shares and links).

They encourage us to ‘Focus on the networks that work for you – be niche, focus on your audience by channel and demographics for links and shares on social engagement.’



SEO Is arguably more important now than it’s ever been! – Steve Rayson. Pi couldn’t agree more.

According to the social duo, the marked difference in content sharing over the last year can be attributed to a mammoth shift in the Facebook algorithm, which now prioritises personal content over publisher content.

Originally, FB was driving more traffic to publishers than Google was. Since the change, however, Google now send 2x more traffic to publishers than FB.

See our own joint report with Brandwatch about the value of integrating datasets here.

See slides here:

Or read a fuller write-up of the BuzzSumo 2018 content trends report here.

BrightonSEO 2018 - Ecommerce session - Speakers - Vlassios RIzopoulos, Katherine Khoo, Raj Nijer

Ecommerce session 10.00-11.15

With the looming ‘Death of the High Street’, and the recent news of some major brands falling into administration, it came as no surprise that BrightonSEO 2018 was fit-to-bursting with retailers keen to grab some priceless takeaways on how to hone their ecommerce strategy. The second half of the Pi team joined the ranks, to see our friends at Pricesearcher, and explore the role of new search engines across the ecommerce landscape.

Vlassios Rizopoulos – What a search engine can teach you about product sitemaps

Vlassios Rizopoulos | Pricesearcher | @pricesearcher

Vlassios emphasises the importance of sitemap strategy, saying its just as important as your SEO strategy.

He outlines 5 simple action points to follow to ensure the success of this strategy.

See slides here:

Katherine Khoo – Selling on other Search Engines

Katherine Khoo | Ipages Ecommerce | @_KKhoo

Did you know around half of product searches begin on Amazon in both the US and the UK? Katherine explains how customers are missing other sites, but you need to be smart about where you place your product – it doesn’t have to be on Amazon.

She stresses the need for multi-channel optimisation as customers search across many different platforms.

See slides here:


Raj Nijjer – 10 Things Your Customers Hate About You

Raj Nijjer | YOTPO | @RajNijjer

On top of producing a cracking French accent and illuminating us with the information that the UK is the happiest country in Europe (that’s right, you read that correctly), Raj show us how reviews can inform, not just your product team, but your wider business too.

Most reviews are 4 stars or more, but does this actually help with your data? Its much more helpful to see what comments customers are leaving. You can then find the root of any issues. Slides to come.

BrightonSEO 2018 - Enterprise session - Speakers - Steph Vickers, Bill Sebald, Rachel Costello

Enterprise session 11.45-1.00

As an Enterprise SEO platform and service provider, there was no chance that Pi was missing the enterprise session.

At Pi, we’re on a mission to raise the understanding of search value across the entire organisation – that’s why we held our official BrightonSEO 2018 fringe event Elevate Brighton on BrightonSEO eve.

The theme of the day, certainly in the talks we attended, was ORGANISATIONAL BUY-IN and speaking the language of VALUE back to the business i.e. totally aligned with our mission at Pi and our BrightonSEO fringe event Elevate Brighton – so it’s safe to say we were. In. Our. Element.

Steph Vickers – Turning the oil tanker – keeping abreast of monster sites

Steph Vickers | Hargreaves Lansdown | @HLInvest

Steph outlines 10 key hacks for your long term SEO strategy. Along with some actionable advice, she also asks us not be too insular – SEO is important but it may not be #1 for the business, so think about how SEO can be beneficial to all and not just to optimise search.

See slides here:


Bill Sebald – How to tighten up your SEO on large websites

Bill Sebald | GreenLane | @billsebald

Bill has been working in SEO since the dawn of time (1996).

He tells us that, as SEO’s, we need to wear a lot of hats.

We once used to be a technical channel, but we now have to contextualise everything we do.

We are both left brain and right brain or, as Bill puts it, we are now “Right in the middle of brain crack”.

In an enterprise, SEOs are in the middle of every department in the business. We need to contribute to a bunch of projects and, as a result, we need more resources. SEO IS NOT FREE – Bill was pretty decided about that!

He states we need to be agents of change – we can’t be just tactical SEO’s – we need to be marketers, teachers and educators.

We need to increase our influence in the business and always be learning! To tread the political water and convince people of SEO value, Bill suggests beer and donuts – we couldn’t agree more!

Slides to come.

Rachel Costello – The Toughest Battles in SEO are Internal: How to Prioritise & Demonstrate Value

Rachel Costello | DeepCrawl | @rachellcostello

Rachel leads on nicely with a talk about fighting for SEO internally to see results externally.

SEO is all about search experience, you need to think about searchers happiness to be able to serve them better.

View slides here:


BrightonSEO 2018 - Link Building session - Speakers - Greg gifford, Laura Hogan, Marie Turner

Link Building 14.30-15.45

Link building may be one of the most obvious organic search tactics for boosting your brand’s visibility in the SERPs, but it’s still a vital one! We couldn’t come to BrightonSEO and swerve a talk on this subject – especially not when there’s talks from the likes of Greg Gifford and the guys at Rice media.

Greg Gifford – Linkbuilding at a granular level

Greg Gifford | DealerOn | @GregGifford

Greg takes to the main stage to tell us that so many link building talks are targeted at enterprises with massive budgets, huge teams and huge sites. But, he says, the majority of companies are actually medium-sized or local, and they need actionable and realistic takeaways that they can hit the ground running with.

According to Greg, links built on partnerships bring real-world value beyond SEO.

Local links may be hard to reverse-engineer, as SEO tools recognise them as low-quality.

But, they are based on personal relationships, so they are harder for you competitors to replicate.

According to Greg, lots of lower authority links are less effort to obtain than one major authority link.

He tells us to take advantage of the relationships we already have and things we are already doing as a company.

How to get local links:

  • Local meetups
  • Local sponsorships – Google’s ok with this
  • Community service – pay with time not money
  • Local clubs and organisations
  • Neighbourhood watch websites – neighbourhood level awesome for referral traffic
  • Use Google to search local businesses and communities

Lightening round for local SEO:

-local meetups
-local sponsorships
-community service
-local clubs/organisations

View slides here:

Laura Hogan – Big Links for £0

Laura Hogan | Ricemedia | @Ricemedia | @lauralouise90

Laura wants to save us money on links, and shes made two things very clear – she hates infographics but loves Peaky Blinders. With savvy that Tommy Shelby would envy, Laura takes us through the links to focus on without spending a penny.

Getting links isn’t as difficult as you think, you just need to be smart about it. Some link building ideas won’t always work but when they do the payoff is huge!

See slides here:


Marie Turner – Effective Ecommerce Link Building

Marie Turner | Amara | @OhMarieTurner

Last but by no means least were our lovely customers at Amara.

Marie took to the stage to tell us that what our customer’s need is what should be fuelling our link building strategies. If we give value to users, we will accrue the right high-authority links that we are so much in need of.

Marie tells us to create contextually related and helpful assets that our customers have a real need for. We need to make it useful to build contextual links.

    1. Get buy-in from everyone – customer surveys, internal teams, stakeholders
    2. ASA and CAP advice – Free copy advice 24 hours. If you get held up – you’re not giving value to users
    3. Get planning – Gant chart for campaigns, book out stakeholder time
    4. Implementation – Request forms
    5. Report as you go along – not at the end! You need to measure performance continuously

See slides here:

Googdbye BrightonSEO 2018!

So that’s it from us until next September – when we’ll do it all over again!

If you caught us at our stand today, or would like any more info on the Pi Datametrics solution, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Right, we’re off to grab a cheeky bevvy – see you there!

Fashion UK | Market Leaders

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