Brighton SEO 2017 - The Takeaways

In the first BrightonSEO event of 2017, digital experts from across the globe gathered once again at the Brighton Centre to discuss the latest trends in search. The event opened with a message from Kelvin Newman, the founder of BrightonSEO, with a comedic take on Voice Search – something at the core of many of the talks and led nicely into the first talk in the main auditorium “The Future of Search”.

Below are some of our team’s mind-blowing takeaways from the day and what to expect moving forward into 2017 and beyond in the world of search.

Sophia Evans, Head of Creative 

Keywordless Searches: Your Camera is the New Search Box – Purna Virji, Microsoft

How would you react if someone said “No Keyword, no problem”? To digital marketers keywords are at the heart of what we do. However, we now know that “consumers are 80% more likely to engage with the content that includes relevant images”. So, what if image searches allowed for searches where we can’t find the words to describe something.

Purna Virji wasn’t saying that Keywords will be eliminated completely, but for industries such as Retail and Travel image search and virtual reality will have the power to re-shape the market because it solves a problem, it’s easy to use and better than alternatives.

Social platforms such as Pinterest are offering this already by suggesting similar image results and where to buy products in photos. See an outfit on Pinterest and instantly find where you can buy those same jeans or how to book a holiday to that island resort you’ve had pinned to your dream board.

But what if we could take that to the next level? The Microsoft HoloLens, the first self-contained, holographic computer will enable you to engage with your digital content and interact with holograms in the world around you. What if you could see the sofa you’re looking to buy in your own living room, this will make purchase decisions quicker and easier. “Pivot” circa Ross 1999 will be a thing of the past.

Doria Adigoun, Senior SEO Executive

Tips & tricks for improving conversion rate optimisation, CRO

A huge 81% of consumers carry out research before making a purchase decision. Therefore, you need to consider your audience and find out what they are asking, using:

  • Internal data sharing
  • Keyword research
  • Answer the public
  • Social listening
  • Customer surveys

Why SEO and content marketing must always be data-driven – Marcus Tober, Searchmetrics

  • The importance of user signal:  Google has access to data that helps it to judge if the user is happy with the results from a search. Therefore, if users go on a website and don’t find what they like they will bounce back and this will affect the rankings.
  • Catch up the customer intention in early stage of customer journey
  • 80% of the content produced is not visible
  • Removing old content (pages with no traffic) can improve growth

Dele Orotayo – Junior SEO Account Manager

How to Rank in The Answer Box (Rich Snippets) – Adrian Phipps, SAGA

Currently in the “answer box” 82% of answers are paragraphs, 11% are lists (numbers and bulleted) and 7% are tables. To actually rank in the answer box, answer the question in the first 100 words. Answers need to be short, concise and answer the question clearly. Below is a breakdown of what you need to do to be featured.

  • Address the question in the page title e.g. “How many pandas are left in the wild?”
  • Answer multiple related questions, such as: “are pandas friendly?”, “are panda bears”
  • Create unique and quality content on your page 1,200+ words, this will provide additional value to the user and decrease your bounce rate as it will take the reader longer to read the content. This is also a ranking factor.
  • “Use multiple H2 headings with short content directly addressing the Heading, How-To-Lists”
  • Know your environment and competitors, look at the keywords they’re ranking for and look at what they’ve done and improve on it!
  • Use assets such as video, calculators, images and charts
  • “Understand your user’s intent gives you a better chance to get into the Answer Box. It’s all about Needs, Wants and Desires”

AI and Structured Data: How Voice Search Raises the Stakes for Business – Raj Nijjer, YEXT

In this presentation, Raj discusses the coming future trend of voice search (vocal search) and how to best to capitalise on it from a local search engine optimisation point of view.

With the influx of new digital personal assistants like Siri, Cortana, Amazon Echo and Google Assistant which are now changing how consumers now conduct search queries it is now important more than ever for businesses to stay on top of this very competitive landscape.

The more positive reviews you have the greater the chance you will appear higher up the local pack SERPS for search terms such as “Best restaurant in London”

  • By 2020 50% of all search queries will be voice searches
  • “Voice search is powered by the Knowledge Graph if you’re not in the KG, not optimized for it – just won’t show up”
  • Use rich content, images, video and reviews
  • 60% of consumers based their purchasing decision on the most star ratings
  • 87% of consumers wouldn’t consider using a business with low number of reviews
  • In 2016 the main local ranking factors were:
  1. Relevance
  2. Distance
  3. Prominence

There was a 140% increase in Y/Y on household voice devices sales, this really highlights the future of search and particularly voice search, as marketers we need to prepare for this.

Dilen Patel – Senior Paid Media Account Manger

Measuring Content Success with GTM – Tom Bennet, Builtvisible

Tom shared his GTM tips for tying your content back to business KPIs: “Everyone is producing content, but few understand how their content is affecting business KPIs”. GTM can allow you to demonstrate the value of your work and make informed decisions based on what’s working.

  • “Defining a data layer makes your reporting more accurate, joined up and central to your business.”
  • You can use GTM to track the performance of the content produced by a particular author.
  • What if you could use APIs to track performance of products based on the weather for example. You could use data layers to track the sale of umbrellas, only when it’s raining outside!

Great article for further reading ‘100+ Google Tag Manager Learnings’


Edwin Owusu-Peprah – Junior SEO Account Executive

How to Build High Quality Links Without Spending Money – Sam Charles, Float Digital

  • Outreach with content rather than money
  • Try and promote through social channels.
  • Never pretend to be somebody else
  • Don’t be afraid to tell you what you want
  • Keep emails short and to the point
  • Target bloggers with press pages
  • Incentives with content instead of money

Five Years of Google Penguin – Christoph C. Cemper, Link Research Tools

This is an automated spam link locator. You should audit all backlinks. You still need to disavow when necessary and you must do it often. 45% of SEOs have never uploaded a disavow file to the Google Disavow Tool.

  • Ranking without links is really hard.
  • Links still a number 1 ranking factor
  • You should look into competitor backlinks.
  • The different tools you can use include Link Redirect Trace, Link Research Toolbar and Power Trust Extension.

If you sell anything in the wrong way, you will fail. Marketing is not a little extra.

Interested in understanding how search marketing could help your organisation reach its marketing goals? Call us today for a free consultation on 020 3225 5891 or email us at [email protected]

We recently attended the latest Brighton SEO in September 2017, check out our latest post here.

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