What we learnt from the Brighton SEO Conference

Brighton SEO Conference image of giveaways

(see the last lesson for an explanation of the images)

8 SEO Lessons learnt or compounded

I went to the Brighton SEO Conference for the first time in 2019. Why? Two reasons: firstly to learn more about the “dark art” of SEO, and secondly because Mailchimp invited me. As a Mailchimp Partner, I like to keep that relationship running smoothly so that I can get the support my clients need.

So what are the SEO lessons learnt?

1. Misplacing Budgets

Many businesses, particularly bigger businesses, allocate budgets in the wrong way.  They will spend too much on production (specifically video). They spend too much on distribution and not enough on getting the right idea in the first place.

The traditional approach of expecting the agency pitching to have developed the ideas as part of their pitch no longer works. Target audiences are getting smaller as specific needs and wants are getting more and more personalised. The ideas that worked when advertising on TV (and newspapers) were key no longer work because of the diverse spread of communication channels today.

2. Integrating SEO into the business is a good idea

SEO is often considered to be a small tactic within the marketing of a business. It’s therefore of little concern to anyone outside the Marketing department. However, there are a number of ways that, by working together, the whole company can improve performance:

  • Naming of products should consider what the customer will consider to be the key feature(s), helping them to appear when customers search.
  • If marketing collateral is written by different people to the SEO team, they should work together to use complementary language
  • The Sales team can feedback the questions being asked by prospects during sales meetings, so it can be included in content.

3. Answer when your customers ask a question

Are you making it easy for customers to ask questions of you? Also, are you going to where they may be asking the questions? Sites such as Quora give you a great opportunity to identify the questions people want answers to.  You can then answer them on the platform, but more importantly, develop content that will answer the questions and shoot you up the rankings.

4. Look at intent within the sales cycle

Your content should help people throughout the sales cycle.  The content people see on your site when they are first researching a topic should not be the same as when they are actively buying. When aiming to educate through your content, you shouldn’t be selling.

5. Look at People Also Ask

Have you noticed when you type a question into the search bar, there are two things that appear:

  1. Featured snippet: what Google thinks is a very good answer to your question.
  2. People Also Ask: slight variations on the question and an answer to that question.

The People Also Ask section can be a great way of getting to the top of the search rankings,  often much faster than you can get onto page one for the normal rankings.

6. Don’t start a podcast unless you are really interested in the topic

Most podcasters don’t get past Episode 7. This is simply because they lose interest in the topic and that means they won’t do the work needed to produce a podcast that will deliver.

7. There are three key requirements when pitching an idea

If you want a client, or the boss, to authorise a project or campaign, there are three key requirements:

  1. Help them to justify the spend
  2. Prove the impact on the business this will bring
  3. Ensure it makes them look good

The last is almost certainly the result of the first.

8.  Only produce useful promotional merchandise that people will keep using.

As with any conference, every company was giving out goodies. These were either in the conference bag given to you at the door, or were given out when you went to a company’s stand. Which of the two in the header image do you think I will use more?

Which of these SEO lessons are you going to put into practice?

I hope this helps