We like to send our team to BrightonSEO every year to learn new things, meet other incredible people from our industry, and just soak up that geeky atmosphere!

We spent the first day attended training sessions to polish up our skills, learning about advanced technical SEO and paid social media advertising. Now we know even more about the latest trends and best practices for optimising your digital marketing campaigns!

The second day gave us the chance to meet some incredible people from the industry and learn a lot of useful tips and ideas for developing successful marketing strategies. 

Read on for some highlights of what we’ve learned!

The future of search 

This was one of the most engaging and amusing talks of the event for us. I have to say, it was kind of impressive to see Greg Gifford including 92 movie references in his short talk about local SEO and the future of search!

Greg spoke about the evolution of Google’s algorithm and the most important concept in SEO: entities. We all remember when Google used to match keyword to keyword without even understanding the actual content on our websites. Well, that’s not the case anymore!

Machine learning has finally made entity search a reality for Google; instead of relying solely on the content from our websites to determine ranking factors, now Google is using real world signals and offline actions too.

Key takeaways:

  • You need to build your entity and pay attention to how it’s connected to other entities 
  • The ranking will be more about real-world signals that can’t be faked 
  • Mobile search will continue to make local SEO vital for everyone
  • Pay more attention to what’s happening in local search, because that’s where the rest of search is heading 

Implementing psychology in your marketing strategy

This was the subject of a number of talks, but our favourite was delivered by Becky Simms. She talked about how we need to shift our focus from algorithms and bots and concentrate on the humans behind their searches. After all, you don't want to churn out bland content full of targeted keywords; you want to make your content engaging and focus on bringing real value to your readers!

While you shouldn't abandon your keyword research efforts entirely, it's becoming more important to focus on the human element too. Strike a balance between static and dynamic language to make it more descriptive and fun and bring emotion to your content. This will help evoke an emotional response and spark action from your users.

Key takeaways:

  • Google mimics humans better than ever before
  • Be more descriptive and fun to bring emotion to your content and spark an action
  • Think about context of your content and emphasise the impact on the reader
  • Understand your customers' behaviour, how they are thinking, anticipate their needs, and validate with data

Outreach and PR

Building links is not easy and it’s getting harder and harder to stand out from the competition. Charismatic Carrie Rose shared some great advice throughout her talk, showing some creative examples of her outreach emails and providing an insight into a journalist's day-to-day life. For instance, did you know that top-tier journalists receive an incredible 600 emails a day? Carrie shared some useful tips on how to stand out amongst this ridiculous number of emails to get some great links out there!

Key takeaways:

  • Building links is getting harder and harder as the industry gets is much more competitive
  • Journalists produce between 6-8 articles a day and receive around 600 emails a day - you need to think like a PR but act like an SEO!
  • Link any assets in the email, keep it short, simple and straight to the point

Cutting through the noise

Another engaging talk was from charming Lukasz Zelezny that revealed his methods on how to boost your SEO strategy and make the most out of a limited range of tools to improve website traffic and increase shares. 

And Sam Marsden from Deepcrawl shared some ideas on how businesses can reduce their dependency on organic search and build a brand that transcends reliance on third parties.

Some of his examples included supporting local charities, organising local events etc. The idea is to lead the way and not just follow your competitors! 

Think about how you show people coming from organic search that you're contributing to the bigger picture.

Key takeaways:

  • Go beyond SEO KPIs and connect your efforts with business impact 
  • Technical and content optimisation will drive growth but that’s just the start of the story
  • As traffic is harder to come by, we need to contribute to building healthy digital properties with strong foundations and less reliance on organic research 

There were so many great speakers this year and the whole conference was very inspiring. We definitely had a lot to talk about on the way back to Norwich! We learned more about the latest trends and picked up some new tricks for our new strategies and tactics too. 

If you would like to learn more about any of these strategies, or how they could boost your digital marketing, get in touch today