It was my first time ever visiting beautiful Brighton, England. First time ever-ever attending BrightonSEO, the largest Search Marketing conference in the UK, attended by more than 3500 professional marketers from all around the world. But most importantly, it was my first time ever-ever-ever speaking at such an amazing conference – and I’m honored to share an overview with you.
BrightonSEO began in a room above a small pub. Then, it was a simple get together of SEO and search marketing professionals… and throughout the years it just got BIGGER. Bigger venue, bigger expos, tons of super-professional speakers and online marketers who are willing to travel from half a world away to take their seat in Brighton.
This year, the conference was held on Friday, April 27th. Here’s my recap of some of the most interesting sessions and takeaways:
Marcus Tober- Out with the Old, In with the Niche: Content for the Moments that Matter
Schema use is different from one industry to another. It is clear that each industry uses many schemas, rather than divorcing old ones and dating just one. We also see different niche use of videos in different industries. Some strategies to help you get started:
- Specialization in your niche is super important. You can’t be relevant to everyone. Marcus gave a nice example of about.com. They’ve rebranded their content with different domains and managed to survive with visuals, appealing content, and by serving the user’s intent.
- Update your content – create longer text, and more schema. Don’t necessarily focus on new content.
- Remove content – don’t be afraid to delete content you have. Removing some content can help bots and crawlers reach the newer content much faster.
Eleni Cashell- How to Unleash the Power of Unique Content
“29% of all web content is duplicated… you may have it on a deeper niche on your site – but you’ve got it.”
- Long content, which is both unique and valuable, is the most rewarding content you should have on your site. If you use PRs/Product descriptions/freelancers or guest posts – these are all techniques that might mean you end up with duplicate content.
- Always use canonical tags. Make them your best friend.
- You can identify duplicate content through google.com/copysacape/search operators. Clean up all the duplicate content, and find the troublemaker content pieces, Assemble your team: SEO, Sales, content and anybody who can be your POC for reaching “content duplicators” you are working with.
Steve Rayson & Giles Palmer- How Metrics and Data Drive Content Effectiveness
BuzzSumo shared its content trends report for 2018. Here are some great takeaways:
- Social sharing is going down, and even getting backlinks from a blogger to link to your content is getting pretty tough.
- We do see a rise in private sharing and on dark social.
- You can’t rely on FB traffic anymore, so start promoting and pushing your content.
Due to the recent changes in social media, SEO is starting to become the focus, more and more.
Fili Wiese – Optimizing for Search Bots:
Here are just some of the key points I picked up in this info-packed presentation:
- Google Bot is very conservative – it doesn’t want to break your website. So once it runs with some crawl issues, it just stops or slows down.
- JS Rendering – not 100 %, but they are improving, and we should credit them for their efforts.
- Google has started crawling your site randomly so you’ll notice not all URLs will be crawled at any time, or equally. Links help Google decide which content is best to start the crawl from.
- Internal linking should be optimized; not linking to redirects or different anchors for the same pages.
- Noindex all pages you don’t want Google to index for you. Keep auditing to find these bad pages.
- HTTPS: Going forward, try to improve your SEO signals first before you migrate, and Google can re-crawl your entire website before the migration – which is a super interesting opportunity.
- Mobile First and AMP: More than ever, we need to optimize the code on mobile as well: schema, hreflang, amp, canonicals etc.
Alexis K Sanders- Advanced and Practical Structured Data with schema.org
Alexis gave a super technical and fascinating presentation about microdata JASON. Schema markup is basically helping Google better understand your content and your page structure.
Sam Marsden: Cut the Crap, Running Content Audits with Crawlers.
Sam from DeepCrawl explained how you can create a content audit with DeepCrawl software using all data controls you can add via the tool. At the very end, you should be left with pages that perform best on your site, and which you’d like to keep. All the rest of the pages can usually be taken down – either update and rewrite or remove completely combine or convert.
Here’s a really interesting point: Readers are more likely to have time on weekends to consume content, so you might want to publish your content during the weekends and test how it works for you.
Working with SEO In-House:
I had the pleasure to speak about my own 10 years of SEO experience working with various of corporate companies – check out my slides here.
The most interesting part of the day was Aleyda Solis talking with John Mueller about search.
John spoke about mobile-first indexation and whether B2B companies, which have less mobile traffic, need to invest time optimizing for mobile. John’s answer was a definitive “Yes”, you must optimize your mobile experience. It’s a classic chicken-egg scenario: until you have a proper mobile UX, you won’t gain mobile traffic.
SEMrush did a really amazing job (as always!!), having most of the takeaways in one fantastic SlideShare. Check this out:
SEO will never die. It’s just getting stronger and smarter and is one of the main cores of the digital marketing specs. BrightonSEO is definitely worth the trip. Looking forward to next year!