As SEO people our favourite time of the year is when BrightonSEO roles around, we get to catch up with old friends and our insider knowledge, tips and tricks.
We were lucky to spot a bunch of industry veterans and get their take on the conference, their favourite talks and also their top tips for getting the most out of the conference.
The guys over at Authoritas were good enough to film and live stream the entire event so we have included the full youtube video as well as Ross, our Managing Director, opening up the event as the first talk on the main stage.
Nick Wilson - Vodaphone - @nickwilsdon
♪ [music] ♪- [Ross] All right, we're here with a bunch more SEO industry veterans just asking about their BrightonSEO experience. So guys, you want to introduce yourself to the camera and let us know who you are and what you do? -
[Omi] Yeah, of course. My name is Omi Sido, and I'm the Senior Technical SEO at Canon Europe. - [Nick] Hello, I'm Nick Wildson. Yeah, SEO currently, SEO of Vodafone.
- [Grant] Hi, I am Grant Simmons from homes.com. I head up the Search Strategy department there. - [Gerry] Gerry White, SEO at Just Eat.
- [David] Hi, I'm David Sayce. I'm Digital Marketing Consultant and owner of Paper Gecko. - [Fabrizio] Hi, I'm Fabrizio.
I run SEO at Transferwise. - [Dawn] I'm Dawn Anderson, Move it Marketing. - [Damien] Damien from Ungagged.
- [Andrew] I'm Andrew from at Optimisey. - [Nicholas] Nick Duddy, AKA Data Boy. -
[Milos] I'm Milos from Chili Fruit. - [Katherine] I'm Katherine Khoo from iPages. - [Alex]
So my name is Alex Gopshtein. I'm one of the co-founders of Pitchbox. We're an influencer outreach and a link building platform. - [Jason] Jason Dilworth from The Marketing Eye. -
[Ksenia] Hello, my name is Ksenia. I'm the head of SEMrush Academy. - [Anna] I'm Anna Corbett from Base Creative.
- I have to admit, I really enjoyed Purna Virji's talk. It was absolutely brilliant, you know, it kind of opened everybody's mind about voice search and how voice search is changing SEO.
- I think I totally agree with that. I think we were in the same talk there, and Greg Gifford as well, covering what's potentially happening with voice search in the future. It's great to see what the potential is there and what people should be doing.
- So for us, seeing Martin from Google, was pretty good. He was talking about some of the problems in react sites, and that was great. And also, you never go wrong with like Mike King, iPullRank, and just talking about some of the unit testing that you should do on your development site. So that was great. Also popped into the voice search one and heard a little about that, because I think that's where everything's going.
- Obviously yours.
- Thank you as well.
- Unfortunately, I was listening to Barry.
- You were listening to Barry?
- Barry and Mike. The outstanding part was the bit where he was talking about how we basically need to be more considerate about jobs, grouped our users, and how Google perceives it. It's kind of like that classic problem and the fact that developers, all shiny, SEO guys, yes, but how is it going to work?
- I think Greg Gifford, and local, and voice, they're, you know, really coming together, and how the voice activation with local, which I'm sure Nick knows all about, is, you know, a real sort of up and coming piece of SEO. But as always, it's just basically reassessing all of the old stuff that we know to be true.
- I really liked Izzi Smith's talk. She's from Sixt rent a car, and she did like really practical stuff about how she's going after like featured snippets, and SERPs, and stuff. She had some really good examples of like, you know, where they were ranking below their competitors, like third or fourth on the page, but by doing some really simple stuff, they're getting the featured snippet and their just getting an absolute boatload of traffic.
- I've enjoyed quite a few of the mobile-based ones, the app ones, you know, things to do with mobile.
- I was at D Studio, one upstairs, where I learned about...was it 220 to 200? Which is for building dashboards that work, great concept. Google it.
- Am I allowed to say your talk?
- [inaudible]. Slip you a fiver and be like...
- I'll take the fiver.
- What are you offering, Scotland?
- Ross' talk was very good. I loved Arianne Donoghue's one. It was just very good, very very good.
- I mainly come here for lunch. Drinking beer and spending time with these guys, but yeah, Ross' was very good.
- I liked the technical SEO talks this morning. Mike King's was really good. So yeah, that's probably my favorite.
- I liked most Izzi Smith report. I love Greg Gifford's report. I like your report.
- Thank you. Your check's in the mail for that one. I appreciate that. ♪ [music] ♪- To be honest with you, I'm really interested in voice search, whatever people say. I know it's a cliche, right?
But it's coming. It's definitely coming, and it's definitely changing the way we think about SEO, because nowadays it's not about the search engines. It's more about the actual customer, the person who comes to our website.
- I think that's totally...it's the intent, it goes back to searcher intent. I think as well it's trying to break some of the bad habits that, you know, we used to have. We got into the keyword stuff and all the rest of it trying to break the Google algorithms. But now, it goes back to a human to human interaction, which I think is great.
- And revenue, which is...
- And revenue as well.
- ...the most important part. Because visits without revenue, don't talk to me.
- A lot of people are just complaining about link building being so difficult, and what can we do to help? So that's what...I know this is not a Pitchbox pitch, but Pitchbox is a pitch box. Sorry for that. But yeah, I mean, a lot of people are struggling with link building, and they want to be able to scale that and create better processes around it.
- So how did your talk go today? -Well, I think you have to leave that in the hands of the people that stayed there, but they did stay. So I think it was a good start. We had 400 people there, and it went very well, got a few tweets. It was received quite nicely, and I had a few nice compliments afterwards, so all good, yes. What I did is essentially talk about how Batman always has a great utility belt he can pull out, almost any tool you need, and how SEO folks should have exactly the same thing, so a tool kit.
And this was specifically about position zero, so when you're looking for that top result in Google and in voice search. How can you get there and what kind of tools help you get there?
- It's the process and the scalabilty, kind of they go hand in hand really. If you have a process, you're able to scale. So people are looking for better processes. How do they put things together? What goes after what? What are some of the steps they have to take in order to see more success? And scalability obviously comes right after you have a process, organized process implemented.
- I'm definitely looking forward to seeing Rand, who essentially was yelling that Google are liars earlier this morning.
- Oh, wow.
- So that was good. So I'm looking forward to that, and of course the after-party. It's where you kind of remember all the people you've met for the last two days, so that's going to be fun. And then the weekend, just enjoying the parents.
- Fantastic, and if anyone out there wants to learn a little bit more about you or what you do, where should they go to find that?
- Sure, so you can find me on Twitter @simmonet, that's S-I-M-M-O-N-E-T, and on LinkedIn, also under simmonet, and homes.com. If anyone wants to ping me, you can get me at [email protected]
- There's a good amount of variety that's happening. There's people that have done, you know, link building that's around content. They believe in it, you know, content-focused, but some content definitely still works. Whether, you know, guest posting or data studies. I've seen, in terms of, you know, to answer your question, is where does it go?
I see a lot of people doing data studies and then writing content around it, and then trying to gain some visibility for that type of content. That works really well. PR side of things, and I think that you promote that as well, you know, targeting journalists and in the PR way. I've seen some great campaigns around that, and I think there's some future for that as well.
♪ [music] ♪- You need to get in quick, get your ticket. You need to download the app. You need to see who's on, what's happening. You need to have an element of planning your day as well. And I'd probably definitely recommend, if you can, stop down in Brighton, if you don't live locally, enjoy the pre-party, the after-party, and just network, get to meet people.
It's a great, great place to meet people. It really is.
- Don't forget your badge. Turn up on time, because the queue is always massive, and move around a lot. There's lots, there's a massive venue, and there's loads of different talks. Don't like kind of get stuck on Auditorium 1 because it's the biggest one. There's some really cool talks in some of the smaller rooms, from people you might not have heard of, but they've got really cool stuff to share.
- Don't plan on doing anything that requires data or wifi, because there is none.
- That's true.
- Fair, fair comment.
- I would focus on a few people, literally two, three, or four maybe. Tweet them before Brighton and then make sure that you're going to speak with them, and have a like meaningful conversation, more than like half an hour, if that's possible. Get a card and then, you know, stick to these contacts.
- Plan some questions in advance on the subjects that you're looking at, so that you don't have that awkward silence.
- Well, I never do it, but you should.
- I guess, don't be afraid to just randomly introduce yourself to people and just make friends.