Brighton SEO 2018

7 Key Learnings from Brighton SEO 2018

Travelling down to to the Brighton SEO conference is a highlight of any SEO professional’s year. For those of you who may have never heard of it before, Brighton SEO is a well-planned, twice yearly search marketing conference and training event, filled with SEO knowledge sharing; SEO software demonstrations; and of course, lots of exciting freebies!

With 5 conference rooms and a total of 22 various events to choose from, there is a lot of knowledge to be gained in such a short space of time. Therefore, I’ve tried exceptionally hard to share with you the top 7 key learnings from Brighton SEO.

1. JavaScript is Bad

In an insightful yet amusing talk by Barry Adams, we were made aware of the many issues that JavaScript can cause for both preventing our SEO efforts from being crawled, as well as the huge negative impact it has on site speed and crawlability.

Brighton SEO Barry Adams

When working on our SEO clients at Clicky Media, our initial technical audits always include making sure that the user is able to access and use the website efficiently with JavaScript disabled. We also check what impact JavaScript is having on website speed and how we can reduce this as much as possible.

2. Internal Site Search is very important

JP Sherman touched upon a common website feature which is often overlooked by marketing professionals. Internal site search is important not only to ensure that your internal site search feature is functioning as it should but to also ensure that this feature is tracked so those insights are gained from what users are commonly searching for on your website.

Good site search is expected, bad site search is remembered.

55% of users will leave a website if they cannot immediately find what they’re looking for.

We have internal search tracking set up for a number of clients, providing us with useful information about what users search for, and whether we need to help users find what they’re looking for at an earlier stage of the user journey.

3. Slow Websites result in less of your website’s pages being crawled

It’s not news to us that slow websites cause a whole string of problems such as low rankings, poor user experience and lower conversions, however, during a talk by Francois Goube we learnt some shocking statistics which provided some light on why slow websites are much less likely to rank.

Slow websites that take more than 2 seconds to load only get 60% of their pages crawled.

This highlights the importance of optimising your site speed. To translate, if you want a page to rank highly on Google search results pages but have an extremely slow website, there’s a chance that Google may not even crawl your web page, meaning that it’s unlikely to rank at all!

4. AMP pages may improve user experience, but are unlikely to improve traffic

This snippet of knowledge was taken from a talk by Patrick Reinhart on the different recommended experiments to test on your website. One of these was AMP, which stands for Mobile-Accelerated-Pages. Whilst this is great for reducing site speed and improving user experience, there hasn’t been any significant impact on website traffic, so an AMP page would only be recommended for goals relating to retaining customers on your website as opposed to improving the levels of traffic that enter.

5. Are good reviews becoming the new top ranking factor?

It’s been a long time since SEOs were able to rank a website highly by paying for a large number of backlinks to their website. However, link building is still seen as one of the most influential ranking factors for building the authority of your website.

Raised in several of Brighton SEO’s conferences, the influence of user-generated content was brought up as the new important factor for any website. A website can be ranked based on both the business’s reputation and the website’s, so keeping those user reviews positive is now key to a successful high ranking website.

Ranking factor Brighton SEO 2018

6. YouTube might be more important than Bing for gaining organic traffic

In an enlightening talk by Luke Sherran, it was announced that YouTube is now the second largest Search Engine. This flags the importance of using YouTube videos to promote your brand and to increase customers.

YouTube’s algorithm does what it can to ensure that the videos which are likely to gain the most views are ranked the highest, so it’s important for digital marketing professionals to create interesting and engaging video content that a wider range of users will be interested in watching.

Brighton SEO 2018

The keynote for Brighton SEO this year was held by Rand Fishkin with queues of SEO enthusiasts trying to approach him for a good selfie! Rand spoke about the future of SEO, including Google’s many features which now integrate website content directly onto the google results page, making  click-through increasingly difficult to achieve.

Rand Fishkin Brighton SEO 2018

The most effective way to benefit from this update is to create content for maps, videos and images, as well as creating high-quality content, working hard to gain featured snippets for question-based keyword terms.

Brighton SEO 2018

Brighton SEO is a fantastic day out, a great way to enhance your existing knowledge and to meet other professionals in the industry. Check out our key SEO tips which we have collated from the event:

  • JavaScript. Where JavaScript is placed in the header, the code can effectively close the header tag underneath where it’s placed. To resolve this – make sure any JavaScript is positioned as low down in the header tag as possible.
  • AMP. Always test AMP on, at most, 10-15 pages of your website first, as opposed to carrying out this change on the entire website so you can monitor the changes
  • User-generated content. Look at which review sites your competitors are getting reviews on, and make sure your business is also getting good reviews on that website.
  • YouTube is your new search engine. The Video’s thumbnail is the most important feature – make sure it looks fantastic
  • SERP features. 61% of Mobile searches now result in no clicks

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Written by Bethany Weatherhead