Key takeaways from BrightonSEO 2020 – Part 1

We look forward to Brighton SEO every year, and despite this year being less than conventional (to say the least), we had a great time and learnt so much!

This year’s conference was delivered in pre-recorded videos that could be accessed with an e-ticket. Despite this year being a little different, the level of specialist advice did not disappoint. Below we’ve mentioned some of our favourite pieces of information, strategy and insights from some of the talks of this year’s Brighton SEO.

Reducing the speed impact of 3rd party tags – Andy Davies

Our key takeaways from Andy’s insightful talk is to be aware that, the faster the experience on the site, the more engaged users will be. You can achieve this by evaluating the use of third party tags that your site currently uses. Are there any tags that have duplicate purposes, that could be consolidated into one?

By digging deeper into the likes of Google Tag Manager, and revising the default settings, you can customise when you want a tag to load in the user’s journey. For example, does it need to load before the rest of the page to benefit the user’s journey? Can it be loaded at a later stage due to its purpose?

Competitor Analysis (from a technical perspective) – Niki Mosier

We learnt so many great things from this extremely valuable tlak form Niki Mosier. For example, compare and research what competitors are showing up for on mobile and desktop SERPS as these can differ. Crawling competitor sites with Screaming Frog was another great take away. You can look for weaknesses and strengths within their data, which you can capitalize on. It’s important to be aware of what schema competitors are using as well as not using, this could again discover untapped opportunities. When doing competitor research, 3-5 competitors is a good sample size. Any more and it can become hard to look for opportunities.

In regards to page seed, one second can decrease conversion rate by a whopping 70%!. Another key insight; CMS is not always something we think about from a technical perspective when undertaking competitor analysis, but it can make a big difference to performance. Looking at which CMS a competitor is using, and having that knowledge, can be very useful. For example if a client is thinking about migrating away from WP (who have some sort of partnership with google), and all competitors use wp – that change could potentially negatively impact them, so it’s definitely worth bearing in mind.

It’s ok to fail – Dom Hodgson

We really enjoyed this light-hearted talk and found some great take-aways, especially for internal purposes. We learn that you have to provide value & keep it simple, don’t convolute your message by trying to say too much or by overcomplicating user journeys on websites. What has worked once might not work the next time, make sure you’re being proactive with your ideas. Don’t rely on old success to repeat themselves. Where possible, communicate with more senior team members, what a junior member may see as a priority might not align in terms of the overall client or internal goals. And, above all, there will always be learnings that you can take from any failures. There are simply some things that we aren’t going to get right unless we fail sometimes, and that’s ok.

Punching Above Your Weight: From Almost Nowhere, to Beating the Big Names – Natalie Arney 

Our key takeaway is; don’t be afraid of going back to basics! A website should have great content, be crawlable and indexable, have a good structure and be easy to use and navigate. It should also have good branding, clear calls to action, trust signals and great speed.

Proving your SEO activity is paying off – Helen Pollitt

Make sure you know what success is for your business or client, ensure you are checking the right metrics and monitoring changes to your tracking.

Consider what external factors could be affecting organic traffic. Isolate other factors, check if there have been any unexpected results (e.g. from a paid brand campaign), go granular, build your theory, and eliminate false assumptions. We also learnt to be systematic with your analysis. Be imaginative as you may need to think outside the box, and most importantly be sure!

The CMO’s Digital Dilemma – Douglas Bell

Our key takeaways were; don’t rush to compete in segments that appear to be lucrative at first glance. And to prioritise workflow and tasks based on ROI, short and long-term, whatever they may be. SEO wins in aggregate, clients should invest wisely and spread their bets over multiple keyword topic areas. Don’t just focus on one topic or category.

As always there were some amazing speakers at this year’s event. So much to dive into, discuss and think about in regards to implementing this valuable knowledge into our everyday work. We can’t wait to start implementing these methods into our strategies and to begin seeing great results for our clients!

Written by Tom Neale

SEO Executive