Search, SEO

10 Key Takeaways from BrightonSEO Sept 2017

Whether you directly work in SEO or you just want the best for your organisation, here are some of our key takeaways from BrightonSEO September 2017.

It’s that time of year again when the Rooster team leave the nest and head for the beautiful town of Brighton for one of the biggest search marketing events in the UK, BrightonSEO.

With our very own search marketing team members Kath Sellwood and Nikki Osborne taking part, we have put together the top 10 things to take away from the latest BrightonSEO event.


SEO is a conversation you should be having with your Audiences, not Google

When it comes to the future of search, it’s important to make informed decisions based on reliable, accurate and up to date information, so why are you basing your business’s future on old search volume from the past? Dan Rowles, CEO of made a very bold statement saying that “you should be listening to the now with social listening.”


Your Social Media should not be ignored

This one is simple, after hearing about case studies as presented by Dan Rowles, CEO of, both successful and not, there was a very clear correlation with how high you rank on Google and your engagement levels on social media. For those case studies who used social to act as part of their SEO strategy, they received a higher volume of traffic and a higher SERP rank, on average.


BrightonSEO 2017


You should be actively working on your Review Strategy

It’s not just social media you should have positive engagement with, Myles Anderson explained that Bright Local found in their 2016 customer review survey that 59% of consumers will look at 2-3 online review sites before a decision is made.

A huge 73% of reviews older than 3 months are not considered relevant for the consumer when it comes to local businesses, this time frame is likely to be larger for national businesses. Top tips for your review strategy is to verbally ask someone to review your business before following up with them by email – you should also focus collecting more reviews for a select few sites.


You’re losing if you’re not Mobile First

We’ve been saying this for a while, and if you don’t take note from us, you might want to listen to Duane Forrester, the man behind Bing Webmaster Outreach. Duane stated that ‘’if mobile isn’t your current number 1 planned for investment, you’re losing”.

This is even more important if you’re a location-based business – where many relevant searches are done on the go: ‘’76% of people who use location search visit a business within one day’’ according to Think with Google 2016. Make sure your next website redesign is a responsive one!


You don’t need a Large Budget to Produce Shareable Content

To create content that will potentially go viral, you don’t need a fancy PR and content budget, says Ben Harrow of Vouchercloud.

Ben discussed some of his most popular content pieces, one of which was simply a graph of the cost of Freddo pieces over the years! Viral content pieces can be as simple as a bit of imagination and running with an idea, even if you think it could be a bit hit and miss. If you don’t have the budget to produce your own market research, you can use public data and get your in-house graphic designer to design your chart or infographic.


HTTPS is the new normal

Duane Forrester continues to add that “HTTPS will be the next mobile shift focus’’ and is expected, rather than optional.

There is no inherent reward for being HTTPS now, though Google’s Gary Illyes stressed the importance of treating the move to HTTPS and a website redesign as separate tasks, rather than at the same time in order to reduce the level of fluctuation to your SEO while you are making these changes. Be sure to seek expert advice about the move from HTTP to HTTPS – this is not something you want to mess up!


Keyword Research is about Triggers

Stacey Macnaught from Tecmark highlighted the importance that understanding your audience’s involves more than just using Google Keyword Planner, “it’s about mapping their journey and what makes them click, react or engage. These are called triggers”. These triggers need to be discovered through surveys and market research which can be used to inform remarketing lists for an effective campaign.


With Databases and Servers, less is more

One of the main takeaways for our Technical SEO guru Kath Sellwood is that if your database or server is slow, after being clogged up with mass amount of unnecessary images, PDFs and files, your whole website will be slow. Peter Nikolow explained by targeting and deep cleaning your database and server, you will see immediate results within SERP’s.


Google Hosting is the future

This is one of the topics that came up again, and again. Peter Nikolow expressed that SEOs should start looking to host with Google if your server isn’t performing as well as it could and it’s been suggested that you will receive a rankings boost.


Match your intents to Templates and Pages

Dominic Woodman, a consultant for Distilled explained that when undergoing a new website build and design, one thing that is often overlooked is the sitemap. The sitemap outlines the pages, topics and structure of your website. Have you ever taken a step back and thought how can I make my information architecture better? Probably not.

At BrightonSEO, Dominic recommended that you should be streamlining your content at sitemap level to understand your customer journey even before you start designing your website – make sure to work with a web design agency that understands this!


BrightonSEO September 2017

The September 2017 BrightonSEO focused on getting us to think differently when it comes to search marketing. It was a great event to attend and got us thinking about search marketing in the future and how strategies will adapt to the next breakthrough. You can see the full BrightonSEO September 2017 presentations here. We are most certainly looking forward to next year!

If you would like to talk to us about some of the takeaways in this blog post or would like to speak to our SEO team about your project, please contact us.