Natalie Mott

BrightonSEO 2018 Recap – Part 3 (With Slides)

27th Apr 2018 News, Events 10 minutes to read

By now, you’ve probably seen part 1 and part 2 of our BrightonSEO 2018 roundups and are knee deep in search marketing presentations. Well, we’ve got part 3 from the Koozians on the ground in Brighton (don’t forget to check out part 4), taking in as much information from the digital marketing conference as they can to pass on to you.

Without further ado, here is Koozai’s recap on BrightonSEO 2018 part 3 of 4, with slides:

Reporting without Google Analytics

Nicole Bullock – @_nicolebullock – Nicole Bullock Digital

Nicole’s talk focuses on how to report thoroughly without using Analytics. In this interesting presentation, Nicole covers how to use tools and use SEO in a human-to-human way.

What we learned

Use Google Search Console

Something we’re likely all au fait with, but Nicole talks about how to turn these stats into a story, using mobile queries, desktop queries, top mobile pages and top desktop pages.

Use Non-SEO Tools to Tell Your SEO Story

If you’re not using tools like Answer the Public, you should be. This tool gives you great insight into the questions people ask in search engines. There’s also Ready.Mobi that can show you the user experience on four different devices.

How to Win Friends and Influence… Influencers

Hannah Butcher – @hannahfbutcher

Hannah shared a number of stories of influencers having the power to damage brand reputation, or rather, allowing brands to damage their own reputation.

What we learned

Never Underestimate Bloggers and Influencers

Brands must not underestimate the power that bloggers and influencers wield. There are countless examples of brand representatives being rude to bloggers and social media influencers, damaging the brand’s reputation in the process.

Make Connections and Build Relationship

Make the most of the connections that influencers hold. Building a relationship with one influencer can lead to their connections approaching you to help promote your campaign.

Pitch in a Clear, Concise and Upfront Way

If you are agency-side, be clear with this in your pitch emails to bloggers, to differentiate your pitches from others.

Featured Snippets: From Then to Note, Volatility, and Voice Search

Rob Bucci – @STATrob – Get STAT

Rob explored the opportunities with featured snippets on the SERPs, including taking data to show what they mean to voice search and how they’re set to stay in search.

A PDF download of Rob’s slides is available from

What we learned

Snippets Are on the Increase

Snippets are less volatile than we thought. 69% of snippets showed zero volatility which is great unless you’re trying to find your space… But, there’s still an opportunity with the other 32%. That’s where you should focus.

Local and Snippet Won’t Show at the Same Time

Local and snippet almost never show at the same time. Google sees snippets as not having anything to do with local intent.

Snippets Are a Cornerstone for Voice Search

We’re set the start debating semantics rather than SEO. Here’s a key example: User input: How do I bake a Bundt cake? User correction: How long does that take? Google correction: How long does a Bundt cake take to make? This will change the way we do keyword research.

Black Friday to iPhones – How to Rank for Big Terms on Big Days

Sam Robson – @Sam_Robson – Future Plc

Sam offered tangible methods and techniques on how to dominate major news events and capitalise on the increase in keyword mentions.

[Slides TBC]


What we learned

Audit Your Content

A friendly reminder to tidy up pages you are not looking at, are probably not the ones search engines are having a problem with.

Search Volume Doesn’t Always Know Best

Search volume is not the best judge of what keywords you should target. For instance, at TechRadar their preferred Black Friday ranking was long tail… rather than outright Black Friday, as they saw that it drove more revenue.

Consider Ranking Factors as you Optimise

If you are operating the users best interest. You will most likely see an improvement as updates come through automatically! That’s what we preach at Koozai!

Site-Speed for In-House Marketers: Creating a Culture of Performance

Maria Camanes Fores – @mariacamanes – Builtvisible

In this talk, Maria cited how site speed performance can become a culture of performance, rather than a mundane box ticking exercise. She explained the value and impact to the user and insight on how to improve site speed.

What we learned

Use the Right Tools

Maria shows us some useful tips on how to analyse site-speed, with a particular focus on using the Lighthouse tool – this can do things like showing you how long each request takes

Educate and Empower Your Team

Maria talks about the importance of education for the rest of your team, to ensure that they are empowered to help improve site speed. Creating benchmarks and guidelines as well as having regular meetings and training sessions are key actions that you can do.

Measure your Performance and Acknowledge Success

Site-speed is a never-ending endeavour – maintain expertise, continue to measure performance, keep working on it, and continue to celebrate successes.

Big Links for £0

Laura Hogan – @lauralouise90 – Rice Media

Great presentation from Laura on boosting your digital PR and outreach with a fast paced talk and lots of Peaky Blinders references.

What we learned

Set Up Alerts

Unlinked brand mentions, simply set up Google Alerts and Talkwalker Alerts.

Newsjacking for Positive Events

Journo request on tweetdeck is all about the speed of turnaround #journorequest #prrequest #bloggerrequest. With newsjacking only stick to positive events – Oreo is the kings of this

Use Freedom of Information (FOI) Requests

FOI (freedom of information) requests – this is really good for stats releases – request info from public services, but it can take up to two months to turn around, so plan these campaigns ahead.

Always Remember that PR Needs a Story

PR needs a good story – local press will promote anniversaries and talent acquisition, but National press will want something a bit more fun and ‘out there’ to break through the noise.

Digital PR on a Budget: How to Get Awesome Press Links for SMEs

Corinne Card – @fullstoryUK – Full Story Media

Corinne explained how businesses don’t need to spend thousands on their PR to get great press with an insightful talk offering specific strategies for SMEs working on a tight budget.

What we learned

Always Consider Imagery

One thing that journalists want (that many marketers forget) is photographs.

Curate Journo Requests Using Online Tools

Corinne recommends using Response Source or Journo Link to easily view all the latest journalist requests for stories.

Stay One Step Ahead of the Competition

One way to get ahead of the competition is to provide stories that predict the future.

Appeal to a Broad Audience

Appeal to communities to give your stories further reach.

A Universal Strategy for Answer Engine Optimisation (Beyond Position 0)

Jason Barnard – @Jasonmbarnard – Jason Barnard Consultancy

An interesting talk on understanding answer engine optimisation, Jason discussed brands and brand identity and convincing Google that their brand is the answer for the users’ query.

What we learned

Machine Learning is Paving the Way

Google algorithm is comprised of supervised, unsupervised & semi-supervised machine learning. Only so much of this can be supervised. There isn’t enough data in the world for search engines to use without the machine learning aspect. They have to teach machines to learn.

Only 40% of Related Answers Rank for the Results

60% of the answers in the related answer box do not rank for the actual result! This is another big pointer to voice search guided keyword research.

Think Like a Search Engine

Always search your brand and reviews. Have a look and consider that that’s what search engines think about you. Pick four review platforms and work hard at them.

A Universal Strategy for Answer Engine Optimisation (Beyond Position 0)

Greg Gifford – @GregGifford – Dealer On

Great Local link building presentation with engaging movie images for every slide, what more could you want.

What we learned

Ask the Right Questions for Local Link Building

Local link building is about asking the right questions when you onboard a new client, you’ll find a lot of clean-up opportunities (it’s already happened, you’re just linking the unlinked menus.

Look to Local Clubs and Communities

It’s quite easy to get links locally, lots of ways you can through looking at what events/clubs that you provide sponsorship for (local football team etc). Local clubs and organisations – would they be interested in your product/service? Council sites – add to the events section and list your event with a link – high DA.

Offer Discounts

Offer an exclusive discount code for your service for that organisation/area.

Analyse Your Competitors

What do competitors have that you don’t have? If they’re linking to your competitors then it’s probably easy for you to get a link, too. Although you need unique links to win the algorithm, so if you have the link too, it’s no longer a unique link for your competitor!

Look Further Afield

Look at similar businesses in OTHER cities – so you’re not stuck in a bubble.

Web Performance Madness: Critical Rendering Path Optimisation

Bastian Grimm – @basgr – Peak Ace AG

Bastian’s talk gave insight into how to make your website work as fast as possible with a particular focus on content above the fold.

What we learned

Consider Different Stages to Load Time

It’s important to think about the different stages to load time. You can use the profiling tool within Chrome to see when different elements load:

  • Time to first paint – this doesn’t load anything useful, but it tells the user that something is happening and helps reduce bounces
  • Time to first contentful paint: When content starts showing up
  • Time to first meaningful paint: This is the really important one, and is when your above—the-fold hero content (the content the user is probably there for) loads.

How to Optimise Above-the-Fold Content

So how can we optimise so that above-the-fold content as quickly as possible? Bastian points out that Google doesn’t use style sheet information on its own website and this actually helps to reduce load times. However, is not practical for most websites. An interesting technique is to ensure that critical information is in the HTML, and below-the-fold is in style-sheets. He mentioned a tool called CriticalCSS to help with this.

Optimise Images

Other important considerations include optimising images – images can take up 50-70% of request time. Bastian cheekily pointed out that even the BrightonSEO homepage has a background image of 1.2MB that could be optimised much better! There are services such as Cloudinary that actually automate this process by serving up the most suitable image format automatically. Also, worth considering is use of custom fonts as this is something else that has to be requested externally, therefore slowing down load times for critical content.

The best of the rest

There were obviously more talks than Koozians at BrightonSEO, as such we weren’t able to review everything,  however all the remaining slide presentations from the talks we didn’t get to watch are available to view here:

Survival 101: Rules for making it as a brands only digital marketer

Rachel Finch – @RealRachelFinch – SiteVisibility

[Slides TBC]

SEO in a corporate environment

Liraz Postan – @Rliraz – Outbrain

Flexible Sampling: now, then and next

Taneth Evans – @TanethAutumn – The Times

[Slides TBC]


Finding Prospects by Scraping the News

Jason Dilworth – @JasonDilworth56 – TheMarketingEye

[Slides TBC]


Speed metrics in context of the UK Top 5,000 websites

Nichola Stott – @NicholaStott – Erudite


The PPC Automation Revolution is Coming

Arianne Donoghue – @ArianneDonoghue – Epiphany

Combining PPC and SEO strategies to improve CPC averages and save money with your ad budget

Ryan Bertollini – @RyanBertollini – CDKGlobal

[Slides TBC]


Looking for other BrightonSEO slides? They could be in one of our other roundups: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 4.

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Natalie Mott

Natalie is the type of person that you want on your pub quiz team, particularly if it’s music-related, as not only is she fanatical about 80s and 90s pop, she studied popular music at degree level. *Frantically searches for karaoke machine*. She’s also into maps – which is handy, considering how much she likes to travel and hike.

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