Natalie Mott

BrightonSEO 2018 Recap – Part 1 (With Slides)

27th Apr 2018 News, Events 12 minutes to read

The much-anticipated BrightonSEO is back and we’ve got team Koozai on the ground getting as many key takeaways as possible from the best search Marketing conference and training event.

Here’s all you need to know about SEO from sunny Brighton.

What a Search Engine Can Teach You About Product Sitemaps

Vlassios Rizopoulos – Pricesearcher

Vlassios Rizopoulos talked about the vertical search engine, Pricesearcher, and its mission is to give consumers the complete view of all the internet’s prices. This talk saw an analysis of what PriceBot discovered and how you can use this information to help improve the crawlability of your site.

What we learned

Sitemaps Aren’t Being Used Effectively

91% of retailer websites use XML sitemaps. Only 61% of these contain product links, and only 54% sitemaps are regularly updated. That means that a large proportion of all retailers are making it unnecessarily difficult for search engines to discover their content.

Optimise Your Product Titles

Only 17% of retailer websites include the brand name in a product title, a huge missed optimisation opportunity.

Reference Your Sitemap in Robots.txt Files

Only 33% of retailer websites reference their XML sitemap in their robots.txt file, making it harder for the XML sitemap to be discovered by search engines.

Command Line Hacks for SEO

Tom Pool – @cptntommy – Blue Array

Tom explored some quick wins with command line for SEO process efficiency. He delved into the complex world of crawl scheduling, keyword analysis and extracting useful data, all with simple commands.

What we learned

Use Commands for Efficiency

Some useful titbits include combining a large number of files using the CAT command – super useful for combining lots of files from Keyword Planner or server logs. You can even use these commands to identify Googlebot hits in server logs.

There’s a Lot to Learn About Commands

This talk just scratched the surface of what is possible and it would be interesting to see if any of these functions can also be done in Windows.


Using Machine Learning Technology to Build Audience-Led Analytics

Chris Liversidge – @liversidge – Query Click

This session showed us how to leverage machine learning to target channel budgets, influence audience-led analytics and how to drive an impactful multi-channel marketing strategy.

What we learned

Small Customers with Big Impact

A small amount of customers are responsible for meaningful changes in a client’s bottom line


Data First, Never Guess

Data should determine how likely a user is likely to convert.

Take GDPR Seriously

Consider our role as data controllers

Selling Across Search Engines and Multi-Channel

Katherine Khoo – @_kkhoo – iPages eCommerce

Katherine Khoo talked about voice search, micro-search engines and marketplaces, search advertising and how they are no longer limited to Google Adwords and social media.

What we learned

Is Amazon the New Search Engine?

Around half of all product searches now start on Amazon. Buyers treat Amazon as a search engine. However, sellers tend to favour ecommerce websites over an Amazon store.

Know Where Products Sell Best

The best place to sell a product depends on the type of product, e.g. consumer electricals convert better on Amazon and also have a lower CPC than Google Shopping.

Shiny new Keyword Research Tools

Katherine recommended for product keyword research.


A New Era for the Digital Agency

Peter Watson-Wailes – @pwatsonwailes – Tough & Competent

[Slides TBC]

Peter showed us digital marketers how to stay on the front foot with our creative work and to not be outrivalled by the advertising industry, even with marketing budgets going down.

What we learned

Start Fighting for an Ad Budget

Your clients will take you more seriously if you have significant ad budget behind your creative content campaigns.

Foster Creativity

Have your team start doing things that they’ve never done before. Expect to step out of your comfort zone.

Go Big or Go Home

The world doesn’t need another blog post – someone’s probably done it before.


Diving into HTTP2 – A Guide for SEOs

Tom Anthony – @TomAnthonySEO – Distilled

Tom took us through the first major update to the HTTP protocol in 20 years, HTTP/2 and how it can improve site speed.

HTTP2 Can Solve a Lot of Our Problems

Tom introduces us to HTTP & HTTPS – explaining some of the limitations created by the small number of connections that can be opened between browser and server, and the fact that one request can only happen on one connection at a time. HTTP2 solves a lot of these problems and works like a better traffic management system.

HTTP2 is a Quick Performance Win

It can be a quick performance win, too: you can just roll out a CDN like Cloudflare to get the benefits. You can also set it up yourself if you have the right server set up.

There’s a Backup Plan if the Browser Doesn’t Support HTTP2

In terms of implementation – it’s interesting to note that HTTP1.1 & HTTP2 can coexist on the same server – a browser will fall back to http1.1 if it doesn’t support HTTP2 so you have backwards compatibility. This means that moving to HTTP2 is NOT a migration – unlike moving from HTTP to HTTPS. .e.g. you don’t have to change URLs and there are no real SEO risks to doing it.


Beyond Technical SEO: How to Deal with Rankbrain and AI in SEO

François Goube – @francoisgoube Lionel Kappelhoff – @Lionel_KL – OnCrawl

This talk offered informative data and actionable insights to boost your SEO with Rankbrain challenges and the evolution of SERPs.

Stay on Top of Your Crawl Logs

You need to actively manage your crawl logs

Every Human Forms Part of the Algorithm

Everyone is informing part of the algorithm. Always remember the human element. You can’t beat the search engines. Serve interesting straight to the point intent focussed content to search engines.


Diagnosing Common HREFlang Tag Issues on Page and in Sitemaps

Emily Mace – @IAmTheLaserHawk – Oban International

Emily explores what the common issues with HREFlang are and how to diagnose and understand them.

HREFlang is a Must for Multi-Language Websites

Emily gives us an introduction to the world of hreflang tags – which allow you to tell Google and other search engines which country specific pages should be served to. This is really useful, in fact it is an absolute must for websites that operate in multiple countries and languages.

Avoid Common Mistakes

She gives us some common mistakes that websites make such as making sure that you only reference URLs that actually exist, having hreflang tags that don’t match canonicals, and not having multiple HREFLang tag designations for one page. A really key error that people make is using IP serving – this is a big no-no because Google lives in the US. If you are IP serving certain content to Sweden then Google won’t see it at all!

Always Implement Best Practice

After introducing us to the problems, she explains how you can identify the problems. While Google can spot errors and fix them for you, it’s important to remember that Google isn’t the only search engine and it’s your responsibility to make sure things are implemented to best practice! Ranking tools are actually great for diagnosing problems – you can see what is ranking and where – is it the right URL for that region that is ranking? You can also use these tools to see who your main competitors are – if your main competitor is your own website from another region then you might have a problem! Finally, Google analytics can be used to make sure that traffic is coming from the right places.

Don’t Forget

For eCommerce site you can use SKU codes for automatic mapping of URLs!


10 Things Your Customers Hate About You

Raj Nijjer – @RajNijjer – Yotpo

[Slides TBC]

Raj offers insight on how to use machine learning to gather insights about where we should be focusing our time and resource when it comes to eCommerce shoppers.

Evaluate the Content of a Review

Most customer reviews given are actually 4 stars or more. But according to Yotpo “that doesn’t matter”. It may give an impression of your business doing well, however the real data is within the text in the review itself.

Most Commonly Used Terms

The words that feature most frequently in product reviews are quality, service, fit, delivery and product. These are the topics that consumers are most concerned about (plus “smell” and “husband”!)

The Most Hated and Most Loved Sub Industries are

The ‘most hated’ sub industries are health food, office supplies, haircare, swimwear, lingerie. The ‘most loved’ sub industries are gifts, babies, men’s clothing, bath & body, coffee & tea.


Dealing with Tricky Development Resource

James Chapman – @_chappers_ – Banc Media

Expertly standing in for his colleague Charlie Whitworth, James Chapman delivered an in-depth look at how SEO work overlaps with the world of web development and the common roadblocks we all come up against.

Always provide clear and concise SEO recommendations

This may go without saying, but provide technical SEO recommendations across clearly and concisely. Speak the developer’s language wherever possible.

Ask the Right People

Make sure you are dealing with the right personnel on a development project. Some queries may not be for the developer.

Be Up to Date with Client CMS Systems

Learn how the CMS works like the back of your hand. Understand where the limitations may be when asking developers to make certain changes.


How Metrics and Data Driven Advocacy Effectiveness

Steve Rayson – @steverayson Giles Palmer – @gilespalmer – Buzzsumo

This talked explored how to amplify your content and get it seen, as well as why content creators should personally be its biggest advocate.

Social Referrals are Going Down

SEO is increasingly important with the decline in social referrals as people aren’t sharing as much

Get on the Trend Early

As content competition increases, average shares decline, so ensure its exceptionally good content, but get in a on topic early before the trend, or chose a niche topic

Quizzes Don’t Get Links

People don’t link to quizzes, they may share, but no backlinks. Research/stats content is referenced and linked to. Authoritive evergreen content consistently gains shares and links.

Get to Know Your Influencers

Get to know your influencers that you want to share your content, actually get to know them and create content that they would want to share, that works bespoke for their audiences


Predicting Ecommerce Transactions with Machine Learning and GA Data

George Karapalidis – @gkarapalidis – Vertical Leap

George discussed how to create a machine learning model that will predict e-commerce transactions based on historical data and how to use the results of the model to predict future transactions.

Use the Tools in your Arsenal

SEO forecasting doesn’t need to be overly complex. There are ways to complete an accurate SEO forecast just using Google Analytics and Search Console data.

Use Vital Keywords to Focus on Growth

Map the success of your product ranges and categories according to seasonality. Focus on key product ranges / keyword groups to drive growth.

Data is Key

George argued that to succeed in SEO today, it is essential for an SEO to get into the mindset of both a data scientist and a marketer.


How to Unleash the Power of Unique Content

Eleni Cashell – @elenicashell – What University

Learn how to harness the power of unique content to drive organic traffic growth; eleni showed us how with a radical approach.

Content is Still King

Unique, longform content is still “king” and will be rewarded.

Begin with a Content Audit

It’s time to cleanup your content with an audit. Think about who this change will affect. It’s a cliche but people don’t like change. If you don’t gain buy-in from stakeholders early on they may resist and you NEED their input and buy-in when making a big unique content audit change.

Create Content Guidelines

Create guidelines for your unique content strategy, be consistent and stick to your line “we do not accept duplicate content any longer”. Promote your guidelines and be proud of your unique content strategy and the guidelines that go with it, so you can be proud that your site has 100% unique content as these changes will benefit your clients.

The best of the rest

Unfortunately our live bloggers weren’t able to personally view all of the talks at BrightonSEO, as there were more tracks than Koozians in attendance, however all the remaining slide decks from the talks we didn’t see are available to view here:

Out with the Old, in with the Niche: Content for the Moments That Matter

Marcus Tober – @marcustober – Searchmetrics

[Slides TBC]


Facebook Location Structures for Multi-location Brands

David Whatley – @MiShopLocal – MiShop.Local

[Slides TBC]


Harnessing the Power of Facebook Groups

Marie Page – @Marie_Page – The Digiterati

In an era of plummeting reach and engagement for Facebook Pages Groups could be the answer to your social media woes. With average reach of at least 50% easily achievable, Groups are also a natural environment to facilitate that meaningful conversation the recent changes to the Facebook algorithm demands.

But it is rare to see commercial brands experimenting with Groups. In a world where millions are spent on sponsorship Facebook Groups could so easily be viewed as a form of sponsorship around a topic or interest area of relevance to your brand but also super engaging for potential customers.

The presentation outlines tips for selling the idea of a Group in to decision makers including benefits such as genuine customer connection, peer-to-peer customer support, feedback, UX insight and new product development research, brand awareness and preference as well as under-the-radar selling whilst positioning you as the go-to expert in your field.

Marie also shares some workarounds on how to promote a Group via Facebook ads.

Features currently rolling out for Groups include personalisation of colour theme, post topics (tags), announcements (x10 pinned posts) and clearly prominence of rules.

Full script and video here

Amplify your content with Facebook ads

Gavin Bell – @MrGavinBell

[Slides TBC]


Read more from BrightonSEO 2018 with our roundups: Part 2, Part 3 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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