BrightonSEO round up - September 2019
Stacey Cavagnetto

BrightonSEO roundup: A collection of our highlights

17th Sep 2019 News, Events 7 minutes to read

After another successful team trip to brightonSEO, we’ve put together some of our top insights from the day, which we present to you below. From how to make your video captions beautiful and SEO for smaller budgets, through to grabbing (and keeping) the attention of top journalists, here’s Koozai’s journey through September’s brightonSEO…

Small Budget SEO

The cash-strapped marketer’s guide to SEO

Offering up a humorous and witty session to combat the groggy heads at the start of the day, Helen Pollitt discussed the most important steps to make an impact on SEO without the backing of a large budget. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Start with a rigorous assessment of the brand, conducting a content gap analysis, identifying where the business is already excelling and if there are any strengths in current content or SEO.

Step 2: Think about a strategy. It’s best to start small with campaigns or look to optimise one or two webpages on your site. Now’s the time to think outside the box, looking into the right channels for your brand, alongside what your competitor’s do and don’t do.

Step 3: Implementation. Do some serious competitor research, you can even set up a custom search against your competitors to see how you’re ranking in comparison. It’s also good to look into backlinks, what have you earnt against your competitors?

Other useful tips:

  • Sometimes it’s best to ignore best practice as it’s not always right if you’re starting small.
  • Think about optimising your images to aid in searches
  • Make good use of different tools’ free trials
  • Educate the business or client to be SEO first, so everyone is on the same page when it comes to getting links in partnership work.

Content marketing for links: stretching smaller budgets

During Stacey MacNaught’s insightful talk, we were exposed to plenty of hints, tips and advice on how brands without giant budgets can use outreach to build links and get people talking about them.

Tip #1: Focus most on the story of the content rather than the format of the content. Human interest stories are great, so using case studies to add context is favourable. If you need to source a case story, you can use free tools such as ResponseSource and PressPlugs.

Tip #2: Research is essential. Look at trends for when the media start talking about seasonal topics (or your chosen topics) using Google trends, Meltwater (or another social listening tool) and Google news. This will help you identify when and who to speak to. It’s also a good idea to source your target publications’ feature calendars.

Tip #3: Consistent, low-generating content is best, especially if it answers a specific query. Ranking for content around research or reports will help you gain coverage naturally over time, with people looking for sources to cite.

A final thought: “spend more time planning your content – data doesn’t have to come from surveys”!

How to create a sexy AF PR pitch to land sexy AF links no matter your budget or brand

Showcasing examples of some super-successful PR campaigns, Carrie Rose from Rise at Seven powered through a deck of over 100 slides, sharing some fabulous insights into not only how to grab the attention of journalists, but how to ensure your story makes an impact. Here’s some of Carrie’s top tips…

  1. Top journalists receive as many as 600 emails per day from PRs, so it’s getting harder to stand out. This means it’s time to get creative with your pitches and to also target them at just the right time.
  2. It’s all about creating great stories that are easily digestible, ideally with a global or international interest.
  3. Look to create resources which are based on what’s happening in the news now.
  4. Include the terms and conditions within your content so the journalists don’t need to write them up.
  5. Images and videos are more important than ever. You can create basic videos using photography to create an image montage, and you want these to be at least 60 seconds long (the reason being publications start making money at around 30 seconds).
  6. Write your email subject in the same format that the publication you’re targeting would write a headline.
  7. Never add attachments as journalists don’t have the time to open them. Write a short, to the point email followed by the content you want to draw their attention to, ensuring you include any links to pages or assets created for your campaign.

Content SEO

Making captions beautiful (and searchable) to improve video experience

Hosted by experienced speaker Ahmed Khalifa, this entertaining talk discussed how context is key when it comes to video captions. Starting with the basics of clear and concise content, this session developed into further useful tips to help deaf viewers (or anyone watching without sound), with description around types of music and tone of voice being highlighted as important factors.

With some rather humorous examples of where auto-captioning has got it wrong or made some interesting contextual assumptions (I’ve included a couple below), when you consider that captioned videos get more viewing time (Facebook), it’s important to ensure your video captions are on point before upload.


Data-driven remarketing strategies and tactics for every business

Detailing how websites act as a digital salesperson, Amy Bishop’s session discussed how brands should be using audiences to find out more about which users to retarget. Here are some of the main takeaways…

  1. Be smarter with retargeting. Users who visit 1 or 2 pages on your site are less likely to be interested in purchasing, so look for those who are visiting 6 or 7 pages. This group are more invested in your brand, therefore are more likely to convert when retargeted.
  2. Remove less-informed users from your remarketing lists – this will save on budget.
  3. Leverage audience reports in Google Analytics. By creating audiences who’ve been driven from prospecting channels, we can see the number of conversions that have been driven as a result of the interaction with the awareness activity.
  4. Customise ads to be more relevant to the users in these audiences.

Beat the competition with Gmail ads: email-less email marketing

Want to know how you can use Gmail ads to beat your competition? Here are our top learnings from Jacob Tibbott’s advertising session:

  • Very few advertisers consider Gmail ads. This means that there’s relatively low competition and advertisers can benefit from cheap cost per clicks.
  • There are a lot of audiences that can be used to target users. Layering through topics such as life events and interests can help you to reach a more targeted audience.
  • Gmail ads appear in a user’s inbox like a standard email. With email marketing typically boasting some of the highest conversion rates, it’s a no-brainer to add Gmail ads to your paid media channels.

Users first

The future of search is understanding human psychology

Hosted by Becky Simms of Reflect Digital, this talk explained the advantages to SEOs of having a better understanding of what content means for real people.

When you consider that Google is set up to mimic human behaviour and thought processes, it’s important to think about the overall impact of your story alongside the numbers. Ask yourself, what does it mean for real people? Here are some great areas where you can invest your thinking to achieve the above:

  • Being more descriptive, fun and emotive – this will help readers not only to understand but also resonate with your content.
  • Write from the outside in rather than inside out.
  • Use visual, auditory and kinaesthetic language.
  • Balance and context are important – put humans first!
  • Remember that journalists are human too.
  • And last but not least, remember the power of words.

To help you out, they’ve created Rate My Content, which is a super-useful scoring tool. Simply paste your content into the box and it will look at metrics such as level of engagement, selflessness, whether it uses kinaesthetic, visual or auditory language and more.

Reporting Showcase

How marketers miss up to 60% of their conversions – and how to capture them

Focusing on the importance of call tracking, Adam Chapman-Ballard from Mediahawk began his session by identifying the reasons and types of products which are more likely to require a phone call. This was demonstrated using the below graph:

Mediahawk graph at brightonSEO



Although it was recognised that quick-contact services shouldn’t automatically push users to call, when you look into the stats, 60% of mobile users prefer to call to get information about products, and a massive 70% of mobile searchers use click to call, making call tracking a valuable asset to your business.

We hope you’ve found our September 2019 brightonSEO round-up useful for your business. Until next time…

As you’ve made it all the way to the end of this post, here’s a little reward of some main stage entertainment featuring two of our Koozians…

PS If you want the lowdown on what other digital marketing events and conferences are happening across 2019/20, check out this blog post.

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Stacey Cavagnetto

Content & PR Lead

With nearly a decade of experience, Stacey is a talented content marketer with a flair for writing and a passion for driving results for her clients. Having worked with exciting brands like Bandai and Srixon, Stacey is our go-to content guru. In her personal life you’ll find Stacey shooting hoops on the netball court, that is if she’s not binge watching something on Netflix. She likes to keep herself on her toes, whether it’s from 15 years of ballet, or terrifying herself with a horror movie.

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