Tom Howlett

BrightonSEO Write Up – Part 2 #BrightonSEO

14th Sep 2012 News, Events 4 minutes to read

With the morning session complete (read more here), we had a full afternoon of talks, events and discussions ahead of us. Here is a a brief round-up of all that happened in the afternoon session at BrightonSEO.

How to be a better SEO

Richard Baxter @richardbaxter | Founder, SEOGadget

Richard started by mentioning that he was given a chance to talk about something that he rarely gets to talk about with others. So this presentation gave him the chance to share some insight into what he thinks makes a great SEO.

There is a common passion amongst most SEOs. A passion for their work and the industry, this makes them a great bunch to work with and there is an air of creativity that makes it a really interesting industry to be involved with.

SEO, by its very nature, takes a long time to master; it led Richard to question what makes a good SEO beyond the technical skills they may already have. Here are some key takeaways:

Set goals – it is good to set goals as an SEO and have a clear idea what you want to achieve from working in the industry.

If you don’t love your work, it’s not finished. You should always be happy with what you have created and what you are sending to external parties.

How to communicate to your clients and how to communicate simply. You should be confident in your work and confident in ensuring clients understand what you are trying to do.

Work on the perception of yourself and your personal knowledge – you can always learn something new.

Try not to just accept the norm and try and push the boundaries of what you do. Try new things and then you may discover better ways of doing something.

Take yourself out your comfort zone and then you will find that you do new things and learn new things

Find a specialism, something that you know well and people will come to you for advice on.

Many of these elements will help you become a better SEO from a client and an internal perspective.

SEO Deliverance

Tony King @toastedteacake | SEO Managing Consultant, Semetrical

This was an interesting talk by Tony King on delivering SEO when working for a large brand.

SEO shouldn’t be a department that is pigeonholed and should work alongside every other department to be successful within larger organisations.

The SEO department should treat themselves as gurus within their field, influencers within the business as a whole.

Tony mentioned a few steps to follow for a streamlined department:

Research – Know the market and competition well, perform extensive keyword research, find out who is consistently doing well in the industry and try and figure out how they are achieving this.

Goals – Figure out the site goals and the ongoing strategy. Build your team around this and utilise the staff efficiently.

Implementation – Implement, review and optimise. The underlying improvement is to improve the ROI and this is something that will develop over time.

Delivery is only the beginning and you should continue to monitor, review and improve the campaign.

Separated by a Common Language

Lynne Murphy @lynneguist | Reader in Linguistics, University of Sussex

Lynne created an interesting presentation that looked into the English language and the American English language in more detail. Commonly the American English language has been viewed as being an adaptation of the British English as we know it today. Though to the likely surprise of many, both languages are correct in their own rights.

American English has many origins, not only from the traditional English language but also Latin. The same as British English in the way it has evolved overtime.

This has led to many criticisms within the online world, separating both communities as either one wants their own identity and occasionally refuses infiltration.

The conclusion was that neither language is original, neither is more correct or should be used over the other. How does this relate to SEO? Well differences in languages should be a consideration when working online and targeting different audiences and locations.

A Decade in Affiliate Marketing

James Little – Partnerships Director, Top Cashback

This was a presentation by James Little who is an experienced affiliate and currently works for Top Cashnack.

Rather than teaching us anything with regards to SEO, it was more of an interesting insight into how affiliate marketing has changed over the years into the established industry today.

Initially this was an industry that was thought of being full of ‘scruffy bedroom types’. This didn’t help their reputation and some major retailers didn’t want them making lots of money from their sales. Any changes from the major retailers usually created a huge backlash from the affiliate community. One that would create lots of bad web content for these retailers.

The affiliate industry started to change in reputation with the introduction of an affiliate conference and affiliate awards. This really bought the industry into the mainstream and it became much more highly regarded as a result.

This was helped with an involvement from the Internet advertising bureau that prevented affiliates from creating false voucher code websites predominantly and scamming user and retailers. This helped build trust within the industry to what it is today.

There has been a huge rise in voucher code websites and cash back websites. These in themselves have become entities by themselves and have evolved into merchants and brands. High profile mergers have happened with well regarded companies like google being involved.

This talk highlighted how far the affiliate industry has evolved and how it has become the healthy and growing industry it is today.

All the talks at Brighton today were interesting in their own way and all help expand the knowledge and creativity that is important for development working in the digital and SEO industries. Thanks to all the speakers at the event.

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