Inspiration

Our top takeaways from BrightonSEO 2022

Author: Iveta Osobová
13 minutes of reading
27. 4. 2022
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What is our favorite thing about April? BrightonSEO! 

BrightonSEO is one of the biggest events for search marketers in the world. Whether you preferred the event in person or digitally like us, one thing is for certain: the knowledge and inspiration you get from the event can’t be underestimated.

Read on for a handful of our key takeaways.

Aleyda Solis - Goodbye SEO F*ck ups! Learn to set an SEO Quality Assurance Framework

“85% of SEOs have had at least one moderate-to-high SEO incident last year.” 

Aleyda shared a lot of actionable tips and strategies to learn how to set an SEO Quality Framework and avoid SEO errors that can cost you a fortune:

  1. Education of your team is fundamental to prevent SEO mistakes. Create technical SEO best practices that you can easily refer to.  
  2. Validation should happen regularly, not only after a release. Assumption is the mother of all mistakes!
    You should never assume anything. Instead, set a release validation workflow with your team and create checklists to validate your work. Don’t forget to also take into consideration “what-ifs” scenarios to establish clear actions with relevant team members if any incident arises.
  3. Monitor to catch the errors quickly. Monitor critical URLs of each type with your own criteria to be alerted. 

Slides: 

Goodbye SEO fck ups! Learn to set an SEO Quality Assurance Framework from Aleyda Solís

Mordy Oberstein  - The Full Scoop on Google's Title Rewrites 

Google understands the intent behind a query so well, it can rewrite our titles to target the right audience. 

It is no news that Google is rewriting title tags, but why is it now pushing for the rewrite and what titles is Google changing? Mordy presented some key SERP data to look at Google’s title rewrites in more detail. 

The presented data showed that Google is changing titles in order to:

  • Provide deeper geo-targeting
  • Add branded YMYL titles 
  • Present useful info first and move less descriptive elements to the end
  • Avoid keyword stuffing 
  • Get rid of marketing schlock 

Key takeaway:

  • Title rewrites have little to do with the ranking position, the device you’re using, the length of your title, the length of your keywords or intent.

Slides: 

The Full Scoop on Google's Title Rewrites from Mordy Oberstein

Greg Gifford - Freddy Krueger's Guide to Scary Good Reporting 

“The most important factor for success is knowing what to show in your report. It should speak to the solution that you are providing for the client.“

If you’ve heard a Greg Gifford talk before, you’ll know it never disappoints. Greg pointed out how SEO reports are bad because we keep sharing pointless information and not connecting anything to the client’s business goals.

Key takeaways:

  • Your client has come to you with a problem they can’t solve. You are the solution to that problem so your report needs to reflect that. 
  • The best reports tell a story with the data. Presentation and layout are important too. Simplicity is key. 
  • Get rid of bad reporting points like bounce rates, time on site, pages per visit, percentage of new users, work completed last month, or geo grids. 
  • If you deliver better reports that tell a better story, you will have happier clients. Happy clients stick around longer, which means you win. 

Benu Aggarwal - Entity Search: Your Competitive Advantage

“Building a strong entity strategy with entity optimization in mind is key to nudge ahead of your competition.”

In this talk, Benu shared why entity search matters and why implementing schemas is so important to improve your search visibility. As the online world gets more competitive and congested, getting found on relevant searches is a challenge for all of us. Using schema markups strengthens entities for better visibility to be discovered. Searches are moving from keywords to conversations. And as a business, you need to understand who are your customers and what they are looking for. Your content strategy needs to be aligned with your customer's intent to succeed. 

Key takeaways:

  • Building a strong entity strategy means more context for search engines, robust content, and increased visibility in search for relevant queries.
  • Using FAQ schema on your site can increase your visibility and website traffic in a big way.
  • When creating content, think about the following: topics (what), intent (why) and entities (how).  

Slides: https://www.milestoneinternet.com/entity-optimization

Nate Burke - Diginius presents: Everything you need to know about DuckDuckGo, privacy and the future of search

Nate Burke discussed the background and rise of DuckDuckGo and share useful tips on how we can take advantage as search marketers. 

Google Chrome is the only search engine that tracks everything we do and it links all the data it collects to user identities. DuckDuckGo gives us privacy by default and it processes about 1,000 million searches a day. There are no cookies used by default and no IP addresses are stored. It is currently the sixth biggest search engine globally and it keeps rapidly growing. 

Data linked to youImage source: https://twitter.com/ukzak/status/1373237658336567298

How to optimize your site for DuckDuckGo?

  • Get quality backlinks
  • Create engaging content
  • Submit your site to other search engines (like Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex). 
  • Submit your !Bang 
  • Use structured data 

TIP: DuckDuckGo uses Apple Maps by default. Local searches are much less precise as the search engine doesn’t focus as much on data, it’s more of a broader search engine. Make sure you optimize your listings well on Apple maps and follow Google indexing rules in general.  

Slides: https://www.slideshare.net/NateBurke1/diginius-duckduckgo-privacy-and-the-future-of-search-251335257 

Claire Carlile - Beyond the Basics - 5 (or 10) Google Business Profile elements you might not know about but REALLY should

Claire Carlile shared five main reasons why “set it and forget it” isn’t an option for your Google Business Profile. 

  1. Changes in the way the local SERP looks
    Make sure you monitor the SERP landscape across different devices and locations to see how your and competitors’ profiles look, and what new features are pulled in SERPs.
     
  2. Changes in the way buyers search and make choices
    Mobile devices generate over 50% of global website traffic. We use them to answer questions when we want to know, go, do and buy. However, world events influence the phrases we use as well. During the pandemic, we searched more often to see what businesses are open and what products they have in stock.

    TIP: You can now edit your business profile directly in SERP. The “Follow” button will retire later this year.
     
  3. Reviews.
    Only 48% of consumers would consider using a business with fewer than 4 stars. Google Business Profile serves review snippets as the first thing when someone visits your profile. What words would you like people to use in their reviews? Don’t forget to be those things!
     
  4. Images.
    60% of consumers said local search results with good images pushed them towards a decision. However, user-generated content can also harm your business pretty badly. Google now encourages users to upload images from their recent visits. And for this reason, you really need to actively monitor customer-uploaded images.
     
  5. Justifications.
    A local justification is an extra snippet of text Google can display on listings. It helps justify why the business is showing up for that search. There are different types of justifications such as reviews, website, GBP posts, offer posts, or services.    

Slides and more information about optimizing your Google Business Profile elements can be found here: https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/5-gbp-elements/

Lidia Infante - SEO gap analysis: Use your competitors' data to drive strategic growth 

“Ranking is as easy or as hard as doing better than your competitors. In order to do better than them, you need to know what they are doing!”

Lidia Infante talked about a comprehensive approach to carrying out SEO competitor gap analysis. At first, you should look at the three pillars of SEO (technical, content, and links) and identify what you need to improve first. Find what you are below average at. That’s where you will get results. Then it’s time to start working on your growth plan. 

In order to drive strategic SEO value, you should answer the following questions:   

  1. Who are your competitors?
    Your competitors are trying to save the same problem as you do for your audience. You can cluster your keywords and drill down by topics to identify your partial competitors for different areas. 
     
  2. What are your competitors doing?
    Reverse-engineer your competitors’ SEO strategy and focus on the following metrics:
    Technical - Pagespeed Insights and Core Web Vital scores, manual site checks
    Content - keywords rankings 1-30, estimated traffic (branded vs unbranded), search volume of ranking keywords
    Brand - backlinks and referring domains, link gap, link growth, domain authority, branded traffic, brand search volume, brand positioning 

  3. How can you do it better? Identify your weakness pillar to understand why you are not performing.

Slides: https://www.slideshare.net/LidiaInfante/seo-gap-analysis-by-lidia-infante-brightonseo-april-22 

Becky Simms - Brand vs. SEO: How to win allies and influence brand guardians

“SEO isn’t the only answer. You should put the business needs first.”

Becky Simms shared a lot of actionable tips on how to handle the brand vs SEO conversations with clients to ensure they take the role of SEO in brand reputation more seriously. 

  1. Education is key and it should always be a two-way process; educating the client on SEO and educating your team on brand.
    Use the identifiable person effect when defining a user persona. Rather than focusing on search volume, you should demonstrate the user journey for a specific person. SEO might not be the only answer and you have to ensure you are putting the business needs first to balance what’s the most important for SEO but also for the user.
     
  2. Mind reading is often important to spot issues before they actually become an issue.
    Use the availability bias and keep providing regular training on both sides to keep the knowledge fresh in the heads. The endowment effect describes the tendency to overvalue the things we own, simply because those things are ours. Empower the brand owner to have control and make SEO part of the brand strategy. 
     
  3. Present your case in a cool and calm manner. Make sure you know what you are saying. Think as an SEO and brand owner to take a research-driven approach when presenting your strategy.
     
  4. The art of compromise: You may not always get what you want, and that's ok. Sometimes it’s all about balance.
     
  5. Impact:  Finally, if you managed to have an SEO win, make sure you share it with brand owners and celebrate them together to build better business relationships.  

Learn more about how to win allies and influence brand guardians here: https://www.reflectdigital.co.uk/events/brighton-seo-brand-vs-seo 

Mark Williams-Cook - Effective zero-volume keyword research and why it's important 

Zero click is not a zero click.  People are still clicking on related searches within the SERP to get to their destination which is a better match for intent.

In this talk, Mark explained why Google's algorithm changes mean zero-volume searches are more important now and why ignoring them can lead to bigger problems. 

Intent volume is more useful than search volume. Forecasting on high-volume terms results in strategic fixation. If you say you will get this amount of traffic by ranking for certain phrases, then you are blinding yourself by focusing only on high search volume searches. Very specific searches can be the hardest to get right. But you can take advantage of several tools to identify topics and questions people ask in your niche. 

Key takeaways:

  • Include zero volume in your strategy and forecasting to open all kinds of doors for you.
  • Automate real-time question discovery with tools. 

The search demand curve (again)

Kara Thurkettle - Search in the Metaverse

By 2026, 1 in 4 people will spend at least 1 hour a day in the metaverse.“

Just like we transitioned into optimizing to get found in search engines like Google, we should start analyzing how to get found in the metaverse. The metaverse is more than trending. In 2021, its popularity grew by 7,875%. It’s time for marketers to be in the know and start preparing for what comes next!

What technologies are being used within the metaverse? It's quite expensive to have access to all metaverses that currently exist as they require different technologies.  

  • Augmented reality
  • Virtual reality
  • NFTs
  • Blockchain ledger
  • Web 3.0

How are these technologies impacting search? Users can now search what they see with Google Lens. They can use augmented reality to place and view 3D objects in their own space. With these technologies, we can also try on, try out, interact and personalize products virtually. New technologies deliver more detailed and intuitive product information and deliver immersive answers to user questions. eCommerce brands can now create product demos to increase conversions or local brands can create virtual tours. 

Why we should care about these technologies and start implementing them? 

The technologies enhance the experiences of users. In fact, 6 in 10 people want to be able to visualize where and how the product can fit into their lives. They change the user journey and improve ROI and conversion rates. 

How to optimize for augmented shopping? 

  • Conduct keyword research to explore the opportunities 
  • Review SERPs and competitor content
  • Generate 2D and 3D images for all products 
  • Use GL transmission format 
  • Follow image SEO best practices and ensure accessibility 
  • Implement 3Dmodel schema for AR/3D images 

Slides: https://www.slideshare.net/KaraBarberMadsen/brightonseo-april-2022-kara-thurkettle-search-in-the-metaversepdf?qid=157e1c6d-977c-44c4-8517-bd1b54cd3c99  

Alex Hickson - How to go viral on a budget using Digital PR

“Going viral is NOT a strategy. If you’re launching a new campaign, product or brand - you need to think about your content goals.” 

How we can create viral content across multiple channels? There are 5 steps to follow to achieve going viral on a budget: 

  1. Tying your idea/product into a current trend. Identify a trend in the niche you want to target. You can utilize free social media data such as hashtags to see short and long-terms trends. Don’t forget to also draw inspiration from established brands. 
  2. Validate your trend before investing more time in it. You can use tools like Google Trends to explore the topic in more detail. 
  3. Identify your audience. Don’t forget to think about your product positioning, brand values, price setting, and secondary channels to understand who your customers are. 
  4. Sell the story. When pitching your idea, it’s important to have a catchy subject line and a call to action at the beginning. Don’t forget to include what is your product, why it is on trend and where the product can be bought. Adding a personal touch and rationale is a must. Think about how you want to make people feel. 
  5. Creating the perfect outreach strategy. Find journalists interested in your story. Aim for top-tier digital publications first, but don’t forget to also contact the regional publications, TV, radio etc. Make sure you keep track of where your traffic is coming from to see the impact.

Slides: https://www.slideshare.net/AlexHickson3/how-to-go-viral-on-a-budget-using-digital-prpptx?qid=157e1c6d-977c-44c4-8517-bd1b54cd3c99  

Louise Towler - How to improve Core Web Vitals on a WordPress website

Core Web Vitals are metrics that evaluate a user’s experience loading a web page. They are super important for SEO as they directly affect your rankings. How can you improve them? 

  1. Optimize your hosting. Page loading should be less than 600 ms. Louise shared few examples of good hosting partners such as WP Engine, Kinsta, or SiteGround.
  2. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN). 
  3. Choose WordPress performance plugins. Make sure they offer a lot of flexibility and have good documentation.
  4. Load fonts locally onto your hosting
  5. Specify image dimensions
  6. Convert images to a WebP format.
  7. Preload images.
  8. Exclude specific images from lazyload. So they will only be loaded when a user scrolls down the page.
  9. Use poster attribute for videos
  10. Audit and reduce your 3rd-party code. Remove all the unnecessary tracking.
  11. Fix 4xx and 5xx errors.
  12. Defer, delay, minify. Minify your JavaScript and CSS files to remove the unnecessary whitespace from the file. Defer and delay the loading of JavaScript and CSS where possible.
  13. Remove unused JavaScript. 
  14. Use Brotli compression instead of GZIP compression
  15. Use font-display:swap when your fonts are causing layout shifts.
  16. Specify dimensions for images, iframes, videos, and advertising banners.
  17. Use CSS transform: translate () in animations to prevent Google from seeing them on your page as a layout shift.

Slides: https://www.slideshare.net/LouiseTowler1/how-to-improve-core-web-vitals-on-a-wordpress-website-251539319

Summary of BrightonSEO 2022

BrightonSEO takes place twice a year and it is one of the biggest events for search marketers in Europe. April’s conference might be now over but our inspiration and knowledge incited by insightful talks keep coming. We heard so many amazing talks from industry experts in the world of SEO and Digital PR and we can't wait for October now to learn even more. See you in the autumn! 

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