BrightonSEO: Our highlights and takeaways
Last week, we headed to the beautiful seaside resort of Brighton for the world’s biggest search conference, BrightonSEO. I had the pleasure of hearing from some of the brightest folks in the SEO industry and took so much away from their talks. Here's a round-up of my highlights and takeaways from the event!
After hearing so many people talk about BrightonSEO over the years, I finally got the opportunity to go! And what better way to kick-start the event than with our very own Nick Vines?
Nick had a prime speaking slot, taking centre stage at 10am on Thursday morning to talk all things page speed. Nick delivered his talk to the jam-packed auditorium effortlessly and had so many comments about how thought-provoking his session was. Nick spoke about three key benefits of SEO other than conversions; reduced carbon footprint, improved accessibility and reduced costs. We’ll share Nick’s talk on social media soon, so keep an eye out for it.
We headed to a number of other talks across Thursday and Friday’s busy agenda, including a session on equality. I had the pleasure of chatting with speakers, Andi Jarvis and Azeem Ahmaad, following their talk to discuss approaches to equality in marketing. Their sessions looked at brands who brilliantly brought equality to their marketing, like the Dove #ShowUs campaign, which aimed to create a collection of 10,000+ images that offer a more inclusive vision of beauty for the media. On the other hand, Andi highlighted the failures of other brands who tried, and miserably failed, to bring equality to their marketing. Though I won’t mention those here! 👀
After following the success of Carrie Rose, Director at Rise at Seven, for the past five years, I was so excited to see her talk. I’ve joined a number of her virtual sessions and always come away with new insights and learnings. During this talk, Carrie highlighted the frustrations of many brands, who are seeing a decline in Google searches for their products/services. But Carrie explained how demand is not declining, consumer behaviour is changing. Users are now searching a number of platforms such as TikTok, Pinterest and ChatGPT, and brands/organisations need to place themselves wherever their audience spends most of their time.
Throughout the various talks, the speakers highlighted some brilliant tools for SEOs. Some of these were old favourites of mine and others were completely new! Here’s a list that may be of interest if you work within an SEO role:
- Glimpse (Track topics across the internet to identify growing trends)
- Sistrix (Improve your search visibility and look at other websites in your niche)
- HARO (Connect with journalists seeking your expertise)
- Google Lighthouse (An open-source, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages)
- Screaming Frog (Improve onsite SEO by auditing for common SEO issues like broken links)
- On Crawl (Get data for technical SEO to drive increased ROI and organisation success with your website.)
Finally, I have to mention the mindfulness session held by the wonderful Tazmin Suleman, who gave advice on how to overcome anxiety in conference situations using her BRAVE framework. Here’s a few of her tips:
Breathe - Breathing out longer than you breathe in helps to calm your body. Breathe in for 4, hold for 4, and breathe out for 6.
Reframe - Try and shift your mindset from, "Everybody here is smarter than me and I'm not knowledgeable enough to network with these people" to "I'm amongst friendly people who are all here for the same thing and we're all part of the success of this event."
Affirm - Try and move away from negative affirmations such as, "My bus is going to be late" to "It's ok if I don't get there right on time" and "This is a silly question" to "I bet somebody else will want to know the answer to this question."
Visualisation - Sometimes we visualise a situation before we arrive. These can sometimes be negative because your brain is trained to keep you safe in unknown situations. Instead, try and visualise things going well. You deliver your talk with confidence, you network with ease, and you enjoy everything the event has to offer.
Energy - Think about what makes you feel most energised. This might be enjoying a hearty breakfast, spending time meditating, or going for a long walk. Try and do this before heading to the conference to start your day feeling energised and positive.
I’m so grateful to Torchbox for allowing me to attend such a brilliant conference. See you next year Brighton!