Top 5 tips we learnt at Brighton SEO 2019

With so many different talks going on and all of the talented speakers sharing their digital marketing knowledge, here are our 5 key takeaways from the UK’s biggest search marketing conference, brightonSEO 2019.


On Friday 12th April, our digital team dragged themselves out of bed at 4am to make their way from Bristol to Brighton for the UK’s biggest SEO conference: brightonSEO and boy, it did not disappoint! As a small creative marketing agency based in the south west of England, we love learning new things to help us do our job better in the ever-evolving world of SEO.

With so many different talks going on and all of the talented speakers sharing their digital marketing knowledge, here are our 5 key takeaways from the UK’s biggest search marketing conference, brightonSEO 2019.

1. What is the average income for Bing users in the US?

Julia Logan pointed out that Bing just doesn’t get the attention or recognition that Google gets even though it has been around since 1998. For example, in the UK, Bing’s market share is between 6%-12%. In the US, Bing equates for 33% of the market share, and is the preferred choice for people who are making $100,000 or more.


What does this mean for digital marketers? Well, we need to start keeping other search engines in mind for our SEO and paid search strategies instead of primarily focusing on Google.


2. How do you use Screaming Frog to automate SEO tasks?

If there’s one thing you take away from this, it should be Max Coupland’s talk on SEO automation through custom extraction. His screaming frog deep crawling hacks and tips on automating SEO tasks completely blew our minds.


Since not every website is built in the same way, it means that not every SEO element is available. We can make use of custom extraction through XPATHs and REGEX. This will essentially allow us to get our hands on any information from any website, even Google SERPs data. Leveraging this extremely powerful data for keyword research allows you to effectively optimise your SEO content.


Waiting around for SEO tools to crawl massive websites can take ages sometimes. Max showed us how to reduce the crawl through custom extraction parameters, and the speaker’s slides were well detailed, and well worth reading. Problem solved!


3. Will mapping listings improve rankings?

Dad jokes aside, Izzi really captured everyone’s attention. She spoke about driving meaningful clicks to your website through enriching SERPs to boost CTR.


Even though Google doesn’t explicitly say that CTR is a ranking factor, it does help. However, just because someone has clicked through does not mean your content was relevant or useful to them.

This means we should try to improve CTR but during the keyword research phase, searcher intent should always get higher priority.


So, how do we enrich SERPs?

  • If your website has a physical location, start by claiming your map listings and then optimising them. The key is to add as much useful and consistent information to them as possible, whether it’s images or just responses to ratings.

  • Use Schema markup (not to be confused with structured data) to help Google understand what the key semantic elements of your page are. A great example of this would be using location tags to strengthen your local SEO, or use service tags to show Google what you’re offering.

  • Build on content that you’ve already got. There is an endless stream of content being published every day. How does your content stack up against the competition? Is there a recent development that could improve old information? Does a competitor link to more useful resources? Use Quora to find out what your content gaps are.

One last little golden nugget of knowledge from Izzi and then we’ll move on: if you have a 4+ star rating, you’ll show up for people searching best + “search query.” So, time to make sure your clients/customers are leaving reviews!


4. Internal linking helps to increase your rankings

Once our eyes got used to the bright orange suit and we really started paying attention to what he was saying. Cristoph taught us all about how your own website can be the most valuable tool to help increase your own rankings.


Internal linking allows for much better keyword targeting, much faster testing and more aggressive use of “money” keywords or high value keywords. Change branded phrases to money phrases in order to capture what people are actually searching for. Of course, it’s all about user intent!


Remember, be sure to make internal link anchor text less time sensitive/tied as you don’t want to limit the volume of searches you could be getting.


5. Site speed optimisation is a continuous process

“Speed is something that does matter quite a bit to us and it has a big effect on users, so that’s something that I, personally, would take seriously.” - John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google

Rachel Costello made it clear that we shouldn’t just focus on traditional speed metrics. What we should be thinking about is how people see a page load and think about what their priorities might be. The classic case of “put yourself in their shoes,” what would make a good user experience for them?

After that, as SEOs and marketers, we need to think about what we can do to optimise for these important factors.


Polly Pospelova also delved into site speed with regards to optimising your site using lighthouse. Everyone spends so much time trying to get their score to 100% that they forget to consider the fact that technology is always evolving. This means that a great score today or a 100% today is not a great one tomorrow.


All in all, we had a wonderful time at brightonSEO where we not only learnt a whole lot of new things but also solidified our knowledge of things we’ve always known. After a long day, our team scurried off to the Pier After Party badges and lanyards in hand.


If you need help with your SEO strategy or feel that your current one just isn’t working well enough, feel free to get in touch with us as we have several SEO packages on offer to suit your business needs.