BrightonSEO Sep 2013 – Our Key Takeaways

Last Friday, the team at Creare headed down to Brighton for our third trip out to BrightonSEO.  As always, Kelvin Newman and the team put on a great show for everyone – with 3 fantastic tracks running throughout the day – featuring speakers from the UK’s leading search and digital agencies.

We split up throughout the course of the day to catch as many speakers as possible – and all came home with some great industry insights and takeaways – covering everything from link building & content marketing, to technical SEO & the rising importance of Big Data. Below are our key takeaways from the talks we attended…

Social Track

Oliver Snoddy (Twitter) Real-Time Marketing for any Brand

Twitter UK’s Head of Planning shared a very engaging look at Twitter’s success for helping brands with real-time marketing.

  • 15 Million daily users of Twitter in the UK, 80% are on mobile.
  • In the USA, Twitter Ads are being synchronised with TV commercials – a feature which is eventually coming to the UK.
  • A Twitter and TV marketing combo leaves consumers 58% more likely to purchase a product than advertising on TV alone.
  • Twitter trends reveal the best time to target different consumers, depending on the industry and target market.

You can follow @olisnoddy on Twitter.

Jen Lopez (Moz) The Ins & Outs of Testing Social’s Director of Community give an interesting talk testing social media, particularly for promoting content such as blog posts. Using Moz’s own blog as an example, Jen shared the following key things she’d learnt:

  • There is no universal ‘best-time-to-tweet’. Use your own data and experiment to work out the best time of the day/week to tweet about your content.
  • You can use Followerwonk to track when your followers are most online. Other great tools are PageLever (Facebook Analytics) and SimplyMeasured.
  • It’s really important to schedule the publication timing of your posts. Moz changed their timing to try and reduce spam comments but lost a percentage of their genuine audience.
  • Use Link Shorteners like bitly to analyse your clicks.

You can follow @jennita on Twitter.


Phil Nottingham (Distilled) Video Optimisation

  • You can use video for 1 of 3 reasons:
  • Traffic and Conversions – This type of video should be self hosted on your website.
  • Brand Awareness – This should be hosted on Youtube/Vimeo etc
  • Social – Self host and then after a while, add it to Youtube.
  • If your website has a search function, your videos should be related to the highest search terms to gain most views.
  • Use a tool such as so you can see what a website/video will look like on a device.
  • Always use video rich snippets (schema), include a video sitemap and have an accessible transcription of the video available on the page.
  • Use SERP Turkey to compare normal serps CTR’s with video CTR’s
  • Facebook OpenGraph and TwitterCards can make it easier for other people to see and share your videos
  • Top tips for video optimization using YouTube include: unlisting videos that have poor levels of engagement; finding other sites that have embedded your video and making use of their video keyword tool.
  • Short videos can be more cost effective to produce and are ideally shared using Instagram & Vine.

You can follow @philnottingham on Twitter.

Paul Madden (SEO) Link Building That Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

  • Do not build links under a manual penalty – Paul’s analogy was:

 Building links whilst under a manual penalty is like brushing your teeth whilst eating a kit kat.

  • All of the following link building still works in the short term, but will sting you in the long term:
  • Article Sites.
  • Poor Quality Link Directories
  • Networking Blogs – a site where you input a URL and it spins!
  • Forums, not even for banner ads
  • Obvious paid links, so no links in irrelevant websites.

You can follow @PaulDavidMadden on Twitter.

LoMo (Local & Mobile)

Bridget Randolf (Distilled) Mobile Strategy for Small Businesses

Bridget has been working at Distilled for almost one year as an SEO analyst. Her fast paced presentation on Mobile Strategies for Small Businesses was very engaging and packed full of facts and live examples.

  • Only 70% of big brands have a mobile site.
  • 25% of people have made a purchase on their mobile.
  • 77% of smart-phone users browse products on their device – around half of these then buy in-store.
  • 50% of all online sales for Mother’s Day 2013 were on mobile phones. If you have any clients who are florists, get their responsive site launched now!
  • NAP Citations (Name, Address, Phone Number) - are becoming increasingly important in Local SEO ranking factors. Ensure you have consistency in your NAP across the sites and directories it appears on. Whitepark offer a Local Citation Finder tool from about $20 per month.
  • Add your client to Google+ Local, Yahoo Local, Bing Local (US only), Yelp, Merchant Circle, Angi and Judy’s Book.
  • When optimising your client’s site, ensure you use /Place and /LocalBusiness markup. You should also create a KML file for Google Maps.
  • Reviews are becoming an increasingly stronger part of the Local Listing algorithm. Encourage your clients to cultivate reviews on Zagat (Restaurants, Nightlife), Foursquare (Arts, Restaurants, Shopping, Cafes), TripAdvisor (Restaurants, Hotels) and Qype (All local businesses).

You can follow @BridgetRandolph on Twitter.

Justin Taylor (Graphitas) Design for Mobile, Responsive or Adaptive? (Who Cares?)

Justin is Graphitas’ MD and shared a broad and interesting post on design for mobile. Setting out to answer the responsive vs adaptive question, Justin shared the following key points that we noted:

  • Mobile search with local intent is now 40%.
  • Theres some nifty code on Google for detecting mobile users with PHP.
  • Opera Mobile Emulator – great for mobile browser checks.
  • Make sure you take advantage of form fields for mobile devices. Input fields can be used to load different keypads for the user. Here’s a great example on Smashing Magazine.
  • You can use HTML to click-to-sms:
<a href="sms:0800123456">Send us an SMS Message</a>

You can follow @JustinGraphitas on Twitter.


Dom Hodgson (Link Risk) Crawling the internet for fun and profit

  • The average web page size at the moment is 800KB.
  • Tumblr adds no value when link building. It simply links your content to every other Tumblr page.
  • Link Risk’s crawling tools can help you to check page load speeds.

You can follow @thehodge on Twitter.

Rob Bucci (STAT Search Analytics) How to Crush the Competition by Watching the SERPs

  • Use Google Analytics to investigate segments with long tail keywords so that you can focus on the areas lacking to analyse patterns.
  • Moz’s new Keyword Difficulty Tool rates keyword competition from 1-100 depending on how challenging it is to rank – very handy tool.
  • Get granular with segmentation of keywords. Measure every keyword individually, with this data you can see where the easier wins are.

Follow @STATrob on Twitter.


Stefan Hull (Propellernet) The Keyword is Dead; Long Live the Keyword

  • For more information on the changes to query syntax, Matt Cutts’ WMT video from July is a great reference.
  • Whilst ‘golden nugget’ keywords can be obvious – it’s far more important to look at all of the keywords and phrases surrounding the obvious choices.
  • Keyword research should always be presented visually – too many SEOs use spreadsheets, but to get customer interest and buy in, it should be visually attractive for them to engage with.

Follow @stefanjhull on Twitter.

Dara Fitzgerald (FreshEgg) Next Gen Measurement in Google Analytics

  • Use Google Analytics to track a multi channel customer journeys.
  • Identify the customers you really want and find them using GA. User segments can be used to support this – e.g. set up a custom segment to identify all users that spend £50 over a length of time.  This allows you to track the lifetime value of key customers more effectively and identify the routes they take on your site. The importance of repeat business cannot be underestimated and GA must be used to track this as well as one off orders.
  • FreshEgg’s ‘Not Provided Tool‘ is currently in Beta and available for testing.

Follow @darafitzgerald on Twitter.

Lisa Myers (Verve Search) On Page Content Marketing

  • The evolution of keywords should be analysed using Google Trends – searchers are becoming more educated and relevance is moving further and further into the longtail.
  • An example of this can be seen by comparing the keyword ‘Hotels’ to something like ‘5* All inclusive Hotels in Greece’ – users are becoming far more specific.
  • E Commerce sites lend themselves extremely well to longtail optimisation – filters should be created to maximise this, and there should be static urls for all pages with search volume.
  • Video content is going to have a growing influence on SEO success – Case Study: Sk8seeing Brighton on a Skateboard – 10 links in a week.

Follow @LisaDMyers on Twitter.


Stacey Cavanagh (Tecmark) Low Cost Links With Juicy Juicy Data

  • The term ‘link building’ is far too associated with low-quality link wheels and SEO-made blogs. So what can we do different whilst keeping everything natural?
  • Low cost link building can be achieved, but you need to invest time to create content that is versatile, multi format, cross niche and newsworthy.
  • Great ways to get data include: using Google Consumer Surveys and making Freedom of Information requests through
  • To get as much traction as possible, use resources such as to find the people in your industry who will care about your content.
  • Top 3 Tips for Low Cost Links. Think Like a Journalist, Tell a Story and you don’t need to be a PHD Statistician to get data.

Follow @staceycav on Twitter.

Growth Hacks

Ali White (Call Tracks) More Offline Leads from Online Traffic

Call Track’s Head of Marketing & Sales gave an insightful presentation into the importance of telephone enquiries and tracking on your client’s website.

  • Call Track’s software allows for phone calls to be added into Google Analytics as a dimension.
  • On average 7% of their client’s calls go answered and 2% get a busy line. Therefore 9% of inbound leads are missed. Of this 9% only 43% call back.
  • Google suggest you can achieve a 6-8% uplift in Adwords conversion if you include a phone number within the advert.
  • If you’re selling internationally, use an international number. On responsive sites, an 0800 number works really well for desktop but consider switching this for a local (01/0) number when the site responds down to mobile.

You can find Ali’s slides here and follow @AlistairWhite on Twitter.