What We Learnt From #BrightonSEO

Blog | 22 Sep, 2017

Twice a year digital marketers flock to the seaside for Brighton SEO, ready for a day full of industry talks, networking and perhaps the occasional mojito ice lolly.


This year was the biggest conference yet and the Brighton Jellyfish team were lucky to make it to a great selection of talks on everything from chatbots and Javascript to outreach tips.

Even more excitingly our own Hannah Dempsey, Director of Social Media, was giving a talk about how and why to broaden your social listening outside your brand.

Here are the Jellyfish staff top picks and insights from the day.

Alex Bourgeois, Social Media Executive

Social media marketers are obsessed with monitoring their brand mentions on social (and they should be), but there are also vast opportunities to use social listening tools to generate consumer intelligence through finding what consumers are actually talking about, as opposed to what marketers think they’re talking about.

On top of  reading industry reports, marketers looking to generate insights should add a layer of qualitative data from social listening. And no, social listening doesn’t have to be expensive: if your marketing budget cannot afford the likes of Brandwatch, free tools like Tweetdeck or even in-platform search features are a good way to start.

Anyone looking to understand how this can be implemented can take a look at Hannah Dempsey’s presentation deck on SlideShare.

Ellen Cubin, Lead PHP Developer

Bartosz Góralewicz of Elephate talked about the impact of using JavaScript frameworks on SEO.  Even when JavaScript rendered pages are indexable, it can kill your crawl budget, and search engines other than Google may not cope at all.  One way to overcome this is Isomorphic/Universal JavaScript – rendering your pages server-side as well as client-side.  If it’s too late for that you could use a pre-rendering service to translate your pages into HMTL that search engines can read. So, an understanding of the technical implications on SEO can make all the difference when building a Single Page Application that needs to be found via search.

Helene Klaustrop, SEO and Social Analyst

All conversations should have a beginning, a middle and an end. But if you’re only going to have one of those, make sure it’s an end!" This statement, made by Jonathan Seal, Strategy Director at Mando, during his talk on chatbots, really struck a chord with me.

This statement not only applies to chatbots where a clear, and ideally satisfactory, end to the conversation is essential, but to all areas of digital marketing. If you cannot deliver a clear end, don't bother striking up the conversation or interaction. If you can't deliver what people are looking for, don't try to rank for or bid on it!

Jane Cronin, Senior Content Marketing Manager

Good research is the foundation of all successful content marketing campaigns and Marcelle Autunes’ presentation was an excellent introduction to conducting top-notch research.  Her most useful tips included challenging and interrogating your own data and finding sector experts to partner with.

I’ve definitely found that we need to rigorously challenge the findings of our own research, whether we’ve collected it ourselves or are using open or third party sources. When you’re close to the data and the story it can be easy to miss the holes – but journalists definitely won’t! Although it might take a little bit longer and feel frustrating at times, I’ve seen how well creative campaigns based on robust data work and it’s worth it!

Amy Jo McLellan, Digital Marketing Assistant

Shannon McGuirk of Aira opened up the Digital PR track by explaining that not all good content will generate links, saying “Just because you’re worthy doesn’t mean you’re newsworthy”. McGuirk discussed how news hooks were key to a successful digital PR campaign. 5 things to think of are timeliness, credibility, prospecting, tension and being different. You should also always consider your audience.

Bobbi Brant of Kaizen later stressed the importance of attitude when link-building – you must remember that you are not asking for something, you are giving content and you just want credit for that. And if you do receive that credit, make sure you know about. As Sophie Everett of Prodo concluded her presentation with, don’t fall at the last hurdle – always monitor for coverage and links.

Hannah Thomson, Senior Content Marketing Executive

When coming up with content ideas, we should consider ‘Why?’ as well as ‘Who?’ It’s important to think about the personas our content is looking to target but we should also be thinking about these personas’ ‘micro moments’ – what’s happening in their life to trigger demand for our content.

This was a point that Jade Tolley brilliantly weaved into her presentation ‘Hub, Hygiene and Hero: The Three Content Types You Need.’ But, this is something we should always think about when mapping out multi-channel campaigns and strategies. Our research and data shouldn’t be limited to simple demographics and life stages, instead we need to be aware of these ‘micro moments’ and produce effective and relevant content accordingly.

Photo courtesy of Marco Tornow.

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