BrightonSEO 2017 Take-aways

BrightonSEO is one of the biggest SEO conferences in the UK. I was fortunate to be able to attend in September 2017.

Building an app or website may solve a problem, but if no one can find your product then your product is unlikely to be a success.  Search engine optimisation (SEO) is essential for being visible for terms that customers are searching for and coming top.

SEO is a bit like the Olympics, everyone is competing using different techniques to be the best. Compared to PPC, SEO offers a better ROI long term, but to be top you have to keep up with the trends to stay on top, ignore this year’s training and you’ll fall off the podium or page 1.

Lessons from LinkResearchTools.

Audit your links, all of them.

1. Knowing what your predecessor or their predecessor did?

We all know that links from bad or irrelevant sites can impact your site, but google tools only show the pages that are accessed – an incomplete picture.

In the past it was all about the number of links, but do you have a record of what your last person and/or agency did ? probably not.

So how do you audit all your links?  You need a 3rd party.

LinkResearchTools appear to be the leader in this space, and they offer a service which supports businesses identify all links, those which are positive and those which may be dragging you down.

2. Google Penguin 4.0 is penalising folders.

Sites are now no longer being penalised as a whole, specific folders are! so we need to monitor performance per sub-folder and not for the site as a whole to notice whether we have a performance issue.

3. Disavow

Once you’ve identified the weak links, remove them by Disavowing them (we did this before but it’s more important now). We need to consider the relevancy and quality of our links.

4. 404 pages.

Look at what sites send users to a dead or old link that returns a 404 page, and either try to fix or .. you guessed it disavow!

Whats the point of a consumer landing on a page which has an error, the action of the user will be to click back and visit your competitor. Avoiding 404’s are super important to customer confidence, so trace these sources and start fixing.

Lessons from Search Metrics (

Google search is becoming focused on intent, but GA doesn’t yet have a discovery tool to identify the terms those users are searching (and in their transactional or non-transactional cycle).

By using SearchMetrics we can understand this better, and make better decisions on our content strategy.

Lessons from Yext

Influentials are shifting, youtube presenters are becoming famous, and influential. They are engaging with consumers in a way which people can relate to.

Brands need to consider a two-way engagement, vs a one-way engagement.

Digital assistants are still in their infancy, but they are gaining context. Using context from the first question, on the 2nd. With search, you’re unlikely to see specifically search from voice IoT devices but look for those which are more natural in context (longer questions and fuller questions).