Brighton SEO

Tom's round up of the highlights from Brighton SEO.

Client Services are sometimes seen as the Jack of all trades, masters of none. We don’t have an expertise in the same way that a CX Designer or Developer does; although I would always argue that it takes something to write a strongly worded email and find a good place for a client lunch.
 
But it is true that at an agency such as True, where we offer such a wide range of digital and marketing services, and have such a wealth of talent and expertise to draw on, that it’s vital we have a good understanding of everything we do. With that in mind I was delighted to be invited by the agency to join Senior Media Manager Tom King at the Brighton SEO conference recently.
 
We headed down the night before, arriving quite late only to find that due to a booking oversight our room at the Ibis had been sold! Luckily they were hugely apologetic and we got upgraded to The Hilton which happened to be more or less next door to the conference centre, and right on the sea front.

On arrival at the conference the next day my first impressions were that it was extremely well run and a really big event, but with a nice touch of the original humour and playfulness of the founders which was nice to see. I was right about the size as Kelvin Newman, the founder and CEO, gave a short opening speech and welcomed a record 3,000 people to the event.
 
We were absolutely spoilt for choice when it came to talks and presentations, with a fantastic programme split across large and small rooms and ranging from real technical SEO topics to broader digital marketing subjects such as Strategy and Social Advertising.
 
There was a session on ‘Links’ which included three talks of 20 minutes from Stacey MacNaught, Paul Madden, and Hannah Smith. All three were hugely insightful and really enjoyable talks. There were some key elements which really hit home for me when we think about approaching discoverability our clients:
  1. Not everything from the old school is wrong – quantity is important, but quality first.
Stacey talked about some of the things she felt were still relevant from what some see as the big bad days of SEO. Quantity used to be king, now it is all about quality, but that is not to say quantity isn’t important. A broad approach to outreach and PR is important, and as long as the end results are quality, relevant links, then there is nothing wrong with casting the net wide.
  1. Spend more time on relationships than content.
Content is all we seem to talk about these days, but as Paul Madden said, and I wholeheartedly agree, great content is one thing but without the great relationships in place to help you distribute it, it won’t get much traction.
  1. People do not share formats, they share ideas.
In the same vein as Paul, Hannah talked a lot about content, but from the perspective of creation. She discussed a framework that she has devised for producing great content and the need for it to be Relevant, Resonate, and be Different. I loved the way she delved into the psychology behind why people share or enjoy things; it isn’t necessarily about how slick or beautiful it looks, or what format it is in, but that it evokes an emotion in them.
 
During the rest of the day I enjoyed fantastic talks ranging from the very technical (SEO audits) to how to be a Facebook Adverts superhero. From an Account Management point of view, and an agency perspective, if there was one thing I could take away from the day it would be a point Jon Earnshaw made during his talk:
 
SEO is a key ingredient, not a cherry on the top. It is absolutely vital in any digital project to include an SEO expert at the very beginning.
It is something we look to live by here at True, but it is always worth reminding each other. If you’d like to know more about how we can help your website or your content more discoverable online, get in touch.

And to give you a flavour of the Social chatter on the day we put together this Storify.