Footprint Digital’s Day out at Brighton SEO
Published on 10th April 2017
This April, Footprint Digital were lucky enough to nab some of the hottest tickets in town. ‘What were these tickets for?’ We hear you ask. Glastonbury? Tea with the Queen? Well no, we weren’t off to Buck house to discuss digital marketing over a cream tea in between petting Corgis, but we were heading somewhere much more exciting for SEO aficionados- Brighton SEO; the largest SEO conference in the UK.
What is Brighton SEO?
Brighton SEO is a daylong conference, where all the brightest and the best SEO minds come together to put on talks, so that the rest of us can do our jobs a little better and find out lots of new things that can help us to help our clients.
The conference is held in The Brighton Centre, right by the sea, and it is literally jam packed with amazing speakers who talk about a range of things- from website content to keywords; and link analysis to local SEO. There are also loads of innovative companies offering equally fascinating digital tools and programs.
Our Day at Brighton SEO
Hannah, Caroline, and Alex were all up extremely Brighton early (terrible puns stop here!) to drive down to Brighton, ready for the first session of the day at 10am. It was a beautiful sunny day – the perfect timing for a day in Brighton (although we only managed to sneak out to enjoy it for an hour at lunchtime!)
Our first talk was called The Future of Search, with an initial welcome from Kevin Newman, the founder of the event (which actually started out as a few people meeting up in a room above a pub – how things have changed!)
The Future of Search
Raj Nijjer, from Yext, was our first speaker. His talk focused on searching without a screen, and the rise of vocal search. There are loads of vocal search tools that people can use now – Siri, Cortana, Amazon Echo, and Google Assistant to name but a few. Voice assistants are a bit like Marmite – Some people love them, some hate them, but there’s no denying that vocal search completely revolutionises how people engage with search engines and offers search engine optimisers the next big challenge for the future.
Following Raj, was Purna Virji, from Microsoft, who’s talk was along a similar vein – except vocal search was swapped for visual search. She highlighted that people search with their eyes almost as much as they search with words. Pinterest; Instagram; search engine image searches – visual search is a huge element of the future of search, because human are such visual beings.
Whilst Raj and Purna were positive about the evolution of search, the next speaker, Will Cecil, from Adapt worldwide, was more cautious. There are many challenges that the future of search will throw into the path of SEO agencies, and developing a strategic approach for dealing with them, and with the new data that we will be collecting, is vital for our success.
After the Future of Search put our heads into a slight spin, we decided it was time for an ice-cream – lucky for us, the guys over at SEMRush delivered. Thanks, SEMRush! Ice creams (with copious toppings) in hand- we headed back upstairs for three talks on content, starting out with Marcus Tobar, from Searchmetrics, speaking about how SEO and content marketing must always be driven by data. SEO and content go hand in hand, and his talk resonated with our business model, as our Content and SEO departments are very tightly linked – Content is always SEO optimised at Footprint Digital! Marcus explained that the two disciplines should be seen within a bigger contextual picture, and that they should be treated as complimentary and interlinked concepts, with content marketing being able to utilise and benefit from SEO’s data driven approach.
Tom Bennet was our next speaker, he is an analytics expert who explained how Google Tag Manager could be used to better measure success from digital marketing efforts. He gave our Relationship Managers a lot of food for thought, as Google Tag Manager is something that we use for our clients, and hearing about it from an expert was really useful for them.
Julia Ogden, from Zazzle media, was our final speaker before lunch (by this time, we really needed lunch!) She took a different tack, presenting a ten-step checklist to creating a content distribution plan. As we all know, content is less than useless if people don’t actually read and engage with it- so her plan will hopefully be really useful for helping our clients to promote their content more effectively.
Making the Most of Marketing
After lunch (which consisted of sausages, and cod and chips on the pier – a must do by the seaside!) we watched Shane Redding’s presentation ‘Making the most of Marketing Automation: A Masterclass’. Shane runs Think Direct, and has 30+ years of digital marketing know how under her belt – not bad!
After her talk, we took the opportunity to do a bit of networking, meeting some amazing people, all of whom were so passionate about their brands and how they can help to support SEO agencies to do their jobs. We were all really impressed with the event, and with the knowledge and passion demonstrated by each of the speakers- we only wish we had longer to see every talk (and get a few more free ice creams…)