There’s one event in the search marketing calendar that everybody wants to be a part of, be it as a speaker, or just an attendee. For SEO experts and enthusiasts, BrightonSEO is a must-go. With industry leaders and fresh new perspectives, it was exciting to be able to venture down for my first ever immersive SEO experience, and our first visit as a team here at Underwaterpistol.
I’m Pete - I head up SEO at UWP. Along with our Head of Growth, Nathan Abbott, I packed my bags, jumped on the train and embarked on a journey of discovery and education, preparing to have my mind filled with inspiration and ideas - and I didn’t leave disappointed.
A pleasant stroll along the Brighton seafront was a nice way to build some excitement, before heading to the Brighton Centre. I picked up our lanyards, saw my name and the Underwaterpistol logo and got even more excited. What can I say? I love search marketing!
At the event, there were a variety of speakers I was familiar with, and also some I was initially unfamiliar with, but I’ll follow with a keen eye from now on. Being in an environment like BrightonSEO is great because it’s like being a part of a big group of friends - we’re all there for the same reason.
There were fantastic talks throughout (with many still available online) discussing some exceptional experiences from search experts, both data driven and anecdotal. Here, I wanted to highlight some of my favourites.
SEO and the planet
One of my personal highlights from the day, and the one I probably took the most inspiration from, was the talk from Tom Greenwood at Wholegrain Digital. In front of a room full of search marketing experts, Tom discussed the importance of realising our digital footprint, and the effect that our jobs and the digital landscape has on the environment. It was a real head turner which captivated the audience and resulted in a large round of applause at the end.
It seems odd to consider how doing keyword research or building a website has an impact on the environment. But, when it’s broken down and the science is revealed, it’s remarkable how much of an impact we have.
Did you know if the internet was a country, it would have the 6th largest carbon footprint in the world? You can check your digital carbon footprint at Website Carbon.
Seriously, it was really gripping stuff - I felt like I didn’t blink! I was intrigued, and took a lot away from it that I will be implementing in my work too.
Dynamic SEO in ecommerce
Amongst the talks I found useful was one from Sam Pennington, who heads up the SEO at New Look, and Adam Freeman. They generated an interesting discussion around the utilisation of dynamic SEO in ecommerce. The talk discussed the importance of USING trends and foresight to target your users, and using the data that we find as SEOs to stay ahead of the curve, not just be a part of it. Are we truly utilising all of the data we have at our fingertips?
As SEOs, we must consider if our SEO strategy is targeting our consumers in the right way, if we are addressing their pain points at the right time, and if our approach is ahead of the curve - or if it’s too late.
As SEOs, it’s our job to keep an eye on trends as they begin to develop, and not as they are happening. Given the nature of the industry, if we aren’t on top of things it’s very easy for us to get left behind chasing a train that is already leaving the station.
Staying ahead of the SEO curve
One talk that was particularly insightful discussed the trend of Jade Green becoming a prominent colour in the fashion sector. Some brands addressed this early on, noticing the term beginning to generate high traffic, producing Jade Green products, and directing that traffic to their websites. Others noticed too late and didn’t see the same impact. Using dynamic content and pointing users to what they want to see was interesting, and it’s something we can all take something from.
For example, instead of creating a category based around Jade Green, we also add it to the taxonomy of the site, bringing it higher up in the navigation to make it easier to see, while also adding sections to high traffic areas so it’s seen quicker.
Insights into the Metaverse
If you’ve not seen the word ‘Metaverse’ floating around, it could be deemed confusing to start. There’s a lot to know, and with the way digital is going, it can be tough to keep up.
Another talk that we found interesting came from Kara Thurkettle, who captivated the same audience that Tom (Greenwood) had previously, but with a very different topic. We’ve all become more aware of the Metaverse in recent years, the impact it will have on the digital world, and what the potential is for the experience within it. It’s a very intriguing subject if you have the time to read about it, with some very exciting developments for all of us as digital experts.
Will the Metaverse affect us in our jobs as search experts? Of course it will, and it’s something we have to adapt to. We’re talking Augmented reality, local SEO, visual search and more. We need to learn to adapt to the digital landscape as it changes, and this is a part of that shift in the digital space. Augmented reality will change the future of SEO, and as search marketers we need to adapt to these changes sooner rather than later.
SEO and CRO
Naturally, we couldn’t talk SEO without mentioning a talk from Will Critchlow. Will graced the main stage of the Brighton Centre to discuss the importance and correspondence between CRO and SEO, and why we should be looking at them collectively.
It’s something I’ve talked about with my peers extensively recently, and something we can’t avoid, much like the discussion of PPC and SEO and how they shouldn’t be viewed separately - seriously, how long are we going to do that as an industry?
See, there are plenty of instances where CRO and SEO coincide with one another and overlap. I’m in the camp that SEO can benefit a lot of different areas of business, not just its marketing team (that’s a story for another time). If we have the power of data and consumer knowledge within our grasp, that should be shared with the wider business to help orchestrate strategies, and develop more understanding of our target audience.
How was my first experience at BrightonSEO? It was a blast, and I can’t wait to go again.
It was great to meet some like minded individuals who are just as excited about learning new search skills as I am, as well as getting to learn a lot of new things from some of the best minds in search.
It’s always refreshing to hear other experiences and opinions about the field we work in, because in the grand scheme of things, there are no certainties in SEO. Anecdotal evidence is still an important part of the puzzle.
After all, how do we get better at SEO? We do it.
It was great to share my first experience with my friends at Underwaterpistol, and I can’t wait to have a spot on that stage in the near future discussing my love for all things search, and how it can help us in more than just a marketing sense.
Learn about the SEO services experts like Pete offer at UWP here.