Knowledge |

Things we learned from September’s Brighton SEO


It was yet another stellar Brighton SEO, booming with digital creatives from across the country and brimming with cutting edge knowledge and industry insight. The September conference proved to be the largest in its history, with more speakers, sponsors and delegates than ever before.

Voice Search

Microsoft’s Purna Virji predicts that by 2020, 50% of all search queries will come from voice. In June last year, Apples Siri handled more than a billion voice search requests a week. The popularity has increased this year. In May, voice searches accounted for 1 in 5 searches on Android mobile apps in the US and 25% of searches performed using the Windows 10 taskbar.

Primary uses of voice search currently include help with typing challenges, quick answers to queries, and help carrying out searches whilst being occupied (whilst driving, for example).

How does this impact you?

  1. Text searches tend to be 1-3 words in length, voice searches are around 7-8.
  2. Local-mobile. People are more likely to be searching for in-destination/local activities and transportation options via smartphone. Keywords must be localised and the inclusion of public reviews and contact numbers beside your business in search results is critical.
  3. Mispronunciations have a negative impact. Research all misspellings and mispronunciations. Add relevant negative keywords for PPC.
  4. Ensure you have appropriate call-to-action extensions in place.

Social secrets

Greg Gifford (Dealeron) gave a captivating talk on Facebook’s deep workings, shining light on powerful tools that are unknown to most.

With so many active users, it can be tempting to target as many people as possible to maximise your reach. This is potentially a careless way to approach your campaign and Greg stressed the need to be picky with your targeting. Go for quality over quantity for greater chances of engagement.

How does this impact you?

  1. Always use Power Editor.
  2. Upload mailing lists. Facebook will match addresses to login details. Manipulate lists using Custom Audiences. Current customers can be added to negative lists in order to target those who never open your emails, etc.
  3. A/B test your ads.
  4. Ensure images contain less than 20% text.
  5. Track links with UTM parameters.
  6. Only run mobile ads during business hours.
  7. Be smart when scheduling your ads. Don’t pay for ads to be shown during the middle of the night.
  8. Make the most of advert types:
    1. Offer ads (with shipping deals or promotional discounts)
    2. Carousel ads (featuring product images)
    3. Website click ads (to increase traffic)



Onsite SEO

Jon Earnshaw (Pi Datametrics) delivered a great talk on how to avoid a site migration disaster. It’s always entertaining to see how bad migrations look in terms of data:


How does this impact you?

  1. You must involve your SEO from the start. Project resources and scope should be set early on and your SEO should be involved in this as well as planning at appropriate touch points.
  2. Crawl your site in order to create a detailed redirect map.
  3. Utilise your crawl data. Modify existing redirects, analyse your current performance and visibility levels, and monitor the migration window.
  4. Assign an owner, empower them to make decisions and involve them throughout the project. Ensure they grasp the architecture and quirks of the site.
  5. Keep the stage from getting out. Remember that robots.txt only blocks crawling. Utilise IP whitelisting, implement a login and noindex meta.



In summary, there was a wide range of valuable topics discussed that both cemented our current practices and provided food for thought with insight into developing trends, such as voice search. It’s always a joy to take part in Brighton SEO and its growing success is a testament to the power and influence of the industry and the work that we do.


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