Brighton SEO 2019 Review
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Tom Welbourne

Helping Small and Medium Businesses Achieve Their Full Marketing Potential | Digital Marketing Expert

Brighton SEO 2019 Review

The Good Marketer team attended the Brighton SEO Conference last Friday and what an event it was for us marketing-nerds. 

We got first-hand insight into the latest trends in the marketing world, particularly SEO (obviously) and we’re already implementing some of what we learnt immediately into our marketing strategies for ourselves + our clients!


In the first talk, we were introduced to raconteur Gregg Gifford, who is VP of Search for Wikimotive.

Gregg focused on the importance of entities which is described as ‘a thing or concept that is singular, unique, well defined and distinguishable’.

What is an example of an SEO-related entity?

Backlinks, SERPS and reviews all count as SEO-related entities.

However, the main lesson we took from Greg’s talk was the need to keep SEO simple and to stop trying to implement all these little tricks and “hacks” because Google is starting to use real-world signals to rank a website.

How we interpreted what Greg was saying is that you should focus on the customer, provide value for them and make your website + content useful and you will be rewarded.

As Greg said:

“Voice search is still just SEO!”

So, stop focusing on building your backlinks, spending endless hours on keyword research for marginal gains and focus on what is important: 

Writing content that answers the customers’ question.

Don’t Focus Solely On Keyword Volume

Next, we heard from Ahrefs CMO, Tim Soulo, who spoke about the necessity to look deeper than just keyword volumes.

Carry out further analysis by checking out top-ranking pages and look at how many keywords they are ranking for. 

Tim and his team discovered this stat in their research:

The average page ranking number 1 also ranks for 1,000 other keywords.

One of the main reasons for this is that Google has become and still is becoming, a heck of a lot smarter so it recognises related search terms that have the same answer. 


Similar to what Gregg said in his talk, Becky Simms, MD at Reflect Digital, reminded us to focus on the humans and not so much on the technical/bot side of SEO. 

We get carried away with all these new tools and inventions in the marketing world, that we forget that the principles established in books that were published in the 1900s. 

When you break everything down to its very core, we are dealing with humans and we’re solving a problem for that human(s).

Don’t ever forget that.

Content should be emotional and have that evoke feelings that the person producing that piece of content is talking directly to the consumer. EvokeExcite all the senses – auditory, visual and kinaesthetic.


We’re going to start by admitting that we didn’t intend to go to this talk because we didn’t think it was relevant to use, but boy are we glad we went along. !

Catherine Goulbourne from Oban International spoke about how to find content gaps in countries where you are looking to expand but don’t speak the language.

A complicated endeavour but one that was simplified by Catherine’s methodical approach to the task at hand.

Catherine’s advice was in harmony with the other speakers we listened to which was about focused on keeping it simple and doing the basics.

Her first tip for entering new markets was to research the market.

A basic concept but one that isn’t followed by the majority of “advanced” marketers out there.

After this, you need to see who your scope out your competition is and, as she showed in her slides, the competition isn’t always who you think it is.

Just because a company is a competitor, it doesn’t mean they are your SEO competitor. Other brands in a completely different market to you might be vying for the same customers as you, so keep on the lookout for potential competitors who could outstrip you of your customers.

And don’t just Google translate when you’re entering a new market that has a different language! It doesn’t always make sense using translate, so hire someone who knows the native tongue and make sure it is understood by the native speakers of that language!


This talk was carried out by Steph Whatley from Blue Array and the focus was on SEO that is not necessarily generated by the company or you but by your customers and contributors.

The main advantage of forums is that there is the opportunity for a large amount of content being produced for your site with unlimited entries + they’re fantastic for long-tail keywords.

The downside?

You have to moderate all this content…all of it!

It’s a huge task and you run into a few challenges such as:

  • People duplicating existing content

  • Clear and concise site architecture

  • It takes FOREVER for forums to be crawled

  • Google down-ranking poor quality content such as spam

The best way around this is to bring in site moderators who keep a close eye on who’s posting what and where they’re posting it.

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