Key takeaways from BrightonSEO September 2013

| 02 Sep, 2014

Friday the 13th sparks fear in the hearts of the superstituous but we're made of tough stuff here at Jellyfish. Several members of the team attended BrightonSEO, a free conference held at the Brighton Dome biannually.

BrightonSEO was designed to share and impart SEO knowledge and wisdom to all those who required it. In the recent year, the topics have expanded into the realms of social, content and development, all of which are used to complement common SEO practice. Each part of the day had three sessions, involving different speakers on different aspects of SEO; from content and PR to links and data.

We've asked some of our SEO & Social team what their key takeaways were for the day.

By Krystian Szastok, Senior SEO Manager

How do you trust people and pages you've never seen online? Dixon Jones, Majestic SEO

Do link trust research on your competitors backlink profiles and replicate from that, rather than looking at DA or PR in the links.

Making sense of lots of data, Dr Peter Passaro, Nousdata

Listen well to social media conversations in your niche prior to preparing any content strategies. Get a solid understanding of what people are talking about, otherwise you may be wasting your time. Knowing who is talking and who has most interactions will also help you seed your content out once it’s live.

By Alan Cairns, Content Manager

Make your PR idea a national SEO success, Keith White, The Eventa Group

Keith White’s presentation about the ‘Bromance’ campaign to promote a stag-do company highlighted how a PR campaign can go viral when pitched just right. Their quest to find the ‘most bromantic couple’ in Britain got them coverage in Nuts magazine, Brides magazine, on Radio 1, ITV’s Loose Women, Bride Magazine and on the Huffington Post, highlighting how the perfect content idea, well-pitched and with a tongue firmly in its cheek can generate impressive media coverage. Keith said the campaign really came together once professional photographs had been taken of the lucky couple relaxing at home together.

View Keith's presentation here

By Hannah Rainford, Social Media Manager

Video Hacks, Phil Nottingham, Distilled

I'm slightly jealous of the cool job title owned by Distilled's Phil Nottingham. Who wouldn't want to be Head of Trolling and Memes? Phil gave sound and practical advice for anyone who wanted to create video content, on whatever budget. He even outlined the equipment you could buy on a variety of budgets (but failing that, just use your mobile phone!) 

His top tips for creating great video content are as follows:

  1. Don't wear chequered shirts; dark colours work best.
  2. Need a cheap and easy backdrop? Just use greasproof paper and a couple of tungsten lights. Instant professional background that works just as well as a proper screen!
  3. Remember that good sound is better than a good picture.

Phil Nottingham reminded everyone about YouTube's keyword tool. It's a great tool to discover what the hot searches on YouTube are at the moment, and to get an idea of what keywords you should be using in your videos. Phil also suggested that you should keep your YouTube content 'lean and mean'. If a video isn't performing as well as the others and you've optimised it as much as you can, it's best to mark this video as 'unlisted'.

At Jellyfish, we'll be putting these points into action, watch out for the improvements on our Jellyfish Insight videos.

View Phil's presentation here

By Peter Richards, SEO Manager

Low cost link building with juicy, juicy data, Stacey Cavanagh, Tecmark


  1. Publish in Sub-Reddit where competition is less 
  2. Buy survey responses: o (£300 per 1000 responses) o Google Consumer surveys
  3. Use GA to find keyphrases that could be used to create stories and content. This also works if you isolate keyphrases that are questions. These can be use to create Q&A type blog posts.
  4. Use the Freedom of Information Act to request information from Local Authorities to uncover information that might make a good piece of content. They have to reply within 20 working days. Good source of information to begin the process:

Improve existing data

Identify a story that gained previous traction and see if it could be updated and improved. Previous linking sources could then be contacted to link to the fresh content including the original author.

  1. Ideas resource
  2. Made to stick – Excellent source for creating ‘sticky’ ideas
  3. Journalistic source - Identify possible journalists covering your vertical and contact them with your proposal, with the view to getting them to write the content and cite your client as the primary source. 
  5. Other outreach sources - Outbrain & Paid discovery

View Stacey's presentation here

By Aidah Aboubacar, SEO Outreach Executive

The Rules of ‘the Game’: 6 Tips for Successful Outreach, Danny Ashton, NeoMan studios

Before starting any campaign, you need to define your goals and know exactly what you want to achieve through that particular campaign. Danny Ashton recommended “Contagious, things catch on” by Jonah Berger, which helps to develop big content ideas that can go viral. According to Danny Ashton the rules of the Outreach game are made up 6 valuable tips that can lead to great results:

Vulnerability To multiple the success of your campaign make sure to ask for feedback from experts (targeted audience) before launching your content.
Honest Communication Sometimes you should be honest in your communication and approach publishers as yourself and not as a persona. In fact, according to Danny being yourself opens more opportunities with publishers and therefore allows you to build a long lasting relationship with them. 
Affinity When you have a great content try to find sites/blogs that would have affinity with your content, because it will be easier get them interested in your content.
Overcoming Fear Having a content that you’re proud of makes it easier to approach big publishers. 
Rejection Negative replies are part of the game but they should not stop you or make you feel bad. Silence can be due to various reasons so make sure you follow up with another email after a few days.
Confidence Be creative and try new things to get better results: “If you do what you’ve always done, you will get what you’ve always gotten” (Tony Robbins) Throughout the Creative session, speakers insisted on the importance of testing your content using the targeted audience before launching it. In fact, this will allow you to get feedback from experts and improve your content. 

View Danny's presentation here

By Rosie Percy, Content Executive

The keyword is dead; long live the keyword, Stefan Hull, Propellernet

Matt Cutts said in July 2013 that the growth of voice search has changed search query syntax to become more natural – for example, people talk in full sentences and not with keywords. This is reflected in the way that people also use search engines in general, therefore making “long tail key phrases” more common; for example, someone will search for “5 star family friendly hotel in Greece” instead of “hotel Greece”.

This was highlighted during Stefan Hull’s talk “The keyword is dead; long live the keyword”. It was suggested that this strategy is implemented into client campaigns so that SEO efforts move away from the more traditional “main keywords” and match the evolved, more natural customer search queries.

This approach will not only take into consideration changes in query syntax but also creates insight that is also more relatable to the average searcher/client, rather than just apply to SEOs. By utilising genuine search terms, optimisation will be more understandable and relevant to clients and their customer base.

By Maria Bain, SEO Outreach Assistant

Real-time marketing for any brand, Oliver Snoddy, Twitter UK

Twitter is a wonderful form of real time marketing, however it is more than trending and news jacking. Twitter has the ability to connect moments, connect different channels of media together to create depth. These moments could be from Murray winning Wimbledon to the time of day people are the most hungry and #hungry. Online marketers need to get involved in social/public/everyday moments – at weekends when people are more likely to be doing a spot of DIY you post a Vine video of how to still screw in screws that have been stripped. It may be interesting to start using Twitter amplify in some of our social projects too. What could also benefit our strategies is to research social moments that may be coming up and relate them to our clients, make sure that we are creating depth between moments, what our client is doing and social.

Google+ for brands, Adriano Accardo, Google UK

Google like when you play their game – use their tools! Google+ can be used to create a community online. Being part of a community is when online users ‘want’ so Google+ builds a community and an experience for its users. This could start becoming a bigger part of our outreach process, don’t just follow a prospected link contact but Google+ them and create a circle that can be contacted as a whole if you have news or content that may be of interest to them all. Group contacts into interest groups so that when a similar, say business related bit of content has been produced they can be the first to know and share within their respective circles. It could be beneficial also to see what content your content audience is sharing on Google+ and see if your content can add to it, grab their attention with something related to their shares that can add to their + page.

Missing something?

In this blog post, we've covered the presentations that we found most useful. If you want a full round-up of the day, then we would recommend you take a look at the blog from Dimmock Web Marketing. Here you will find all the slides, links and more.

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