I’ve had the opportunity to attend the semi-annual BrightonSEO this past Friday (12th) which took place at the Brighton Dome. For the first time it had talks on three different tracks with a total of 38 speakers – spoiling the audience with choice…

Having heard horror stories about the queue we wanted to get there as early as possible, so we arrived the night before…

1

Most of the talks I was interested in took place at the ‘Dome concert Hall’ so I stayed there for the duration of the conference. Here are some tips I noted from my favourite talks of the day:

Q&A with Ex-Googlers: Jonas Weber, Alrefo Pulvirent, and Fili Wiese

photo2

The session was a very interesting one which generally confirmed our knowledge of SEO.  To summarise the session:

  • Branded links are more of a ranking factor in the anchor text
  • Build a sustainable reputation
  • Solve people’s problems through your content
  • Write long useful articles that will be a of genuine help to the readers
  • Don’t play games with the reconsideration team, be as transparent as you can
  • Google wants you to try and get rid of crappy links, and suffer during the process
  • Social media is not used yet for ranking but they’re trying to figure out what to do with the data, it’s not a factor yet but in the future it could be
  • Google+ could count as a ranking factor due to it being accessible by Google
  • Do link building to increase traffic rather than just for the search engines
  • The team also hinted that if you use Google Chrome it might send more social signals to Google; however, they did not expand on this

At the end of the discussion each of the members were asked to give a pro and a con of working at Google. One of the pros was the ‘weekly massages’ and one of the cons was the changing culture.

Fili Wiese said: ‘working at Google is not that bad but it’s getting worse, the culture has changed but the greatest thing is innovation and being a part of that’.

Go Big or Go Home

Following on from the ex-Googlers it was Hannah Smith’s presentation which is one of my personal favourites from the conference. Hannah focused on ‘big content’ and what it meant for her and shared a case study. I will include a link at the bottom to the slides where you can have a look at Hannah’s whopping 157 slides which she whizzed through! Here are some notes I made:

  • It takes 40 hours to create big content – which is a big gamble!
  • Getting consistent results by creating safe content is not enough anymore, we need to either go big or go home
  • Your content should support the brand’s positioning – it has to fit neatly with the brand
  • Creating creative content once is not enough, you need to consistently continue creating creative content as returns come from doing things consistently
  • If you are risk averse create evergreen content which you can pitch any time of the year rather than topical content such as: April fools, Olympics, valentines etc.
  • Use your best idea first but have plenty more in your back pocket
  • It’s not about going big once
  • Set benchmarks for every content
  • Great content needs working really hard in outreach, it’s hard getting spontaneous links

How To Pitch Journalists

Geoff White who is a technology journalist at Channel 4 news shared some tips on pitching to journalists. He began by stating that it was very hard to do but shared some tricks to make is easier to gain the attention of journalists.

He underlined the importance of sending pitches with pictures, he said that the viewers must be able to follow the story with the sound down so your pictures need to illustrate the story.

  • Where does your story hit the real world?
  • How does it really impact people?
  • How can you illustrate your story with a real story the viewers can identify with?
  • Which story’s work?

Geoff mentioned that case studies are particularly good as it’s an easier way to illustrate to the viewers a story. He also pointed out that due to OFCOM rules and regulation they cannot feature a brand name or a business unless it covers a bigger issue.

7 Weapons of Successful Content and Outreach

The next presentation was by Lexi Mills who shared great tips and tools on crafting content that reduced the task of outreach which naturally got links.

As with majority of the speakers on the day Lexi emphasised the importance of creating content that starts with your consumer’s requirements and interests. Here are a few of the websites she shared that are great for content inspiration:

http://trendsmap.com/

http://www.google.com/trends/

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday

http://spacelog.org/

http://www.gizoogle.net/

She also touched on the Pareto principle and the importance of knowing the top 20 influencers in the industry that are the most important. Her outreach tips were the classic ones:

  • Break the ice through twitter
  • Give info via Linked in-mail and get their interest but not the story so they e-mail you back!
  • If you are targeting America, Lexi recommends contacting the person via Facebook
  • Lastly, picking up the phone!

As mentioned, these were my favourite ones from the day that took place at the Dome Concert Hall.

Koozai have a brilliant list of tips from all of the talks that you can view here.

If you’re interested in seeing the slides for each of the presentations please click here.

Here are some amazing photos from BrightonSEO – start to finish!

I had an amazing time at the conference and met some great people, thanks Kelvin Newman for putting it together and making it great!