5 top takeaways from April 2017’s BrightonSEO

4 min read
Watb Team
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BrightonSEO is a gathering of some of the freshest and most innovative new ideas in the digital marketing space. It’s grown to become a bi-annual conference that attracts thousands of marketers that come to devour the latest trends (and hipster craft beer) – move aside Comic Con, BrightonSEO is where the digital superheroes come to stir things up.

There’s always a rafter of experienced names giving presentations and workshops, so naturally some of the most inventive perspectives on everything and anything to do with SEO are thrown around here and chatted about.

So, where else but BrightonSEO (and Watb, of course!) to have a gander at some of the most interesting new trends in digital marketing.

Voice Search continues to grow in importance

Raj Nijjer gave a great talk about the future of search and as the whole host of digital assistants like Siri and the gang are encouraging more and more consumers to use voice search. One mind-blowing stat was that by 2020, 50% of searches will be voice searches, so it’s super important that marketers prepare and implement voice search friendly SEO.  Another key takeaway was that voice search is fuelled by Google’s Knowledge Graph, so ensuring that your sites are optimized KG means you’ll show up when consumers use voice search. You simply won’t show up if you’re not.

Basically, the search landscape is moving incredibly fast and being driven by younger consumers.

Clean up your Content Strategy

Less is more and the same can be said for creating quality content. Marcus Tober spoke about having a more acute focus on churning out high-quality content and how this approach leads to increased visibility. Too much sub-standard content will mean your brand reaches peak-content.

You should also concentrate on cleaning up your older content and updating it too, like looking at your Crawl Internal Errors section on Search Console for content opportunities. Having more of an emphasis on your area of specialism and less generalised content means that search engines will understand your sites better. Changing how you structure and label your content makes a difference too.

Building high-quality links without spending loads of money

Linkbuilding has changed a lot over the last few years, but the aim continues to be to boost a website’s authority and improve search results. Sam Charles came up with a few tips for incentivising bloggers, so you don’t have to break the bank with your outreach and can still create quality links.

  • Promote links/brand through social media
  • Keep outreach emails short and concise
  • Target bloggers with press pages and personalise your pitches
  • Make your content and expertise an incentive for bloggers, instead of money

Communicating Data

Making the most of your data is an on-going task and Tony Lu’s talked about the importance of real-time dashboards in decision-making.  He spoke about how you need to ensure you’re getting an accurate brief from your client so that you can make sure you’re giving them the most relevant information.

Keeping it simple is key though, as clients simply don’t have the time to work through reams of data. Wireframing reports, so you can make them as user-friendly as possible for a client is recommended. Only concentrate on agreed, high-priority KPIs to make your data reporting as streamlined as possible.

Growing Traffic with a Lean Approach

Samantha Auchterlonie from Skyscanner gave a good talk on using the Lean Principle (our fave) to roll out new ideas in-house in order to grow traffic. Samantha echoed the LP ideas that we use like rolling out Minimal Viable Products, so you can experiment with a basic product or service, gain feedback and make it even more suited to a consumer. It’s about finding the shortest route that enables you to begin testing put ideas on a more practical level. And ultimately, starting small and building from there. The perfect option isn’t usually available straight away.

BrightonSEO is a gathering of some of the freshest and most innovative new ideas in the digital marketing space. It’s grown to become a bi-annual conference that attracts thousands of marketers that come to devour the latest trends.

Social Media Management Software

In order to promote your business and reach consumers that spend an entire 24 hours a week online, you need to make sure that you have a viable social media strategy in place.

By posting unique and interesting content on your social media platforms, and by actively engaging with followers, you can start to turn this into a funnel for generating leads.

In order to stay on top of your social media strategy, it’s important to have some form of social media management software to do some of the heavy lifting. Software such as this is imperative for scheduling, tracking and monitoring social media content.

At its best, social media management software can help you not only plan your content months in advance, but also remain reactive by letting you tune into ongoing news stories or trending topics.

Screenshot of Hootsuite's homepage

We recommend: Hootsuite

There are a whole bunch of social media management companies out there and all of them offer roughly the same sort of package but Hootsuite is the only one that offers an actually free service (as opposed to just a free trial period).

They do try to hide it on their website though so make sure you follow this link in order to get to the right page.

The free version of this software lets you:

  • Manage up to three social media profiles from a choice of channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn
  • Schedule up to 30 posts in advance at any point in time
  • Track follower growth, likes and comments
  • Integrate two RSS feeds in order to find and share compelling content
  • Access Hootsuite’s online help center and community forum

Of course, there’s also a number of paid-for packages that you can buy from Hootsuite that give you access to a great number of services including higher ad spend budgets, automated post scheduling and custom analytics.

But if you’re a small business looking to get started, the free version of the software should be comprehensive enough to allow you to get your social media strategy in motion.

Website Tracking Software

We’ve said before that the secret to a successful lead generation strategy is to keep analysing and refining your methods. Well, website tracking software is the best way to conduct this analysis.

By digging into the analytics of your visitors’ actions, you can start to gain a better picture of why people come to your site, what they want from it, what they dislike about it and how you can improve upon their experience next time.

There are a wide variety of services that can fall into the category of website tracking software, including heatmaps, funnels, user polls, surveys, visitor recordings and more.

Basically, any kind of software that collects data about the ways in which your visitors interact with your site can be considered website tracking software.

Screenshot of Hotjar's homepage

We recommend: Hotjar

Whereas there are a multitude of smaller software companies that focus in on just one website tracking service, Hotjar offers an array of useful tools.

Hotjar tools include:

  • Click, move, scroll, download and share heatmaps that can also be split by device type
  • Visitor recordings that allow you to replay sessions of real site visitors
  • Conversion funnels that identify on which page and at which step the most visitors are leaving your site
  • Form analysis that can help you to discover which fields take too long to fill, which are left blank and why your visitors abandon your form and page
  • A customizable widget that allows you to create pop-up feedback polls
  • Responsive surveys that can be distributed through web links and emails, or featured your site just before your visitors abandon the page in order to discover what their concerns are
  • The ability to recruit test users in order to get instant feedback on your site

Hotjar’s free service is able to collect data from 2000 page views a day and will give you access to up to 300 visitor recordings and 3 heatmaps, forms, funnels, polls and surveys. Unlimited users can be added to your account and Hotjar will also store your data for a full year.

While we’d normally recommend free services when possible, it’s probably worth paying for Hotjar’s Plus plan to begin with.

For just under £25 a month you can collect data from 10,000 page views a day and have unlimited services and reports. Plus there’s even a 15-day free trial for you to test out whether you like their software or not.


Lead generation doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavour.

What’s important is that you put real effort into all of your interactions with potential leads - whether that’s through educational and informative blog posts, social media interactions or even just a chat on the phone.

If you believe in your business’ ability to help its customers then all you have to do is let that shine through.

Ultimately, these tools are just there to help you meet potential leads on their level. The rest is up to you.

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