My takeaways from BrightonSEO
Last week, myself and Bryony Lewis, our SEO strategist, were lucky enough to attend BrightonSEO. It is one of the most well-known events for SEO and marketing professionals. The conference provides insights into the latest trends, techniques, and technologies in the industry. It is an excellent place to reflect on the work we do and learn from the wider industry. This is my second time attending and both times I have come away with a handful of helpful insights and thoughts, so I thought I would finally write my first article for Netbiz and share a few of my takeaways.
GA4 is King, Long live GA4
GA4 was the big talking point at Brighton back in October 2022, so it was quite telling how few times it was mentioned just six months later and is a reminder of how quickly our industry evolves. GA4 is here and it’s here to stay. With Google announcing that GA4 will replace Universal Analytics on July 1st 2023, businesses are rapidly transitioning to the new platform.
Despite its initial rollout being met with mixed reviews due to its lack of certain features that were present in Universal Analytics, GA4 is proving to be a powerful tool for businesses. If you are looking to gain deeper insights into your clients’ activities on your site. GA4 is the way to go.
While it may take some time for businesses and even the marketing industry to fully adopt GA4, those who have are already gaining a clear advantage in the ever-evolving digital marketing landscape. So, while the initial excitement around GA4 may have died down, it’s important to remember that it’s still a powerful tool that will continue to shape the way businesses approach analytics and data-driven decision-making. Long live GA4!
AI is here and it’s impossible to avoid
It seems every day there is a new AI tool popping up or an article/podcast decreeing how AI is racing ahead and going to take over and there was certainly a lot of talk around it at this conference. Kelvin’s ridiculous introduction was this year replaced by the resurrection of Clippy (the digital paper clip from Microsoft Office we all know and love) decreeing the rise of the AI overlords. That immediately set the tone for the conference. There were very few, if any, talks where AI did not, at least, get a passing comment.
AI is here. It is not going anywhere, so we are going to embrace it. The likes of ChatGPT have seen a meteoric rise in use and awareness. While AI is definitely not infallible, with the likes of Bing AI becoming an ‘emotionally manipulative liar’, it absolutely has its uses within marketing. I am not afraid to say I use it on a daily basis; for example, every subheading in this article was generated and adapted using ChatGPT.
While at the moment AI is great to use as an efficiency tool, giving suggestions & bouncing ideas around, imagine how powerful it will be in just a few years’ time. Imagine feeding all your marketing data, your results, your copy, images & audiences into a personalised AI. This AI could highlight opportunities for finding gaps in the market. It would immediately take the stress of pouring over mountains of data and interpreting it. Imagine the number of tests you could run. The number of different variables you could test. Spotting all the patterns as soon as they form. Of course, this is still theoretical and would require proprietary localised AI to prevent leaks similar to the Samsung code leak, but it is without a doubt just around the corner and could be a game changer in the world of marketing.
The Future of SEO: Integrating Psychology
Psychology and the human side of marketing has always been the part of marketing that has interested me the most, be that making ad copy designed for a certain audience or adjusting a design based on the way people interact with it. So for me, it was very interesting to hear a number of talks focused on how we can use psychology to improve not just our site’s user experience, but also our SEO rankings.
There were two focuses on Psychology and SEO at Brighton this year. The first was search intent. For years the industry has been striving to drive as much traffic to a site as possible, gaining as many clicks as possible and increasing click-through rates. Now the focus is slowly beginning to shift to what users are looking for and if they are the type of users the site wants and needs. One of the talking points was the 6 W’s. By focusing on the 6 W’s and looking at how users are using terms containing these, we are focusing on smaller search volume terms that are much more likely to make a conversion.
The other focus on Psychology was how users interact with the pages they land on. Most of the time when a user lands on a page, they’ll initially scan a page to find out whether it is relevant. There are a number of different Scanning patterns but one of the most common and cited is the F-pattern. With the Google helpful content update back in August 2022, it has become increasingly important to make sure that users can easily find the content they want. Not only that we need to make it easy for them to scan, with the vast majority only reading a fraction of the full page of content.
BrightonSEO is a Must-Attend Event
BrightonSEO is the event to attend for anyone specialising in SEO or working within Marketing. In an industry that is constantly evolving and adapting, BrightonSEO provides an opportunity to gain valuable insights into the latest trends and techniques in the industry.
The conference boasts an impressive lineup of speakers, covering a wide range of topics from technical SEO to content marketing and everything in between. It could be easy to come away from the conference feeling like the world is ending and ‘SEO is dead’. But that’s part of the constant learning and improvement process that comes with Marketing. My aim with a conference like this is always to reinforce the knowledge I have gained from the vast number of campaigns we have worked on and to come away with a handful of new ideas or suggestions to implement.
Even for those who work alongside the SEO industry in conversion rate optimisation or social media marketing, I can absolutely recommend attending every so often. If nothing else, it’s a great networking event and keeps you up to date with what is happening in the industry.
Who doesn’t love a seaside conference
My last takeaway is not really related to SEO or Marketing at all. But who doesn’t love a seaside conference? Especially in Brighton. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Brighton & it makes a great venue for one of the biggest SEO conferences out there.
There’s something special about being by the sea, the beach, the endless ice creams and the fresh sea air that just adds to the overall experience. The BrightonSEO conference always manages to combine the hustle and bustle of a major industry event with the relaxed vibe of a seaside town, making for a unique and memorable experience.
In addition to the conference itself, Brighton offers plenty of attractions and activities. Whether it’s exploring the lanes and all the amazing and quirky shops or simply taking a stroll along the beach, there’s something for everyone. Brighton also offers some amazing food options, in the space of the three days we were there, we ate at 7 different restaurants/cafes and I can honestly say I would recommend them all (but I will save that for a different article). Overall, BrightonSEO is not just about learning and networking, but also about having fun and creating lasting memories
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