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Here’s What We Learnt From BrightonSEO in September

September 21, 2019
written by Amber Dawson

Twice a year, Brighton hosts BrightonSEO. Our marketing team visited the seaside resort and wrote about what we learnt from the conference.


  • Brighton SEO is a bi-annual, highly-anticipatd gathering for everyone in the digital marketing world.
  • There are training courses for topics like In-House SEO and Advanced Content Creation.
  • Make your website a little less broken each week.
  • As the creators, it’s our obligation to make our pages load faster.
  • Write your PR email subject lines as headlines.

BrightonSEO takes place in April and September each year and offers training, talks, and networking opportunities to professionals in the world of digital marketing.

This year, some of our marketing team headed down to pick up some tips, tricks, and a few t-shirts and mugs. We also had our own stand to exhibit the Adzooma product and provide demos, advice and yo-yos to anyone who advertises online.

Day 1 kicked off with a series of training courses. Our team covered a wide variety including Advanced Content Creation, Advanced Technical SEO and Digital PR For Link Building. This was a great chance to get into the nitty-gritty of each subject and work alongside people in similar roles.

Day 2 featured a range of talks across multiple stages and many were packed out. Besides SEO, the speakers discussed everything from JavaScript to YouTube and plenty of dog photos.

We asked the team some questions about their favourite moments and takeaways, and here’s what they had to say.

What was the best piece of advice you got from BrightonSEO?

Amber: “Create a resource that doesn’t exist” from Carrie Rose’s PR talk. When you’re searching for a statistic that doesn’t exist and you’re getting frustrated, it’s a great opportunity to create one if you have the resources. Then, everyone that’s searching for a similar thing will link to you in the future.

Danielle: “Make your website a little bit less broken each week” – Berian Reed, from the In-House SEO Masterclass.

Jess: When Carrie Rose said, “write your subject line how they (different publications) would write the headline”.

Luke: From Fili Wiese, when it comes to page speed, “we (the digital marketers) are the people running for the train (the customer), not the other way around”. In other words, we have an obligation to serve faster pages to customers to retain their custom; they aren’t obliged to keep trying with us.

Jaye: I think the thing that stuck with me the most is that 70% of YouTube traffic comes from Recommendations so you need to take the measures possible to ensure you’re showing in people’s recommended suggestions.

What was your favourite moment of the conference?

Jess: Probably going back to the Adzooma stand during the breaks to catch up with everyone and hear about the different talks

Danielle: Having a break from the talks and getting a chippy on the beach in the sunshine. As well as a cheeky ice cream.

Amber: Sitting in our PJs having a gossip after a long day.

Luke: It’s going to sound cheesy but as it was my first industry conference, just being amongst so many different SEOs and seeing all the stands was the best moment for me.

Jaye: I think for me it has to be the Youtube SEO training on Thursday! Luke and Sadie were phenomenal and I learnt so much in the 6 hours that I’m hoping to implement on Adzooma. Even small things you just don’t think about! I would also say getting to spend time with the Adzooma team who attended, over the next year I’ll be planning and managing a lot of the events so it’s really nice to get to spend time with the team.

What was your favourite talk from Friday?

Amber: Kenda MacDonald — Progressive Profiling and Engagement Triggers. Looking at human psychology and how to get your message through the systems of the brain. Made really easy to understand through the use of minions!

Jess: Alex Cassidy’s ‘Email Anatomy: How To Get Top Tier Links’ was amazing. He went through the art of emails, showing examples of his first and least successful pitches compared to the ones he sends now. He also gave insightful tips the whole way through

Danielle: ‘Making Captions Beautiful for Video Experience’ by Ahmed Khalifa. Really engaging, emotionally captivating and a refreshing look at why video captions are important and how to get them right.

Luke: Helen Pollitt’s The Cash Strapped Marketer’s Guide To SEO was really helpful and validated some of the ideas I’d been having as well as inspiring new approaches. Also very funny!

Jaye: Sal Mohammed – Why AI will be a key part of your team and not a replacement. Sal took to the big stage like a fish takes to water, he was very slick and on point throughout the whole talk

What was the best SEO tool recommendation from BrightonSEO?

Amber: Reflect Digital has build a free tool at which will be really fun to try and see if it would be worthwhile making something similar.

Danielle: Probably BuzzStream to track email open rates. Carrie Rose said she often follows up with journalists via Twitter and uses BuzzStream to see how quickly they open her pitch afterwards

Luke: A lot of the suggested tools from my Advanced Technical SEO course, particularly learning Python (which came up a few times over both days)

Jaye: tubebuddy – lets you test and analysis the CTR of your thumbnail

Favourite piece of merchandise?

Amber: My Ahrefs t-shirt to add to my emergency t-shirt drawer in my desk

Jess: Definitely my Dragon Metrics water bottle! I’ve wanted a reusable one for a while so it was perfect timing

Danielle: My little toy from SEOZoom. I’ve named him Jesper and he sits on my desk. Also, stickers.

Luke: My Ahrefs t-shirt. I’ve been wanting one for months!

Jaye: My relevance water bottle – I didn’t collect much merch but these cooler bottles are fantastic not only for keeping your water cool but for the environment too!

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