BrightonSEO 2016 - What went on at the UK's largest SEO conference

Returning to BrightonSEO after a year’s hiatus brought a pleasant surprise to our visibility team. Britain's largest SEO conference has grown both in size (to over 3,500 attendees), and stature. It’s come a long way since the room above a pub a few short years ago.

This year’s speaker lineup was hefty but the size and layout of the conference centre made it easy to hop between rooms. No long treks were required, plus we had the helpful centre staff to point us in the right direction when signage failed.

Ok back to the conference. Myself and our Head of Search Rich carved up the schedule between us. He focused on the more technical aspects of SEO (read his write up here) while I dove into many content marketing and strategy related talks. We also managed to do a good tour of stands and see what lovely merch awaited us.

So what did we take away from all this?

The death of the 10 blue lines. This intrigued me as we explored the growth in faceted, ambient and transaction search with @TomAnthonySEO from Distilled. He took us on a great tour of the future face of search.

Putting a price on digital content is key when it comes to securing budget. @SimonBennison gave a fact packed presentation on this topical issue. He proved how skewed budgets remain when it comes to content and organic search versus their impact, an issue we frequently grapple with. Finding others have the same issues as you struggle with is one of the most valuable takeaways from any conference.

The technicalities of site migration - a hot topic in Webfactory as most of our work involves brownfield websites and very large migrations. Lift and shift it ain’t.

A real questioning of the best practice, do it by the numbers SEO approach. This was really interesting as a number of speakers talked about how one simple change to a client’s site sent traffic skyrocketing and it had nothing to do with best practice. Of course we advocate best practice, but when there is limited budget and time, what choices do you make? Turns out a lot of SEOs and agencies share this issue with us.

The capacious main stage was generally excellent in the afternoon - and the broad range of topics from video strategy by Phil Nottingham to digital PR by Lexi Mills.

They, along with speakers like Greg Gifford really showed the value of a talk which has ferocious pace, engaging and fun slides, and great insights. All the key ingredients of a successful conference.

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Sinead Clandillon

Head of Content

The author

Sinead is Webfactory’s content strategist and she also manages the online visibility team, comprising search, analytics and social.

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