Normally, I don’t really care for April Fools Day, an entire 24-hour period designed for annoying pranks and jokes (normally played on me) - but this year was an exception!
Last Friday (April Fools Day), I was lucky enough to attend Brighton SEO, an annual conference-style online marketing event held at Brighton University. This event (free of charge) was introduced just three year ago, and now attracts hundreds of talented SEO’s looking to build upon tactics and ideas.
The event began with a panelist discussion between Andy Budd (Clearleft), Jamie Freeman (Message), Dan Wilson (Freelance Online Marketer), Rishi Lakhani (Freelance SEO Strategist), Nichola Stoot (The Media Flow) and Sam Crocker(OMD).
The panel, and some members of audience, shared their views on the topic question; is SEO doomed? This discussion was very interesting and included an unanticipated heated debate between panelist Jamie and a member of the audience.
Next up was Doug Patts, who gave an insightful talk on communicating the value of SEO. Doug covered some interesting points including the importance of understanding the objectives of your client and how best to define value for a client.
Paul Chaloner then took the stage to talk about social media and the impacts it can have on SEO. This slot was again very good and included some nice tips on using social media, particularly Twitter, for traffic generation and improving positioning within search engine rankings.
After a short break and sponsorship message, Lucy Freebourn engaged the audience with a presentation on link building. Lucy’s presentation was both interesting and compelling, detailing a number of useful tips, techniques and procedures.
The next speaker, Stefan Hull, gave a presentation on authenticity within SEO. This presentation contained some great content, reviewing the role of SEO and the most common processes involved.
The next slot belonged to Dr Harry Brignall and was focused on user interfaces that are designed to trick users. This presentation proved extremely popular amongst the audience and was very interesting to watch. This presentation provided an overview of how users are commonly tricked by clever interfaces and contained some amusing examples.
After lunch, the audience returned to their seats to see Richard Kershaw outlay the benefits of buying websites for SEO purposes. This presentation was again very popular, particularly because it was a new concept to most people in attendance.
Jake Langwith was next up to talk about SEO recruitment, an area that is rarely covered at industry events. This presentation grabbed the attention of the audience, especially when he talked about average salaries for different SEO positions.
The penultimate speaker was analytics expert Nikki Rae, who gave details of some effective hacks available to improve the output of Google Analytics. Nikki’s presentation reviewed numerous examples and gave details of implementation and where the hacks can be found online.
Malcolm Coles, who focused on the relationship between content writing and SEO, filled the last slot of the day. This was my favorite presentation as it provided actionable tips and included some fantastic examples and case studies.
Brighton SEO was concluded with another panel debate, this time featuring Paul Madden (Automica Ltd and Kerboo), Kevin Gibbons (SEOptimise), Jeremy Spiller (WhiteHatMedia), Mark Cook (Further) and Bas Van Den Belden (State of Search). This debate was focused on ethics within SEO and again covered some interesting points and topics.
At the end, the majority of attendees and speakers ventured to a nearby pub to round off a great day with a few drinks and games of pool.