Commonly the stomping ground for digital marketers, an SEO conference is almost alien territory for your friendly neighbourhood PR man.
But I have heard tales of the legendary Brighton SEO: from humble beginnings, it now attracts visitors from all over the world.
I ventured forth to discover the insights of PRs less-charismatic sibling and learn from the SEO conference that packs out the Brighton Centre year after year.
While I’m sure you’d love to hear my thoughts on the goodie bags and complimentary doughnuts, I’ll cut to the main thrust - the truly mind-boggling schedule of talks. For every corporate promotional stand, there was a content-packed discussion from an expert giving away his or her trade secrets.
While only those who packed their time-turners could see it all, I caught some fantastic discussions on podcasts, email crafting, ‘content necromancy’ and much more.
For all the poor souls that didn’t manage to get a ticket, there is hope yet. I've put together some of my top takeaway thoughts to mull over:
For those starting from zero with SEO, begin by downloading Google MyBusiness. From there, you can reply to customer reviews, sort out what categories your business falls into and upload pictures so you can start rising the ranks in local searches.
When a PR campaign fails, that doesn’t always mean it was bad. It may have been lost in a busy news cycle or needed a different angle with the same data. Sometimes it can really pay-off to pop to your content graveyard, shovel in hand, and give something a second chance with your wiser eyes.
Podcasts are the ultimate modern format for anyone that wants to ‘tell their story’. You have the time, space and platform to inject some humanity and authenticity into how your business is perceived.
People are not really on social media to buy things. Getting a thousand likes or 50 retweets doesn’t account for anything if it doesn’t translate into an actual sale... and if you aren’t making any sales, then you aren’t really marketing.
Bing is actually a thing. Alexa, Cortana, Xbox and Siri all use Bing and so does almost 30% of the US market. It has more in-depth results and less zero click searches than Google so don’t focus all your efforts on pure Google approach. Keep little old Bing in your heart!
What was most interesting was the honesty of all these talks. No gloss or bombastic videos, every speaker knew their stuff and just shared what works best in their field from their own experience.
There were all sorts of tips on what to do when you fail and how you can revive dead campaigns. It’s no surprise that Brighton SEO has become a success story. It is and remains an authentic attempt to inform instead of an exercise in advertising.
Oh, and they let me sit on the Iron Throne.
Alex of House Tartle, King of the Unread Inboxes and Creator of Content
Here are my own personal tops tips for those planning on attending Brighton SEO 2020:
Salted caramel is clearly the best topping for your free corporate doughnut
Never wear a leather jacket to a packed indoor conference
Don’t bring a pen: you’ll get at least five free branded ballpoints
Until next year!