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September is here and that could only mean one thing for the SEO team - the second BrightonSEO this year! Time to hit this search marketing event and learn some serious SEO stuff.

We are now veteran BrightonSEOers and Friday the 18th was our second journey this year to the south coast for the SEO party. We though we would share some of our wisdom as to the event itself and some of the key points we took away.

The low down from Friday 18th September at BrightonSEO:

We agreed that the best session for us was LOMO (local and mobile), two increasingly paramount mediums for search. This was held in the Dome Theatre and speakers included: Gary Ilyes, Greg Gifford, David Mihm and Jon Henshaw.

It was a great mix of local and mobile insights and we took away a new perspective on how they could work together to become the future for SEO. We’ve listed some of the best ideas we gained from the session below:

1. We learned a brand new SEO term: ‘Barnacle SEO’- an apt term for the setting!

Barnacle SEO is leveraging another site’s rankings for your own marketing methods.  Essentially rather than spending lots of money and resources trying to rank for a competitive keyword, latch onto another site that will rank so that visitors will see your brand too when they visit.

2. When using voice recognition software we use full sentences to search e.g.

“Ok Google: What are the nearest restaurants to me?”

SEOers need to look to the future of voice recognition use for searching and tailor their optmisation tactics to the oncoming assault using long tail keywords to capture traffic.

3. ‘Read content out aloud’

The presence of a conversational tone to your copy will attribute to ranking signals in Google, test this out by reading it out loud; it is as simple as that!

4. Exciting tools for local SEO:

Check these tools out to help with your local SEO: Brightlocal, Whitespark, Pigeon and Moz Local. Try them out!

5. Reviews contribute hugely to local SEO

Are reviews beneficial to SEO? The subject reared its head in relation to local and mobile marketing.

88% of people will now trust an online review as much as a recommendation from friends or family. This means that it is highly important to take care of your reviews. Especially as reviews now show on search pages like this:

SERP, local listings:

The ‘Review Summary’ is very clearly visible on this page, so it is worth looking after your reviews. You’ll also notice that there are now only 3 slots for the top local results, once you click through your competitors are on the left next to your listing.

Click through top listing:

6. Ask for reviews:

Don’t miss out on reviews simply because you’re not asking for them. 61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision, and they are now essential for e-commerce sites (econsultancy.com).

7. Mobile SEO is still the new black

Google’s (fairly) recent update pushed towards creating more mobile friendly websites, and was less about penalties (as seen with Penguin), but more a gentle push in the right direction. Google Search Console offers information about how to optimise your website for mobile, this can include simple changes like optimal image sizes and tap targets.

#ProTip: Plugins like ‘EWWW’ for WordPress are available for optimising images as you upload them, it can also optimise images that you have already uploaded and convert to the file format that will produce the smallest size image, thus increasing page load speed = more mobile friendly.

So that was our summary of BrightonSEO September 2015, now it’s time to share our tips and tricks for this conference to help you get the most out of future visits to BrightonSEO.

Roll up roll up get your tickets!

Brighton SEO has become one of the top digital events in Europe and secures fantastic speakers and a great networking crowd, and best of all it’s FREE! However, free tickets sell out within minutes, so set a reminder, get a cup of tea, and keep hitting refresh to secure your place.

There are several tiers of ticket available, ‘friends’ tickets allow queue jumping, which is a valuable asset if you have your heart set on attending some of the smaller talks.

If your budget allows, attending the pre conference-training session the day before is a fantastic way to meet other people before the event and focus on a key area of SEO, this ticket also includes the conference, so if you’ve missed out on the free batch of tickets you can still attend. Training days also include lunch at a nearby restaurant, which is a great opportunity to socialise with others on your course.

How to get there?

Take it from me once you’ve driven for several hours, conquered the M25, negotiated the one way system; tackling the parking situation in Brighton is not what you need.

You cannot take the ‘I’ll just park on a side street’ approach, practically all of Brighton is zoned and without a permit, parking quickly gets a lot more expensive. The train station is about a 10-minute walk from Brighton Dome or if you must drive the NCP car park is just up the road and a day will cost about £26.

Q: What is there to eat? A: EVERYTHING

At BrightonSEO there is a strict ‘fend for yourself’ luncheon policy. This is a great opportunity to taste some of what Brighton has to offer, jellied eels by the pier maybe? Mmmm!

In all seriousness Brighton boasts some of the best variation in the country for food and it is easy to locate anything from Sushi to Thai to the aforementioned jellied eels.

Tips for getting into the session you want:

Plan what you want to see before you go to the conference. Getting into the dome is fine but the other sessions are much smaller, and usually have big queues and many people come away disappointed. You need to get to the room early to stake a good place in the queue, you can always have a chat to the people around you to pass the time.

Different ticket types are available and becoming a ‘member’ does come with certain queue jumping privileges!

Pro Tip: in areas like the corn exchange if you hang around the sides, some people will give their seats up after the first speaker, and if you don’t mind a bit of standing, persistence pays off.

BrightonSEO is one of our favourite events in the Studio 24 calendar; hopefully soon it will be one of yours too!