Last week, Team Tillison hopped on a train and headed along the coast to Brighton. We weren’t there to go on the rides at Brighton Pier or marvel at the Royal Pavilion, however. We were there to attend one of the UK’s biggest search marketing conferences: brightonSEO.
As a digital marketing agency based in South East England, brightonSEO is one of the biggest highlights on our calendar and a great opportunity to network with people who are as passionate about SEO as we are. It’s also handy for our Specialists to pick up some new tips and tricks so that we can optimise strategies for our clients even further within the ever-expanding sphere of search marketing.
Here’s what our team learned at the latest brightonSEO conference.
‘I always love hearing about the latest developments in SEO and picking up some new techniques at events like brightonSEO. It was also great to go to Measurefest while I was in Brighton and gain more knowledge of topics surrounding web analytics and conversion rate optimisation.
‘As well as some great tips for recruitment, Elli Bishop‘s talk ‘How to Recruit and Train a Killer PR and Outreach Team’ gave me a very good insight into the depth of skills required for this fast-paced area of digital marketing.
‘If we meet at the intersection of SEO and PR we arrive at outreach. It is a misconception that outreach is simply link-building – it is far, far more. As Elli said: “Outreach is better, more measurable PR” – it is rocket fuel for a well-optimised website, but it is tough and not everyone is cut out for it.
‘Elli took us through a day in the life of an Outreach Specialist and enlightened us with what qualities, skills and personality traits she looks for in a good Outreach Specialist.
‘So what is the role of an Outreach Specialist? Well, they need to be able to create and promote content, become a journalist, write for third-party sites, and manage media relations. That doesn’t sound too bad until you start looking for all the required traits for the job in one person.
‘They also need be persistent, take knock-backs, work to tight deadlines, have a passion for winning, be a problem solver, a relationship builder, a great researcher and, above all, a fantastic writer. No wonder it is so hard to find them!
‘These specialists ride a roller coaster every day and this same journey is taken by those trying to recruit one person with this full skill set. Out of 300 interviews, Elli has only recruited one member of staff with previous outreach experience. Her advice? “Hire green employees with certain traits and train the rest.”
‘With the massive increase in calls for this type of role within the industry I feel – and hope –that this will start to change. The message from this presentation for me? Do not underestimate the difficulty of building links and the skills required to achieve it!’
‘Being my first brightonSEO event, I loved it! It was so cool to see just how big SEO actually is and how many other people are working in the industry, especially when you consider that brightonSEO is only a portion of the people in the industry and yet there were attendees who had travelled from 40 different countries!
‘It was really interesting to hear from others who are working hard and can relate to the long, complicated process of link-building. One thing that definitely sparked my interest was Matt Siltala‘s talk on the use of infographics for SEO and the importance of images.
‘I really love writing detailed, creative and informative content for clients, but we can really enhance the way we provide certain information to readers by using infographics. It is suggested that we actually remember things better when they are presented to us in a visual format.
‘The use of infographics can provide readers with simplified and digestible information that grabs their attention quicker and can assist in a higher rate of social shares, therefore bringing organic traffic back to sites – Matt called them a “visual snack pack” of information.
‘I picked up a lot of other tips and tricks from brightonSEO and I am really excited to implement them in my work – especially through getting creative with infographics!’
‘During my day at brightonSEO, I received quite a bit of information regarding Google indexing and the XML sitemap.
‘One piece of useful information I learned was to check the index status within Google Search Console on a regular basis to ensure nothing has dramatically changed, whether there has been a massive increase in your number of indexed pages or a decrease.
‘If there is a massive increase, this could be due to pages being added to the site, but if there is a decrease this could be a reflection of pages being removed.
‘To add to this, all indexed “IMPORTANT” pages should be in the XML sitemap. When looking in the new Google Search Console, you can see the pages which are valid on your site highlighted in green. All these pages should be in the XML sitemap so that’s something to check.’
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