brightonSEO X GLO: Our brightonSEO Recap

It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for! April 2023 saw the return of the digital marketing world’s answer to Coachella: brightonSEO. From PPC and measurement to strategy, the science of search, and of course, AI, this year’s conference, as usual, had it all. Read on for our brightonSEO recap of all the best the event had to offer. 

brightonSEO Recap: Day One

With a crate full of GLOies shipped to the seaside and sponsor passes at the ready, it was soon time to get going. The first day certainly didn’t disappoint! Here’s a quick look at some of our favourite talks:

Carlos Meza – Is Content The King In Modern SEO?

Up first, CEO of Crowd Content (a freelance writing platform set to take the world by storm) Carlos Meza captivated us with his game-changing insights on what makes content great. 

Highlighting the importance of human-centric content, Carols emphasised that in today’s digital environment, written words simply aren’t enough. Us SEO content writers should make a true effort to tell stories, tap into emotions, and build connections with our audiences. According to him, this can translate to anything from making the reader the hero in their own journey to working with niche customs and preferences when localising. 

Beyond these foundations for SEO success, Carlos touched on the significance of maintaining a unique brand tone of voice, arguing that with AI-generated content becoming more commonplace than ever in SERPs, being able to stand out from the crowd is vital. We couldn’t agree more.

Emma Russell – Exploring the Psychological Theory, Cognitive Load

Here at GLO, we have a bit of a penchant for data-driven, evidenced ways of thinking, so jumped at the chance to attend auditorium one’s trio of talks on the science of search, during which Emma Russell, the brains behind Oxford Comma Digital, shone the spotlight on the role of cognitive load in digital marketing. 

This unique talk tackled UX and conversion with ease – labelling cognitive load (or the amount of mental effort needed to understand a stimulus/information), whether high or low, as a main driver in lead wins and losses. In short, overload your users, and their experience will suffer – as will your sales. 

Throughout her talk, Emma gave us the lowdown on creating brain-friendly strategies, emphasising the importance of minimising non-vital mental processing – whether through reducing clutter, increasing consistency, or making use of already familiar design elements – all of which are now points of consideration in our projects.

Giulia Panozzo – Neuroscience of Search

Neuroscientist turned SEO expert Giulia Panozzo (and her wonderfully sparkly jumpsuit)  helped the brightonSEO audience get into users’ heads.

This information-packed talk was an absolute highlight of the conference for many of our team, and for good reason! Giulia took the time to dive deep into the cognitive biases and heuristics that influence decision-making, explaining, in short, that developing a better understanding of the quirks of human thinking can prove invaluable in both building more effective campaigns, and simply building connections with audiences. 

Ultimately, in her experience, tailoring digital strategies to fit real people using behavioural science puts the user back in focus, wins attention (even across saturated SERPs), and increases engagement. What’s not to love?

brightonSEO Recap: Day Two 

After recovering from a long day of learning and night of networking, the GLO team returned to The Brighton Centre for Friday’s talks. 

Niki Mosier – The Value of Featured Snippets

Featured snippets have long been a favourite tool amongst the team here at GLO, meaning AgentSync senior director Niki Mosier’s talk, ‘The Value of Featured Snippets’, was a must-attend. 

Niki stressed the importance of featured snippets, emphasising that their new ability to take up over 50% of the screen on mobile devices make spot number 0 more valuable real estate than ever before. Her session served as a treasure trove of stat-backed snippet tips – stating that, for example, ‘Why’ is the ultimate question word to target, with over 77% of existing featured snippets starting with it. 

Niki’s key tips for boosting featured snippet success included refreshing content regularly – with 70% of #0 ranking content being published in the last 2-3 years – and implementing FAQ schema markup for any content aiming for snippet glory. 

Chloe Smith – How Content Design Impacts SEO and Accessibility

Chloe Smith, SEO Manager at Blue Array, brought accessibility to the fore, with their talk on content design strategy being a favourite amongst the design-focused members of our team.

Their top recommendations included optimising page layout and content for the F reading pattern – a proven human behaviour driven by scanning. According to researchers, the first lines of text on a page receive more attention than subsequent lines, as do the first few words of text on the left hand side. These on-page hotspots from an ‘F’ shape when mapped, and can be optimised by designers to improve both UX and conversion rates by, for example, starting new paragraphs with attention-grabbing keywords, using typography to highlight important information, and breaking up text with paragraphs and bullet points where possible. 

Chloe also recommended writing for an average reading age of 12-23, keeping the end product clear, simple, and concise for ease of processing. A clear heading structure can help achieve this.

Carrie Rose – Owning TikTok, Pinterest and YouTube SERPS

Carrie Rose, director of Rise at Seven, has been a big inspiration for many of our team members for some time now! Her unique industry insights have always struck a chord with us, and this session was no different.

Taking the main stage, Carrie touched on declining direct search volumes for products and services – the ultimate example of shifting consumer behaviour. According to her, today’s users are casting their nets wider, searching across diverse platforms like TikTok and Pinterest rather than exclusively on traditional search engines. 

In line with changes in where audiences spend their time and energy, Carrie discussed Google’s shift towards prioritising user-generated content over branded content, emphasising the increasing significance of off-page SEO, influencer marketing, and PR, particularly for e-commerce brands looking to maintain SERP dominance.

Toju Duke – Friday Keynote: The New Era: Embracing AI Technologies in Marketing

AI was likely the most spoken word over the brightonSEO weekend. There wasn’t one talk it wasn’t mentioned in – and rightfully so! This tool is unarguably groundbreaking, but to what extent should we embrace it?

Wrapping up the last day of the conference, Toju Duke, Programme Manager of Responsible AI at Google, took us on an eye-opening journey through, in her opinion, the fourth industrial revolution, focusing on AI’s transformative power in the marketing sphere. 

Duke stressed the importance of marketers integrating AI into everyday work as a tool for everything from creativity to productivity and efficiency. Of course, within the context of the helpful content update, she emphasised the importance of using our newfound AI power for good – for example, aiding in the delivery of user-driven, accessible, and useful content. 

Her talk served as an amplification of the event’s biggest discussion point, putting forward one clear message: the future of digital marketing has arrived. 

Looking to the Future

It’s safe to say that this April’s brightonSEO was the best yet for the GLO team. From insights and education to our role as sponsors, we couldn’t have had a better experience – and can’t wait for the next one! 

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