What did we learn from BrightonSEO 2019?

Industry professionals shared many great tips - that we'll share with you!

Published by 

Alexis Pratsides


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At around 08:45 on Friday 12th April 2019, Sergio and Itamar left our London SEO agency HQ, got on the train from London Victoria and made their way to Brighton for the April 2019 BrightonSEO conference.

To dress up for the special occasion both wore a custom t-shirt, featuring a funny tweet from Google’s John Mueller.

When they both arrived in Brighton, they made their way to the conference, which was only a 10-minute walk. It was situated right next to the shore – which was awesome! Both had a great day attending insightful talks from experts in the field. Here are a selection of their favourite talks from the day.

Our favourite talks from BrightonSEO 2019

How to Make Fake News for Links – @OliverBrett

This was one of the most hilarious talks of the event for us. Not only for the great insights, tricks and creativity but also because of the way Oliver presented it in a very casual way, Game of Thrones-themed and quite relaxed and funny.

Oliver resumed traditional ways to do linkbuilding and its risk associates. Strategies like:

  • Building directory links
  • Blogger outreach
  • Buying backlinks in bulk
  • Building PBN’s
  • Unlinked mentions
  • Press Requests
  • Press Releases
  • Surveys
  • Egobait
  • Infographics
  • Data-driven pieces
  • Interactives
  • Linkbait

Linkbait graph

From this chart, linkbait is considered a low risk and rewarding linkbuilding tactic.

What is linkbait?

According to Google, linkbait is content designed to attract attention and encourage those viewing it to create hyperlinks to the site, with the aim of improving the site’s position on the list of results returned by a search engine.

Oliver showed us some really cool case studies from eCommerce websites that used funny stories to catch people and journalist attention. For example, they photoshopped some Star Wars items made in China with funny names:

Star Wars linkbait

And then waited for the news outlets to do the rest:

Star Wars linkbait news coverage

How to do linkbait

  • Have great ideas
  • Remember to be funny
  • Never promise anything to your client
  • Don’t be too obvious
  • When photoshopping, be realistic
  • Fake rebranding adds authenticity

Time for linkbait outreach

When coming up with the idea and it’s implementation it is time to start your outreach campaign. The most effective way is to use a PR agency and send a press release with the story. Alternatively, you can do it yourself reaching out news magazines or journalists.

Conclusion: Linkbait is quick, cheap, you can win big links, but it is not for all the clients.

10 tips to scale organic outreach for your clients – @sammorton775

We were pleased to learn some good link-building tips from Sam Morton, the Client Services Director at Click Intelligence. Sam gave us some recommendations depending on the size of your campaign and your budget or resources: micro or macro.

Summary of the talk

  • Google Alerts for brand mentions
  • Image search technique: to download the image of an author, upload it to Google Images and compile a list of all the websites where this author has been featured.
  • Create personas for each niche
  • Perform competitor analysis. Recipe for a competitor analysis:
    • Pool a list of competitors
    • Segment by link type
    • Find the types of content attracting the most backlinks
    • Look at the content that didn’t attract backlinks
    • Identify the rate at which good quality links are being built
    • Which sites in your clientes vertical look more likely to an approach
    • Start pitching the sites and making friends
  • 404 Recovery: Find broken 404 links, create content to fill that intention and reach out that website suggesting a link to your new content.
  • Tips to outreach personalisation:
    • Adding more personalised layers mean a higher response rate.
    • Personalised titles and subject lines.
    • Use first name, use it more than once, mention the site.
    • Use a point of reference. – blogs, social, news article, content URL.
    • Be expressive.
    • Tailor segment a few example ideas in the email / give more options.
    • Constantly make new variations of the pitch.
    • As soon as you start to see a dip in the pitch response, change it.
    • Schedule a follow up email, or 2 follow ups.

Restructuring Websites to Improve Indexability – @areej_abuali

Fun fact: Areej had the most amount of slides out of all the presenters are BrightonSEO this year.

She began her talk describing the misconceptions between crawling and indexing.

Areej then talked about a case study of a client, and stated that fixing the tech is the most important thing before any work can commence.

She created a script for her job-finder client – which features certain rules that will either index/no-index pages depending on various factors, which you can see here:

Areej Script flowchart

Some of these rules are related to whether or not the job is available, keyword search volume etc.

Driving *Meaningful* Clicks with Enriched SERPs – @izzionfire

Izzi specified how it is unclear whether or not CTR is a Google ranking factor.

This has been disputed by many people in the industry, however it is likely that if it was a ranking factor, Google wouldn’t tell us.

Izzi stressed the importance of focusing on the users, and that there is a purpose behind clicks that webmasters should capture.

She also said to avoid the pure answer intent – since these won’t actually generate clicks.

Another great insight was to enrich your entities.

That way, Google will steal the correct data about your website, which can help you rank higher.

We attended 13 talks altogether, including a Q&A featuring Google’s John Mueller.

The Q&A was quite fierce at times, with John getting asked some controversial questions regarding links and Google’s ad placements.

At the end of the Q&A, we got a picture with the legend himself.


BrightonSEO April 2019 was a fantastic event. The team learnt a lot and had the opportunity to meet some amazing marketers from all around the world. At the time of writing this blog Sergio and Itamar still have many slides to go through of the talks they couldn’t attend!

Here’s hoping we’ll be back for September’s conference 🙂

To date we’ve loved attending Brighton SEO, check out our top talks from April 2017 Brighton SEO and September 2017 BrightonSEO.

All of the talks from BrightonSEO (April 2019)

Big Brand Video Advertising on a Small Business Budget -Phil Nottingham

Restructuring Websites to Improve Indexability – Areej Abuali

8 Ways to Increase your Ecommerce Conversion Rate – Faye Watt

Featured Snippets : The Achievable SERP Feature ? – Emily Potter

Predict the impact of technical SEO changes – François Goube

A Structured Data Case Study: How to Make Your Websites Stand Out in Search – Kenichi Suzuki

10 Do’s and 5 Don’ts for Small Biz Local SEO Success – Claire Carlile

Speed & Performance Optimisation: How to Meet Users’ High Expectations – Rachel Costello

Crawl Budget is dead, please welcome Rendering Budget – Robin Eisenberg

How to Drive Content Marketing Success – Irma Hunkeler and Ed Trippier

How to Marie Kondo your SEO – Rebekah Dunne

How To Maximise Your Ecommerce Revenue Over Black Friday – Alexandra Coutts

Harry and Lloyd’s Idiot-proof Guide to GMB Optimization – Greg Gifford

Leveraging EAT for SEO success – (PDF) LILY RAY

Living on the edge: Elevating your SEO toolkit to the CDN – Nils De Moor

Driving *Meaningful* Clicks with Enriched SERPs – Izzi Smith

10 Tips to Scale Link Building for your Clients – Sam morton

How To Get a 100% Lighthouse Performance Score – Polly Pospelova

State of the web pagination and infinite scroll – Adam Gent

Command Line Automation for Repetitive Tasks – Mike Osolinski

Killer competitor content research and strategy – Lana Burgess

Efficiency in the Workplace Mindset Mastery and Meditation – Briony Gunson

How to Pitch and Idea Your Client/Boss Cannot Say No To – Chris Lee

Improve your rankings with internal link building – Christoph C. Cemper

Chrome Puppeteer, Fake Googlebot & Monitor Your Site! – Tom Pool [Also check my Puppeteer tutorial]

Optimize your content to stand out in Google Discover – Aymen Loukil

Google smart bidding : How to train your algorithm – Kian Njie

Building an SEO Exponential growth model by closing your content gap – Razvan Gavrilas

Why UX is SEO’s best friend – Michelle Yilding Baker

Simple ways to visualise your crawl data with no coding knowledge required -Anders Riise Koch

Using Google Tag Manager to Send Scroll Depth and YouTube View Measurements to Google Analytics – Azeem Ahmad

Competitor Analysis: A scientific method – Paola Didone

The content comeback : 5 steps for bounding back yhen your campaign fails – Shannon McGuirk

How to Repurpose Existing Content to Help With Your Strategy – Coral Luck

How to trim JS, CSS and external stuff to slim down and speed up your site – Chris Simance

The Seedy Underbelly of Keyword Research And Search Intent – Mark Osborne

5 Time-Saving SEO Alerts to Use Right Now – Marco Bonomo

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Alexis Pratsides

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