My top 4 presentations from BrightonSEO – April 2017

For many SEO’ers and wider digital marketers, BrightonSEO is a date firmly cemented in the calendar for twice a year. …

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Alexis Pratsides


For many SEO’ers and wider digital marketers, BrightonSEO is a date firmly cemented in the calendar for twice a year. This conference started out as a conversation in a pub. The founder, Kevlin Newman and some other SEOs thought: “Why don’t we get a few people together who work in SEO, arrange a couple of talks and give people who work in the industry a chance to meet-up”.

Anyone who has been working in the search industry for a couple of years will know that it’s ever-changing. For any other industry, I would say that a bi-annual conference is a bit of an overkill, but arguably is necessary for a specialism that is unrecognisable from 5 years ago.

In a few short years BrightonSEO had become on of the most respected & well known natural search conferences in the UK (and globally). According to the website, the last event had room for three-and-half thousand people and the tickets sold out in less than 13 minutes.

MintTwist attended the first of the BrightonSEO’s in 2017, and for many of the team it was their first digital marketing conference. I remember when I attended my first conference (I think it was LinkLove circa 2014) I was blown away the scale of the event and how passionate the talkers were about a specialism I didn’t know existed a few months prior.

Keep your eyes peeled for blog post from each member of the team where they do a deeper dive into their highlight from this year’s April BrightonSEO. For this one, I wanted to a do a roundup of my favourite 5 presentations that I managed to get a seat at.

  1. Fundamentals – How to use XPath for eCom Websites

At MintTwist we do love a bit of excel. Combine this with Screaming Frog and the ability to scale tasks and you’ve got us. This presentation from Janet Plumpton @PlumJans gives a great breakdown to Xpath and how you could leverage this to extract Schema, pulling product SKUs or backlink auditing.

  1. e-commerce Success – Managing SEO in a Complex Business

Now, I may have been working in SEO for ~5 years but this has always been agency side. I know that my experience of digital marketing has been vastly different to others – especially those working brands with huge websites – and vast moving parts. Alina Ghost @MrsAlinaGhost from Tesco gave a breakdown of these challenges she has experience as an SEO working for a big-eCom site and the steps taken to overcome these.


  1. Linkbuilding – How to Build High -Quality Links Without Spending Money

Linkbuilding is a bit of a grubby terminology nowadays. When I first started working in natural search I remember the times I was working with clients that had monthly link target numbers of 20 or 30 a month. We were building links at scale.

Since then the term “linkbuilding” has had a couple of different terminologies. “Link Acqusition”, “Digital PR”, “Influencer Outreach” – all ultimately trying to achieve the same think – bolster the authority of the domain we’re trying to improve natural search rankings for.

I haven’t really done any of this is in a few months. Bloggers can be eye-wateringly expensive and the effort to reward ratio just wasn’t there. I attended Sam Charles talk with the hope of showcasing a couple of extra techniques when approaching off-site SEO – and I was pleasantly surprised.

4. How to rank for quick answers in Google

Adrian Phipps who had been working with Saga holidays put together this deck showcasing how to achieve “rank zero”.  Key takeaways I took from this session? Be Ranked on page 1, address the question in the page title, answer multiple questions, use headings correctly and use a mix of assets – video calculators etc. Read more about it below:

And there we have it, my favourite 4 decks from April 2017’s BrightonSEO. I hope you find them as insightful as I did. And if you want to chat to us about SEO, do get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

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Alexis Pratsides

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