Seagulls stealing chips, sand in toes, and a squadron of SEOers filling their minds with the latest insights: it can only be BrightonSEO 2023.
Loom’s SEO and Content pod made the journey down to the South Coast for the September SEO conference. We had a great time, but most importantly, we got to share ideas with our peers and hear some excellent talks.
Our key takeaways from BrightonSEO
The team attended numerous talks across the two days, spanning a wide range of topics. We received insights from some of our industry’s leading lights. Here is our roundup of the most actionable and powerful takeaways from BrightonSEO 2023:
Trust yourself – you don’t need AI to write amazing content
AI was the hot topic at this year’s conference, with a mix of talks either fighting for or against its use in content writing.
Syphaïwong Bay’s talk, Create and automate content with(out) AI, was a confidence boost for SEO writers everywhere. She reminded us that to be a good copywriter, you need to have a mix of writing and technical SEO skills – which we have spent time developing over the years. We should trust ourselves with content creation, and we shouldn’t depend on AI to do the hard work for us.
Saying that, there are tasks that come with the writing process, which can take time. Monotonous and repetitive tasks, such as contacting experts and grammar checks, can often take the fun out of content creation.
Syphaïwong also described AI bots as ‘motivated, but quite dumb’. So essentially, if we do use AI for copywriting, then these are the tasks we should use it for, with the ‘thinking’ left to us humans.
Compiling information into one piece does not make it great, and this is where AI can fall short. To be a good copywriter, you need to present that information in an interesting, engaging way, keeping your audience in mind.
What you can use AI for includes formatting data, summarising longer documents that you don’t have time to read, and scraping Google Books for common phrases that can be used for keyword research and audience insights.
AI has taken the world by storm – but when it comes to content, we shouldn’t use it to depend on everything. Syphaïwong’s talk was a great reminder of how much – or, how little – AI can do, and that the human touch is best. I’m not an AI fan, but this talk gave me one or two little tricks to help with my research, which I’m keen to try.
In her talk, Why does your CEO hate SEO?, she shared a number of statistics that show how widespread burnout in the industry is. To help keep our spirits up when we’re feeling low, she came to Brighton armed with tips and SEO-themed affirmation cards to remind us of the difference we’re making for businesses.
The main takeaway was that over half of CEOs came from a financial or operational background, whereas only 5-15% came from marketing. This means that CEOs are not always familiar with what we do and the language that we speak. So, how do we prove our value? Tailor our results – and the way we present them – to suit your CFO (Chief Financial Officer).
48% of CEOs, CFOs and board members consider ROI as the most important metric, followed by business outcomes and customer acquisition. So, when presenting SEO strategies to the wider business team, consider how your work is contributing to those goals.
And finally, remember – you’re amazing at what you do.
CFOs speak data. Use this as your weapon when presenting your hard work to business teams.
Write down your strategy. Documenting your plan adds more visibility to what you do and why, as well as cementing a clear plan that aligns everyone involved.
Believe in yourself and your skills. You know what you’re doing and have the results to prove it. And, during the times when you’re struggling, you’re resilient enough to pull things back.
SEO Brighton continues to give Loom the opportunity to share best practices, learn new things and engage with the industry to ensure our offering is market-leading. More importantly, it gives me a chance to engage with our team, connect and share ideas.
“Anna’s talk provided a fantastic overview of the SEO industry and how we’re all feeling about our work. Communicating the value of our work to those unfamiliar with the industry has always been a challenge, but Anna has provided some great tips to help us better showcase our successes.”
Chrome DevTools is a valuable tool that helps you design websites, test changes, and measure overall performance – all for free!
Google designed the tool for web developers, but it’s also great for SEOs. We often work closely with developers to ensure websites are optimised for search, and Chrome DevTools can really help communicate the impact of suggested changes. Ruth Everett’s talk, Demystifying Chrome DevTools, provided us with some great tips for really maximising the tool.
DevTools allows you to see how a page will look after changes are made, as well as how tweaks to coding elements can affect overall performance.
For example, using Overrides, you can locally remove or add code to a page, and then test the loading speed of that page. This means that you can clearly demonstrate why we’re implementing a particular change using concrete data to help you get buy-in.
Data is a key weapon in any SEO’s toolkit, and Ruth’s talk showed us how DevTools is the key to unlocking a wealth of data in a simple, cost-effective way.
Chrome DevTools can do more than validate elements and check various screen views – it helps you plan and SEO optimisations in terms of both content, tech SEO and UX design.
Finally, dev tools allow you to see a live load of your page, allowing you to visually understand how your page is loading and if there are any issues. Although you are able to achieve this in a similar way through the waterfall in GTmetrix, this allows you to more easily pinpoint exactly what is causing page speed issues.
“Going to Brighton SEO was a great opportunity to ensure that I am up to date in a world of ever-changing SEO techniques and algorithms. Seeing the talk from Ruth Everett taught me a method to improve buy-in from dev agencies, allowing me to demonstrate exactly how to propose a change that will improve performance, with evidence to back it up, rather than relying on theory.”
Our SEO and Content Loomies have returned from the seaside full of new tips and ideas, which we can’t wait to integrate into businesses’ SEO strategies. Keep an eye on our case studies page to see the fantastic results we’ll soon generate for our clients.
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