BrightonSEO Review - Part 1

Brightonseo 1

One of the biggest digital marketing events in the world brought together over 4,000 people from over 50 different countries to the sunny, seaside town of Brighton. Our very own SEO & PPC expert (also known as SEO Dave) attended this extraordinary event and here is his what he had to say about it.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away

Starting from a conversation in a pub to a gathering of over 4,000 people is an incredible feat. When you walk through the entrance of the building, you enter into a completely different world full of influencers and marketing professionals, eager to learn the latest tips and tricks in the industry. Although it was super busy, I had the trusted BrightonSEO app to help me navigate through the astronomical amount of crowds and stands to the first set of speakers.

Before the speakers started, an interesting video appeared on all of the screens of the building. The Millennium Falcon was shown zooming across the Brighton coastline and over the BrightonSEO venue. Inside the starship was Chewbacca, (obviously!) who turned out to be the legend Kelvin Newman, dressed up as the woolly Wookie.

Why is he a legend? Well, Kelvin was part of that conversation in the pub, which helped grow the SEO community in the UK in huge numbers.

After the video ended, the first set of talks were ready to go. I was sat at the sponsored Adzooma Stage in Auditorium 2, looking to gain insight on SEO on a small budget.

Adzooma Stage

The cash-strapped marketers guide to SEO

Helen Pollit - Head of Digital - Avenue Digital


Helen’s talk started with how SEO on a budget can be complicated in different situations. If you are part of an agency, in-house or just short on time or lack the knowledge to take the necessary steps, SEO can be a struggle. As a solution, Helen gave three steps to help digital marketers get their feet off the ground:

Step 1 - Assess 

  • Create a gap analysis on your resources and skills to see where you can improve
  • Look at your strengths and weaknesses
  • Look at what you are already excelling at
  • Assess your budget and see how you can set the most out of it 

Step 2 - Strategy

  • Think outside the box when creating your content
  • Start to use and experiment with video content (SEO on Youtube)
  • If you have a product, look into SEO strategies on Amazon
  • Set a strategy on local SEO techniques
  • Improve the conversions and click through rates on your website
  • Image optimisation
  • App Store optimisation
  • Set expectations
  • Ignore “best practices” and focusing on the user’s intent
  • Prioritise

Step 3 - Implementation

  • Look at what your competitors are doing
  • Discover your content gap analysis
  • Build natural backlinks
  • Use thought leaders for references and quotes
  • Respond to PR request with your content
  • SERP domination
  • Improve your existing content
  • Automate reports
  • Set Google Alerts
  • Research keywords and monitor them

And much more!

Helen was fantastic at refreshing our minds on making the most out of different SEO techniques, and she was hilarious during the talk by boasting about the number of people she was presenting to. (which started with the hundreds and ended up in the thousands).

If you are interested in looking at Helen’s slides, you can find them on the link below:

The Cash Strapped Marketer’s Guide to SEO

Content Marketing for Links: Stretching Smaller Budget

Stacey Macnaught - SEO Consultant


When Stacey entered the stage, you could hear that she had a large crowd supporting her (even her mum was there to cheer her on!). Stacey started her talk about creating effective content without a big budget and explained how fresh ideas, research and planning are fundamental when starting a new campaign.

She also gave some useful tips on how you can pull visibility to a campaign by identifying trends and creating seasonal related content. Creating a feature calendar can also help marketers identify where and when they should be creating relevant content. Stacey then summarised her talk by explaining how the story is the most important element that provides content that generates links over time.

Overall this was a really insightful talk from Stacey, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with in the future.

How to create a sexy AF PR pitch to land sexy AF links 

Carrie Rose - Co-founder and Creative Director - Rise at Seven


Now Carrie was a very interesting person. With her strong northern accent and electrifyingly high level of energy, Carrie gave some fantastic examples of her work to demonstrate how her content went viral. She also gave some insights into a typical journalist’s day:

  • Receive around 600 emails from PR’s a day
  • Compete against 83,000+ digital PR’s
  • Have an average of an hour to write up a story
  • Aim to produce about 6-8 articles every day
  • The articles must have an international angle or global interest
  • KPI’s are based on traffic, social shares and time on site

As you can see it’s an incredibly competitive industry, and Carrie shared her work on how she managed to tap into this market. She explained that if you create all of the content (copy, images and video) in one package, journalists are more likely to use your content because they don’t have the time to make the rest of it from scratch (and they are busy AF!).

It’s all about “Thinking like a PR, but acting like an SEO”.

Carrie also gave some examples of the emails that she had sent to journalists, to demonstrate how it was quick, simple and easy for them to publish it online to make it go viral.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching Carrie's talk and was impressed at how she managed to get her content to build so much visibility online. It also demonstrates how link building tactics in the SEO industry are changing into more of a PR strategy.

If you are interested in looking at Carrie’s slides, you can find them on the link below:

How to create a sexy AF PR pitch to land sexy AF links 


Overall I felt like the first set of talks were fantastic and helped SEO professionals understand that building links is not about recycling content anymore, it’s about telling a story that is naturally shareable in the digital realm.

I hope you have enjoyed the first part of my BrightonSEO experience. The next parts will be published soon, so make sure that you keep an eye on the blog section of the Avatar website.

David Baker

SEO & PPC Executive at Avatar Creative


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