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21 SEO Tips from 21 SEO Experts at BrightonSEO September 2014

BrightonSEO usually ends with a 'Lightning Talks' session but this year Kelvin switched up the format and introduced a 'Greatest Tips Session'.

The idea: every speaker from the day shares their top actionable SEO tip that attendees can start using when back in the office on Monday morning. We particularly liked the idea because it meant a chance to catch tips from speakers which we'd missed on the day.

We came away with 21 fantastic tips which we couldn't help but share with those who couldn't make it on Friday.

You can watch the full video, skim through the quick tips, or read the full transcript with our thoughts below.

If you are interested in developing your SEO skills then take a look at our Beginners SEO and Advanced SEO Strategy courses. Both courses are developed to quickly improve your practical skills and increase your search knowledge.

userAaron Charlie

date16 Sep 2014

Dave Trott - Predatory Thinking - BrightonSEO September 2012

Today we're at the 2nd BrightonSEO of 2012, blogging on all the topics that interest us!

First up we had a great talk from Dave Trott, but not before an opening video from Professor Puppet followed by a dancing Panda and Penguin (Kelvin was the penguin). Here's a picture of Kelvin - Post Penguin.

I'll admit that we were dreading the day being about link building, keywords and lots of boring SEO stuff that doesn't really mean anything anymore.

Instead, Dave Trott of CSTTG set the tone for the morning sessions - SEOs need to start learning from marketers and from other disciplines. Stop the silos, stop the SEO church (term used by Anthony Mayfield in the second talk) and start thinking about consumers, brand, business and taking tips from marketing tactics that have worked long before search engines existed. 

Funnily enough, Dave only learned what SEO was 5 minutes before he was due to speak, thinking it was the name of an organisation! But as he said, SEO is about beating your competitors, just like any other business.

“Whatever you do, you need to stand out."

The focus of Dave Trott's talk was how to separate ourselves from our competitors so you stand out from the crowd and don't get ignored.


Creativity is the new buzzword – from creative thinking to creative football managers. But does anybody know what it actually means?

Dave Trott - BrightonSEO

Pure creativity and applied creativity are different. Pure creativity is what you find in art galleries:  it doesn't do anything, but takes you forward in your thinking.

Then along come designers/ media who take that pure creativity and turn it into applied creativity. This is the wrong way round, and marketers should instead adopt the Bauhaus method of form over function.

90% of Marketing is Ignored

Apparently, 18 billion was spent on marketing last year but 90% wasn’t noticed, the same goes for SEO. So how do you get noticed?

Read More

userCraig Charley

date14 Sep 2012

Brighton SEO 2011 - Is there a Black Hat in the room? - a controversial talk by John McElborough

The full BrightonSEO 2011 Round Up is the most comprehensive available. We feature our pick of the best round ups alongside our own round up with video, slides and comments.

The second speaker at BrightonSEO 2011 got everyone talking and tweeting. John McElborough gave his advice on building a private blog network and added a pinch of controversy to the morning. The usual twitter buzz was rising to a crescendo and #BrightonSEO was trending, but spattered amongst the "Best ever" tributes and tweets of resounding praise were a few disgruntled SEO'ers in the audience tweeting about lack of ethics and Black Hat tactics. I'd like to point out that this is a FREE event. If it were highly priced, superbly slick and full of uber expensive Key Notes we wouldn't see the likes of John McElborough and his honest account of Quick fix SEO. He didn't claim to be ethical, and he was quite open about the fact that in the near future this may not work, he was aware that the Panda Update was still being tweaked and that tomorrow he could be wiped off the face of Google.

He also admitted that Fake Whois identities may not be a great long term plan. I loved his honesty. If it were expensive we probably wouldn't have the privilege of seeing John and having a good debate about it. We probably wouldn't see people like Dave Peiris - @sharkseo. I like the eclectic mix of speakers. If Brighton SEO continues to grow the way it has over the last two years (far from it's humble beginnings upstairs in the pub) we may begin to see less of the Johns of SEO and more high profile Keynotes and polished presentations, then we might be missing something.

I think Kelvin Newman put on a great show. He "owned the stage" as Simon Cowell would say, "he nailed it", Kelvin has the XFactor.

Don't forget to watch the video - juicy debate recorded as well as the presentation.

Building a Private Blog Network - a controversial talk by John McElborough at #Brighton SEO

John McElborough - Brighton SEO

McElborough told his audience to leave ethics behind, asking them to make their own minds up on whether his strategy is white hat or black hat.

John McElborough's method (building a private blog network) is to create a network of anything from 20-100 private blogs, all linking back to a main site. He went on to tell you how to make the domains all look as if they are on different servers with unique IP addresses, and even suggested that you fake your ID on Who-Is when you register the domains. The idea is to build up lots of easy links from each of the domains to each other and to your main site, as well as building up the authority of each private blog using traditional link building techniques.

Black Hat tactics?

He started by talking about the content of the blogs, starting with 5-10 posts on each site, he suggested using interns, students and writer samples. The acquisition of content by these means didn't sit well with the copywriters at the event as explained on Ensign Jen's blog. He is obviously going with the quantity not quality angle here.

userHeather Buckley

date13 Sep 2011

Local SEO tips for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Digits ready for the most busy shopping days of the year?

Is your local business prepared for Black Friday sales?

Local SEO could be your salvation.

Whatever your opinions, news forecasts suggest Black Friday could be the UK's first £1 billion online shopping day as retailers open their doors to bargain hunters. The Centre for Retail Research experts expects tills over the weekend, including Cyber Monday, to take £3.49 billion. So what does this mean for a local small business?

If you really want to be found on Black Friday here are a couple of suggestions for your online marketing strategy...

Photo credit: Reuters

userAaron Charli

date27 Nov 2015

BrightonSEO Video - Using News Search Tools for SEO (& Karen Gillan's Underwear)

Karen Gillan Underwear Example

How to identify Trending Topics for SEO

Writing or blogging about trending topics can be a great way to generate traffic (and links) to your site, provided that your content is high quality and that you pick the right keywords to optimise on.

The second half of that equation can be the difference between loads of traffic and very little, so identifying what people want to read about (and more importantly, exactly what they are typing in to Google right now) is paramount. If you can be among the first to blog on a trending topic you can get your site on the front page of Google quickly, and bag the traffic (what's more if you're the first, you're more likely to stay on the front page longer).

If you need to learn more about blogging and SEO, we run regular Blogging TrainingSearch Engine Optimisation CourseSocial Media Training and Google Analytics courses in Brighton, Sussex.

So - "how can I find trending topics?" At Friday's BrightonSEO conference Malcolm Colesgave a very informative (and highly entertaining) presentation about how he used a variety of tools to discover trending topics when working on the celebrity news site HolyMoly, including some very interesting data on the searching habits of the Great British male!

Here are our video highlights from his presentation, along with a summary of the tools discussed (more information can also be found on Malcolm's site here)....

News Search Tools: How to Find Trending Topics

We've split the video of Malcolm's presentation in to two parts - the first summarises the News Search Tools used to identify Trending Topics. The second, which I couldn't resist adding, is an example of how HolyMoly used these tools to exploit the search term 'Karen Gillan Underwear', which reveals some interesting (and very amusing) trends in men's searching patterns after they've watched Doctor Who!

#BrightonSEO Video: News Search Tools Summary

A summary of the News Search Tools mentioned is provided below, but do watch the video as Malcolm puts them nicely in to context with examples...

News Search Tools Summary:

Which of these tools you use will depend largely on the sort of content you publish...


AOL homepage(look for the green hot searches box) - This tool is more useful for keyword selection as it provides details of exactly the searches users are submitting

AOL hot search blog (ignore the slow-to-update picture box and look for the topic boxes further down) - Scroll down the hot search blog to find most popular searches by category - e.g. if you often write about gadgets you can see which are currently the most popular.

Google News UK (look for the ‘in the news’ list)
Google News USA (click the categories on the left to see the topics)

Google News provides a good summary of what's in the news that day - if its in the news it means that people have already written about it - you won't be able to compete with the major news channels (unless you are one), but you may be able to find an angle on one of these stories for a long-tail search.

Google Insights - A very useful tool if you're writing about an annual / regular event. You can use Google Insights to see what people searched for last time and optimise for those terms. Remember for annual events to include the year in your title (although this has been over-used for major celebrity events like Big Brother and is no longer useful for these).

Webmaster Tools & Google Analytics - These are useful once you're up and running to help you to make the most of the traffic you're already getting and refine your keyword optimisation. Silicon Beach run regular Google Analytics Training and Advanced Google Analytics Trainingcourses if you want to learn more!

Experian Hitwise Data Centre - always a week behind - top 10 searches in various categories on a weekly basis - good for establishing general trends but less useful on a day to day basis.

Surchur - Auseful tool that aggregates multiple sources together to provide "The dashboard to Right Now"!

Major Newspapers often provide useful indicators of what is most viewed - e.g. Guardian Most Viewed and  Telegraph (has a 'most viewed' box on each category page and also 'hot topics' right at the bottom of the page.

The BBC also has a summary of the most popular seaches hour by hour on the site

So - there are some really useful News Search tools out there to help you identify what's trending - but what do you do with this information to ensure you get as much traffic as possible...

#BrightonSEO Video: Using News Search Tools: Example - Karen Gillan's Underwear

Here's Malcolm's highly entertaining summary of how HolyMoly discovered a pattern of men searching for "Karen Gillan Underwear", and what they did to ensure they used this to their benefit to obtain maximum site traffic when the Dr. Who Christmas Special came around.

userAaron Charlie

date6 Apr 2011

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