Friday 7th of April was a reasonably quiet day in the office. Why? Brighton SEO of course! With representatives from each of our teams, we set off into the sunshine for a day full of talks from some the industry’s leading figures and beach-based frolics.
Despite it being a long day, we each came away feeling motivated and inspired to try out some of the new things we learned! Finishing up the day on the beach was definitely a highlight, but each of us had our own stories to tell and insights to share. So here you have it, a little summary from each of us on the best bits of our day.
My favourite talk was: Measuring Content Success with GTM. Tom Bennett’s discussion of how to incorporate a data layer into your reporting was absolutely fascinating. Using a combination of the data layer and GTM, he was able to set up custom dimensions in Analytics that would trigger certain tags whilst APIs worked to pull info into the data layer automatically. The resulting system could actually track customer interest in umbrellas based on whether or not it was raining in their area.
Best fact I learned during the day: Arguably, the first example of Virtual Reality was in 1905. Russian painter Franz Roubaud created a full 360 degree panoramic painting of the Siege of Sevastapol. It was a circular painting expressed onto a cylindrical surface that was viewed from within; once you stepped inside, the perspective made it feel like you were surveying a battlefield. So VR as a concept is over 100 years old!
My fantastic freebie: I got a sick pen.
The thing I love about Brighton the most: The burned out frame of the old Brighton pier is a sight. Ocean life has completely reclaimed it and it looks like some mad alien structure now. That said, you really can’t beat fish and chips and a beer by the sea.
Channel: Social Media
My favourite talk was: Future of Search. Specifically, Raj Nijjer and Purna Virji’s talks on voice and image search, respectively. We’re at an exciting time in the technological landscape, where things are constantly evolving. We are already seeing an increase in image and voice search, but beginning to understand how this might affect SEO and other aspects of digital marketing is fascinating. We will all have a lot to learn in the coming years as these new technologies become more mainstream.
Best fact I learned during the day: By 2020, 50% of searches will be voice search!
My fantastic freebie: I don’t know if this counts as a freebie but having old school Mario Kart games set up in the Exhibition Area was genius – took me straight back to my childhood!
The thing I love about Brighton the most: It has to be ice creams on the beach in beautiful weather!
Channel: Paid (PPC & Social)
My favourite talk was: Even though I enjoyed all the talks I attended, my favourite talk was from Tara West “ How to boss Sequential Advertising in Facebook”. The main reason is that this tactic, despite being highly important for many new brands, is often ignored. Building brand awareness and introducing your brand’s story to potential customers, is the first, most significant step that will eventually lead to your desired goal.
Best fact I learned during the day: “Google don’t do Search Marketing anymore, but Online Marketing”. People’s behaviour changes. Keyword searches are making space for conversational searches. We can already see the power of Facebook chatbots and digital voice assistants (Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana).
My fantastic freebie: I didn’t have time to get one!
The thing I love about Brighton the most: This was my second visit to Brighton, after a short visit back in January. Walking by the beach is the thing I love most, as I am originally from the south suburbs of Athens and being there feels a bit like home.
My favourite talk was: Email Marketing by Kate Barrett. She was a true email expert, and highlighted so many missed opportunities that so many brands forget or overlook. In line with new ‘opt in’ regulations in 2018, her talk was really practical and highlighted how email can overcome this seemingly daunting change to legislation. Her enthusiasm for the power of the channel was inspiring!
Best fact I learned during the day: How complex GTM tags are, but also how effective they can be. With content, it can sometimes be difficult to track it’s success but his super skills showed that there is a way, and it needn’t be too difficult to implement once you’ve got the hang of it!
My fantastic freebie: SemRush’s ice cream sundae bar. With toppings such as reduced bounce rate and keyword sprinkles what was not to love? Delicious, nutritious, and educational.
The thing I love about Brighton the most: Sitting out on the beach, with fresh oysters and the Curated crew – not bad for a day’s work!
Channel: Digital PR
My favourite talk was: It’s a toss-up between the linkbuilding talk (as it was super relevant to my sector) and the talk about upcoming regulation in digital marketing. The linkbuilding talk was full of really interesting insights on how to work with bloggers differently, which is great for PR! It was also great to hear from a blogger about what it’s like working with brands. The regulation talk was very useful and timely, especially with GDPR coming into force next year. The speaker gave some great tips on what marketers can do to make sure they’re following the law on data privacy.
Best fact I learned during the day: That bloggers who work with brands usually receive an average of 25 to 30 emails a day. It really motivated me to work on my pitches to make sure we get the best collaborations and gave me new ideas for ways to work together.
Most fantastic freebie: SemRush’s free gelato! The sprinkles had some fun names too: like fantastic backlinks, or great crawls.
The thing I love about Brighton the most: Having oysters by the beach, and playing Mario Kart!