Verve Search logo

Top SEO Conferences to tick off your Bucket List in 2020

Attending industry conferences is a great way to keep you updated with the latest SEO trends, along with allowing you to meet potential clients and network with like-minded professionals. Often our time and/or budget limits the number of SEO conferences we can attend annually.

I conducted a Twitter poll to discover how many SEO conferences professionals within the industry attended annually.

SEO conferences twitter poll

Unsurprisingly, the majority of respondents said they attended one to two conferences per year.

Conference choices may be influenced by location, which makes local conferences more convenient and accessible, but there are also other important factors to consider such as the event’s reputation, the speakers, topics covered, price and whether there are networking opportunities.

Conference attendees

We have updated our selected top SEO conferences around the world to help you make your decision of which conferences to attend this year.

Top 2020 SEO Conferences

 

  • Search Y

Start the year with the opportunity to meet in Paris with international experts, sharing  SEO and SEA news and pieces of advice from their day-to-day experiences. Featuring French and English speakers and simultaneous translation in both languages (in case you don’t feel like practising your French).

It’s a packed day with more than 25 presentations in French and English, offering different tracks. Topics included: content tips, algorithm changes, digital strategy, Tech SEO…and one of the highlights this year is that Martin Split from Google will be speaking!

When: 7 February 2020

Location: Paris

More information about Search Y

  • UnGagged

 UnGagged’s motto is ‘Honest discussion. Actionable tactics. No Cameras. No BS’ and they deliver exactly that. The quality of the speakers and presentations is impressive, with the event usually having two to three key themes and topics, too. This one’s great for those of you looking for advanced SEO talks and networking opportunities over lunch, which is included within the ticket price, or over drinks after the conference.

They have 4 different locations now, one in the UK, London, and the rest in the US with different speakers and topics, but the same good quality to the extent that some attendees go to more than one of their conferences each year.

UnGagged London

When: TBC (usually May/June)

Where: London, UK

More information about Ungagged 

 

  • SMX Munich

 Search Marketing Expo organises several SEM and SEO conferences around Europe. These conferences are organised by Search Engine Land. The event in Munich includes great advanced technical SEO sessions and takes place in April. It’s a multi-track event offering top talks from 77 amazing speakers including John Mueller, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google. Deep-dive sessions are also included in the ticket price, although places are limited so be sure to book in advance. Additionally, the SEMY awards ceremony will take place on the first evening and there’s also an SMX after-dark event for networking.

When: 18 – 19 March

Location: Munich, Germany

More information about SMX Munich 2020

  • Advanced Search Summit

 Another digital marketing conference worth bookmarking, or even better attending in the US in 2020. SEOs and search industry leaders share their knowledge and experiences in a stunning location, surrounded by vineyards. Networking evenings, while enjoying the best wines in Napa Valley, sound like a great combo!

When: 22 – 24 April 2020

Location: Napa Valley, California

More Information about Advanced Search Summit 2020

  • BrightonSEO

This is one of the most popular search marketing conferences in the UK, with 2018’s edition being attended by roughly 3,500 international professionals. BrightonSEO happens bi-annually (in April and September, usually), with one day of conference talks from an array of speakers, and one day of workshops. There’s something for everyone at this event, with talks surrounding content marketing, links, social media and technical SEO. There’s a pre-party the evening before the conference and networking drinks at the end of the event, too. The cherry on top is the ‘fireside chat’, where search personalities or even Google employees answer common SEO questions.

When: 17 April & 2nd October 2020

Where: Brighton, UK

More information about Brighton SEO 2020 

  • OutREACH

This is a niche conference organised by Verve Search, which focuses on link building and outreach. It’s a one-day event with a single track and is designed to give first-hand insights into successful outreach strategies and case studies. Speakers are always top-level expert link builders sharing their best tips, journalists sharing their knowhow and experiences, in addition to experts in content marketing and PR specialists. The conference is followed by networking drinks with speakers and attendees.

When: 12 June 2020

Location: London, UK

More information about  OutREACH 2020  

London outreach conference

  • SEontheBeach

This Spanish SEO conference with national and international speakers it’s set within a unique location; the beach at La Manga del Mar Menor. It’s the ideal way to soak up the sunshine while enhancing your SEO knowledge. Besides the interesting SEO talks there are many fun activities such as “beachworking”, which will help to break the ice and make networking easier. There’s a great line-up of confirmed speakers so far, including Gary IIlyes from Google. 

When: 12 – 13 June 2020

Where: La Manga, Murcia, Spain

More information about SEontheBeach 2020

  • MozCon

 Moz organises one of the most reputable conferences in the US for technical SEO, mobile strategy, analytics and content. Running every year since 2011, it is a one-track event, which always has top-tier speakers who will share actionable insights. They also host networking evenings such as the Kickoff Party, where attendees and speakers can mingle and share their knowledge.

When: 6 – 8 July 2020

Location: Seattle, USA

More information about Mozcon 2020

  • Learn Inbound

This is a single-track conference with 20 industry experts speaking over the space of two days, followed by networking drinks and an afterparty. The advantage of the single-track is that you won’t miss any of the speakers and you’ll attend a variety of talks, including focused SEO ones, in addition to PPC, CRO and PR. You can also expect tips, tactics and strategies from the experts.

When: TBC  (usually August)

Location: Dublin, Ireland

More information about Learn Inbound 2020

 

  • TechSEO Boost

This is the first technical SEO focused conference and it has been organised by Catalyst Digital since 2017. It’s free to attend, you just need to sign up to the attendance lottery, because places are limited. However, if you don’t get a spot or if you aren’t based near Boston, where the event is hosted, and you want to save up on travelling costs, they also offer a free live streaming ( cheers to that!). Renowned international SEO speakers share their Tech SEO tips and wisdom, it’s a great conference to improve or polish your tech skills.

When: TBC (Usually on November/December)

Location: Boston, US.

More information about  TEchSEO Boost

Other great Digital Marketing conferences to consider are Pubcon in Vegas, Search Love, hosted in various locations, including London, Boston and San Diego and the exclusive, invite only, SEOktoberfest in Munich, gathering top international SEO experts.

Another important thing to remember when planning to attend conference is that preparation is key, so book well in advance to take advantage of discounted early bird tickets.

Do you have other international SEO conference recommendations? Leave your suggestions below.

 

 

Measuring Page Speed Performance Using Google Metrics and Tools

Speed has been always one of the most important metrics when measuring a website’s performance, as well as one of the confirmed desktop ranking factors since 2010.  

Nowadays we are in a mobile era and speed is even more important after Google rolled out the Mobile-first indexing last March 2018, announcing that they are using primarily the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, and later on in July they rolled out the “Speed Update”, which enables page speed as a mobile search ranking factor.

The importance of Site Speed for E-commerce

Speed matters, so the faster your pages loads, the better. If we analyse the top 10 results for a specific query, we’ll find that relevant fast sites rank better, because speed matters for both users and Google; they want to find the best result to their queries as fast as possible. Research has found that:

  • 53% of mobile users are likely to leave the page if it doesn’t load within 3s.
  • One out of two people expect a page to load in less than 2s.
  • 46% of people say that waiting for pages to load is what they dislike the most when browsing the web on mobile devices.

It is important to understand that speed performance influences business ROI, that’s why in-depth technical SEO audits should include site speed analysis. It has been demonstrated that a page’s speed has a big influence in bounce rates, traffic, conversion rates and sales.

Google Tools for Website Speed Tests

When it comes to measuring speed, there are different tools for analysing your site’s performance that will help you determine the technical improvements needed to achieve better results, including Google tools such as:

  • PageSpeed Insights
  • Lighthouse
  • Speed Scorecard
  • Chrome Dev Tools

Google PageSpeed Insights is a free tool which analyses a page’s performance, and also displays a speed score for any given page, from 0 to 100, for both devices mobile and desktop. (Check out PageSpeed Insights here)

Google PageSpeed Insights tool has been updated recently, on November 2018, and it now includes more data form Lighthouse and the Chrome User Experience Report (CRUX) with real world data. The reports are very useful and you can find important performance metrics such as First Contentful Paint (FCP) and First Meaningful Paint (FMP), both key metrics to know how quickly a page loads. It also includes speed optimisation recommendations such image optimisation and render-blocking JavaScript.

Lighthouse is another free open-source tool developed by Google to audit web performance and the quality of web pages. It highlights the issues which cause a low performance score and creates a report with opportunities (listing things that could be improved for better performance) and diagnostics. The actions suggested to optimise speed are prioritised by the impact they have on the web performance of a page, which is useful when communicating with web development teams. To use Lighthouse, there are two options: you can either install a plugin on your chrome browser or check the lighthouse tool on built-in the Chrome dev tools, under the “Audit” tab.

Lighthouse tool

Speed Scorecard is very useful to benchmark mobile site speed ranks against competitors. The speed scorecard metric is calculated combining several metrics from Chrome User Experience Reports. It is possible to check the score in different countries and networks (4G, 3G). Another interesting feature included is the Impact calculator, which measures the impact of speed over companies revenue. To obtain a personalised result, you should fill the required metrics: average monthly visitors, average order value and conversion rate.

Scorecard - Screen Shot

Chrome Dev Tools is a set of web developer tools built directly into the Chrome browser. The main use is to find and diagnose site’s issues, helping developers to fix bugs and issues quickly. With Chrome dev tools anyone can view and change any page, although the modifications are only displayed temporary for the user and they don’t get recorded.

In addition to the mentioned tools, Google has recently launched a new tool: web.dev, which looks at performance, PWA and best practices. I recommend using it with caution as the tool is still in beta and there have been bugs reported. The audit does provide a list of items to fix or optimise, along with notes on the impact of each change.

What should you work on to improve your website speed performance?

The main page elements that affect loading times and therefore speed are: images, JavaScripts and fonts. The bigger the size, the more time is needed to load the page. It is important to always benchmark results with main competitors, to see how that vertical or industry is performing, and this will help us elaborate the specific recommendations. Speed is a metric that should be always evaluated within a context.

The main elements and metrics worth checking using Google tools and to focus on improving for better speed performance are the following:

  • Page size: This can be checked using Chrome Dev Tools, under the Network tab. It’s necessary to empty cache and hard reload, then check the transferred KB or MB that appear on the grey mid bar.

Screen Shot - page size

  • Fonts: You can check the fonts used for each page also with Chrome Dev Tools, in the Network tab > Font. Webfont optimisation is a critical piece of the overall performance strategy. Loading times will depend upon the fonts selected and and even some fonts may block rendering of the text.

Screen Shot - Fonts

  • Compression: You can check if there is any compression used on any given page on the HTTP headers. Once you have the developer tools open, click on the Network tab, and reload the page. Then click on the top entry of the resources list  and select Headers on the right side. Look for the “Content-Encoding” field, and you’ll see if there’s any compression method being used.

Screen Shot - compression

  • Unused Bytes of Content: You can check unused bytes of content for JavaScript and CSS files. Take this information as an indication only, as the results might not be too accurate. It may have parts marked as unused but that will be triggered by user interactions. To check what percentage is marked as unused, go to the Coverage tab on the Google Chrome Dev Tools, reload the page and check the metrics displayed for each file. The unused parts of code are also highlighted in red on the tab.

Screen Shot - Fonts

  • Images Size: It’s possible to check the size of images with Chrome Dev Tools. Under the ”Network” tab click “Img” and a list of images will be displayed showing status code, file type and size.

Screen Shot - Images

For further image optimisation, you can use Chrome Lighthouse, this is available under the Audit tab on the Chrome Dev Tools or as stand alone tool as previously mentioned.  A great metric to check there is whether the images are being uploaded bigger than needed. For that, check the aspect ratio section, to know if the appropriate aspect ratio is being used.

If you have any other tips or if you want to share other useful things to check web speed performance using Google Tools, you can leave a comment below, it would be great to hear your thoughts!