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My main take away’s from Brighton SEO 2012

Brighton SEO


Brighton SEO

“Cath, make us a cup of tea? If you make us a cup of tea I’ll put the rubbish out after the TV Programme” Dave Trott.

The above sentence has everything you need to know about advertising. It’s all there, part of me is tempted to finish this blog post here and let you unravel things…. But I’ll go into a bit more detail, because at the end of the day it’s nice to share… as they say.

My mind is like a huge empty hanger, not a small hanger, a big hanger. The type you park a B52 bomber in. A large empty cave of a place so when someone comes in and adds a small amount of information to my cave I feel very grateful, so thank you David Trott, you added to the cave.

Brighton SEO kicked off with an informative and insightful speech by advertising man David Trott: “Predatory Thinking”,  was the title and the aim was to make us, as SEO’s think about how we approach our challenges? What are our challenges? Well I soon found out that I was already at a handicap: I was English and I was middle class, being predatory wasn’t my natural state.

Pure creativity is paintings, drawings, music and so on. Applied creativity is taking the pure and appling it to advertising or SEO or anyother medium we use to motivate a buyer, social media and be thrown in there too, because at the end of the day the reason Starbucks has a Facebook page is because they want to sell more coffee.

The advertising world, David tells us, is incredibly bad at its objectives  89% of advertisements that we see are forgotten. You and me are exposed to 1000 advertisement a day… now try and remember 10 adverts from yesterday… It is a struggle, right? Amazing so what you need to do is stand out. You need to make an impact, you need to be heard. And how do you do that? You do that by being different.  You cannot run with the status quo.

Forget about the medium, be it TV, Internet, Radio or search. Instead focus on the punter, on what do they do?  What would be the best campaign? A viral campaign that goes international and breaks all records? Right, just try booking some ad space for viral. You can’t, you have to influence viral, you have to find the evangilists and you have to let them do what they do best, influence the group.  You have to be predatory you have to kill the competition. (Honestly my middle classness was killing me by this point, ‘kill the competition?!, I feel bad when I step on an ant)

The three main things you need to focus on, within any campaign are: Impact, Communication and Persuasion. Let’s go back the opening sentence “Cath”, there is your impact. “make us a coup of tea” Communication and finally ? If you make us a cup of tea I’ll put the rubbish out after the TV Programme”  persuasion. Simple right? Well not really when a million conversaions go like this, but do all those conversations have all the hooks that you need to get that cuppa?

Remember 90%  fail at the “Cath” stage, they fail to make an impact, no click in SEO language. And if you have no click how many conversions can you get? Well David said “The square root of fuck all”, but being so middle class, I would say, not a great deal. This is where a lot of campaigns fall down, they don’t want to rock the boat by being different, they look at the analytics and they play it safe, very middle class, and eventually they fail.

What we as SEO’s need to do is look at what drives people. If you can work that out and speak their language then happy days, the only caveat is we need to be bilingual we need to speak to the customers and we need to sell to our clients. Marketing departments speak marketing language, you need to do this to win pitches, then you need to switch and write to the actual customers, who thankfully speak plain English.

What I took away from David is that we need to think about how to impact the 10%and they will influence the 90%, but without even reaching the 10% your doomed. David would have use a far stronger word but I’m far too middle class to even mutter it.

Do You Speak Brand?

The other stand out speaker for me was Anthony Mayfield, who had a tough act to follow. Anthony also touched on the ability of SEO’s to be able to speak brand. The SEO industry is still relatively young and the way it’s explained and sold is changing and we, as SEO’s need to be able to communicate to potential clients what we do and why it’s important to them. By showing potential clients how SEO integrates into the wider scheme of marketing.

One huge indicator of how this market is changing and evolving is the fact that Coke-a -Cola has moved 20% of its over-all marketing budget to internet marketing, including content creation and SEO services. This is a big step for one of the biggest companies in the world and as we know, a  sign  of things  to come for other companies.

Anthony went on to explain how he saw SEO evolve over the past years and how there were direct connections between the raw data that we have form analytics and how we can react to that data into practice. How we divide these jobs up and how we speak to our clients about how and why is what the industry has be wrestling with over the past few years. Is it going to be all ‘inbound media’ or ‘in bound marketing’ in the next few years?

What we know for now is that the companies that produce good content, consistently are the ones who are seeing success. Anthony explained that SEO is a medium in its own right and should be refered to as such, so that along with TV, radio, Magazines and so on, SEO should be seen as something that has its own measurable worth within a marketing budget.

SEO as an industry has to find where it comes into the users buying cycle. People go through a number of different stages before making a purchase: consideration, bond, advocate, enjoy, evaluate and buy. As an SEO we can see the natural places to put reviews and help conversion factors, which in turn with all the factors finally bring people to the al important buy section of the process.

What I took away from Anthony’s speech was that SEO has to learn how to explain its benefits to marketing departments because these are the departments that we should be talking to. It’s come a long way, SEO and it has a long way to go. I for one am enjoying the journey.

Linkdex updates…

Things have been evolving at Linkdex over the past few months and some of these updates are going to make life easier for us all. You might have missed Matt Robert’s speech as he was hidden away in another room within the Brighton Dome.

Geo Rankings: Linkdex has the ability to see how your rankings for particular keywords are doing in different cities and areas. So you might be number one in one town but not in another. Because Google uses one data center for displaying your rankings to you this doesn’t mean your rankings in a town the other end of the country are the same. With this information you can fine tune your optimization for particular areas, areas where you might be losing out on business.

Competitor Analysis: One of the things that is practically industry standard is to keep an eye on what the competition is doing. Linkdex has the ability to find who your competitors are in any particular country based on keywords. One thing that we can say is we know ho we think our competitors are in any particular market but it’s reassuring to have a third party find competitors too. By analysing this data it’s possible for Lindex to estimate the market share that a competitor has and put an actual monetary value on that share.


Brighton SEO is a good way to get a snap shot of the industry and to see how people were engaging in the market. I would highly recommend Brighton SEO it to anyone who is working in the  industry and to anyone who uses SEO service providers. The relationship between provider and client is developing and finding the right language is part of this process.




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