#BrightonSEO in Bullet Points

I attended our first Brighton SEO and can say that Kelvin really does organise a great event. As a one day event with over 1,500 attendees, it was great to see such a range of topics covered from various key people in online and advertising.

Here are some selective notes I wanted to share in bulletpoint form:

Keynote – Dave Trott on “Predatory Thinking”

  • Whatever you do, stand out
  • Predatory thinking are principles on how to kill the competition
  • Form follows function
    • First is form. Start with reason and justify it
    • Function is the application of the form
  • Separate yourself from your own thinking
  • Viral is all about the punter. “Viral” was before youtube, internet and radio. Word of mouth is virality.
  • Conversation has 3 elements
    1. Impact
    2. Communication
    3. Persuasion
  • Complication is weakness, simplicity is strength
  • Einstein quoted something that is still relevant today: “if you cant explain to 11yr old you dont understand it”
  • You must adopt a language for your clients and another language for punters.
  • More time needed on the “impact” part of a great conversation. 90% fails by spending too much on “persuasion”. If you don’t get seen then nothing else will work.
  • Selective persuasion is a great tool. For example, if you are thinking of buying a new car, you will suddenly see them everywhere on the road.
  • Direct Line has an advertising budget of £83m pa. How can you stand out against that if you only have £5m?
    • Opinion formers want to stand out. They’re usually the centre of a conversation.
    • Opinion followers are most people. Like to listen to the opinion former.
  • The trick is to create something an opinion former will acknowledge and later speak about. So, how do you get an opinion former’s attention? You have got to be different. It’s a risk but if you stand out you;ll win.
  • Predatory thinking is applied creativity
    • Adverts about drink driving ads are a good example. Targeting the drunk person didn’t work so instead ads were targeted at the sober person with the message “if you’re a real friend you won’t let your friend drive drunk”. This was much more effective.
  • Go upstream to do what you need
As you can see there’s a lot Dave makes you think about. He has also written a book on the subject.

Steph Troeth on User Experience

  • What makes a great unique product?
  • Brand can describe product – such as exotic, reliable, fun etc
  • Add geek factor to your products
  • Think of different uses for your products
  • How do we want people to experience us? Create a two column table – “emotion” and “rational”
  • Stephanie Hay once spoke about designing for content. Create a message hierarchy
    • Message for users
    • Associated business purpose
    • Underlying Business outcome

Martin Belam: “How to Make Friends and Influence Robots”


  • Headlines – ensure its in context and how it’ll look when shared
  • Navigation is really important for humans and spiderability
  • Always study visitor flow
  • Performance is key
  • Think about unintended consequences – conversion moreso

Will Critchlow on APIs (filling in for Tom Anthony)

  • Over ten years weve gone from general searches to specific searches
  • Five years will see decline of web pages and more API use
  • Google glasses is example of API use
  • Computers retrieving information from compauters is becoming a great way for information retrieval. Being able to use an API can give more targeted results to the user

Richard Baxter on “What Makes a Good SEO”

  • Set goals
  • Be entrepenerial
  • Be able to sell yourself
  • Rehearse everything
  • Learn a specialism
  • Build your own website
  • Learn to sell anything
  • Convey you care what you do
  • Always follow up
  • Know your figures
  • Communicate successes
  • Leadership comes from certainty which comes from confidence

Aleyda Solis on Mobile SEO

  1. What is the mobile users behaviour? Use Google Analytics
  2. What is site behaviour in mobile SERPs? Google Webmaster Tools has info on this
  3. Audience behaviour in mobile search? Use Google’s Keyword tool
  4. How is site viewed? Fetch as mobile within Webmaster Tools (also, I use Screenqueri.es)
  5. What is content and product offer? Use local attributes if possible
  6. What is tech capacity? Mobile specific site, responsive CSS or dynamic serving
  7. Decide on type of mobile site you need

Yousef Yeksland on Reverse Engineering Your Competitors

  • Content isn’t king, it’s Kingmaker
  • Producing great content is not easy and not cheap
  • See what worked for a competitor, then leaverage it
  • Use Social Crawlytics to analyse what pages within a domain are shared most.
  • Use Backtweets for who shared what on social networks.
  • Also use Topsy and Datasift

It was also nice to see Justin Beiber drop in for a quick appearance. Here he is having a drink with us all


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