Bright stars at BrightonSEO 2015

In all avenues of life, a handful of facts can make the winning case and change the future of an organization. A classic case has been the relentless inroads made into web statistics by mobile:

Stand still and watch your bounce rate grow alarmingly; get responsive and see the curve head back in the right direction.

BrightonSEO, the UK’s biggest free SEO conference, delivers those sorts of statistics and more.
Most striking for me was a presentation by Gerald Murphy of 7thingsmedia. He reeled off amazing facts about our behaviour on Google, e.g. that males are 5 times more likely than females to inspect lower ranked search results, that females are more likely to print off pages, so you had better have a sound print style sheet.

SERPs: From keyword to click is one to checkout on Slideshare. You know when a presentation has hit the mark when you have concentrated on listening and your notebook registers a blank for the session. So it was with Gerald.

Gerald touched briefly on how the way we use mobile devices changes the analytics game. A sudden exit in mid-user journey can just mean that you put down your phone to get out your wallet rather than dissatisfaction with the UX.

That made me regret all the more having not prioritized the sessions on mobile SEO, in particular by Jon Henshaw of Raven Tools.

Jon’s slide deck includes an item – Google’s focus on HTTPS – that received a dedicated session by Mark Thomas of DeepCrawl. Going by his slide deck and the throng to attend that session – yes, I was too far down the line – we all need to pay attention to this if data passing back and forth between the website and user is to remain secure. My assumption is that the next site I build will be on HTTPS.

I found Impactana’s Christoph Cemper forthright but reassuring: real engagement is about comments, downloads and links, not just views and likes. So you could download his presentation…

Brighton SEO is a friendly event. No one is going to look over your shoulder for someone more important to speak to. It’s predominantly young, though I was far from alone as a 50-something, and men and women are about equally represented.

You’ll need to be able to handle a serious cupcake intake, but if the speed of change in digital rattles you, BrightonSEO is reassuring: for all the new whizz-bang stuff, the recurring theme was the need to deliver quality content and to be fast and user-friendly.

So if, like some participants I spoke to, you are wondering how on earth you should put the insights into practice, take heart and let Kevin Wakeford of TouchPoint Inbound bring you back to earth: “In the end it’s about giving value to the customer”.

You can find all the slides that have been shared on SlideShare here.

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