BrightonSEO is the conference to go to for all things digital marketing. I first went in 2010 with about 30 other people. Earlier this month I went with about 3,500 other people, that’s quite some growth!

The conference is free to attend, with various sponsorship and promotional packages. Its clever commerical model is partly why it’s been so successful. It’s also a good chance to meet the informal and sociable digital marketing community. Oh and the talks are good too.

This year there were 7 sessions running simultaneously through the day, plus a bunch of companies exhibiting their wares.

Here are my top tips from the talks I went to:

1. How a reviews strategy helps your SEO

chris-bullick-pull-digitalIn this talk by Chris Bullick, Managing Director of Pull Digital, he was referring to off-site review engines such as Trust Pilot, Reevoo, and Trusted Reviews.

Chris called them the ‘unsung star of the SEO world’, and told us they account for 8% of overall search engine ranking factors according to the 2015 Local Search Ranking Factors by Moz (a respected provider of SEO tools).

This puts reviews ahead of social media (5%), which surprised me.

Chris told us:

  • 90% of consumers read reviews before visiting a business
  • 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • 31% of customers are likely to spend 31% more on a business with excellent reviews
  • Reviews can boost your results by using fresh user-generated content

2. How to avoid a site migration disaster

john-earnshaw-pi-datametricsBy Jon Earnshaw, CTO at

It’s good to see the subject of site migrations being taken seriously. We’ve helped a few clients with them over the last couple of years and the stakes are high.

‘Site migration’ can mean a number of different things. Three of the most common types are:

  • When you launch a redesigned website
  • When you move a website from one domain to another. For example from to
  • When you move a website from http to https

A successful migration can provide you with a platform for improvement, and no immediate change in performance, or noticeable improvement over time, for example with a site design.

A bad migration can mean complete loss of visits to a website. We met a business last year that went bankrupt as a result of a badly managed site migration. When I was writing this post, I got interrupted by a phone call from an ex-client who updated their website and moved onto a new CMS 18 months ago (we weren’t involved). They’ve since lost 30% of website visits and are at a loss as to how to recover them. I’m confident we’ll be able to help but it’s going to take time.

Jon’s 5 tips for getting it right are:

  1. Involve SEO from the start
  2. Redirects and mapping
  3. Utilise data
  4. Make sure there’s an owner
  5. keep the staging site from getting out

You can see the full set of slides here.

3. How to drive growth through your SEO audits

aleyda-solis-speaking-seoBy Aleyda Solis, International SEO Consultant, Orainti

Aleyda is known for providing insightful talks on SEO process and business benefit and this talk was no exception.

Some of Aleyda’s key points were:

  • Approach the audit with your client’s strategic business growth in mind, rather than anything else
  • Review which of your competitors are getting the best out of mobile. How are they achieving it?
  • What other queries does your audience search for?
  • What is your site’s top content per device? Identify which queries are performing the best and worst
  • What is your competitors’ organic search visibility and traffic like, compared to your client’s?
  • Which pages are driving organic search visibility and traffic to your competitors vs. your pages?
  • What type of search engine results features are your competitors using to maximise their visibility?

Your can see Aleyda’s slides here.

Thanks again to the team at Rough Agenda for putting on another great event.

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