Last week, a few members of the Fibre team attended BrightonSEO – one of the world’s largest SEO conferences – where we spent the day listening to talented speakers’ tips and advice as well as seeing some big SEO names (Greg Gifford was a highlight). Preceded by a pre-party that allowed attendees to DJ and followed by a grab-all-the-free-stuff session the next morning, we can say that it was certainly a full-on, exciting couple of days.
We’ve come away inspired to try out new tools and strategies throughout our company and see what results they bring. With that in mind, here are just some of the talks that stood out for us.
Creating Sexy AF Outreach Emails To Land Sexy AF Links – Carrie Rose
Carrie Rose claimed that she wasn’t 100% during her talk as she was hungover, yet she had so much energy that we could barely imagine how charismatic she is when she’s feeling more like herself!
Carrie offered great advice throughout her talk, exhibiting screenshots of her outreach emails and providing an insight into the day to day of journalists and bloggers. Essentially receiving around 600 emails a day – Carrie highlighted the need for outreach emails to really stand out. Carrie then provided tips for crafting the perfect subject heading as well as going through the best time slots to send emails each day, along with other valuable SEO wisdoms.
Top-tier journalists receive around 600 emails a day, so it’s essential that your outreach email stand out.
Create stories within your content – something that bloggers/readers will be interested in and will be considered, ‘resourceful, useful or different.’
The relevance of what you’re pitching should be stated near the top of your email.
Match your tone of voice and title to the publication’s.
Email Anatomy: How To Get Top Tier Links – Alex Cassidy
Alex Cassidy’s talk on building top tier links was one of the most insightful sessions in the conference for us. He broke down the perfect outreach email, accompanied by screenshots, and shared his methods that he and his team created based on the 100,000 emails they sent out last year.
He titled his method ‘SLLAM,’ an acronym for Subject, Lede, Link, Angles and Methodology, as these make up the structure of outreach emails. He also shared how to chase writers to include links in already-published articles, but encourages his team to state the link needed in the email to minimise constant back and forth. Some of the most memorable screenshots of his talk however were the many, many blunt rejections that ‘outreachers’ receive that everyone in the room could relate to – we’ve all been there!
If you’ve tried a subject line 25 times which hasn’t received much traction, then move on to a different technique.
Constructing the perfect email is an ‘art’ – you need to cut down large amounts of content to something digestible yet intriguing for the reader.
You want to keep your emails short and sweet, but provide enough information to eliminate back and forth conversation.
Mining The SERPs: How To Make The SERPs A Powerful Weapon In The SEO Armoury – Rory Truesdale
Rory Truesdale explored the language of SERPs during his talk to explain how they can show you what customers/users are looking for.
Using certain tools, Rory explains how you can analyse the language of search engine results in order to improve your own online performance. Conductor composed a study which revealed that Google rewrites 84 % of SERP-displayed meta descriptions, so the meta description displayed on search pages can differ from what’s defined in the page’s HTML.
Google has data that helps it make sense of what the user is looking for, so it will pick sections from the content that it thinks best meets the criteria of the search. So by exporting this data, we can take the content pulled from SERPs and gain insights into how Google is interpreting queries, which can thus be used for webpage content.
Future Of Search
Bettlejuice’s Guide To Entities And The Future Of SEO – Greg Gifford
In his talk, Greg Gifford explores the evolution of Google and it’s algorithms, starting from a simple matching keywords-to-keywords basis to now understanding real-world signals. An insightful talk with a horror movie theme that made his session even more enjoyable for our team.
Greg explained that Google originally used keyword matching for search queries – meaning that their bots considered the keyword patterns instead of the meaning behind the query itself. It wasn’t until 2012 when Google then started to evolve towards the latter, stating that they were ‘moving from keywords towards knowledge of real-world entities and relationships.’ Reflecting on past major algorithm updates, we can see that Google continues focusing on semantics and entities.
When thinking about the future of search, it’s obvious that rankings will be based on real-world signals. This means that the weight of keyword matching is decreasing as these signals cannot possibly be faked by anyone.
Furthermore, these changes tell us that SEO will be less concerned with writing content for search, but instead will focus on ensuring that websites have the best answer for the search query. We are already seeing this today.
Local SEO is also becoming more and more significant, especially for mobile searches. Make sure your Google My Business Listings are updated and monitored, focusing on images and reviews.
Rethinking The Fundamentals Of Keyword Research With The Insights From Big Data – Tim Soulo
Tim Soulo from Ahrefs gave us an insightful talk that took a deep dive into keyword research by providing us with data based studies composed by the company.
We knew we were in for a session of discoveries when the first statistic was presented to us: the average #1 page position in Google rank for about 1000 other keywords! While we all knew that pages rank for multiple keywords, but it was still a shock to know exactly how many. Tim continued his talk by offering advice on applying this data to websites and what effects they can have.
88% of webpages receive no traffic from Google, which serves as a reminder of how essential keyword research is.
In their study, Ahrefs concluded that there are two reasons why pages are not ranking in Google. The first being the number of backlinks (links are a major major ranking factor), or, the page isn’t targeting a topic with a decent amount of search potential. Essentially, if no one is searching for what your webpage is about, you’re not going to get any traffic for it.
This demonstrates that search intent is one of the most important aspects of gaining that first-place ranking.
We’ve absolutely loved BrightonSEO this year, and we’re looking forward to attending the next conference in April 2020 and seeing what else we can learn.