BrightonSEO – April 2023 Write Up Day 1

BrightonSEO April’s Write up

BrightonSEO’s event was another fantastic conference. It was bigger and better than the one in September. I wrote a few notes from some of the talks I attended on Day 1.


This was the schedule of the some of the talks on the first day.


Auditorium 1
Rachel Pearson– TikTok for search marketing
Carlos Meza – Is content the king in modern SEO?
Dale Bertrand – Stop writing SEO articles: templated content
that ranks

Syndicate 1 & 2 – Storyblok Stage
Kathryn Bevan – How to ace your website migration:
overcoming common red flags
Damien ROBERT – Domain consolidation: propel your
rankings without touching your content
Judith Lewis – Lessons learned from a mass of migrations

Syndicate 3 & 4
Azeem Ahmad – How do you align digital marketing with
Fabio Embaló Baldé – How to align Equality with SEO
Andi Jarvis– Where does Equality fit in your marketing

Sally R. – Crawl budget: everything you need to know
Patrick Stox – Everything you really need to know about
Kristina Azarenko – eCommerce internal linking: into the

Areej AbuAli !!! The Future of SEO !

TikTok for Search Marketing

I was interested to hear more about TikTok and Rachel did not disppoint as she went through Beginners Guide to TikTok

Rachel Pearson– took us through a comprehensive presentation about TikTok. You can also find Rachel on Twitter.

What is TikTok?

  • Social media platform and the power is how creative and how visual the platform is. Designed to be really addictive, do not spend hours and hours on it.
  • Use it purposely

The new Google?

  • Is this the new Google? No it is not.
  • Where it has been a bit of a threat to Google is how it offers solutions to queries. (food and reciepes)

We all love an algorithm

  • This algorithm is constantly changing and keeping us on our toes.

Optimising videos

  • Hashtags are seen as spammy
  • Consider when putting tiktoks out is thinking about captions and subtitles. Key factors for Tiktok so it knows what is about.

Search bar

  • The search bar in TikTok makes it a search engine.
  • Tik Tok rewards those who are good TikTok conversations.
  • Needs to be engaged – have a two way conversation

TikTok Ads

  • Currently this has a low barrier of entry, can spend a little and get a lot.

Consistency is key for TikTok

  • Consistent schedule, finding your style and voice. Do not create a lonely video. PLAN for it.
  • People will not forgive poor sound. Invest it this.

Test posting at different times of the day

  • You will not be penalised. You will be seen as a curator, attempting to put out the best content so works in your favor.
  • There is a dashboard in the backend of TikTok.


  • Challenge people’s points of view.
  • NOT being rude

These are tools, do not outsource this

  • So play – this is a v important part of our lives. As children this is how we figure out how everything works. As we turn into adults, we stop playing. Start your own account and start playing.
  • Have fun with it.

Social media

It is possible for it to be a force for good.

Is Content the King in Modern SEO?

Carlos Meza was next up on the main stage.  The daily time spent with media worldwide, spend 8 hours (473 mins).

SOOO content is NOT the king in modern SEO.

It it is GREAT content. What makes content great?

  • Helpful
  • Human centric
  • Engageing
  • Empathtic
  • Easy to Consume

In the past mimic competitors and do something similar.

The present

  • Think about the asset before the message
  • Can you LOVE your customers even more? So now the future of content in SEO.

The Future

  • Human centric – Pathogological empathy
  • Brand, voice and tone
  • Micro audiences
  • Multi asset – interactive
  • Leverage AI, ML and technology


Human Centric Content – pathological empathy – It is about storytelling.

  • Storyteling is an easier way to convey a message.
  • Pixar is great at storytelling.
  • Carlos then started talking about one of his clients. They are a plumber.
  • How can you make plumbing more interesting?
  • Talk about the horror stories.
  • Homework for life by Matthew Dicks

Human Centric Content – customer centric

  • Customer at the centre – this is being customer centric
  • Think what is the customer going to thank you for after reading the content.

Human Centric Content – pathological Empathy  Evoking emotions

When evoking an emotion with content, people are more likely to share your content. If you use sadness or negative emotions then that is counter productive.

Human Centric Content – Pathological Empathy  Relatability

Brand Voice and Tone

  • Why do some brands stand out?
  • Memorable content
  • Micro audiences – instead of trying to reach everyone, seek to reach the smallest viable audeinece.
  • Multi assets – 84% convinced to buy a product or service by wathching a brand’s video.


  • Leverage ML and AI for productivity
  • Quality is better than Quantity

Stop writing SEO articles: templated content that ranks

Dale Bertrand was the third speaker in the main auditorium and gave an insightful representation about  templated content that ranks.


  • How SEO content can fail
  • Chasing better SEO metrics
  • Why templated content
  • Templated content recipes

How SEO content can fail

Lawyer wanted to go after terms like “assault lawyer” Did dome on site, tech seo and blog writing

What were the results?

  • BIG fail
  • BUT it is not a crime.
  • Why did it fail?
    • Highly competitive keywords
      • Website had low domain authority
      • Wrong strategy

Mortgage company

Then Dale took us through another example of where he published a great deal of content, 110 pieces a month and created some mortgage calculators.

What were the results?

  • It was mixed.  The articles ranked but did not convert.


  • Articles targeting info keywords
  • Little effort on conversion
  • Calculators converted

Then Dale’s company carried out a nursing SEO content campaign

  • They had a template for the articles.
  • The article did very well, much better than the mortgage client.


  • Going after purchase intent keywords – searching for nursing degree program
  • Useful content (exam pass rate data)
  • Positive engagement signals
  • Natural backlinks

The best SEO content ranks well, engages visitors and generates sales.

Templated Content

  • You can scale to a ton of pages
  • It can convert better as you have the oppo to add many CTAs that rely on the intent.
  • Collection pages
  • Niche buying guides
  • FAQs
  • Niche calculators – eg Miami one or second home or beach home.

How to get it to rank?

  • Has to be useful and valuable.
  • Visual design matters !
  • Use ChatGPT for short content, not long form.

Take aways

  • Templated content can rank and scale
  • Target purchase intent keyword for conversion
  • Track indexation as a leading metric
  • Templated pages must be useful and visual


Niche Buying Guide

  • Build a template
  • Write copy
  • Generate pages
  • Q and A content
  • Harvest questions
  • Answer in a spreadhsset
  • Choose CTAs
  • Add FAQs to existing pages
  • Generate new FAQ pages.
  • Comparison pages converted the best
  • Listing Directories – nursing template – that has a lot of program pages
  • Also the niche calclulator, create one widget and many template pages

How to ace your website migration

Syndicate 1 & 2 – Storyblok Stage
Kathryn Bevan  was on the Storyblok Stage and gave an insightful presetatation about “How to ace your website migration”

  • Content on page change
  • When there has been unnecsessary and excessive changes on the site
  • Any good performance has now gone.
  • Before make any changes, it is important to review existing pages you have. So not just reviewing the pages that drove most traffic.

Structural changes

  • If making changes to site structure, may have detrimental effect.
  • Needs to be easy for passengers or users to come around.

Changing domains

  • Think about why you are doing this.
  • Showed case study where changed the domain name but they saw a 50% drop in organic traffic. Part of it was brand traffic but they forgot about the internal linking.
  • If making any changes to URLs or structure, it is important to avoid internal links redirects.
  • Existing audit cannibalization, may need to review some of the content.
  • If making significant URL changes, then do the redirects and it is like to like or to the closest alternatives.
  • DO NOT do blanket redirects to the home page.


This can sometimes be overlooked. This have their own URLs. If uploading images as part of the migration, then make sure that

Technical mistakes

  • When have noindex tags or robots text files from the staging site. Make sure these are removed
  • Incorrect canonical tags.
  • Make sure all pages on site are self canonicalized. Make sure paginatied pages are self canonicalized.
  • Check you are canonicalizing to the correct URL protcola, eg NOT to the http domain.
  • Issues with dynamically loaded content.
  • It is also important to check the basics have not been missed. Eg if uploading the images make sure these have been properly compressed. Check on staging and alsoon the live site.
  • Tracking – sometimes this is overlooked. If it is missing or broken then you are not tracking visits to the site. Most common issues is tracking codes has been missed off. Build in tracking checks as part of the process. You may not have the capacity to track everything.
  • Another area forgetton about is the launch timing – can have serious consqueuences. Aboid launcheing peak times of the business.


  • SEO advice has not been taken
  • SEO has been looped in too late

Educate SEO impact to your clinetns. It may take time but it is worth it when doing a migration.


  • Arrange a kick off meeting with all parties before it starts
  • Once SEO has started, follow this process from start to finish

Lessons learned from a mass of migrations

Judith Lewis spoke about “Lessons learned from a mass of migrations”

Judith-Lewis speaking at BrightonSEO

Judith gave her dev team a check list, but they did not follow them and she shared with the audience some mistakes that took place from her wealth of experience of migrations.

Some mistakes:

  • Canonicals set to the wrong URLs (set to staging).
  • Didn’t think design would impact SEO.
  • Redirects from the old site to the new site (they wanted to keep some of the pages on the old site).
  • Always make sure when they fix something, needs to stay fiexed when do the push to live.
  • Hreflang – it is important. (Judith said they keep pushing to live when the hreflang is broken).

The physical location of the server DOES NOT make it faster.  Speed is important PUT the server with a CDN.

How do we fix this Judith asked?

  • Chat with devs regularly and bring them the snacks they love. Many times they are not shown love – avoid all the work afterwards
  • Judith said to follow Aleyda Solis’ checklist.
  • Judith also had a QA Checklist – Judith said clients understand this.

Digital Marketing with Equality


Syndicate 3 & 4
Azeem Ahmad – How do you align digital marketing with
Fabio Embaló Baldé – How to align Equality with SEO
Andi Jarvis– Where does Equality fit in your marketing


How do you align digital marketing with equality 

Azeem kicked off after lunch and it was such an engaging session.

Digital Equality – You cannot fix something you are not aware of.


  • 60% of the LGBTQ do not feel safe to be out at work.
  • 84% of brands think it is important to promote diversity and inclusion
  • £252 billion per annum, the disposable income of ethnic groups

In the C suite, women are more likely to be sacked than men

Who is working in diversity already?

  • Dove – it is women led and there is real diversity. And it worked !
  • Here is an example of what NOT to do
  • They are using AI Generated Models to increase diversirty.  – Levis
  • How do you define equality?  It is the state of being equal.

Azeem did a study over the past 2 years, did they think their identity or ethnic background had an impact on their carrer opportunities.

  • Year 1 = 62% and year 2 – 75%
  • 1.5% of the UK’s senior leaders are black.
  • 20% unadjusted ethnicity pay gap in London – the heist in the UK.
  • If not born in the UK, then 10.4% pay penalty – ethnic minorities
  • If you are but ethnic, then it is 4%
  • There is an £8k different between lowest female earners and white British men

These are very sad statistics !


  • If POC/Women are not being paid fairly, neither should the leadershioP
  • Start to measure and publickl release detailed yearly diversity data, be accountable.
  • Introduce wage equity schemes
  • Pay speakers
  • Include salary and diversirty in in job postings
  • Get comfortable with pain

Educational opportunities

  • There is not enough done to educate marketers and achieve the same results.
  • BUT BrightonSEO has the scholarship scheme.
  • Gender Pay Gap Bot – look at this. 


  • Azeem said he could do a whole talk on this. Equality and accessibility goes hand in hand.
  • Diverse representation in ads and staff.

Inclusive language

  • Gendered terms – eg instead of man up, say be brave. Instead of lame, use uncool, cheesy.  Or guru, use expert or authority.  Do not use a pow wow use a stand up.

Take aways:

  • You cannot fix something you are not aware of.
  • Your customers want you/your clients to promote more equality
  • Trickle down equality is not a think in marketing – better decisions can be made 87% of the time when activating multiple facets of diversity.

Fabio Embaló Baldé –  How to Align Equality with SEO

Fabio started with “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” – Marin Luther King Jr.

We are still a long way to go, especially online. Need to tacke this.


  • What is equality
  • Why is it important in SEO?
  • Identifyng diverse groups
    What you should do nex

What is the definition of equality?

  • Refers to the stat or quality of being wuqla, esp in status, rights or opportunities.
  • Demonstrate commitment to create a more inclusive society.
  • Identify diverse groups – people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ may have other needs NOT have been addressed before.

Ethnic minorities– create language in many different languages.

  • Also be mindful of cultural normal and values
  • Voice and Representation – ensure voices and perpsectives of ethnic minorities are represented in the website’s content.
  • Imagery – images matter. By representing diff cultures and backgrounds, business can demonstrate their commitment to diversity and social responsibility.


  • Use inclusive language
  • Related content – include content related to the LGBTQ+ community
  • Monitor – regularly monito comments and user generated content
  • LGBTQ+ There are 1.3 million people are LGBT
  • Catastrophic if you exclude this group


  • Ensure accessibility
  • User clear and simple language
  • Mak text and images easy to read bu using high contracst colors
  • Make the website navigable wttith keyboard shortcuts.
  • Test website with elderly users.
  • Spending by those aged 65+ increased by 75% between 2001 and 2018, but this was a a 16% fall for those under 50.


  • Ensure accessible
  • Use alternative text
  • Provide text alternatives for multimledia
  • Market the website navigable with keyword shortcuts.
  • 1 in 5 working adults have a disablility
  • Businesses lose £2 billion a month by NOT optimising their sites


Andi JarvisWhere does Equality fit in your marketing strategy?


  • Input, strategy, output
  • Strategy.  – where are you going?
  • Tactics – how are you going to get there?

Marketing strategy – answer 4 questions

  • Who are you targeting,
  • Why will they buy from you
  • Definition success (objectives)
  • What problem are you solving.

Guiness effect, lots of black people at the bottom and then the white people at the top. Does not work.

  • You cannot reverse in equality at the end of your marketing campaigns.
  • Put equality at the beginning of your strategy.

Just because you have the data, you need to have the best view.  Get the board on board.

Every time you buy pampers, you donate to Unicef

Dove and Helmans – both owned by Unilver.

Dove asked women and they said it was patrinosing they were all spoken to patrinising.

AND Now won an “effie” award.

Talking about putting euqlity into strategy. Not everyone in the company is involed in strategies.

Crawl budget: everything you need to know

Sally R. – Crawl budget: everything you need to know

  • What paginated and parameters are being crawled?
  • Where does this sit in the site structure?
  • What file types in Google crawling?
  • What is not being crawled?
  • There may be some surprises in there.

When looking at log file analysis, then look at the commonalities of what value the crawled pages shared.

  1. 1.Stop trying to get 100% crawl budget, not going to happen.
  2. Look at internal links, captialise on link equity.
  3. Do not leave your site arctecture to an annual task, should be a monthly task.
  4. Automatically populate sitemaps.
  5. Use your robots.txt file – not only will it prevent Google from crawling but will also gihjlight the ones want to
  6. How do you assess de indexation?

Three questions to ask yourself

  1. Get more sales and leads
  2. User intent – buying cars/clothes – does your website reflect this?
  3. Low quality content – if they are high intent pages then do not get rid of this

Duplication and cannibalisation

When looking at cannibalisation look at the duplicate pages that were created for some reason (bad taxonomy, capitalisation, mixed logic in the directories).

It may be good idea to noindex parameters or it may not.

Redirects and 404s

For out of stock products, there is a redirect when it is out of stock, but then this is a mass crawl bloat.

Noindex directive if it has served a purpose for the user or is pagination

Robots.txt – manage the crawl. Google might be the only search engine following it. BUT make sure you do not have links going to it.

410s instead of 404s – if taking content off the site.

Keeping your content fresh and it is following EEAT.

Improving page speed and performance.

Redirect chains or loops that will have the biggest impact on your crawl budget.

eCommerce Internal Linking

Kristina Azarenko – spoke about eCommerce internal linking: into the spider-verse

Internal links are hugely under valued.

  • Internal links helps find the information of the site
  • Internal links increae average order value.
  • There are so many pages of different levels so it is hard to (did not get this).

Step 1.

  • Break down your pages in templates
  • So here category page, sub category page and then product page.

Step 2.

  • Use link blocks, this is on a template level.
  • If on a category, it has a side bar. All pages that use the same template, will use the same link blocks.

Link blocks are SEO magic.

L1 pages link to:

  • Other relevant category pages
  • Relevant sub category pages
  • Relevant product pages.

Great ways to add link blocks:

  • Side links
  • Below

Level 2 categories link to:

  • The L1 page below to (catories)
  • Other relevant category pages
  • Other sub category pages.
  • Breadcrumbs are amazing.

Level 2

  • Great ways to add link blocks:
  • Breadbrums (cannot get the rest)
  • Product page (level 3)

Level page link to:

  • The L1 page it belongs to
  • The L2 page it belongs to
  • Other relevant L3 pages

Product pages to sub category pages and category pages.

Great ways to add link blocks:

  • Breadcrumbs
  • Related products
  • Similar products you might like
  • Product by the same brand
  • Relevant categories/sub-categories

How to avoid “Oh no it is still not working”

  • Make sure the internal links are pointing to the canonical URLs
  • Make sure that the internal links are pointing to the 200 HTTP pages
  • Makes ure that the internal links are proper standsras (use the a links) do not use javascript advance links? Did not get this 100%


The Future of SEO

Areej AbuAli !!! The Future of SEO !

Areej spoke at SEO over the past 10 years. There have been a lot of changes.

  • 2015 – Mobilgeddon
  • 2016 – Penguin 4.0 officially became part of the algorithm.
  • Aug 2018 – Medic Core update
  • 2019 – BERT
  • 2020 – 3 Core update
  • 2021 – 3 core updates and more things
  • 2021 – MUM
  • 2022 – v busy year

Now 2023 – Open AI

  • BING
  • Yandex
  • Yahoo
  • Bard

Sooo many things in 2023

Do live retrospective past 10 years.

Areej then went through the Four Ls (4Ls) and her experience of the past 10 years, was was lacking, what she liked, what she learned and what she longed for:

  • Lacked
  • Liked
  • Learned
  • Longed For
  1. Lacked

What was problematic. Cannot catch our breath. So many updates in 2021.

Then Areej talked about the highlights from the study with Aira on the implementation – lots of hurdles getting things done.

  1. A lot of guesswork
  2. Only so much can do
  3. Struggle to get things done.
  4. Liked

No two days are the same. We get to work with all teams, brand, content, PR and paid and design. We are cross functional.

2. Liked

  1. Part of exciting growing industry
  2. We are as cross founctional as It gets
  3. Make it useful for people.

3. Learned

25 years later, Google is still trying to do what he set out for. The video is that would not need to have to enter a search query.

What does the future of SEO glook like? ChatGPT?

LLMs are not search engines, they generate randomised outputs based on a proablity distribution.

So what do we think the next decade will look like?

The fundamentals will stary the same and AI tools will help make our talks more effieicnt.

10 years ago., it was about tech, content and links, but the weight of importance is different.

The opportunities to leverage AI tools is like a gold rush.

Take away:

  • The fundamentals will stay the same
  • AND SEO investment will grow
  • Now there are more tech roles – SEO Product manager, Content Strategtist, SEO Editor, Digital PR
  1. From search engine to (something engine)

Google knows what their user wants.

We are not just optimising for Google we are optimising for User discovery !! Thanks Crystal Carter.

Technical – Content and links (get out content in right place in front of our audiene).

What have we learned?

  • The fundamentals will stay the same
  • Invetment will grow
  • Our priroty lies with the audience NOT Google.
  • Reflect on your won learnings.
  1. Longed For

A few years ago, Areej was close to calling it quits. You are not technical enough, You are not analytical enough, you are not strategic enough.

She felt lost and she was not feeling representing in the industry.

She longed for the feeling ofb elonding.

Then in May 20219, put a tweet out. Women in Tech SEO.

If you cannot find a space, create your own.

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