Interview with Kelvin Newman, the Organiser of Brighton SEO

I was fortunate to attend BrightonSEO for the second time this year.  As an organiser for Search London, I was keen to speak to Kelvin Newman, the brainchild behind BrightonSEO which was “sold” out in just a few minutes.

How long have you been running BrightonSEO for?

The last event was the 6th event which means just over 3 years, since March 2009.

How many people did you have at your first BrightonSEO and how many did you have at your latest?

We had 35 people at the first event and the last one at the beginning of September, there were just over 1500 people.

How did you get sponsorship for the first event and how do you continue to get sponsorship?

We did not have sponsorship for the first two.  My company paid the £50 to hire a room in a pub.  The  second time, my company put £100 to hire the venue and then Fresh Egg put money behind the bar on the day.

The realisation that I have made over the last few Brighton SEOs is that my customers are the sponsors.  My job is first to keep them happy this is how I continue to get sponsorship for BrightonSEO.

2011 was when we first started getting serious sponsorship and it was from mostly people who I knew and I was calling in favours, people who I knew had good products or services the attendees would be interested in.

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Social Media Foundations – From Fresh Egg

Fresh Egg have just launched a brand new training initiative. They will be running full-day sessions  at Fresh Egg HQ in Worthing, kicking off with Social Media Foundations on Thursday 27th September.

This course is a great introduction to social media, ideal for small, medium and large businesses.  The course is very interactive, there are practical workshops and tutorials to give you a good understanding of the foundations of social media.  This means you will be ready to implement the foundations of a successful social media strategy after just one day.

By the end of the day, you will be able to

•             Understand how social media works

•             Identify the core networks for business use

•             Understand how to choose the key relevant platforms for your business

•             Understand what your objectives should be

•             Understand what metrics you should use to measure success

•             Understand how to foster successful engagement with your customers

There are three days over the next two months for the training sessions:

Date 1 – 27th September 2012 (Foundations)

Date 2 – 25th October 2012 (Intermediate)

Date 3 – 29th November 2012 (Advanced)


Attendees must bring a laptop to use (these can be provided by Fresh Egg but must be requested before the training day and already have a login for Facebook and Twitter (Mini guides provided nearer the time or turn up at 10am for a short instruction).

There are 10 spaces for course making it an intensive, yet productive day of training.  The cost of the programme is  £295+VAT per person.  It is a personalised course which many people have benefited from.  Reserve your space by visiting Fresh Egg.


Using Schema Markup for Reviews

I held a Search London event in July about Schema Markup where Lisa Myers spoke about the advantages of using Schema to encourage higher click through rates.

Barrie Smith implemented the plugin straight away and wrote a great review about Search London which you can see in the screenshot below.

Barrie Smith Review of Search London


As I am using a wordpress  site,  I decided to look for a plugin to clearly show any reviews for events or hotels I have been to. I went to Digital Industry Females and was really impressed with the meetup that I wrote a review about it on this blog. I looked for the plugins that were available through wordpress where I can clearly show the rating and who it was reviewed by as per Barrie’s example.  The following plugins came up:

Schema plugins

I installed the third plugin (the one by James Swindle) as I really wanted to display the stars at the bottom of my post and show my rating of the meetup in Google. It was really easy to install. I just clicked install, then went back to my post and it was in the right hand corner under Review info. I then filled in the details with a link to the meetup group and selected my rating.

It took a few days to appear in the SERPs and I took a screenshot of when it did.  I was so pleased the schema worked.  I know everyone says it is really easy to implement, but many of these are people who own their own code and can code quite easily.  I only use wordpress sites as I do not enjoy coding and therefore I have to rely on plugins.

This plugin took just 5 minutes and was the easiest schema markup I have done, it was easier than the Rel=Author as that took about 8 weeks to show my profile pic and name against my blog.

Jo's Review of Digital Industry Females








OMCap SES Berlin 2012

OMCap SES Berlin 2012, is Berlin’s most popular online marketing conference and will be taking place this October for the third year running. Their conference leading experts will be talking about search engine marketing, SEO, affiliate marketing, social media, mobile SEA, link marketing, customer journey  and a lot more. Talks will mainly be in German, although OMCap will have 5 English presentations over the 2 days.

This conference is a good networking opportunity even for international participants. A few of the highlights from this year’s conference:

  • Conference with 3 parallel tracks and over 40 talks in the former cinema halls of “KOSMOS”
  • Thrilling sessions with Sepita Ansari, Andy Mihalop, Joost de Valk, Marcus Tandler, Nils Doerje and others
  • International speakers – 5 talks in English
  • Eight thrilling half day seminars are taking place on the day before the conference, e.g. WordPress SEO, email marketing, Advanced Facebook marketing and many more
  • Additional Specials: speed networking sessions, a site clinic session and our popular networking party
  • OMCap SES Berlin 2012 provides the chance to quickly and effectively increase your resources network.
  • open “Berliner Stammtisch”, the pre conference party where you meet all the others interested in online marketing


  • 10.10.2012    half day seminars
  • 10.10.2012    Berliner Stammtisch
  • 11.10.2012    Conference OMCap SES Berlin
  • 11.10.2012    Speed Networking
  • 11.10.2012    Site Clinic Session
  • 11.10.2012    OMCap Party

There will be 5 English presentations.  Maile Oyhe will be presenting from Google and Stephen Burns from Blekko. Speed Networking and the SEO All Star Panel will most likely also be held in English. Register today to get your tickets to the biggest Search event in Berlin.

Digital Females – Why and How To Use Social Media For Business

Last Tuesday I went to the Digital Industry Females event in Covent Garden.  Hannah Smith from Distilled was speaking at the event about  “Social media- Why and How To Use It For Business”

The event was well organised by Sam Noble. It was a great location, in  the Long Acre in Covent Garden.  The venue was perfect for the amount of people, we had a dedicated bar and we were away from the noise in the rest of the venue.  The pub was centrally located and easy to find.  There was a fantastic speaker, Hannah Smith. It was a bonus to have some drinks and food, courtesy of Distilled.

Hannah Smith – Distilled

Hannah spoke about a very relevant subject “Why and How To Use Social Media for Business”.  For those working agency side, you may have already been asked several times from your client about implementing a “social media strategy”.  Social media is often used but not understood.  Clients may think they need to engage in a social media strategy just because everyone else they know is doing so. Hannah addressed the familiar scenarios those working agency side find themselves in.

When to Use Social Media

Not every company should use social media as it may not be appropriate for their organisation.  Hannah said there are 3 instances when a company should use social media

1. Get people talking about you–Brandawareness/engagement/PR/advocacy

2. Shift consumer opinion–Reposition your brand

3. Customer Service

Hannah used some great examples for all three points above, including the $1 shave, Old Spice and Compare the  Hannah kept the presentation lively and fun.

Why Does it Go Wrong

1) Poor creative/product or service

2) Inappropriate metrics/KPIs

Hannah really engaged with the audience and answered all our questions afterwards.  Social media should be fun and used appropriately, not just because others are jumping on social media bandwagon.  I really enjoyed the presentation Hannah gave and there were some key takeaways for the audience.



Searchmetrics Event – SEO Tools

Last month I went to a Searchmetrics event to launch their Version 6 of the software which came with new and improved features. They were giving away a 14 day free trial to those who attended.  Contact Searchmetrics if you would like to know more about the product and how it can help you with your business.

Information about Searchmetrics

Searchmetrics is an SEO and Social media tool for both client and agency side.  Their USP is that they have the largest database combining SEO and social data, for SEO alone, they have more than 100 million keywords. They provide data from more 162  search engines worldwide across different languages in 70 countries. They offer two different packages – one for larger businesses called the Searchmetrics Essentials and the Searchmetrics suite for the small to medium sized businesses.

Meeting The Team

I have met Kevin Theile and Tim Phillis at previous Search events over the last couple of years.  Searchmetrics even sponsored my last Search London event for 2011 which covered the topic “The Value of SEO and Social”. I also met the Marketing Director, Matthias Bachor at the Searchmetrics event who showed me some of the key features of the new suite and who had put me in touch with Marcus Tober.  Marcus is the CTO and founder of Searchmetrics, who I met when I went to Berlin earlier in the summer for an interview for State of Search. Marcus told me about the history of the tool and the fact that they were releasing an updated version at the end of June.

SEO Tools

There are a lot of tools in the market place and it came be very confusing and difficult to choose the one right for you and your company/clients. I have been using Searchmetrics for one of my clients and I am really impressed with the software. There are always new features added to the tool but the most useful ones I use are:

1) Backlink analysis

2) Keyword Research

3) Competitor Research

4) Keyword Rankings

There are a lot of features of Searchmetrics but these are the key ones I use.  It can take a while to get used to working with a new set of tools, but there is always support available if you have any questions.  A product demonstration can also be arranged to highlight the most important aspects of the suite.


Brighton SEO and Workshops This September

Brighton Pier

I am sure like many SEOs, you were waiting until 9:30am sharp yesterday for the Brighton SEO tickets to go on sale.   Now  1,300 tickets have already been booked.  If you are still looking for a ticket, you can either join the waiting list or attend a practical SEO training workshop.
There are 5 different workshop topics on Thursday, the 13th of September:

The bonus of attending one of these workshops is that you automatically gain access to the conference as well.  The training workshop costs £300 per person, (or £250 for the early birds) and discounts will be made on group bookings.

Kelvin Newman has been running the training courses for just two years, but they have been very successful.  When they decided on what courses to run, they went back to Marketing 101 and asked their audience.  They came back with 5 or 6 really clear topics which is what is available this year.  The only problem was trying to find the perfect trainers, people who actually “do” SEO, not just talk about it.
These workshops are tailor made with real SEOs in mind. Purchase your workshop ticket today on this page on eventbrite today before they sell out – they are going fast.

Search London Schema and Google +

Thank you to everyone who came to the Search London event last Tuesday.

I was pleased we were able to rent a room in one of my favourite pubs in London – The Doggett’s Coat and Badge which has fantastic views of the Thames.  That would not have been possible without the sponsors Fresh Egg, so thank you to them.

There were two speakers for the evening, Paul Chaloner from Fresh Egg who spoke about “Social Media and Google +” and Lisa Myers from Verve Search who spoke about “Schema and Rich Snippets”.

We had a great turnout and within two days, the event had already been reviewed, so thank you Barrie Smith from Receptional.  I am biased about the event I run, so I would say it was a fantastic night, but if you want a non biased view, have a look at Barrie’s post.   When I read it, I was also pleased to see that Barrie implemented the schema recommendations Lisa spoke about in her presentation.  One of the topics was the rel=author tag which Ben Holbrook had written a post about earlier this year.  Now that Barrie has implemented the rel=author tag, his name appears next to the review he did for Search London.


Search London Snippets

I actually read Ben Holbrook’s post about how to implement the rel=author tag as I know there is no more faceless web and Google + is here to stay.  Lisa mentioned in her presentation that sometimes the rich snippet testing tools shows you that the rel=author tag works but in real life you still cannot see your name against your blog for up to 6 weeks.

I had the exact same problem until this week.  I followed Ben’s instructions, and the rich snippet’s tool said it worked, but only a few days ago was I able to see my name against my blog. Woo hoo !!

Author Mark Up For Jo Turnbull



Please find below the link to the Paul’s presentation about Social Media and Google +

Lisa’s presentation has also been uploaded onto slideshare:

I will be uploading the photos from the meetup over the weekend, but they are also on Search London.

State of Search Euro Roadshow – Interview with Jo Turnbull

I visited 6 countries and 13 cities in 31 days while I took part on the State of Search Euro 2012 Roadshow.  This was the first ever roadshow for State of Search who have also won the Best European Search Blog earlier this month.  I interviewed 11 SEOs while I was in Europe which have been featured on State of Search and on their Facebook page and now I am being interviewed by Bas van den Beld, the founder of the site.


The idea behind the roadshow

I have always been passionate about travel and even have my own travel blog which I set up last year.  I had just spent a month in Spain, working and learning Spanish and I wanted to combine work with this trip.  Anna Lewis had introduced me to Bas at SMX London and I wanted to blog for State of Search but they had enough UK bloggers.  If I was travelling round Europe and meeting other SEOs, then I would be an international blogger and I know they did not have one of these.

Big differences

I was really surprised by how small the Austrian market was.  This meant that any link building that was carried out was immediately effective.  Bruce Jackson, who has his own business SEO Coach in Austria said you can see the value of SEO very quickly, as you see results straight away.

SEOs in Europe

I met 11 SEOs in Europe and they were all friendly and eager to meet with me and answer all my questions about SEO in their country.  I would like to thank them all for meeting me.

In date order that I saw all SEOs:

Marcus Tober – CTO and founder of Searchmetrics
Andre Alpar –  Partner of AKM3
Alessio Madeyski – SEO Manager at Zalando
Bruce Jackson –  Founder of SEO Coach
Elena Farinelli  – Freelance SEO consultant and blogger for
Stefano Romeo and Lourdes Flores – Founders of
Andrea Cardelli – Founder of
Niccolo Villiger and Katia Baroncelli
Giuseppe Pastore – SEO Specialist in Rome

The future of European Search

I do not think it is any different in the UK to what it is in the rest of Europe.  Many people I interviewed said the future is great content and with that links will follow  (and of course appearing higher in the SERPs.  Thank you to State of Search for giving me this opportunity to meet so many SEOs and I have also received I  lots of referrals from the State of Search blog and also AKM3.   I think technical SEO will become less important as the others on my Euro Roadshow interviewees have mentioned.

More roadshows 

Bas asked if I was going on anymore roadshows in the future.  I am planning on a few more in Europe. I am going to Stockholm in August (Thursday the 16th to Sunday the 19th) and then Paris in September (6th – 9th). If you are in SEO and will be in Stockholm at this time, please let me know.

It would be great to do a US “roadtrip”. I would welcome the opportunity to go to SMX New York and meet SEOs in NYC as well as in D.C. I know D.C. really well as I used to live there.

It was a fantastic opportunity to be able to blog for State of Search, I met so many people. Thank you to Bas for introducing me to some of these people and also Gianluca for introducing me to Elena in Florence who then organised the lunch with 6 SEOs. Thank you to everyone who responded to my tweets and emails which made it possible for me to carry out the interviews.

The full interview can be found on the State of Search blog. If you like it, please share it.

State of Search Euro Roadshow – Giuseppe Pastore in Rome

I had been really fortunate so far in meeting 10 SEOs for the Euro 2012 State of Search Roadshow.  My luck spread with me to Rome where I met Giuseppe Pastore, an Italian SEO specialist.  We met up in Cavour, near the Colosseum and ate traditional Roman food while we talked about search in Italy, the UK and in general.

State of Search Euro Roadshow Rome



The beginning

Giuseppe first started working in SEO in his free time in 2008 when he  built and optimised his own websites.  It was not until 2 years later that he started working in SEO as a career.  He quit his job, moved to a Rome and has never looked back since.

KPIs for clients

Giuseppe tracks organic traffic and conversion where relevant. Some of his clients still want to monitor rankings and therefore he does report on these KPIs to his clients.  He has set up goals for his clients through GA and tries to encourage them to focus on that instead of rankings.

SEOJo and Zen2Seo

Link building and development

I wanted to find out about the link building Giuseppe carries out for his clients.  Like many SEOs, he engages in blogger outreach and guest posting on third party sites. And like many SEOs it can be very time consuming, but it is important to have natural links.  Link builders used to be focused on exact match anchor text but we all now this is dangerous and can have negative effects on your site.

Giuseppe is trying to collate opinions about anchor text on my SEO blog so get in touch with him if you want to share your thoughts on this subject.

SEO outside of work

Giuseppe has been busy in the SEO community.  He recently submitted a post on SEOmoz  called How Twitter’s Bad SEO Affects Your Brand Reputation Management, through his account and then as the content was so good, the blog was promoted to the main page of SEOmoz.  Giuseppe was certainly busy responding to all the comments he received when the post went live on 5th of July.  He has also guest posted for Search Engine Journal.  Guest posting has benefited his site, He is now number 2 in for “seo specialist”.

Zen2Seo with flag e1341517296504 225x300 Euro 2012   Interview with Giuseppe Pastore in Rome

The future of SEO

I always like to ask SEOs what they think the future has in stall for SEO.  Giuseppe thinks there will be a new skill set required for those that work in search. Before you had to be really good at technical SEO but now as content is becoming more important, content marketing will develop into social. Those that work in SEO have to be very social online using Twitter and Facebook and this will be even more important if these SEOs want to succeed in search.

The full interview is available on State of Search.