Come with us to BrightonSEO – Friday’s Insights

8 min read by Charles Craik 20 Sep 2023


Day two at BrightonSEO enabled our SEO team, and colleagues, to gather exceptional and cutting-edge industry insights about a range of high-profile topics at the forefront of Search Marketing and how it sits in a wider strategy.

The event attracts thousands of marketing specialists on a mission to equip themselves with the knowledge and guidance on the latest trends. Day one had a heavy focus on business strategy, development, mindset and management. Day two offered a wealth of groundbreaking talks about some of the platforms, tools and current issues affecting the impact and success of search marketing.

Here are the team’s key takeaways and highlights from the day:

Local SEO at scale: turning a single drop into a waterfall of impact – Ehab Aboud

Ehab Aboud’s talk on Friday at Brighton SEO shed light on the often underutilised potential of GBP (Google Business Profile) schema for businesses. Surprisingly, less than 40% of businesses take full advantage of it. Aboud highlighted exemplary cases in Tesco and Asda, which leverage rich cards and in-house content to enhance their online presence and drive local impact. The talk emphasised the importance of high-quality images, with Google favouring businesses that provide more than 30 images.

Videos also play a crucial role in GBP packs. Aboud encouraged businesses not to shy away from using all elements within GBP, particularly attributes like wheelchair or dog-friendly options. Implementing website schema is key to tapping into rich data, and including booking providers, live menus, and prices can further boost local SEO efforts.

Apple, Bing & Google platforms for multi-location local search optimisation – Michel van Luijelaar

Michel van Luijelaar’s talk highlighted the growing popularity of Apple Business Connect, with a substantial global increase of almost 10%. Bing also shouldn’t be overlooked, as setting up Bing Local takes just 10 minutes and can significantly benefit your local search efforts. Van Luijelaar emphasised the importance of leveraging keyword data from Apple Business Connect to gain deeper insights into which keywords are driving clicks and calls. He then stressed the significance of business profile reviews, with 30% of customers relying on them. The more reviews a profile has, the greater the chance of conversion, and this also positively impacts ranking in Google Business Profile. For more resources, he recommended checking out, making it easier to manage and optimise your Google Business Profile.

Harry & Lloyds’ idiot-proof guide to GBP optimisation – Greg Gifford

Greg Gifford offered practical advice for optimising your Google Business Profile (GBP). Gifford pushed home the importance of making a strong first impression through your GBP, as it can often be the first point of contact with potential customers. Correct and up-to-date phone numbers are crucial, as well as the quality and quantity of photos, which can directly impact clicks and ranking. Additionally, Gifford emphasised the significance of GBP reviews, especially those with photos, videos, longer text, or thumbs-up reactions, which tend to stay higher in the default sort order for longer periods. Lastly, he suggested using GBP as a pre-site FAQ and noted that answers with thumbs-up reactions tend to rank higher, making it a valuable resource for customer engagement and information distribution.

Embracing AI in SEO: how to 10x your SEO leveraging AI bots – Aleyda Solis

The topic hot on the industry’s lips was one to embrace. In this session, Solis introduced a range of valuable tools and tips for optimising SEO efforts through the power of AI. Some of the highlighted tools and resources include, Merchstack, Webpilot, and ChatGPT plugins like serpstat and for keyword research and question analysis. Solis emphasised the importance of using plugins like browserpilot and Show Me to visualise topics effectively. She also discussed the significance of forecasting clicks with advanced data analysis, generating content based on trending video topics using the video highlight plugin, and obtaining statistics and facts from With these AI-driven tools and strategies, SEO professionals can enhance their capabilities and achieve enhanced results.

Building an automated content strategy: Practical tips and best practices – David Axelsson

David Axelsson divided his talk about content strategy and automation into three sections: Reactive, Preemptive, and Proactive – providing a structured and comprehensive strategy for optimising content. Reactive work includes scheduling a Screaming Frog crawl, exporting the results to drive, defining the filter criteria, and running this process weekly to then compare with previous week. He advised ensuring that Content King is set properly for page types, markets, priority pages and that delegates receive alerts in Slack. The Preemptive phase involved setting up competitors in Content King. The Proactive phase includes compiling keyword data from multiple sources, including website search, programmatic SEO and keyword clustering. The Preemptive phase involved setting up competitors in Content King.

Designing viral content – Margaret MacArthur

Gen Z was at the heart of Margaret MacArthur’s talk on “Designing Viral Content”, as their attention span is a mere 8 seconds. With insights into user behaviour, MacArthur urged delegates to recognise the need to capture Gen Z’s attention quickly. The magic number for capturing attention is in fact the 1.3 seconds of a video. Furthermore, MacArthur stressed the changing nature of TikTok trends, advising content creators to stay reactive and not hesitate to pivot or adapt to emerging trends. She encouraged the production of high-quality visuals, but cautioned against overcomplicating content creation, putting efficiency above extravagance. Her talk highlighted the importance of being concise, leveraging trending music, and exploring diverse content while remaining agile and responsive to audience preferences.

Here’s what the SEO team member, Gary Billington, had to say about the day:

It was great to attend the final day of BrightonSEO, in the glorious hot and sunny weather. You could really feel the buzz starting to build inside. Getting there early to mingle and chat to all the industry players was a must for me. Screaming Frog had their demos set up (on one of the biggest screens i’ve ever seen!) and of course the usual freebies and swag on offer, I did clock Ahrefs touting free cookies all packaged up in ‘eat me I’m a cookie’ branding! Nice touch there.

Personal highlight was Greg Gifford, his passion, knowledge and snazzy waistcoats had me captured from the first minute of his talk on local SEO. A fast-paced 20 min romp through every describable detail from GBP to local ranking tips. All wrapped up with over 50+ classic comedy films in the background of his slides.

The whole place was awash with SEOs from the UK, Germany and America. A brilliant few days with a real vibe for SEO. Even the beach was packed at lunch break with suits dipping their toes! Amazing experience and BrightonSEO 2024 can’t come along soon enough!

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