Three key learnings from Brighton SEO

After hosting online events and making great use of the digital space catalysed by the pandemic, the bi-annual Brighton SEO conference was finally hosted in real life again, and it came back with a bang!

Last month our apprentice, Maiya Azu, attended the conference with a notebook, pen and an open mind. This blog will explore what she learnt, and outline three key things that you should consider if you want to deliver worthwhile campaigns.

1. SEO is not just for websites

Whilst Google is still integral to the SEO field, we shouldn’t forget that social media platforms have widely used search functions too! Optimising your Instagram profile is a great way to grow reach and stay ahead of the competition.

This means:

  • Include relevant and clickable hashtags that relate to your business in the bio
  • Create your own alternative text descriptions for posts
  • Write descriptive captions treating hashtags like keywords

After attending the talk by Freya Jones, CEO & founder of Digital AdDoctors, my mind was opened to ways in which SEO could be used to increase our clients brand visibility on Instagram. With the help of intentional hashtags, competitor analysis and a better understanding of how the Instagram search algorithm works, we can implement SEO tactics to ensure our clients’ social media profiles really earn it.

2. Everyone must be involved

The director of organic performance at Croud, Tom Mansell, talked about the ‘5 steps to executing a successful digital PR campaign’. He emphasised that it’s important to get people involved on an internal basis as well as externally.

During a PR campaign, especially at the early stages, it is essential that all teams are involved. This means that there will be a broader understanding of any technical obstacles, creative contributions and financial limitations that the campaign may propose. This ultimately saves time and prevents miscommunication.

Now, it’s all well and good coming up with fresh and exciting ideas, but without any external input you could be at risk of missing the mark. It’s so important to see what your target audience thinks of your idea before fully delivering it. Using paid surveys, focus groups or even getting your client’s social media audience to participate in ideation can be a great way to receive valuable feedback.

3) Listen to your environment and be reactive!

One of the last talks of the day was by Jane Hunt, Co-founder at JBH. Her talk was titled ‘Work smarter not harder: how to create an opportunity first approach to digital PR for more consistent results’, and it instantly caught my attention. I was ready to soak in all the insights that she offered.

Jane’s perspective on delivering PR campaigns during and after the pandemic was very interesting to hear. A big part of a successful campaign is understanding your audience’s environment, emotional state and what they care about at a given time. So instead of relying heavily on pre-planned hero content, Jane explained to us how purposeful newsjacking and a reactive approach can add more value to a campaign.

For example, JBH and Emoov, an online estate agent, worked together to help people find, sell and rent homes across the country. The reactive digital PR campaign focused on looking at the residences of 20 of the most powerful leaders in the world to see which were most expensive. Buckingham Palace came out on top – so Emoov created mock particulars for the Palace where people could ‘show interest’ in buying it.

A price guessing competition ran alongside it, generating strong coverage across tier-one, national, international and regional sites in the UK – showcasing the power of relevance.

All in all, this year’s Brighton SEO conference was so insightful, and I’m excited to put into practice everything I learnt.

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