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Brighton SEO 2021 – Summary & Highlights

by Ella Kynge | 14.04.2021

About BrightonSEO 2021

BrightonSEO is a bi-annual SEO conference with training courses and talks allowing search marketers to meet, learn and increase their understanding of specific SEO topics. Although it didn’t take place in person this year, there were some really interesting, engaging virtual talks. Our very own SEO Director, Eilish Hughes, delivered an excellent speech on “Developing search strategies for new product launches, when search volume doesn’t exist”. Her wrap up blog is coming soon! As Tug is a sponsor of BrightonSEO, the SEO team thought we’d share our highlights and key takeaways of a few of the talks we enjoyed: 

Digital Accessibility and Compliance: Essential for Users, Good for SEO

Lea Scudamore Aimclear

Lea Scudamore gives us an essential talk on accessibility, designed to help digital marketers understand what digital accessibility is, how it relates to search visibility, how to create a data-centric business case for accessibility, and outlines her five steps for keeping up with website accessibility.

3 Key Takeaways:

Lea’s key recommendations for accessibility success

The Tug Take:

It’s easy for marketers to talk about the ethical side of accessibility and then quickly put it to one side when there are targets to hit. However, Lea has clearly shown in her presentation that there is a significant business opportunity in catering to people’s accessibility needs, and that even major multinational brands are losing money from not meeting the minimum standards when it comes to digital accessibility.

The Underrated Value of Internal Linking

 Jamie Grant Blue Array

Jamie Grant’s “The underrated value of internal linking” talk provided excellent advice on why effective internal linking is the key to unlocking the full potential of a backlink profile. Though internal linking is critical for page discovery and effective crawling, it is also important for passing authority from informational content pages to transactional pages, that lead to conversions and purchases.

Key Takeaways

Link Building in 2021 (When You’re a Bit Crap at PR)

Stacey MacNaught MacNaught Digital

Stacey McNaught’s “Link Building in 2021 (When you’re a bit crap at PR)” talk offered some very useful advice on how you can build high quality links without spending hours on outreach or digital PR campaigns. Stacey walks us through three excellent ways you can build your client a natural link profile full of high quality backlinks.  

Utilise Reactive PR 

Tip: Deadlines are tight! Ensure you’ve got your data, insights and images all ready in a Google Folder for when an opportunity arises. 

Link Bait

Tip: Once decided on a topic, consider how you can improve on it by utilising better images, better data and presenting it in a new and improved way. 

Stealable Assets:

International Linkbuilding – How To Scale Continental with SEO

Dennis Akkerman Seeders Agency

Dennis Akkerman’s “International Link Building – How To Scale Continental with SEO”, talk walks us through the differences in international link building depending on what country you’re targeting, and what to consider before creating a link building strategy. 

Link Building in European Countries 

International Digital PR tips 

Implementing outreach may look different depending which country you’re in. Make use of Digital PR to get local branded links and ensure you work with native writers. Common tools and tactics to utilise include: 

SEO Strategy: Using Sentiment Analysis to Rank Higher

Saroosh Khan Get Known Inc

Key takeaways:

SERPception: A story of an indexed internal search results page

Csaba Szabo Klikkmania

Csaba Szabo’s “SERPception: The Story of an Indexed Internal Search Results Page” talk, follows the problem with a job posting website who had their internal search result pages rank highly in Google, even outranking their dedicated category pages.

Indexed ISRPs are rarely optimised to appear in SERPs, because:

  1. Site owners have limited control of what would appear on Indexed Internal Search Results Page (ISRPs).
  2. ISRPs usually have non-optimised meta tags and on-page content, which can be hard for SEO to manage and rank.
  3. ISRPs might have lower conversion rates because they’re not designed or optimised to drive conversions.

 Key Takeaways/Solutions

At the end of the story his client decided to change the homepage links from category pages to ISRPs, because ISRPs seemed a better version to users.

Psychology Principles to Power your Digital PR Success

Abi Bennett Digitaloft 

Abi Bennett’s talk focused on how to use psychological principles to run a successful digital PR team. She highlighted that in order to help your digital PR work at their best you should focus on activating the neural network in the brain called the ‘seeking system; the neural pathway that releases dopamine when certain triggers are implemented. 

As the digital PR space becomes increasingly fast-paced and competitive as the ratio of journalists to PR’s decreases, it’s all the more important to ensure your team is motivated to work their hardest and explore all the creative possibilities available. 

3 Triggers that Activate the Seeking System: 


BrightonSEO is one of the highlights of our year every year, and although virtual, 2021 was no different. With such a wide range of interesting topics, from digital PR to sentiment analysis, there are talks that appeal to everyone regardless of their SEO expertise, from those just starting out in SEO to specific insights for the more seasoned search marketers. We had a really great day and can’t wait to be back in person for the BrightonSEO autumn conference!