A visit to the world’s largest annual gathering of search marketers at Brighton Centre

Having been lucky enough to receive a ballot ticket for the second day of BrightonSEO 2022, it was a perfect opportunity to take a trip to the East Sussex coast for one of the biggest digital marketing events on the calendar.

The annual conference is a great way to absorb presentations from leading experts on a wide range of aspects of search marketing.

SEO is an ever-changing subject area, especially with updates to search engine algorithms. Therefore, it’s always beneficial to top up existing knowledge.

Compiled below are a set of notes from the day, including key takeaways …

Topical authority

Topical authority is the way Google sees content within a niche or broad set of ideas rather a particular search term. Google recently launched Helpful Content – a ‘people-first content’ algorithmic update in 2022, which follows some of it’s other major updates which include E.A.T in 2018, Knowledge Graph in 2015 and Hummingbird in 2013.

Key takeaway: prove your expertise by thinking in terms of topics, attributes and sub-topics. Fill gaps in keyword research by using automated tools such as AlsoAsked, AnswerThePublic and Search Response. Consider using topic names in URL structure i.e blog/topic name/.

BrightonSEO 2022 – Key Takeaways

Ecommerce SEO

Shoppers are now searching across multiple commerce platforms on the customer journey.

87% of shoppers begin product searches online – RetailDive

Product Detail Page (PDP) is a key consideration of an e-commerce website and content strategy. When optimising the page, keywords are still important to aid discovery of a PDP.

Each component of a PDP can be optimised. Images and video should include hero, secondary and lifestyle shots. Product descriptions should be using the right language for the right market, and don’t forget to include ‘below the fold’ enhanced content, which can include comparison grids, tables and infographics.

key takeaway: things to avoid in product pages are spelling mistakes, removal of outdated promotions and make sure no links to 404 pages and broken html tags are left unresolved.

Content idea generation

It can be all too easy to fall into a trap and way of thinking that we should repeat content that already exists, and that it’s just easier. Change can be risky, but many of us are more creative than we think!

The concept that ‘there’s no such things as a bad idea’ was explored. An approach to sparking ideas for content, whether it be for blogs or social media posts is to challenge norms and ask yourself a set of questions which test the boundaries. Try an approach that explores the opposite to the normal approach that you’d take.

Another seminar looked at ways to come up with content ideas that aren’t based on search volume as inspiration. We can all run out of ideas from time-to-time, but if we think of ways to tap into emotions and create content that is relevant to the world we live in, we can find ways to resonate with target audiences.

Key takeaway: Use free tools such as Quora and Reddit to research target audience pain points/FAQs in your niche and find out what the main Search Console queries are that are driving people to your website. With this information, refresh the content on existing pages and add new pages to answer these questions.

Use social media tools such as BuzzSumo and user generated content for topic inspiration. Small businesses can provide ‘advice from real people’ with short form style videos. There’s huge potential to fuel content strategy with ideas that will make an emotional connection.

BrightonSEO 2022 – Key Takeaways

Reputation management

Encouraging and managing customer reviews is a great SEO strategy with added reputation benefit.

77% of consumers always read reviews, 83% of consumers trust what they say – BrightLocal

“Reviews are the second biggest local ranking factor” – Moz

Key takeaway: use a reputation tool like BrightLocal to manage reviews, allowing you to:

  • Get the timing right of when to send the review request, ideally just after purchase
  • Develop a review request strategy that could include an added benefit as an incentive, either email/SMS, in-person or business card
  • Monitor and analyse – and respond with short, sharp, friendly, personalised and quick responses
  • Share reviews far and wide – display on website, use as email/social (good emotional content)

Onpage SEO optimisation

Key takeaways and focus points for onpage SEO:

  • Understand content structure by identifying patterns in articles that already rank highly
  • Avoid going after keywords that are owned by big brands/websites – you won’t get a look in!
  • Write semantic-rich content (fulfilling search intent and good reading) rather than focussing solely on link building
  • Use a combination of topical authority + skyscraper SEO technique – the process of finding highly ranked content with lots of backlinks and making a better version, but make sure that it reaches out to the right people


There were several talks on Google Analytics (GA4) which many marketers are currently testing out and eager to get their heads around in preparation for its official launch in 2023.

Key takeaways: The general consensus on changes that GA4 will bring were largely positive. With GA4 being described as more accurate and reliable than Universal Analytics. The predictive modelling aspect of GA4 is currently only applicable to e-commerce at present, but will be one of the kew new features, along with:

  • Improvements to cross device tracking
  • More accurate data and easier report creation
  • Better insights into how audiences will interact with apps
  • The ability to better understand how different touchpoints impact the end conversion

Common mistakes to avoid with GA4 are applying conversion setup in tag manager and also a manual setup in GA4 – this will only duplicate data. Historic data retention is set to 2 months by default – it’s worth switching this to the other option of 14 months as soon as possible.

For more information read our GA4 guide here.

BrightonSEO 2022 Photo Gallery