My First Brighton SEO
My name is Charlie Clayton. I have worked here at MR SEO for 4 months and have learnt so much since starting. I am also simultaneously doing a digital marketing apprenticeship. One thing I have found since beginning my SEO career is how no two clients or strategies are the same. There are often problems or techniques you can apply to one but not the other. Learning these is a key part of my development when it comes to knowing how to deal with unique situations when they arise.
Attending Brighton SEO was a great way to develop my skills further and take things I can implement into my learning and my work going forward.
Brighton SEO: Three Great Talks
Sophie MacNaught: SEO For many in the SEO industry and beyond, Brighton SEO is a fantastic date in the calendar to increase their SEO knowledge, learn new insights and speak to like-minded people in their business.
With an incredibly knowledge filled schedule with talks being held simultaneously, its impossible to attend all of Brighton SEO’s talks. However, I have picked out three great talks that I attended over the two-day event last week that opened my eyes to new perspectives on SEO.
Link Building in 2021 (When You’re a Bit Crap at PR) (Sophie MacNaught)
The first of which was done by Sophie MacNaught. The talk was on alternative approaches to generating backlinks when outreach isn’t working or PR isn’t one of your strong points.
Sophie discussed her outreach background but her recent shift in mindset when generating backlinks. She stated ‘instead of my content always being the story, my content can build as many links by supporting someone else’s story.’
This is an interesting new angle to take on outreach that I hadn’t previously considered. Previously my outreach efforts were to make the article subject coincide with the main focus of the link we wanted to get externally linked. Sophie suggests a new tactic, where a journalist or website would write an article on a subject of their choice and your own article would support this and could be referenced within a much larger article from a much larger news outlet than a simple outreach article would normally provide.
This is something that I plan to look further into and test within my own learning surrounding the outreach procedure going forward. Sophie’s slides can be found here.
The underrated value of internal linking (Jamie Grant)
The next great talk I managed to attend was presented by Jamie Grant. Jamie’s presentation looked at underrated aspects of internal linking and how to incorporate more internal links into sites.
One particular highlight of Jamie’s presentation was the importance of incorporating internal links into primary content. Jamie stressed to include these links regardless of if there is a link already in a navigation bar on the page. This can be done with a unique piece of anchor text and brings additional SEO benefit.
Another great insight Jamie provided was the importance of ‘breadcrumbs’. Breadcrumbs are internal links back to previous category pages and are most commonly found on e-commerce sites.
Jamie used the example of a television at Argos:
These allow you to internally link multiple other pages as well as offering the customer easy navigation from a UX perspective.
Both of these insights are techniques I will look to incorporate into my work going forward along with various other bits of advice Jamie’s interesting and informative talk provided. Jamie’s slides can be found here for a more in-depth look.
Shopify SEO: How to Optimize for Eccommerce in 2021 (Chris Long)
Finally, I attended Chris Long’s talk on optimising eCommerce sites built within Shopify. As I am relatively new to SEO myself, my experiences with Shopify so far have often been confusing and troublesome.
Chris’s talk looked at technical aspects of getting your or your client’s sites into great condition. Shopify creates two duplicate pages for the same product. One page will have the URL structure of /Products/ and the other will be /Collections/. This is something I have encountered before and not known which one to prioritise. Chris explained that not only do we want to optimise the /product page over the /collections/ page, but we want to remove the duplicate /collections/ pages altogether. Before this, I have thought a no-index tag was the right way to approach this, but as Chris explained, Google can choose to ignore this completely, thus still crawling your duplicate pages. To counter this, remove them completely as they won’t be needed in the future.
Chris also spoke about the importance of choosing the correct theme for your site due to page speed. His company meticulously went through all the themes and tested their speed. Chris stated that clients often don’t take into account the fact that their theme might slow down their site.
5 themes that Chris suggested were:
- Create Theme
- Toy Theme
- Warm Theme
- Light Theme
- Outdoors Theme
These themes can be optimised without a cost to speed across the site. I too hadn’t considered that different themes may have different speeds and this insight has given me a further thing to consider when talking to a client with a Shopify store.
If you own a store built in Shopify, read more about what we can offer here at MR SEO on our SEO for Ecommerce page.
Overall, Brighton SEO was the first SEO event I have attended (virtually) since I began my career in SEO. I found it incredibly informative and will implement various techniques and insights into my day to day work for years to come.