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Author: Beth Rees

Held on the city’s glorious seafront, BrightonSEO takes place every year – where it draws the world’s largest crowd of search marketers. SEO experts and enthusiasts from all walks of life attend, and so do more general marketers and PR experts who want to gain a better understanding of all things SEO.

This year, our very own Rosie Johns hopped on the train and enjoyed a full day of in-depth SEO talks and insights in sunny Brighton.

The live talks may have all ended, but the free online version of the event is taking place in a week’s time, 3-5th May, and will showcase recordings of all the event’s talks – which are recorded as they happen in the Brighton Centre. In advance of this, Rosie shares her personal BrightonSEO highlights and key insights from the event.

SEO’s AI Obsession is Growing

Chat-GPT4 is making waves, and not just within the world of SEO. We are all still getting to grips with the many capabilities of this AI, from writing copy to creating digital art, and it’s a truly impressive piece of tech. So, it’s no wonder BrightonSEO’s speakers had so much to say about it at this year’s conference.

The big questions SEOs are asking are:

  • What SEO applications does Chat-GPT4 have?
  • How accurate and trustworthy is it?
  • Should we be worried about losing our jobs to AI?

Ultimately, there was definitely a feeling of optimism – I came away with a greater understanding of how Chat-GPT4 can be used as a tool, rather than a replacement, for SEO and marketing expertise.

The Abundance Mindset is Key

With the rapid pace of change in SEO – and in marketing more widely – it’s easy to get stuck in a negative mindset, worrying about how to adapt to the change and whether it makes things that little bit harder. This kind of negativity is referred to as a scarcity mindset – where change is seen as something that makes our jobs as marketers harder.

Recent advancements in AI have prompted a lot of conversations around scarcity vs abundance mindsets, and several of these took place at this year’s BrightonSEO.

With SEO, someone with a scarcity mindset might get stuck thinking about how hard it will be to compete with AI-generated content and see it purely as a negative. On the other hand, those with an abundance mindset see change and technological advancement as an opportunity, and think actively about how to leverage the new tools to their benefit.

The abundance mindset definitely won out at BrightonSEO, with several speakers giving great insights into how AI and ChatGPT-4 can already help to streamline and improve our SEO efforts. I came away feeling incredibly optimistic, and making a mental note to try and carry the abundance mindset through to the wider world of marketing and PR.

Search Isn’t Simple

One of the most eye-opening talks I attended was Jon Earnshaw’s ‘Optimising for the SERP multiverse’, in which the idea of simply searching for something and finding an answer was completely torn apart.

In reality, Jon explained, using Google Search is like stepping through a doorway into a room of your choice – and then being presented with 21 doors out. Google constantly presents us with ideas and opportunities based on where it thinks we might want to go next. So, for instance, if you search for ‘trainers’, you might be presented with new searches for ‘best running trainers’, ‘men’s trainers’, and even the question ‘why are shoes called trainers?’ (For those curious, apparently it was first used in 1968 to describe Gola’s sports footwear, and is a shortened version of ‘training shoe’).

Getting to grips with the reality of search means accepting that it’s no longer a keywords game – audiences are going on a journey of search and discovery. The content we create has to do more than mention buzzwords. It has to answer questions, make connections and contextualise.

‘Zig’ When Competitors ‘Zag’

Competition is consistently one of the biggest challenges in SEO. Afterall, there is an ever-growing number of websites out there, and there is always likely to be someone in your niche with a bigger SEO and marketing budget.

The idea of thinking differently from your competitors was a common thread throughout many of the talks this year, with speakers providing some great examples of how you can ‘zig’ when your competitors ‘zag’.

There are many ways we can do this – from conducting research and tests, to brainstorming out-of-the-box ideas. The key thing to remember is that doing things differently will always present an element of risk, but that it can – and does – pay off spectacularly in some cases.

Hungry for SEO Insights?

If you work in SEO, or marketing more generally, BrightonSEO is an excellent resource and something not to be missed. Regardless of your skill level, there is always something new to learn, so we highly recommend watching a few of the talks if you find the time.

Then again, if you want SEO insights right here, right now – we might be able to help…

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