Best Slide Deck Quotes From BrightonSEO 2015

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The latest edition of BrightonSEO took place in mid-September 2015 and given the great content that was shared and discussed there, we’ve decided to fill you in on the BEST SLIDE DECK QUOTES of the event. For quick navigation to the respective quotes you can click on the speakers’ photos from above:


“Depending on goals your target audience might not be the same as your target customer” (slide 37

Stacey (Cavanagh) MacNaught, Tecmark

A great explanation of Stacy’s to-the-point statement we find also in former Rand Fishkin’s presentation: “Manifesto of Content Strategy”:
“Don’t be sidetracked by an obsession with relevance – great content that performs well does not have to fit the “relevant to current customer scale … BE RELEVANT TO ANYONE WHO POTENTIALLY INTERACTS WITH YOUR POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS.”

“Social signals measure only distribution.”

“Social signals are not good metrics for measuring user engagement” (slides 6 and 9)

Christoph C. Cemper, Link Research Tools

Our industry is fascinated by the increasing impact of social media on the ranking game, but sometimes we tend to overrate the power of social shares and likes. Only real engagement by real people (comments, links, downloads, views, and clicks) should be considered when assessing the success of our online marketing campaigns. In this regard “likes” by Twitter bots and like-it-all network users would hardly categorize as a sign of the engagement we’re actually looking for.


“Clients don’t want us to be the teacher, thinker, or scholar, they want us to be the superhero!”

Mindy Gofton, I-Com

Once you’ve converted a prospect into a client you should not give up on making an effort to inspire, impress and attract him. Working with passion really shows and if a client doubts your motivation, he won’t be interested in hearing about your marketing strategy regardless of how great and groundbreaking it might be.


„Don‘t turn back on your content”

Jon Earnshaw, Pi Datametrics

When you invest time and resources in generating a unique content idea, in writing, editing and promoting it, you should ensure that all those efforts don’t go in vain.
“Content thieves (as Jon mentions in his presentation) can win”. Not monitoring your content traffic could play a bad joke on you. Your competitors could practically steal your competitive advantage. And even if Google claim to be able to discriminate between the original source of the given content and its syndicators, you should not trust automatic algorithms blindly to rightfully credit your work.

“Cannibal content could ruin your day. Prevention is always better than cure” (slides 95 and 99)

Chris Green, StrategiQ

Saving your onsite content from cannibalizing itself is a must. If a couple of your site pages compete for the same keyword phrase you are simply not using the potential of your content. Make sure each page, post, article you publish on your site targets distinct core of keywords, so that you can have a solid presence in the SERPs.

“The destiny of [Google search] is to become the Star Trek computer” (slide 4)

Pete Campbell, Kaizen

No, that’s not really Pete’s quote, rather Google SVP’s – Amit Singhal’s. However, the idea is really important to keep in mind: with Google trying to answer questions that the online users have not even thought about yet, the semantic search is evolving at huge leaps. Following this trend Pete explains that adding structured data markup to the onsite content is important as to help search engines quickly navigate and understand the site’s essence.


“For most of us, unpaid local search traffic from Google WILL decline” (slide 31)

David Mihm, MOZ

A future forecast that is already in motion. Google is already monetizing on its local search results via the Home Service Ads and the sponsored listings in the Snack Pack. Pay-to-play may soon be the sole available business model for local companies who wish to be ranking high for their main keywords in the local search.


“Write ‘short and snappy’ pieces that don’t take long to read (to attract new visitors and ) … write long for content, e.g. downloadable whitepapers (to engage your returning
visitors)” (slide 17)

Emily Hill, Write My Site

A good tip that Emily shares along the same lines also states that you should try to create special blog series for returning visitors like regular features or other monthly/weekly content pieces.

“Content market activities can became a nurturing activity – so it can be both push (proactive from you) and pull (where your content is found by searcher looking for content)” (slide 17)

Ann Stanley, Anicca

Content marketing has a huge impact on attracting customers. It is often referred to as inbound strategy though it clearly boosts outbound marketing efforts as well. Inbound and outbound marketing strategies should be synced in a universal business plan and content is what helps glue this two marketing strategies in one.


“Spending money buying ‘likes’ leads to less website traffic at almost double the cost per session”

“Get engagement on your Facebook business page via posts containing humor, quote, puzzle, nostalgia, nationalism, culture” (slides 7 and 26)

Jes Stiles, Ringier

Facebook promotion and audience engagement hides its own challenges. As Jes explains, one should align his content format to his specific objectives. Content quality and posting frequency are other variables worth planning on, accompanied by the fine topic research and appeal to sentiment.

“Thinking in topics: Optimizing for search query topic buckets, not individual keywords”

Charlie Williams,

Semantic search is about understanding the contextual meaning of terms. A single keyword phrase repeated ‘n’ times per page is not what ‘moves the needle’ anymore in the ranking game. We should simply stop thinking in terms of keyword phrases, and start uncovering the ‘buckets’ of words that build up our selected topic.


“Build relationships with the press and influencers BEFORE you need them”

Tanya Korobka, Caliber

The outreach and bonding process takes time. Building trust and authority is not an instant achievement. Investing your time and gradually building positive relations with influencers is the only natural approach that could lead to stable long-term results. You need to invest in your connections first in order to expect ‘a favor’ in return.

“Add value to the story, it’s not all about you. Well it is, but don’t shout about it” (slide 9)

Pippa Moyle, Think Productive

Often businesses adopt a wrong focus on the goal-setting process when creating content. They come up with a piece of news they need to communicate to their audience and then they try to tailor it to their customers’ needs. Instead the process should be reversed: we should actively listen to our target customers and be aware of their current interests. We then should brainstorm, come up with ideas on how to appeal to those interests of theirs and tie those ideas to our company’s culture, brand and eventually products/services.


“Stop Making your activities tool-centric, make your tools solutions focused”

Aleyda Solis, Oranti

The advice Aleyda gives is focused on business’ cost-effectiveness, namely: define your problems first and then find a tool that will give an answer to your specific questions. The best-case scenario, as she states, is to inspect if you are investing in tools that cover similar features. Choose a universal solution that won’t waste your resources yet will offer you all the data you need.

“Another difference between small and large site SEO architecture is that the basic SEO tools become pretty damaging on scale …” (slides 7-8)

Tomas Vaitulevicius, JustPark

As Tomas further elaborates on the issue in his presentation, standard SEO toolkit including nofollow and noindex tags, disallow directives in robots.txt, and canonical versions of pages, could have a detrimental effect on a website if used unwisely. Their excessive use could lead to burning internal link equity, blocking inbound equity and wasting crawl budget.


“Keywords with a lot of impressions (but few clicks) should never have low quality score. “

“High rotating placements and shopping items should not have extremely low CTR & high Bounce Rates” (slide 15)

Gianpaolo Lorusso

One of the key marketing strategy principles states that costs of a campaign should be lower than the profits it brings. Gianpaolo applies this rule to the AdWords campaign: “Keywords/placements/shopping items cost per conversion has to be lower than the direct or indirect profit generated”.

“Implement Schema markup on product pages to avoid disapprovals due to differences”

Samantha Noble, Koozai

Schema markup helps Google understand your onsite content. When setting up a Google AdWords campaign you could avoid any confusions and, respectfully, disapproval of your ad by adding the structured markup to your page code. What is more “if the feed is different to the schema on site, Google will default to the Schema rather than disapprove the ad”. This is a good enough reason to trust Schema markup, don’t you think?

“Exclude customers who have already converted from seeing your ads”

Tara West, Headstream

Facebook Custom Audiences helps you target your audience by specific interests. The more detailed the filters you use to select your target audience, the higher the conversion ratio would be. This includes, as Tara states, limiting your ad to people who are within your target audience, but still haven’t purchased the advertised product or service.


“Do not use search terms that are used in the title. Don’t use commonly misspelled words as search terms. ” (slide 15)

Prabhat Shah, OnlineSeller UK

Prabhat gives away some pretty important tips on how to improve your rankings and presence on Amazon. As keyword stuffing is often an issue with product listing submissions, the warning sign he raises against keyword repetition in title and search terms is a breath of fresh air.


“Once we understand what motivates we can use emotional triggers to illicit action” (slide 47)

Paul Madden, Kerboo

As Paul mentions in his slide deck: everything is relationships (content, link building PR, sales, outreach – it all comes down to building strong relationships). In order to master the art of building relationships and to gain trust one has to know the basics of human psychology. In this train of thoughts it is essential to forget about you own interest and uncover what interests the given target customer, influencer or expert you wish to attract to your cause.

“Most successful content comes down to three things: the story, the data and the production. I lied: an existing audience also helps” (slide: 3-8)

Paddy Moogan, Aira

Brainstorming is one of the most important stages of creating powerful and sharable content. And what one lacks in creativity he can make up with detailed research on what is being created and liked around the net. Elaborating further a piece of content that has already achieved traction is a fine way to ensure the success of your next content campaign.

“A new idea can be generated from remixing the attributes of an existing idea. The more different and surprising the combination of the two attributes, the more compelling the idea.” (slide 52)

Kelvin Newman, SiteVisibility

Kelvin walks us through the fascinating journey towards rediscovering our own creativity. He shares that coming up with an innovative idea rarely means to invent a 100% new product or a content piece. He states the importance of appealing to our customers’ senses (surprise is often a good trigger of attention and interest) and finding our inspiration source in our everyday surroundings.

“If Google scrapes us, why cannot we scrape it?” (slides 31-32)

Gianluca Fiorelli,

A great way to justify diligent keyword research is to underline the necessity to keep up with search engines’ evolving algorithms. That is: if Google is enriching its data library with our sites content why don’t we use the data that Google has already accumulated, classified and applied in its search algo in return? Gianluca specifically refers to using more efficiently the info that is already there: Google Trends, Keyword Planner, Google/Amazon/Pinterest Suggest and Related Searches.


“Heatmaps suck” (slide 15)

Gerald Murphy, 7thingsMedia

As controversial as this statement might seem it reveals quite an interesting insight on how people tend to interact with SERPs. Gerlad argues that heatmaps fail to account for online users’ actual scanpaths. Scanpaths actually seem to rarely coincide with the specific order of search engines result pages. Instead online users view the SERPs in order different from the one offered by the search engine. And even if people eventually click on what the search engine ranks in the top positions due to trust and quality bias, this drawback of heatmaps is interesting to keep in mind.


“NAP Anchor = Authority” (slide 17)

David Whatley, MiShop.Local

NAP consistency is essential in Local Search thus, as David puts it, the fundament of good local rankings is the stable NAP (Nap Anchor) of the given company throughout the net.


“Content that hits the heart beats content that hits the mind” (slide 7)

Jackson Rawlings, SiteVisibility

When you write content that aims at really engaging your audience the best approach to choose is to appeal to one’s emotions. Feelings of fear and anger trigger instantaneous reactions but again those should not to be overexploited.On the other hand humor is less of an overwhelming emotion, but then again it is quite effective if you wish to attract your target customers’ attention.

We hope you have found your own gem in our BrightonSEO 2015 quote list! In case there’s a quote you found particularly interesting, but is not included in our selection, please share it in the comments. We’d love to have a complete collection of the best quotes from this fall’s BrightonSEO conference!