BrightonSEO is the biggest search and marketing conference in the UK. Originally starting in a room above a pub, it is now held at The Brighton Centre and attended by thousands of marketers all over the world. The bi-annual event covers a wide range of topics with top speakers from companies such as Google and Bing discussing the latest tech news, tactics and tools.

Identity have attended the conference for a number of years and the September 2017 showing did not disappoint. Indeed, the only niggle is that BrightonSEO is jam-packed full of interesting discussions across multiple streams that it can make it difficult to choose which one to attend! In this article, we will discuss some of our highlights from the event.

The Future Of Search

The morning session which caught our attention was the Future of Search. With speakers Daniel Rowles from Target Internet, Saeley Jnr Johnson from SpeakEasy and Vikas Arora from Bing, this session covered a wide range of how search engines are being used and how their uses will adapt in the near future.

Firstly, Daniel Rowles spoke about the importance of advanced social listening and how it can drive SEO. Techniques he mentioned were tools from Brandwatch to help with reputation management, query languages and how you can use them in the HTML of your site to ensure your position on Google is relevant and much more.

Another highlight of this session was Saeley jnr Johnson’s presentation on the future of voice search. Considering by 2020, 50% of search queries will be done by voice, we felt this was a crucial session to attend as voice search is predicted to shift marketing in a new direction.

He made some very interesting points by suggesting that voice search is used in less stressful situations and takes up less mental activity in comparison to text search. Saeley Johnson’s presentation concluded with some top tips for ensuring your brand’s voice is optimised for the likes of Amazon Echo and Google Home, some of which you can find in our previous article on Voice Search Optimisation For #EventProfs.

The last speaker of this session was Bing’s Vikas Arora who explored the psychology of search, emphasising that brands should focus on the ‘why, what and who’ when creating their search campaigns. A key point of his presentation was ensuring that your products and information should not only focus on your target audience but your secondary audiences as well, thinking about the variety of ways your services will be searched and the different types of people who will search for it. One example would be to make sure both your ads and your website are fully mobile optimised.

The Power of Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a type of marketing which brands use by working with influential people (such as celebrities or authoritative figures in different communities) to promote their products and services. This style of marketing rose to the mainstream when bloggers and vloggers started to share ad content on their YouTube channels and social networks over the last five years.

PHD student Sophie Bishop explored her field notes from her study on Zoella, one of YouTube’s most subscribed to creators. In her presentation, Sophie raised some interesting stats about the power of influencer marketing on audiences, such as how 75% of children want to be Vloggers, according to First Choice.

Within this session, Mindy Gofton of I-Com also spoke about the use of brand language and how it can either annoy or engage audiences. She discussed the top annoying words brands use to connect with young audiences, such as colloquial slang terms ‘bae’ and ‘fleek’, showing how these terms are more likely to turn away potential and existing customers then to win them over.

Instead, she suggested that businesses should aim to be personally relatable to their consumers, giving your company a personality, pushing authenticity to attract more warm leads who are genuinely interested in you.

Link Building With Greg Gifford

An Identity favourite at BrightonSEO is Greg Gifford of Dealer On. Greg is a really engaging, witty speaker, making seemingly dry topics interesting and entertaining, and his session this time was on local link building for your website. The basis of link building is how search engines analyse data to see how websites are related to each other, enabling your site to appear in various searches and helping you to appear higher in search engine results.

Greg’s eighties movie themed presentation was full of useful information to improve local SEO, such as getting involved with the local community, writing local focused blog posts, working with local charities and sponsoring events. He also provided a helpful link worksheet for developing rich links which is available here.


Not only are the sessions at BrightonSEO very much worth attending, there are also great companies exhibiting there. A range of stands are there offering valuable marketing and SEO advice, and it is a brilliant and free tool for networking with the likes of Bing, Trustpilot, SEMrush and many more.

The event is full of fun activities, fantastic freebies such as specially brewed beer as well as mugs, tee shirts and more, and great networking opportunities not only with the exhibitors but all the attendees.


BrightonSEO is a staple event in our calendars every year at Identity. It’s a fantastic opportunity to keep up-to-date and learn new techniques to improve your company’s marketing and SEO. Filled with top speakers, exhibitors and activities – it is a conference not to be missed by any marketer.

For more information, how we can assist you with your events marketing needs, please call Identity on 01323 469111 or email us at