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Long before going to Brighton SEO I already had set my expectations fairly high, partly thanks to Pete, who'd kindly taken the time to narrate some of the anecdotes of previous editions and had somehow contributed to the growing excitement.
And so the day arrived, and expectations were met and exceeded. The setting (the Dome is just cool!), the talks and the people. A wealth of knowledge to take home, good contacts to meet and lots of friend to make.
But back to the knowledge bit, these are my 5 takeaways from Brighton SEO 2014:
1. Understand your Crawling Space: Auditing, properly managing and making the most of your crawling budget can help you deliver optimal results. Tony King from DeepCrawl gave away the formula: Maximized (Indexable space) + Minimized (Crawable space) = Optimized (Canonical space).
2. Too many URLs = SEO death by Dawn Anderson. Once you've got control of your crawl space and budget, stop lying and keep it fresh. Check and monitor for over-indexation, update and resubmit your xml sitemaps and herd the Googlebot to where you want it to be.
3. Google is a predator. So welcome to the SEO jungle. The fact that Google wants to become Skynet is not new. However, David Sewell gave us quite a few tips to keep the predator at bay. Here are some of the most interesting ones:
- Think like a predator, by looking out for new products and markets
- Make partnerships: work together with companies that can help your business to improve
- Change the environment, look into alternatives for delivery, real world interactions and be device ready
4. Time to make the move to Universal Analytics: there are only a couple of years left until our old friend Google Analytics retires, but the sooner you make the move to the new platform the greater the benefits would be. From connecting multiples devices and sessions with one user ID, to being able to create new custom dimensions and metrics, the benefits are clear and we should be making the most of it.
5. SEO in the bigger picture: According to Rich Kirk from ZenithOptimedia, owned media gets the priority in the current industry's landscape and it is key to get the balance right between its 3 pillars to harness its power.
- The Content Marketing & Data Strategy: optimizing for the user
- Technical Optimization: optimizing for the bots
- Big Data & Reporting: optimizing for the bosses
I hope to be back for more next year and to be forgiven for not attending Mr Handley's presentation (I couldn't get in the room!)