After 18 years of “doing SEO” I finally made it to the Mecca of search marketing conferences and made it to Brighton SEO.
The event has been on my radar for a few years but all the barriers have been in place to prevent my attendance – everything from other commitments, forgetfulness, denying myself due to questioning the relevancy of an IT role to get my arse to an SEO conference and, the worst one, actually having a free ticket (someone else’s) but being “too busy” to bother to go.
This year my workload was FAR greater than last year but I decided to go, come hell or high water.
And I’m bloody glad I did too!
My well-planned visit started with me waking up at 01:00 on the day of the event and staying awake until 06:00 only to get 55 minutes more sleep and then haul myself out of bed in a zombie-like state to drive from Farnborough, Hampshire to sunny Brighton. I didn’t relish the 1:17 drive but the M3, M25 and M23 were pretty OK actually. I made it in 1:30
So getting to the park & ride was a great idea. Except that the “buses every 15 minutes” promise was not true. I waited from 09:00 until 09:23 for a ride and then still sat at the bus stop for a few minutes, wondering when the omnibus would leave so I could squeeze in a 30 minute coffee with a friend before the event kicked off at 10:00
In the end it was a bus ride like I’d not had since my work experience days – stopping at SO many stops and getting stuck in the traffic I could have got stuck in with my car 30 minutes earlier. I even gave up my seat for a lady only to stand in the hot as hell upper half of the deck with a heater on my face.
But I turned up at the coffee shop and still enjoyed a good chat with my friend before diving in to the best SEO conference in the UK.
I’ll admit to anyone that the biggest weakness in my digital repertoire is my PPC experience. I’ve been doing it for over ten years but have only really gone overboard in the past 14 months. I do well and put that down to my attitude, SEO and English language insights, but still I consider it a weak spot.
So brushing up on PPC is OK in my book.
I attended the talk in “the restaurant” with Daniel Moore of Mindshare (I remember their name from my is4profit days), Duane Brown and that Dutch chap.
I thoroughly enjoyed looking at CPC and the effect of IS and competition but await the notes so that I can deep dive into the=at subject again.
However, the talk on psychology obviously really appealed to me and that was the session where I missed the gorilla in the room (twice) and couldn’t for the life of me see the bear in the Hawaiian skirt.
It was at this event that I was fortunate to walk straight in and sit beside a friend and colleague with whom I hung out all day, so props to Danny James who does a mean line of mailroom equipment.
Next up was a spot of lunch in the rain before heading back in for the website speed talk. I agreed totally with Maria Camanes’ call for speed champions in teams. I’ve recently been on a bit of a crusade with regards to page speed. She advocated a culture of excellence around the notion of performance in websites. We should ALL play a bit in ensuring the speed of our websites, not just the SEOs pushing for recognition but also the devs and the account managers etc. I wholeheartedly agree with that in every department. Devs should advocate SEO, PPC managers push for clean code etc etc etc. Excellence all round in my opinion.
Nichola Stott’s push for performance by putting “speed on speed” was excellent and reminded me that
Then there were some twitter gems
Geff Giffard quoted in a tweet someone saying that the nest results aren’t always from the best people but form those who love their job the best. I agree.