What the savviest marketers are up to right now. From voice search to beards, you need to know the latest trends.

Phew. What a whirlwind BrightonSEO was.

Sun, sea, SEO and sand.

If you couldn’t make it down to the south coast then you probably followed the event on Twitter, watched some of the talks online and ended up developing some serious FOMO.

And if you were there then we hope you managed to get along to our talk ‘Call Intelligence: Eliminate your conversion blind spot’, with Oyin Bamgbose, below, debunking some fake news about the phone. We’ll be sharing the slides from his talk soon, so watch this space.

BrightonSEO

Along with Oyin’s talk, we were lucky enough to be exhibiting at the event to share the wonders of Call Intelligence with 5000 lovely digital marketers from around the world. 

So we thought we’d share our main takeaways from the day, so you don’t need to trawl through the hashtags….

7 things we learned at BrightonSEO

1. Voice is the future of Search

This was by far the most discussed area on the day, possibly because Google Home was released the day before the event. Al Voice search is predicted to account for 50% of all search by 2020 meaning Search Engine Optimization is swiftly becoming AI Optimization. We’ve always known how important speech is here at ResponseTap, which is why we’re ramping up the development of our speech analytics software. But this growth in voice search will prove problematic if your brand isn’t top of the leader board in the search results…

2. The Knowledge Graph is more important than ever

As voice search is powered by Google’s Knowledge Graph, it’s not enough to just be on page 1 of the search results any more; you need to have the answers for the questions people are asking. The Knowledge Graph is the section at the very top of the page, deemed to be the most authoritative and trusted answers people want. Now you should be optimizing based on this, as opposed to SEO, and it’s not just to optimize for voice search; this is reputation management too. Other factors, like your star rating, are still as important as ever. It may seem like an episode of Black Mirror, but we’re rating all the services we use all the time, and people really do trust the responses. 

3. Only say something if it’s new and original 

We loved Malcolm Slade’s talk, ‘Brand: the only future ranking factor’.  Malcolm spoke of Google becoming more ‘human’ through Panda, Penguin and Phantom and that old ranking signals, like Keywords and Links, are becoming less and less valuable. Most importantly for us he said that Digital only isn’t enough anymore and that multi-channel marketing is imperative. We know Malcolm, we know. 

4. Google data studio…

…is the new analytics cool kid. What is it? Well it manages to pull in data from all of the different sources you use, including Search Console, and presents it in an easy to understand way, both for you and your clients. You can customize reports, presenting them any way you like, and share them as easily as you would a Google Doc or Sheet. Oh and it’s free. 

5. Email isn’t dead

The art of email is witnessing something of a renaissance. As we now have more control and power than ever over segmenting email databases, savvy marketers can be hyper-local and hyper-personal with their emails. Also the IOS10 update now means video thumbnails can be embedded in emails and viewed on those devices, having a much greater impact and proven higher conversion rate. The importance of creating a calendar, and that there is definitively no optimum sending time, were also drilled home as was a nice Royal Mail case study where they asked their email recipients to answer the question ‘do you like our emails? Yes or no?’

6. Phone calls still matter

Really. We’re not just saying this. We were at the event sharing how Call Intelligence can help savvy marketers looking to narrow the gap in their analytics, analytics to connect the phone call to the online customer journey. But speaking to delegates about the role phone calls have in their businesses, or their clients’ businesses, made it even more clear to us that the phone is here to stay. We’ll be releasing a series of short videos with comments from people on the day very soon.  

7. Beards are still cool

We were slightly concerned that the beard was dead, but after BrightonSEO it’s clear that they’re still very much in vogue. Phew indeed. 

We’re already looking forward to the next BrightonSEO
What were your favorite talks? Tweet us!