Who to see at BrightonSEO – April 2018

Often with colleagues going to BrightonSEO I usually take a quick glance at the list of speakers and ping them with a list of who to see if possible, more recently we have been publishing this on TakeitOffline, and getting a few friends views, and this year is no exception, I ask a few BrightonSEO veterans to contribute, I suggest giving me two or three people … David decided that meant 8, but it is still a very good list!

Do you like karaoke & meeting awesome people? DeepCrawl will be hosting a karaoke night with a twist. The night before BrightonSEO (Thu 26 April 2018) Instead of a tired backing track in the corner of an old pub, you’ll be the singer with a full live band, on the stage of Brighton’s famous Concorde2 music venue. DeepCrawl are buying the first round to kick off the party, and we hope you to see you there! Get your tickets here

Jennifer Hoffman

SEO Arnout HellemansArnout Hellemans (@hellemans)

Sessions to check out:

  • Rob Bucci Always good for some new insights and a refreshing data based view on SERPs. I’d be in this session as a SEO or Content person; to make the most of your SEO effort in the serps.
  • Bastian Grimm He’s always top notch and has actionable talks, I must say I often use his slideshare when explaining why and how devs should do certain things. Highly recommended.
  • Nichola Stott An awesome tech SEO who is very approachable and has a great amount of experience and does her own research; really worth attending imho.

What to do and where to go:

  • Be there a day early and have a beer with your peers. And make sure you talk to new people, there are so many smart people around. If it’s your first time, enjoy!!

Arnout is a digital marketeer into SEO, PPC and a lot of Analytics stuff, online since 1992. He currently works as head of growth at babysitting platform Sitly, and you can find him on twitter; @hellemans

David Iwanow @DavidIwanow

Sessions to Checkout at BrightonSEO

  • Greg Gifford – One of the most entertaining speakers you can see and knows what he is talking about, don’t miss his session.
  • Alexis K Sanders – Probably one of the best technical SEOs out there, pushing people to rethink what it means to be a good SEO. You don’t want to miss Alexis’s session and follower her on Twitter!
  • Guy Levine – Big budget sessions always provide great case studies to share with your team, if you are working in PPC you want to be in this session.
  • Irish Wonder – Certainly one of the smartest marketers out there, always going to learn something from Julia and make sure you follow her on Twitter if you aren’t already
  • Tom Anthony – You can be sure to get your fill of technical SEO from Tom, if you are starting to explore HTTP/2 you want to be in his session.
  • Bill Sebald – Can’t say enough great things about Bill and his team at Greenlane, they are certainly someone you should be following on Twitter if you can’t get into his session.
  • Steve Rayson – Their new research on content trends has certainly shaken up a few folks, if you are involved in content marketing or social media you should not miss Steve’s session. Also probably give BuzzSumo a trial while I’m thinking about it, they will likely base a lot of their session base on their tool & research insights.
  • Ross Tavendale – Love this man he has storytelling down to a fine art, he could probably read your own case studies back to you and you would learn something. Fun, entertaining and inspirational session for sure.
  • Tom Smits – The Bol.com team are doing great things in ecom, certainly a great session to check out for sure if you are involved in ecom or retail space.  They have also been fairly open in what they are doing in SEO that is working for them in the past such as this interview.
  • Charo Paredes-Ortiz – one of the several very smart folks in App marketing that you can be sure to trust what they are saying. Charo is always sharing great insights and case studies on Twitter and someone you want to chat with if you need help in the App space.
  • Sessions to avoid – unless they are a specialist in that topic such as unknown agency folks speaking on ASO without any practical experience in that field you want to avoid it.

Survival Guide

Don’t peak too early on the first night, rookie error drinking too much before the event and then struggling through the whole event.  Also this is a social event so bring some throat lozenges as you will be talking to a whole heap of amazing marketers during the few days of the event.  Have a few drinks and be social but don’t spend the whole even asleep in the back row or under a sponsors table (like Gerry does nearly every year)…. Recharge before the conference at The Corner Cafe or The Breakfast Club for a great start to the day!

David has been doing SEO for over 11 years working in Australia, Amsterdam and London with some of the worlds biggest brands. You can find him blogging over at http://travel-network.co and often having a discussion or two on Twitter 

Gerry White

There are a lot of names I am not familiar with so will make an effort to listen to them this time, however from the names I am familiar with

Craig Campbell, – Craig is an outspoken SEO guy who isn’t afraid of pulling punches, he has strong opinions on how to get good results and it would be excellent to listen to him for anyone

Ross Tavendale, absolutely agree with David (which I find very rare when that happens) he is one of the most impressive SEOs around at the moment, he has an awesome knowledge and is a great presenter – definitely one to watch.


Seriously, Barry Adams from the award winning Polemic Digital – mobile seo, recommended! you’ll learn about technical SEO issues that specifically affect the mobile-first index, such as indexation, internal link structure, page layout, structured data, AMP, and hreflang tags for international sites! I have been trying to persuade my colleagues to go for training for a while now! (Note if you don’t get to see him, you can listen to his Dutch/Irish voice on the Sistrix SEO videos)

Survival Tips

You don’t need to be in every session – if you are taking some time out to catchup with other folks it isn’t always a bad thing, plan your day in advance, take chewing gum and wear deodorant… battery packs for phones are often considered an essential!

Omi Sido @OmiSido

Speakers make the conference. As usual, BrightonSEO will be packed with expertise and wisdom surrounding SEO and PPC and is one of those ‘must-attend events’ for all people involved in digital marketing. BrightonSEO is a great place to get a grip on ‘all things digital’ – whether you’re a PPC newbie, an SEO expert, or anything in between.

Even seasoned SEO can run into serious intellectual challenges when they dive into structured data and find that things are a lot more complicated than they expected. Structured data (or in other words Schema) has recently come into focus as the primary driver for both “position zero” and featured snippets in the SERPs, as well as being used for surfacing the spoken answers to voice queries on Google Home and Google Assistant.

Be ready to accelerate your Structured Data learning process with Alexis Sanders and her session ‘Advanced and Practical Structured Data with Schema.org‘. Knowing Alexis Sanders’ passion for everything SEO I can promise you that in just over 20 minutes you gonna learn enough to tackle any structured data challenge in the future.

Everybody knows that I love talking about RankBrain and its impact on SEO in the future. Marketers and companies have to understand that we are entering into a new era of optimizing websites for the search engines. While many principles and tactics stay the same nobody can deny the fact that this machine learning algorithm is forcing us to be more ‘technical’ and at the same time more ‘human’.

To discover the pieces of data you need to face the Rankbrain challenges and the SERPs evolution I would strongly recommend attending Monsieur François Goube session ‘Beyond Technical SEO, How to deal with Rankbrain and AI‘.

Similar to RankBrain in the SERPs François Goube will give you “no bullshit just actionable insights.”

Survival tips.

We all know that at one point every conversation can get “stuck” so always have a few conversation starters to get it going again. Here are a few examples of mine.

  • Where are you from?
  • What a beautiful/cool/ugly/bizarre venue/city. Have you been here before?
  • How long have you been doing SEO/PPC/Digital marketing, and do you enjoy it?
  • What are you hoping to get out of BrightonSEO?
  • What sessions or speakers are you looking forward to?
  • What has been your favourite sessions or speakers so far?
  • Will you be attending other SEO/PPC conferences this year?

Omi Sido is a seasoned international speaker and is known in the industry for his humour and ability to deliver actionable insights that audiences can immediately start using.

From SEO consulting with some of the world’s largest telecommunications and travel companies to managing in-house SEO at HostelWorld and Daily Mail, Omi loves diving into complex data and finding the bright spots.

James Gurd (@jamesgurd)

As i’m not an SEO but a digital strategy consultant (waffler), I tend to go for topics that are more relevant to my clients rather than in depth practitioners. So I’m looking for insights that can be practically applied and also help me think smarter about what ‘good SEO’ looks like. A few of interest this year, though I’d happily listen to most of them!

  • Dana DiTomaso – Kick Point  The Math Behind Effective Reporting – too much time is wasted on data that doesn’t serve any meaningful purpose, so helping people to do smarter reporting is definitely a good thing
  • Stephen Kenwright – Branded3 How to report on SEO in 2018, hopefully this factors in the ever changing world of SEO and how we need to align our data analysis and reporting to ensure we remain relevant e.g. not just send ranking reports!   
  • Tom Smits – bol.com   How to do ecommerce keyword research at huge scale; this is something i’m fascinated by because i don’t have to do it directly myself but would like to learn how people managing complex research for big domains achieve the outputs within realistic timeframes and budgets
  • Sam Marsden – DeepCrawl   Cut the Crap: Next Level Content Audits With Crawlers; i’ve got a lot of time for the team at Deep Crawl so i’d happily listen to their insights on how to do site audits.   

It’s always worth heading down the evening before and meeting new friends. Half the fun of BrightonSEO is meeting the people you’ve only ever known as Twitter avatars and realising they do actually exist. Just don’t ruin yourself too much, otherwise you’ll be in no fit state to listen to the amazing talks.

James Gurd– Owner of Digital Juggler. I’ve been working in ecommerce for >15 years and help clients with digital strategy and driving website improvements through data driven programmes. I also like to drink beer and talk, often at the same time.

Sean Nichols

Steve Rayson – Buzzsumo. At SiteVisibility we’re big fans of Buzzsumo and have had the privilege of Steve joining us on the Internet Marketing Podcast, not once but twice. We’re really looking forward to his talk on How Metrics and Data Drives Advocacy Effectiveness.

Greg Gifford – Dealeron. A BrightonSEO veteran, Greg Gifford quite simply is one of the speakers that you can’t miss. Expect an engaging, animated talk with the odd swear word thrown in for good measure. Entertainment as well as actionable tips. Win win.


BrightonSEO Advice:

One of the best things about BrightonSEO is just how friendly the majority of visitors are. It sounds like a cliché but it really is a great place to network and have a beer with like-minded folk.


Map out who you want to see and get to talks early, there used to be VIP wristbands but these don’t exist anymore and talks can get full quite quickly.


Definitely try and get along to the pre-party on the Thursday night. It’s always a good laugh, there’s free beers and it provides a great chance to meet new people. Just try not to drink too much before the main event…


On the day of the conference, at 5pm onwards try and find as many SiteVisibility team members as you can. They’ll likely have stacks of drinks tokens…


If you can, make a weekend of it. There are so many great things to do in Brighton. When it comes to food, drinks, coffee and places of interest, check out this map of Brighton that we created for our favourite places to visit.


About me.

Sean Nichols (@prawnnichols) Marketing Manager at BrightonSEO sister agency, SiteVisibility. Been working in digital for 6+ years.

So that is it – if you have any tips – drop me an email – Gerry at TakeItOffline.co.uk or leave it in the comments below – we would love to add some more great tips ….


3 Thoughts to “Who to see at BrightonSEO – April 2018”

  1. […] April 2018 version – now live – Who to See at BrightonSEO 2018  […]

  2. The March 2018 BrightonSEO was amazing. Lots of great seminars and exhibitors. Greg Gifford was my favourite speaker. He knows what he’s talking about and delivers well. Definitely, one to watch 🙂

  3. Seems to be a great event !
    I wasn’t here but don’t hesitate to let me know the date for the next event !
    I’d proudly be there !!
    Greetings from France !! Peace !

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