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BrightonSEO, 2023: Topics that are shaping the world of search

Alice Winterburn & Sofia Ravanis unpack the essentials.

Alice & Sofia at BrightonSEO

Twice a year, the marketing masses descend on the English seaside town of Brighton to talk about something we all do every day: search engine optimisation (SEO).

With only 5% of people venturing to the second page of Google, getting a top spot is more important than ever – and if anyone knows how that’s done, it’s the denizens at BrightonSEO. Here are the key topics shaping conversations in the search world.


First things first: keywords

Keyword research just is not the same as it used to be, and this is great news for writers. Long gone are the days of stuffing words in as an afterthought. The focus is now on gauging intent before you even put pen to paper. This means a whole lexicon and complete sentences to work with.

But, before we get there, your datasets have to be switched on and connected. You really need to know what your potential audience is looking for. Straightforward for some brands, difficult for others (like Apple and Granny Smith).


The tech to back it up

While great content leads the way, even the best prose will be let down if your website isn’t optimised. As users, we’ve become lazy – and who wouldn’t be when search engines finish your sentences for you? If you’re a marketing leader working with thousands of content pages, it’s time to break convention and build hubs that unite your leading topics and plug in all your content types, from blogs to forms. Think landing pages, but better. The good news is that templated pages can provide a helpful shortcut for those dealing with large volumes of content.

Composable CMS was the talk of the seaside town. The open ecosystem gives developers far more capabilities to achieve the next level of performance, security, scalability and flexibility – alongside a natural SEO boost.

Ultimately, all this work comes down to improving the user experience. And it’s vital to avoid working in silos to achieve this. For example, conducting user research late to validate something you are going to implement anyway is a vanity project, and a complete waste of everyone’s time. And don’t forget to test, test and test again. When you’re done doing that, optimise… with testing.


Google is content with useful content

We all search with one purpose, to find answers. If in 2023 your webpage isn’t delivering on that simple need, search engines know it. When it came to content at BrightonSEO, two talking points dominated the room. First, the newest addition to the Google quality rater guidelines – “experience”. Second, generative AI. It’s no coincidence that the search giant has been quick to add this new hallmark of quality before the tsunami of ChatGPT ‘filler’ makes it to the internet.

It’s also worth noting that search engines are busy ranking your authority away from home. So, for example, if you feature as a speaker on an episode of XTech (the world’s greatest B2B tech podcast), your next blog is far more likely to hit the top ten.


The web, as it was always meant to be

In a sea of change, Google’s principles have remained the same. Interesting content that users understand, on a page that’s easy to navigate, and answers your question, will come up tops every time (literally). It’s all part of our shared mission to keep the web useful.

But SEO takes a village, and you can’t make it all on your own. Make sure you’re connected to people who can help you make changes, migrate your existing content and optimise to continue driving great content forevermore.