BrightLocal Makes Waves at BrightonSEO April 2023

This April’s BrightonSEO was an incredible few days. Held in BrightLocal’s HQ hometown of Brighton, this search conference has grown year after year, becoming one of the most popular events to go to for all search marketers.

This time around, though, we wanted to do something a little different. So we hosted a stand in the exhibition area, complete with awesome swag to give away, a stand design that represented Brighton and our diverse local SEO community, and a game (Pin It to Win It) to play for the chance to win £5,000 to split between the winner and a charity of their choice). 

Thank you to everyone who came to see us, and a huge well done to everyone who played Pin It to Win It and took home a piece of BrightLocal swag. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! 

We created a short video to show you our experience at BrightonSEO, so even if you missed it, you’ll get a taste of what the BrightLocal team got up to!

So Many Talks, So Little Time…

As always, BrightonSEO was full of SEO experts delivering talks on a variety of topics. Between us, we went to a number of inspiring talks and came out of the event having learned something new and practical to input into our daily marketing activity.

Here are some of our favorite talks, why we loved them, and why we think you will, too. 


Mike Hawkes

Mike Hawkes

Senior Content Marketing Manager, BrightLocal


Cut the CRAPtions: How *real* captions can take your videos to the next level

Ahmed Khalifa, Digital Experience Manager and Owner, Hear Me Out! [CC] (@IamAhmedKhalifa)

Talking with real passion and humor, Ahmed used real-world examples to highlight just how bad closed captions on videos can be. With 40% of Netflix users using closed captions by choice, he emphasized just how important accuracy is.

You wouldn’t leave a spelling mistake or factual error in your social media posts, or on your blog, so why aren’t you correcting the errors that have been generated in your captions? If you’re not careful, you could be alienating your brand or even providing completely false information.

Not only that but when brands invest the proper time into their closed captions, they can make them truly impactful. This gives everyone a better experience of interacting with your brand and content.

How to turn an unloved corporate YouTube channel into a traffic generation machine

Phil Nottingham, Video Strategist (@PhilNottingham)

Phil talked everyone through some home truths about their forgettable and forlorn YouTube channels. What really hit home is the lack of time people put into their video content. Not only that but how they lump everything they create into one channel, no matter who they are targeting.

He covered using Google’s EEAT but made it more relevant for YouTube as EEAATT; Expertise, Authority, Aesthetics, Trustworthiness, and Thumbnail.

What a lot of it boils down to though, is not being afraid to make additional channels attached to your business that each target a specific area of your audience. Then, when you create that targeted content, do it in a way that really adds value. His presentation used specific examples that showcased how businesses could do this and is well worth checking out.


Jamie Pitman

Jamie Pitman

Head of Content, BrightLocal


Where does equality fit in your marketing strategy?

Andi Jarvis, Founder, Eximo Marketing, (@AndiJarvis)

Andi’s talk on equality in marketing strategy was equal parts inspiring, eye-opening and entertaining. If you’re looking for ways to get buy-in from senior leadership to invest in more diverse thinking for your organisation, this is the talk for you.

Starting by reminding the agency staff in the audience that they’re all “weirdos” by pointing out that they’re often nothing like their target audience yet often think they are, Andi proceeded to prove that we all need to stop making assumptions about our markets and instead do some actual g*ddamn research.

Using stories from his time working in the whisky sector, Andi was able to show us all what the landscape of equality looks like, where marketers make dangerous assumptions, and most importantly, how we can go about proving the importance of equality and diversity in our marketing strategies.


Jenny Bernarde

Jenny Bernarde

Social and Community Manager, BrightLocal


Opportunity is knocking: How to identify growth and expansion opportunities with local SEO data

Amanda Jordan, Director of Digital Strategy, RicketyRoo (@amandatjordan)

Amanda’s talk was full of actionable advice. For anyone looking to expand their, or their client’s local business, there are a number of things to look out for and consider whilst making a business case for expansion.

Amanda drew out a solid process for local SEOs to run through; from finding the right market to narrowing down location opportunities, and winning over your client.

She shares the dos and don’ts for filtering locations, ways to identify opportunities for growth, and what to consider with competitors.


Google’s local knowledge panel – the CMS you never knew you had

Claire Carlile, Local Search Expert, BrightLocal (@clairecarlile)

Have you considered just how powerful Google’s local knowledge panel is? Claire Carlile looked at the different ways the local knowledge panel shares information about your business with your customer, and how to ‘log in’ to make crucial ‘edits’ when Google decides to share the wrong info.

Depending on your business category, Google pulls in data and information about your business from multiple sources. In her talk, Claire takes you through her experience with attempting to influence the local knowledge panel. Starting with the New Merchant Experience (NMX), working closely with Google’s support team, and finally using knowledge around schema to update information, Claire’s journey proves a fascinating inside into something we quite often look past!


Sammy Paget

Sammy Paget

Content Marketing Manager, BrightLocal


When links aren’t enough – showing the value of link acquisition beyond coverage and links

Isa Lavahun, Freelance Digital Strategist, Digital PR Services (@IsaLavs_)

As someone who has a lot to learn about digital PR and link building, I really liked the way Isa broke down the different ways you can present results and relevant metrics to different stakeholders. Isa also reinforced the importance of setting campaign objectives, which may sound obvious, but in the digital world, we can get very caught up with chasing links!

There were some great tips for building an outreach list, and the talk highlighted the importance of aiming for a variety of Authority, Diversity, Quality, and Relevance—essentially, yes you want to aim for authoritative and relevant links, but you should also be putting efforts into diversifying and tapping into potential new audiences.


Abigail Leow

Abigail Leow

Content & Marketing Executive, BrightLocal


Neuroscience of Search 

Giulia Panozzo, neuroscientive, (@SequinsNsearch)

In her talk, Giulia used her fascinating background in neuroscience to bring a new perspective to SEO. Diving into some of the core principles of human psychology, Giulia described the science behind our brain’s processing mechanisms to remind marketers who it is that they’re optimizing for: the users.

Emphasizing the importance of heuristics in decision-making, social proof, and the role of emotions, Giulia led the audience through some of the key psychological principles to keep in mind when optimizing your business’s site.

A passionate and knowledgeable speaker, Giulia’s talk presented a fascinating side of SEO in an approachable, digestible way, offering a glimpse into one of the key factors marketers should—but often forget to—consider when optimizing.

All in all, we had a blast at BrightonSEO. We’ll be back in September with another awesome stand, and can’t wait to see you all there!

What’s Going On with Service-area Business Rankings?

Jenny looks after the BrightLocal community, through managing our social media channels, connecting with our community, and producing our online webinars.

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