In April, our team had the pleasure of attending Brighton SEO 2024 – a major UK conference event for SEO and Google Ad professionals. Digital marketing teams travel across the UK, Europe, and even further afield to attend Brighton SEO, so it’s no surprise our team were very excited to see what it had in store!

Over two jam-packed days, we attended numerous talks in the Brighton Centre. With such an impressive lineup of speakers and a wide range of topics, there really was something to suit everyone.

Here’s a rundown of our favourite talks and speakers, with insights of what we learned from each…

BrightonSEO 2024, Auditorium 1 at the Brighton Centre


🔎 Rethinking Google’s SGE – Tom Capper

Tom Capper’s analysis of Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) was particularly eye-opening. He discussed the current limitations of Google’s Search Generative Experience, such as:

  • SGE-linked Sites – these often fall beyond the top 10 search results, which causes us to question the authority of information provided by SGE.
  • Commercial Challenges – where will Google Ads be placed in SGE, and how will this impact organic rankings?
  • Plagiarism Issues – legal issues may also arise if SGE displays paywalled content directly on the SERPs. 

These points Tom highlights have encouraged us to think critically about Google’s AI offering, and how we can navigate these constraints in the future. It’s also interesting to reflect on SGE as Google introduces the latest SGE feature – AI Overviews.


🤖 Humanising ChatGPT – JonJo Rowlands

JonJo Rowlands was another speaker who left a lasting impression on our team. It’s safe to say his talk on ChatGPT resonated with almost everyone in attendance, as ChatGPT becomes a popular tool for many digital marketing tasks. 

Here’s a few points we’ll be taking forward from his talk:

  • Polite Prompts – Viewing ChatGPT like an extension of your team is important, validating what it gets right and having patience when it gets things wrong! 
  • GIGO – “Garbage in, garbage out” seems relevant when using ChatGPT, even small changes in your original prompt can lead to wildly different AI answers. Therefore the quality of your AI content will always depend on how well your prompts are crafted.

As chatGPT becomes part of daily office life, it’s great to see others in our field using it in similar ways as us, especially as prompt engineering becomes a highly sought-after skill.


📈 Advanced Data-Driven SEO – Tom Mansell

Moving away from the vague “it depends” SEO mindset, Tom Mansell encouraged us to use a more calculated approach with robust SEO forecasting. 

He thinks SEOs need to rethink our communication style and instead show value by speaking the same language as senior stakeholders. Rather than telling them the number of page titles we’ve optimised, show them the incremental value this offers. 

Tom’s SEO Forecasting follows two broad steps:

  • First, identify the size of the prize – this involves creating a performance baseline, calculating incrementality and prioritising.
  • Next, understand how to get there – different variables will need to be considered for YMYL sites, e-commerce and local business. It’s important to identify these, before starting “test and learn” logs.


🚀 Navigating CPC Surges – Alex Hogan

Our Google Ads team found Alex Hogan’s talk very valuable, as he shared insights into the causes and controls of CPC surges.

Some CPC surge causes we cannot control, such as increased competition and seasonality. However, when it comes to automation of ads, landing page design, and ad management, we definitely do have a level of control. 

For these challenges, Alex explained:

  • Practical ways to manage daily budget caps by crafting smarter bid strategies.
  • The importance of optimising quality scores for ad landing pages.
  • How campaign structure and diversity in ad type, can impact performance.


🌿 Sustainable Content Creation – Fiona Brennan

Fiona Brennan’s talk on the environmental impact of digital content creation was a wake-up call for our SEO content team. With digital content surprisingly responsible for 3.5% of global carbon emissions, it’s definitely something to take seriously.

A few facts that we took home from her talk included: 

  • 1 Billion pieces of content are created daily.
  • 50% of this has zero engagement.
  • 50% of content marketers are burnt out.

To combat these stats, Fiona proposes a “Sustainable Content Framework” that has clear Purpose, Impact, Momentum & Profit. Meeting all four criteria will ensure content creation is sustainable.


♻️ Reducing, Reusing & Recycling Content – Natalie Arney

Another interesting talk was by Natalie Arney, who provided strategies for combating content decay – something we often uncover during content audits. Content decay is defined as the “gradual decline in organic ranking and traffic over a period of time”. It can affect multiple pages on your site, and is caused by things such as:

  • Content Ageing 
  • Shifts in Search Intent
  • Decline in Topic Interest 
  • Content Cannabolisation 
  • Algorithm Updates 

To combat content decay, Natalie encourages us to reduce the churn of low-quality content, reuse content by splitting up long-form pieces to align with intent and UX, and recycle content across multiple channels.


 Our Final Thoughts on Brighton SEO 2024!

All in all, Brighton SEO 2024 was a great experience, mixing top-notch learning with plenty of craic! A massive thank you to all the speakers from this year’s conference, and all the Brighton SEO organisers – we’re already looking forward to what next year might bring!  👏

It’s wonderful to see many insights from Brighton SEO, closely align with our SEO Strategies and Google Ads Services.

We’ll also be incorporating any new learnings into our SEO and PPC Training courses, which are a great way to learn one-to-one. Get in touch if you or your team would be interested in a training session or would like a refresher.