Two weeks ago, eight members of the Edelman team took a trip to the seaside to learn all about search marketing at Brighton SEO. We weren’t alone as this huge conference attracts 3,500 people from around the world to hear words of wisdom from expert speakers. For many of us this was the first time we’d ever been, though there were a few old hands, and it was a learning experience for all of us.

For starters who knew zebras could play piano, or how long it would take to walk in the rain to find food at lunchtime? But we did pick up a lot of useful tips and information we can apply to our digital strategies to deliver better work for our clients too.

There were some great talks on the day and our key highlights included Marcus Tober’s presentation on using the most effective type of content for your industry to improve search visibility. He explained how video performs brilliantly for fitness brands, but was the wrong fit for divorce lawyers, who should stick to long form content. It just goes to show that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to content.

We also learned more about SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Rob Bucci’s presentation revealed more about how to secure featured snippets that pop up to answer people’s search queries in Google. He explained how to grab and keep that coveted piece of screen real estate and shared his predictions on how they will increasingly interact with Google Home and voice searches.

The team were particularly excited when the Edelman Trust Barometer got a name check during David Lockie’s presentation on blockchain, as he emphasised the importance of trust as the basis for online transactions. Looking at the future of blockchain across SEO and digital marketing, David demonstrated how this technology could eliminate fraud, reward positive online behaviour and help to bankrupt nasty spammers.

Although we are all converts to the church of search optimised content, our beliefs were reinforced by Sam Robson’s inspiring talk on how he uses his SEO skills to secure the top slot on the SERPs page for TechRadar on the biggest shopping day of the year – Black Friday – year after year. This gave all of us more confidence to advise our clients on the undeniable value of content.

The day was rounded off with a free copy of SEO legend Rand Fishkin’s new book and some free beer to celebrate a day well spent.

So, will we be back next year? Absolutely, we are already practising our page refresh skills to snap up the free tickets as soon as they’re released.