A Designers View of SEO… Brighton style

This year I had the opportunity to attend the BrightonSEO conference in (you guessed it) Brighton. For those of you who don’t know, BrightonSEO is a one-day search marketing conference, it takes place twice a year and brings together some of the best speakers in the world of search.

I’ve been a Graphic Designer for Shorthose Russell for over six years and whilst working here I’ve had the opportunity to develop into a front end Website Designer. This is my favourite type of project, I love working out how things will work for the user and making it look good at the same time.

Part of my job is working alongside the Digital Team who live for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) often telling me how important SEO is and how to improve it. This usually comes with conflict as they are only interested in the content and detail they need on a website and sometimes that’s hard to make attractive but we eventually agree.

So to help me get to grips a little more with their way of thinking and to ‘maybe’ reduce the conflict between studio and the digital gurus, off I went down to sunny Brighton (or in my case not so sunny!).

With 82 speakers to choose from, picking a talk to go to was a little daunting. I eventually settled on Ecommerce with Dave Naylor, Rob Watson and David Whatley which looked into the pitfalls of commerce SEO, weird Google hacks and the bridge between on and offline retail. This was followed by Customer experience (my personal highlight of the day) by Martin Chilcott. My afternoon was social focused, looking at video platforms and Facebook advertising with Paul Curry, Greg Gifford and Phil Nottingham.

As I sat waiting for the first talk to begin I started to think ‘oh no what if I don’t understand wants going on?’ ‘Is it going to be useful?’ ‘Can everyone tell I’m not a digi guy?!’ But as it began I realised it was actually very useful, maybe not in the same way as it was for the rest of the crowd but it will definitely influence my future designs and the way I think about the crazy World Wide Web and how it works.

So here are my top snippets I took away from the day:

Location is king

Location keywords are very valuable and shouldn’t be an afterthought. You can tap into a smaller competitor sector very quickly. It’s really important to think about what the user is looking for and what would be the best way to display this information. The users experience should always be in your mind when putting a web page together.

We have a shorter attention span than a goldfish!

The human attention span has supposedly dropped from 12 seconds to just 8 seconds, which is 1 second shorter than a goldfish. So you don’t have long to capture the scrolling viewers’ attention. Your design has to be exciting and interesting as well as short and snappy, the viewer won’t hang around for long.

Our time

Mobile users spend most of their time on Facebook and Instagram, this is even greater than Google. This should be a big influence on where you spend your money and time advertising and building a community that love your brand. Think about the way you are presenting yourself and making your brand desirable.

Brighton Seo

User experience first

Website UX is really important and you should always listen and help the customer. You will always remember that helpful brand.

Always remember to be:

  • Simple
  • Single minded
  • Persuasive
  • Responsive
  • Emotional

This has always been at the front of my mind when I design websites but I think attending BrightonSEO has made me realise how important user experience really is. Reducing the amount of clicks and effort it takes to find what the user is looking for and trying to think from their point of view is key.

It was a great day and I’ve taken away lots of useful information I can apply to my creative work.


Jessica Luongo.

Senior Graphic Designer