Thinking Beyond The Website: Highlights from this Year’s BrightonSEO

June 9, 2021

The second virtual BrightonSEO conference took place this Spring, and it did not disappoint. A selection of the ForwardPMX team attended a variety of talks and have highlighted their top takeaways below.

Cory Schmidt – Headless CMS Migration

Cory covered a few very interesting insights in his talk about Headless CMS. During the talk, he explains what a headless CMS is, what you should consider before switching to headless, Pro/Cons when Migrating and what impact the migration might have on your SEO.

He started with a clear and in-depth introduction on what is a Headless CMS. Essentially, a Headless CMS (content management system) refers to a site where your front-end (the head) has been decoupled from the back-end (or the body). The part of a website that the visitor sees is totally disconnected from the part where the actual content is created.

Typically, a visitor of a site interacts with the page, makes a request for content and the back end serves that content on a page to the visitor in real time. Often pages load more resources that are needed, which lead to increased load and render time. A headless CMS targets the load time and so switching to headless could really help a website improve site speed.

Cory continues explaining that by decoupling the front and back end of a site, pages can be served statically. Serving pages statically can offer many advantages, especially, by serving pages statically the browser will serve the pages faster to website visitors.

A headless migration takes time and can be very complicated and therefore, there are a few things to keep in mind before switching to headless. Is important to find a good headless vendor and to have a good dev team with a lot of front end and back end experiences.

Pros and Cons of the Migration:


  • Editors might be used to the previous features that WordPress provides, since the front end is now separated, editors can’t see their changes in real time. This means that editors need to trust the changes they are making.


  • There is no downtime on the frontend due to maintenance mode. The front end doesn’t need to be shut when making the changes in the backend. The front end is not affected.
  • More flexibility for updates from the developers. The developers can make the changes whenever they want. They can work at any hours, do the changes at any time.
  • Improve security – On a typical CMS the front end is connected to the backend on any page. Hackers can access your site easier from the front end. By having the front and back end separated, it is harder to hack the site.
  • Speed of navigating the site is faster.
  • A migration of content is no longer necessary as the content is stored in the headless CMS
  • Improved conversion rate. By having a faster website, visitors will stay longer in the site and will have a better experience.

Finally, Cory concludes by saying that he believes switching to headless CMS is very important for many businesses and he explains that the headless migration was very beneficial for his client. Especially, it helped improve conversion rate and increased organic search traffic. Organic search is very competitive and Headless CMS can be a great solution for any business.

Summarized by Laura Tambuini

Luke Carthy – 10 easy and powerful SEO and CRO Improvements for eCommerce

Luke Carthy took the main virtual stage of Brighton SEO to discuss 10 quick and easy points to take into consideration for SEO and CRO improvements in eCommerce. The talk investigated various examples of elements that are usually overlooked in SEO, and Luke outlined 10 powerful actions to do for better rankings, UX and ways to focus on the needs of the customer.

There’s no point in having a website if the UX is bad and that traffic your receiving doesn’t convert then you are wasting time and money. The following 10 actions are highlighted below:

1. Optimise your site search– optimising your site search help increase conversion as 43% of conversion increase is from site search optimisation, whilst 30% of all users use site search. This can be done by building a custom metric in Google Analytics that collects how many search results is returned for a query, start with optimising your top 5% of search queries).

2. Build a good faceted nav for long-tail keywords – optimise facets well and the only index the facets that will drive traffic. This can open some low volume yet high converting organic keywords, it’s a great way for a new and start-up eCommerce site to leverage organic traffic sooner.

  • Good facets should include Size, Range, Colour, Material and Brand.
  • Sorting facet options from high to low
  • Restricting the number of filter parameters in any single URL (1-2 mx typically) (only have two filter options added to one URL)
  • Optimise titles for each filter selection to improve relevance for a complete guide check out the following URL:

3. Create and host your own discount code page – This helps keep traffic on the page and avoids people from leaving your site to get a discount code.

4. Enable guest checkout – This helps reduce bounce rate as customers don’t always want to create an account or sign up to the mailing list just to checkout

5. Add your core global FAQs to all product pages – Include any FAQs to visitors can read it on the product page without leaving.

6. Create custom tags in heatmaps – creating custom tags can allows you to segment and target the information that’s needed and wanted.

7. Turn off all popups 😊

8. Identify the % of traffic your missing in Google analytics Keep your categories stocked – This will allow you to isolate categories that need to be restocked, retired, or merged.

9. Ask your customers – It’s important to ask customers for their feedback post-purchase, you can have all the data, but nothing beats speaking to your customers and listening.

By implementing the above changes on your website, you will hopefully see an increase in conversion rates and traffic. As with all SEO, optimisations test any changes before implementing.

 Summarized by Amatuallah Kyriacou

Tomek Rudzki – How to Make Sure Google Will Index All of Your Content

Tomek Rudzki of Onely presented his talk on technical SEO with “how to make sure Google will index all your content”. He started by analysing a popular home equipment brand which suffered visibility drops where some core pages received 0 traffic, some were not indexed.

Some interesting points from the talk were:       

  • Pages are assigned crawling priorities before they are even crawled, by pagerank.
  • Even if URLs are in the sitemaps, sometimes they won’t get crawled.
  • The importance of site architecture and Google crawl prioritisation.
  • Page speed helps with crawl budget – faster pages = more pages can be rendered & crawled.
  • Less popular pages can be “partially indexed”.

Follow this link to diagnose indexing issues on  your website! 

 Summarized by Jack Reid

Tasha Amponsah-Antwi – The future of SEO in Fashion and Beauty

Tasha has run us through some very interesting insights into fashion and beauty SEO. Firstly, she looked into the ever evolving search landscape and how we have seen the evolution from basic keywords into conversational journey formats. Some of the formats can come in the format of ‘Collections’, ‘My Saves’ and ‘Activity Cards’ that can then be used to tailor the results for the user. There has also been a change from text to visual search options such as ‘Image Search’, ‘Augmented Reality’ and ‘Video Search’.

The pandemic has accelerated trends that were already in motion as shopping shifts to digital which for the industry of fashion and beauty means that their content needs to become more engaging and encourage their audience to connect with them.

“We need to start thinking beyond the website and have a holistic strategy across the relevant arenas for your brand and your niche”

We need to start looking at web search, video search and eCommerce, along with applying SEO to other platforms such as YouTube, Tik Tok, Instagram etc because SEO is not confined to only your website.

Tasha has shared the 6 steps to formulate a future proof SEO strategy:

  • Implement an audience first strategy.
  • Integrate audience insights and passions into keyword research and search approach.
  • Build out content around their interests and discovery topics.
  • Invest in digital innovations and technology to improve and personalise UX.
  • Use search data to predict future trends.
  • Plan search as a whole with a holistic plan across platforms.

In conclusion, we need to be mindful that the the search landscape will continue to evolve in line with how people search, so we need to ensure that our search strategy is audience first. This will help brands stay ahead and adapt to new trends which can be predicted using SEO insights and to create a seamless and engaging digital experience across all platforms.

Summarized by Daria Titova

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