The Edit Blog

The North’s Largest Search Conference – SearchLeeds 2019 Wrap Up

ARTICLE BY Charlie Harris
READ TIME: 6 mins
21st June 2019

‘The North’s Largest Search Conference’ is a line we’ve been using to describe SearchLeeds since our 2017 event – the first at the arena, and the first year we achieved over 1000 attendees. In just two short years, we’re proud to announce that we have doubled our delegates, doubled the number of speakers and are officially still the ‘North’s largest search conference’.

As one of the two event organisers, it’s difficult to see beyond the finer details of the event. However, after months of planning, the end result yesterday really was impressive, even for those of us who knew what was coming. At the end of the set up on Wednesday, Frankie Bisi and I took a moment just to step on stage to take it all in and enjoy the atmosphere of the first direct arena.

The Event

The doors opened on Thursday morning, just as the Yorkshire heavens opened up and over 2000 marketers descended upon Leeds for our annual gathering. The final number of attendees exceeded our estimates, with all delegate bags gone by 11am, and both Search Laboratory and DeepCrawl were forced to buy further supplies of teas, coffees and beers respectively in order to keep the masses hydrated across the day.

The Speakers

Following a short introduction, the talks kicked off at 09.30. Across the day, we had some simply brilliant talks and speakers, and we’d like to call out some of our highlights.

We were lucky enough to have the infamous Kirsty Hulse choose SearchLeeds as her last speaking engagement in SEO. For her third time at SearchLeeds, Kirsty explained how a scientific approach can improve your creativity. The room was packed and Kirsty’s presence within the industry will definitely be missed.

Joining us from France, Alexandre Sigoigne, CEO of MyPoseo, spoke in only his second UK speaking appearance on Building SEO Content Strategy based around SERP and competitive analysis. With standing room only, it will be great to see more of Alexandre on the UK speaking circuit in the months to come.

A number of Editors took to the stage too, including Gary Arnold who focused on the role of Customer Centricity within marketing strategy, Jon Greenhalgh, speaking on AI and Paid Media Strategies of tomorrow, and first time speaker Will Hobson, on why Social Media should be a part of your Search strategy.

Stage 4 played host to a number of compelling panels throughout the day. Bidnamic led panellists in a discussion around staying competitive in the crowded online market, while our Women in Digital panels challenged the normally male dominated speaker space and offered time to reflect and debate the topics of Confidence, Balance and The Industry as a whole. Finally, this stage was rounded off with our SEO Bullsh*t Battle, where our challengers battled out their SEO beliefs.

Across the day, Britney Muller was a standout presenter. Having made the trip from the US especially for the event she did not disappoint. Her talk on Machine Learning for SEOs was easily our most tweeted talk – Worth checking out if you couldn’t make it there on the day.

The links to all the talks can be found at the end of this post. Full video recordings of all talks will also be available in the coming weeks and will be sent to the attendees via email.

The Sponsors

We have seen continued support from some of the biggest agencies in Leeds, including Stickyeyes, Journey Further, and Search Laboratory – who’ve had our back since year one. We thank all our sponsors who continue to support and make the event possible, and we especially thank DeepCrawl for doing that, plus giving us and our delegates beer at the same time.

The exhibition space area was packed throughout the day, with free beer, hot drinks, doughnuts and even bananas available for delegates.

Closing time

At 5pm, we wrapped up the event, switched off the smoke machine and the SearchLeeds lights for another year, and joined our After-Party sponsors Infinity in the Black and White Bar for a well-deserved pint or two.

As we close out another successful SearchLeeds we’re already planning how we can make the event even bigger for 2020. Across the last four years we’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received from the search industry, and we’re extremely fortunate to be able to offer an event that we hope adds value to this flourishing community. We aim to continue doing this for as long as we have marketers willing to join us.

Thank you to all involved for making this the best SearchLeeds yet – Roll on 2020.

The Slides:

Main Stage:

Kirsty Hulse – Manyminds

How science can help you have better ideas

Bastian Grimm – Peak Ace

Why most SEO audits are SH*T

Jon Myers – Ascending Media

All things mobile in a mobile led world! Optimise or fail

Jennifer Hoffman – DeepCrawl

The business value of SEO

Gary Arnold – Edit

Personalisation in a Search journey

Matthew Howells-Barby – HubSpot

Everything you need to know before scaling your SEO internationally

Samantha Noble – Biddable Moments

Put your money where your data is

Sarah Barker – Stickyeyes

One Search – Combining your organic and paid strategies for greater effect

Britney Muller – Moz

Machine learning for SEOs

Stephen Kenwright – Rise at seven

Content marketing frameworks that will get you paid more

Shyam Dattani

Search, the easy way: The content sales-person analogy explained

Barry Adams – Polemic Digital

JavaScript is ruining the web (and I love it)

Stage 2

Sam Marsden – DeepCrawl

Overcoming Technical SEO challenges for enterprise sites

Alexandre Sigoigne – Myposeo

Build SEO content strategy based on SERP and competitive analysis

Luke Monaghan – Fetch

Site Speed: Time to meet the mobile expectation

Laura Bartlett – House of Coco Magazine

Why social media is more than just the numbers

Sophie Coley – answerthepublic.com

Search Listening: Why and how you should be using Google data way beyond traditional keyword research

Will Hobson – Edit

Why social media should be part of your search strategy

Shannon McGuirk – Aira

Making headlines: Which newspapers are most likely to publish your content (with links!)?

Beth Nunnington – Journey Further

PR that drives performance

Oliver Brett – Screaming Frog

How to make fake new for links

Jill Quick – The Coloring in Department

UX and marketing: A tinder match made in heaven

Andy Duke – Stickyeyes

Rise of the Robots: How well can machines measure UX?

Stage 3

Angus Hamilton – Search Laboratory

Leveraging your first-party data for successful cross-channel marketing campaigns​

Helen Pollitt – Avenue Digital

Discovering the truth in dark traffic

Nichola Stott – Erudite

The state of PWAs

Emily Potter, Distilled

Featured Snippets – the achievable SERP feature

Rory Truesdale – WeWork / Conductor

Intent optimisation: Why it matters & how it can improve your SEO results

Jon Greenhalgh – Edit

AI in Paid Media and strategies you can use tomorrow

Puneet Vaghela & Sal Mohammed – Adzooma

Research and execution: Marketing’s most important relationship

Tanesha Stafford – Armchair Marketing

Land Grab: How to win business from your competitors with Google PPC

Hannah Perry – Manchester Airports Group

The multi-million pound keyword

Owen Gill – Pendragon

Who should bring PPC in house and who shouldn’t

Stage 4

Luke Carthy – Mayflex

Killer CRO tips with a SEO web crawler

Rob Smith – DQ&A

Demystifying in-housing for advertisers and agencies

Fabrizio Ballarini – TransferWise

Building, hacking and killing a bespoke CMS

Lukasz Zelezny

The butterfly effect in SEO

Polly Pospelova – Delete

How to hack rankings with page speed optimisation

Laura Hogan, Milo’s Mail / JellyBean

There’s nothing wrong with being a vulture – using your competitors for SEO wins

Matt Holmes – Thomas Cook Airlines

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