bbd takes on BrightonSEO


My Experience at BrightonSEO: Insights from the Search Advertising Show 2023
As digital marketers, we're constantly looking for new ways to improve our skills and keep updated with the latest industry trends. This year's BrightonSEO was a shining example of how powerful meeting regularly with like-minded professionals can be. 

Here's what I learned.

3 minute read

16th February 2024

A sense of camaraderie

This was my first PPC event and I was really excited to gain useful insights into how other agencies approach PPC in today’s highly competitive market, learn about new strategy and network with other PPC enthusiasts.

It’s always nice to be surrounded by like-minded people who are all working to achieve the greatest possible results for our clients. It’s also heartwarming to see how the PPC community has come together in an “Us vs Google” approach.

Here are my three biggest takeaways on the lead generation landing page experience, tips on the latest Google Ads campaign type (PMax), and recession ready marketing strategies:

What can lead generation advertisers learn from e-commerce?

It can often be challenging to make lead generation landing pages exciting and engaging to end users. We know we need to include product/service information and of course, the ever-important lead form – but what else could help move the needle? 

Why not look to the world of eCommerce for some inspiration?

eCommerce websites focus heavily on UX, and with consumers having to financially checkout on the website, trust is essential. This total dependence on high quality on-page experience enables them to set the bar for on-page content, experience and usability. It's the gold standard we should be looking to.

On the other hand, lead generation advertisers are frequently guilty of creating bland landing sites with few visual elements that attract visitors and ultimately drive engagement. This is where e-commerce shines. Eye-catching pictures and videos showcasing products – whether it's studio shots or lifestyle media – can truly bring landing pages to life. So, while we don’t have products to offer, can we lead gen experts use this method with eye-catching pictures on the landing page? The answer is yes, of course we can!

But it’s not just limited to visuals, there were some really interesting CRO pointers that make total sense.

  • Concept and Tone of Voice: To drive action, it’s important to speak directly to our target audience by using a language and style that resonates with them. 
  • Visual Elements: Include visual elements on the landing page as they help our visitors understand our services and break up large blocks of text.
  • Transparent Pricing: Transparency in pricing is key and can increase conversion rates by more than 20%.
  • A Clear Call to Action: Have a clear, prominent, and compelling call to action (CTA) on the landing page that is visually appealing and consistent throughout the page.

Google Ads PMax Campaigns: Using creative that lets you scale

Performance Max campaigns, Google’s latest campaign type, uses the power of automation and machine learning in an all encompassing campaign that maximises Google’s inventory.

With PMax still being fairly new, it was interesting seeing learnings from industry leaders on this. PMax has tended to generate stronger results for eCommerce clients however the use of strong creative has been proven to make the difference in driving the performance.

Using raw and authentic creative has been reported to actually drive more conversions and engagement than professional, studio taken content. So the advice here was, even if you just have an iPhone, you can still generate strong content without investing thousands on a photoshoot. If you have already invested in a photoshoot for paid social campaigns, then you can absolutely recycle this for your PMax campaigns too. Aligning this ad content with ad copy based around user pain points can really help drive engagement.

The importance of providing some form of video content is also strongly advised as otherwise Google will automatically create a video for you….and these aren’t great to say the least! Even just a 10 second video can be enough to encourage action and maximise the video placements of PMax.

How to build a recession-ready marketing strategy

With all of the current financial issues, understanding consumer psychology and how user’s buying habits change, can help us build a recession-ready marketing strategy.

During a recession, consumers tend to fall into the following four categories:

  • Slam on the breaks: People who cut all spending that’s unnecessary during a recession.
  • Pained but patient: These people are hopeful about the future but concerned about maintaining consuming habits.
  • Comfortably well-off: The top 5% of people, as well as some others who have money saved up, are not too worried about the recession and are still spending money as usual.
  • Live for today: These people tend to be a younger demographic and carry on spending as usual and don’t particularly worry about the recession, saving or spending.

Product Categories During A Recession

  • Essentials: things that are important to people’s well-being and deemed necessary.
  • Treats: small purchases that can be justified as ‘in the moment’.
  • Postponables: items that can be delayed until they become essential or until the recession ends.
  • Expendables: items that are unnecessary and cannot be justified in the given situation.

Creating a recession-ready marketing strategy can be based on combining the four categories of consumer psychology with the corresponding product categories. By incorporating these factors, businesses can develop a targeted approach that anticipates and adapts to economic downturns.


In conclusion, Improving the lead generation landing page experience has been a continuous effort in our agency. However, following the event, we will be focusing on landing page optimisations even more as part of our campaign ‘go live’ process, aiming to make the landing page as appealing as possible in order to maximise results for our clients.

We aren’t using PMax for much of our lead generation PPC accounts at present but the insights into creative that helps to scale performance was really useful. Specifically the fact that raw, amateur content can actually drive more engagement.

Finally, applying consumer psychology and buying habits into a recession ready marketing strategy was a really interesting topic. We will be looking to incorporate this into our marketing strategies as we look to tailor our efforts even further to hone in on specific consumers.