Posted: 4 Minute read

We take a closer look at Kerry Mullin’s Brighton SEO talk: “SEO Synergy - why we matter at each point in a website’s lifetime”

There is a Chinese proverb (I stole it from the novel Overstory, but doesn’t the proverb thing just ooze mystique?) that goes:

The best time to plant a tree was thirty years ago, the second best time is now.

Most of us working with online businesses will, more often than not, find ourselves wishing someone had planted that SEO tree thirty years ago, but we can all plant it now.

This is the case that our fantastic director of organic search, Kerry Mullin, made on the main stage at the recent Brighton SEO conference. She explained, to a rapt crowd, the importance of involving your SEO resource from the moment a website project (be it a new build, a refresh, a migration or anything else) reaches the planning stage. We need to, as Kerry’s father has often reminded her - “aim to never do a job twice”.

During a sparkling 20 minutes, Kerry outlined in more detail exactly where SEO can make the most difference in the build of a site, during a migration and in helping to empower the performance marketing side of your business (a brave move in a room full of SEOs).

While it’s not quite the same as being in the room, the following covers some of the main talking points.


For a website build, Kerry outlined the following areas which SEO can assist with to help make a project successful:

  • The brief: - the developers need to know what you expect from the build, so pick out key points and highlight potential stumbling blocks from site structure right the way through to breadcrumbs.
  • Keyword Research: - more than a list of keywords and volumes, this document can illustrate desired growth, competitor benchmarks, and assist with the building of the navigation and on page content elements.
  • Structure: - it’s up to the SEO to ensure that the site’s hierarchy is user and search engine friendly, allowing both to understand what exactly the site is all about. 
  • Schema: - SEOs should make it known that the vertical you are operating in has many levels of schema (standard business schema through to ambassador schema, for example. If applied correctly you are linking up to the wider knowledge graph and helping yourself become an authority.


Migrations can genuinely break even the most established business - and so it’s absolutely vital to have your SEO in the room from the start. The priorities that Kerry listed to remember here were:

  • Understanding where you’re moving: - does your new home have the same URL structure available? Shopify for example does not allow certain URLs to redirect straight into their folder structure.
  • Drop the dead weight: - there is likely historical content that is weighing your site down - both literally and figuratively. If the impressions/clicks aren't there, consider getting rid, or at least optimising. 
  • Ensure your titles and metas are carried over: - again, using Shopify as an example, the platform can create its own, so you’ll need to make sure yours aren’t overwritten..

The final thing Kerry advised for any migration - make sure you’re taking a snapshot of performance and benchmark key metrics so you can assess the results of the migration properly.

Channel mix

It can be difficult to remember sometimes, but the organic, performance marketing and all other marketing teams are on the same side. That’s the message from this section of Kerry’s talk:

  1. Scale back on paid terms with negative ROAS but where the site is strong organically.
  2. Look for terms where the site is struggling organically, but where CPC paid is comparatively low.
  3. Link up and help each other to better understand seasonality and work out when and where to push.

There are dozens of ways different channels can benefit from SEO input and vice versa, but the main thing is to “box clever”. It’s possible, she reminded the crowd, to implement a strategy that aims to consistently build organic visibility even as paid channels are used to extend reach to areas organic presence hasn't yet reached.

Some resources

In addition to a fantastic talk, Kerry also promised a couple of take-away resources. First up, you can see her slides here.

You can also find a copy of her SEO Manual resource here.

While it may have been her first conference talk, Kerry absolutely smashed it - and everyone at the agency is incredibly proud to see her getting the recognition she deserves from her peers at what is one of the most important SEO events globally.

If you’d like to speak to us to find out more about how SEO can help you boost your brand online, why not get in touch?

Written by:

Photo of John Warner
John Warner
Senior Marketing Manager