Sea, sand, and SEO… Could we be anywhere but BrightonSEO?
Let’s get into 9 tips we picked up from this April’s ever-growing SEO-focused event.
1. How can you scale your content from 4 to 40 blog posts per month?
Well, according to Emilia Korczynska, the secret is waiting in the “Content Epics System.”
What is the Content Epics System?
It begins with a structure that’s based around Content Epics—that is, umbrella content themes that could contain a wide variety of different angles and information you could explore in blogs—also sometimes referred to as Content or Topic Clusters.
Then, commit one writer, whether internal or freelance, to each Epic. Over time, they will pick up additional knowledge on this content theme and become a content powerhouse when it comes to that topic, its audience, and its connecting themes.
However, you want to create a team structure where the pressure is put on creating perfect briefs and keyword research before it ever reaches this writer. In theory, anyone should be able to pick one of these briefs up without having that specialist knowledge at first.
Each of these briefs should have:
- SEO guidelines
- Talking points
- Links to use
While each writer should be aiming to create a blog that reaches an 80+ content score, meaning that it’s a competitive piece of content in relation to what is already out there.
Then, the final step in reaching such a drastic increase of blog content… Each writer should only have one blog per week, so they’re really given time to get used to the topic and soak up that knowledge. This same knowledge in then taken into each future article as they’re kept within the same “epic” (content cluster).
This will take some real planning and budget for content creation, but with results like these, scaling up your content in a similar way just might be worth it:
- 60-70% of leads are coming from content
2. How to tackle digital content hoarding?
Adrian Nimms was all about removing the barriers to removing content, creating a more streamlined website that helps people reach the websites they really want to visit more quickly, with more chance of conversion.
The first step here is to carry out a website audit, finding, checking, or removing:
- Redirects for deleted pages
- Canonical and no-index tags
- Other pages with new links and copy
Be aware of hiding content away with content=”noindex”—if it’s being hidden, it’s probably not relevant anymore. Fight the hoarder in all of us and get rid of it for good.
Benefits of clearing the content clutter:
- People will find what they need quicker
- They’ll be converted sooner
- You’ll be recognised for improving services
- Nothing more powerful than converting someone to understanding the power of your work
3. Improving content readability for SEO
Emily Hill, CEO of WriteMySite, shared a mind-blowing fact: the average reading age in the UK is 9 years old. This doesn’t mean that everything is targeted at 9-year-olds, but that the way we structure content and the words we use could potentially be understood from the age of 9.
So, how do we do that? Well, use:
- Short words
- Short sentences
- Short paragraphs
Why does Google care?
- The more accessible content is, the more people engage with it, and therefore the higher Google wants to rank it
Tools they recommended for checking content readability:
- Readable: Custom-built readability checker. % of readability for your audience and general public. Gives content a grade and shows issues (e.g. passive voice, adverb, cliches).
- SEMRush: Readability, including plain language, word length, reading time, title issues, and overall content issues.
- Yoast: SEO plugin for WordPress. Readability graded by checked passive voice, subheadings, long sentences or paragraphs.
- Grammarly: Polishing up the basics, such as more succinct copy and the vocabulary you use, even sharing if the words you’re using are unique or rare.
- Hemingway Editor: Similar to Readable, but colour coded and easy on the eye.
An example of how this content readability can be improved was by swapping five words in a paragraph that otherwise stayed the same:
- Individual > Person
- Associated > Linked
- Therefore > So
- Understanding > View
- Opportunity > Chance
The paragraph including the first five words received a Grade C with 80% reach of audience, while the updated version received a Grade A and 100% reach.
4. How they teach you to be creative at Google.
Max Hoppy shared that creativity can be learned, and that all it takes is three things:
- Your brain
- The three Rs
- The Golden Rule
When do your creative thoughts come to you? A survey carried out by Max said:
- 34% while exercising
- 20% in the shower
- 13% while falling asleep
- 2% on the toilet
Long story short, it’s not happening at work.
When the brain is too busy, it goes into beta mode, and the passageway from conscious to subconscious brain becomes constricted.
When relaxed or exercising, the brain goes into alpha mode, and this passageway opens.
Environment is critical for creativity and it can’t always be forced while in a meeting.
The 3 Rs:
Your brain needs thought stimulus!
- Related worlds: Think (What is the essence?) > Ask (Who else has solved this?) > Jump (into it for your solution)
E.g. Speedos wanted to help people swim faster, so they looked at sharks, and then based their latest designs around shark skin.
- Revolution: List (all the rules around the challenge) > Pick (a rule and break it).
E.g. KMPG swapped Financial Times for Beano Comics in their lobby. As it was only one unexpected change, it didn’t undermine their expertise or authority, but it did foster creativity and fun in the people who came to meet them.
- Random links: Grab (a random word/object etc) > Think (about your challenge) > Force (connections between the two things).
E.g. Abt, an appliance company, connected their washing machines with the bright lights of Vegas, and created a shop that felt more like an experience, including a fountain, a sweet shop, places to eat, etc. Since they couldn’t compete with the likes of Amazon through price or convenience, they created a unique shopping experience.
The Golden Rule:
Expansive thought (creative ideas) and restrictive thought (costs) should be done on separate days. Creative thinking needs to come first, with as many people as possible, and then the pricing and practicality can be done on another day, ideally with a much smaller group of stakeholders.
This allows for the full flow of creativity in the moment before cherry-picking your way to the most creative and budget-friendly ideas.
5. Evergreen content beats link-building.
Aaron Rudman-Hawkins shared their opinion on the link building and digital PR, believing that the time, effort, and money put into it rarely comes back to you, and it’s only going to get worse as more people get into digital PR.
So, what can we do about it?
Well, it’s all about creating value. Create content that answers the questions your audience, or your clients’ audiences are asking, and the links may follow. Even if they don’t, you’ve created a piece of evergreen content that will continue to provide traffic and conversions with or without being shared in a newspaper article.
6. How to create genuinely compelling social content for your customers.
Corrie Jones shared the three areas you need to get right to create social media content your audience want to see:
Psychology: You can’t create compelling content without knowing what they want. Customer personas are key (demographics and psychographics), and so is Social listening, seeing what people are talking about.
Data: Vanity metrics (likes, shares, comments) and actionable metrics (conversions) are a great sign of whether content is working for your audience. Are you getting quality leads from your social media? Is it driving sign-ups or increasing time on page?
Creative: Does it look good? Does it belong on social? Who actually cares? If you can’t see why anyone would care about this content, don’t create it.
7. Crafting LGBTQ+ campaigns all year round.
Ian Helms shared their passion for creating inclusive brands and marketing campaigns, arguing that LGBTQ+ people are an undervalued market, making up 8% of the US market, which equates to $1 trillion.
They shared the dangers of virtue signalling (changing your profile picture just for pride month), tokenism (highlighting LGBTQ+ employees only during pride month), and rainbow capitalism (rainbow packaging without any relevance).
To move away from this, Ian recommended thinking about:
Inclusive messaging: From “Gifts your girlfriend will love” > “Gifts your partner will love”.
Inclusive representation: Show all kinds of people.
Inclusive engagement: Partner with influencers and content creators who already belong in minorities, don’t try to force it.
Inclusive targeting: Where possible, target all people, not just men or women.
When in doubt, stick by these 10 tips for more inclusive marketing:
- Hire LGBTQ+ talent.
- Spend time and money to do it right.
- Connect initiatives with brand value.
- Give back to the LGBTQ+ community.
- Beware of stereotypes/tropes.
- Ungender products and copy.
- Avoid stock imagery.
- Engage beyond June.
- Be genuine.
- Keep learning.
8. How to make your website more accessible?
Billie Hyde shared that 15% of the world’s population lives with a disability, which equates to over 1 billion people, and that there are four main categories of disability to be aware of:
For businesses who need the stats to make change, let’s get into the numbers…
Global e-commerce sales for 2021 were estimated at $870.8 billion, and this was estimated to be £120 billion in the UK alone.
In 2019, 78% of people with disabilities had internet access, which equates to £191 million in potential e-commerce spend in 2021. With these numbers alone, you begin to see the importance of making sure everyone can use your website.
How to include accessibility in your website?
- Can you navigate your website without a mouse? Is the tabbing order logical?
- Site structure: Use clear navigation, sitemaps, and breadcrumbs.
- Embrace tools: Axe Devtools to find basic problems.
- Consider button placement: Can a user with limited mobility use the mobile version easily?
- Review colour contrasts, target sizes, and text size: Colour contrast of foreground and background of 4.5:1, a tap target size of 45×45 pixels, and your text shouldn’t be smaller than 16pt.
- Page structure: Never skip title structure. Always go from H1 to H2 to H3. This is how someone with a screen reader is scanning through your content.
- Alt text: Describe every image with hidden text so even someone with a visual impairment will be able to understand what it is.
- Write an accessibility statement: A written commitment to your users who may desire accessibility. Say where you think you fall short, how you’ll fix it, and when you plan to fix it.
9. Perfecting your work-life balance to grow your business.
Izzy Wisniewska shared their experience of running a successful business around a 2-year-old, but believes that their learnings can be applied to any person and any business.
Even though they may sound common sense as you read them now, sometimes we all need a refresher of the basics to realise we haven’t been doing them right:
- Have a schedule, but leave space for unexpected things…
- Use tools that can help you organise and communicate (Asana, Slack, Trello – everything!)
- Never plan important work for a slot that may not happen – E.g. Don’t plan back-to-back tasks for your day, expect to work well between important meetings, at the last minute, or if you have an unrealistic to-do list for the day.
- Set a personal deadline three days before the real deadline—give yourself the flexibility to move your schedule around and still hit deadlines.
- Learn how to delegate—if you can’t do this, you can’t grow.
BrightonSE-Oh so much to do…
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the potential changes and improvements you could be making to your website, your content, or your way of thinking… We can help.
Get in touch, let us know what’s got you feeling most inspired, and we’ll make it happen.