As a copywriter with little experience of the SEO world, I didn’t know what to expect when I made the short trip down to Brighton earlier this month. The outcome? I learned some useful tips and tricks to improve content and search rankings (even if the talk on Google Analytics 4 went way over my head!)
A trip to the seaside it may have been, but we didn’t spend the whole two days on the beach (despite having to fend off some seagulls that had some serious croissant-envy). There were a range of speakers tackling all sorts of topics, and here are five points which really stood out to me.
Accessibility is a must
If your content is not accessible, a significant amount of people will not be able to engage with your products or services. There are many things you can do to improve accessibility, and platforms will rank your content more favourably. Here’s a quick checklist that I’m aiming to stick to from now on:
- Include strong text colour contrasts when using multiple colours in designs
- Use clean fonts and avoid funky text like italics
- Use emojis sparingly
- Punctuate your hashtags e.g. #BrightonSEO instead of #brightonseo
- Keep background noise to a minimum in video
- Include transcripts for audio content
- Upload live and scheduled video with closed captions or subtitles
Avoid creating the same boring, self-centred content
Obvious, right? Yet too often content falls into this same pitfall. If you don’t engage with your audience, you can’t expect to know what it is they want to see, and you risk creating an echo chamber. Instead, share your own values and voice, but don’t forget to regularly ask your audience questions.
One thing you should always practise is to reply to every person that engages with your content individually rather than template your responses. This shows that you’re really listening, and it’s something that I’ll be keeping in mind as the Ah Um following grows across our social media.
Brand is everything
Another point where you might say ‘well, I knew that!’. But if the brand is everything, then it must be everywhere. Think of Beyoncé (there were more Beyoncé references throughout the conference than you would’ve guessed). One of the reasons she’s become what she is is due to the fact that she’s involved in films, politics, charities, ecommerce, business and more. Everywhere you might expect to see her or engage with her content, there she is.
The same idea applies to small businesses. A successful omnichannel strategy will turn your website into your brand HQ, which will see more traffic as a result of exposure through different mediums. That’s when technical SEO can add value, producing the speed, fluidity and connectivity that ensures smooth user experiences and better conversion rate optimisation.
Use white space effectively
The designers in the room may have already mastered this art, but white space is a useful and often underutilised tool that can simplify your designs and guide your audiences’ eyes where you want them to go. This talk made me think about how I can apply this concept when I’m writing for design: less is often more.
Influencer marketing might be what you’re missing
If you haven’t considered implementing influencer marketing, now is the time. User-generated content adds an authentic feel to your brand, and reaching out to influencers can result in high-quality, repurpose-worthy content that you can share through multiple channels.
The key to success lies in the metrics. Once you’ve vetted your influencers and started posting their content, keep an eye on your online visibility, domain authority, links and keyword ranking. Tools such as Google Analytics, Semrush and Buzzsumo can give you a useful insight into what’s working and what isn’t. More importantly, influencer marketing can be used to improve your awareness, reach and reputation.