I had the pleasure of being part of the WTSEO Fest volunteers. I was happy to be able to help at the event. This was an inspirational and motivational conference I was proud to be part of.
I watched some of the talks and wrote a recap of the presentations I attended.
Information Architecture Audit for SEO Success
Yagmur Simsek, SEO Strategist from Re:signal
- What does IA mean?
- What happens when SEO and IA work together?
- Considerations for Different Scenarios
- IT Audit SEO and Checklist
What does IA mean?
Helps users find the information they are looking for on the website in an easier way and discover the most important pages on the site.
What happens when SEO and IA work together?
Good vibes because happy users and happy search engines. We are not wasting our crawl budget as all the information is easily discovered.
- This means a great user experience
- Offers good site links from search engine results
- Much better index experience
- Reduces the risk of having orphan pages
- It also helps the discoverability of pages with high organic value
IT Audit SEO and Checklist
Yagmur then created a template for us here.
How we can start with an IA Audit?
Everyone has different methods. Yagmur shared the way she starts.
Quick IA analysis to start.
How can we interpret all the data below?
- Crawl depth
- Internal linking data
- External linking data
- Backlinks/referring domains
- Clicks, organic sessions and conversion rate
- Keyword research and gap analysis
As questions to yourself, such as are you willing to make some technical changes to your website or some URL changes?
Is your IA the following:
- Organised considering your recent KPIs?
- Speaking the language of your target audience? (this is the keyword research and content optimisation).
Is your URL structure user-friendly? This is a big topic to discuss – but make sure you use the URL structure efficiently. Make the URL short especially for category pages. Do not use capital letters or query strings.
Do you have a sitemap? Not just the xml one.
What is your strategy for filters, faceted navigation and product sorting options?
- Potential alert for
- duplicate content
- crawl budget issues
- indexing issues
- crawl depth issues
How does your search box area work?
- Drop down list
- Search suggestions
- Auto complete.
Consideration for different scenarios – what Yagmur has found for her clients
eCommerce site – discoveries:
- Missing internal links to essential categories
- Duplicate category pages
- Duplicate product categories due to the structure of search refinement for product pages
- Indexable multi-filter pages that don’t have any organic search demand and adequate product list.
Competitors’ menu nav comparison can show you the areas to optimise.
Position and traffic increases after menu change (good case study from Yagmur that she shared about an increase in organic traffic and rankings due to menu change).
B2B site – new project (personal project Yagmur is working on)
- Spend time to do brainstorming
- Create keyword research data to get user search insights for anchor texts
- Visualise what is in your mind and what is your dream structure
- Decide your URL structure carefully.
How often should you revisit your website’s IA?
- Depends on your KPIs and strategy with your client.
- You could check it weekly or monthly. Can you change something seasonality?
- Resources and Tools – Yagmur shared the checklist here
Creating and Automating Content in a Meaningful Way
Syphaïwong Bay or @Ecribouille on Twitter was the second speaker at WTSFest and was very funny, captivating the audience throughout her talk.
Syphaï started the presentation by stating that SEO copywriting is a global issue – technical and editorial. We have to merge skills of being a good content writer and technical too. Google E A T or E E A T is very important.
How do you write like an expert? We need to study a subject for 10,000 hours to become an expert.
Being able to aggregate a lot of studies or knowledge does not make you a good copywriter. (ChatGPT is your best friend talking too much after having drunk too much. ChatGPT is a good a writer, but has no idea about what talking about it. ChatGBPt – you do not know the sources and this is why we as writers still have a job). ChatGBPT is aggregating knowledge.
You can still write something boring, unclear, unintelligible and unreadable
You need to be an expert and a good writer
SEO copywriting is a hard skill that is made of:
- Strong – Digital culture
- Fundamental – SEO Technical Skills
- Laziness (having good tips and tricks to save time)
Do not lie to your audience. If you are not an expert, do not pretend to be one.
Syphai then talked about some French tools:
- Yourtext.Guru – (try this)
- SEO copywriting process for rich snippets
- Identify your opportunities
- Study the themes valued by search engines
- Build the relevant and structured content
- Make a difference (quote an expert)
- Build enriched formats for featured snippets
- Write, optimise and control
Do we use tools efficiently?
- Automation should not be a dirty word. It is about being smart and lazy.
- Automate the boring stuff
- Syphai shared a case study about scraping her sources to study faster (less than 10 000 hours). She used the Chrome plugin called Scraper
- You can also use the API of your tools to identify your priorities
- She also shared a case study of automate the process to implement new content into a CMS with 1 clicks
Creating better content is being more interesting and more accurate than your competitors
The Six Keywords to Prioritise When Building a Topic Cluster
Chima Mmeje is a SaaS Content Strategist for Zenith Copy.
Chima writes long form content and view topic clusters for SaaS companies but she hates doing keyword research so she shared her way to carry out keyword research.
1. What is the first content to prioritise? – The money pages
- Ecommerce is not her thing, but it is the product pages, and the promo pages, discount pages
- For Saas these are the pages:
- Soo demo, free trial, pricing pages, personalised landing page and best tools/software.
- Do not obsess over Search volume.
- You do not want your competitors to rank for your pricing pages.
- Product page – the Saas companies try to pack al their futures in the product pages.
- I use the best keyword when researching options to purchase
2. Downloadable offers
Templates, plan , checklist, infographic and checklist.
3. Competitor pages
Read this, because it is two brands putting against one another. Mine reviews and look at the patterns. What are people complaining about and reverse engineer to create the content.
4. Solution X for Audience Y
- B2B SEO Services. Audience Y is Product Led Companies
- This is a long form blog post
- Only works if you know your over reaching the offer and audience
5. Versus keywords for related terms
- Useful if the cluster building that has keywords people mistake for one another.
- Quantative research vs qualitative research
- Sales pipeline vs sales funnel
- You can rank for keywords on either side
6. Use Mid Volume keywords that all you to showcase your authority
- The content is useful advice the reader can implement their own.
- By being helping you position as an authority that cares for your reader.
- Authority pieces – take a keyword and make it your own.
- Do not be generic. Offer insight to the content, tell them what to do.
- Sales enabled content – white papers, case studies, eBooks, product demos and personalised landing page.
Going down the image SEO rabbit hole
Myriam Jessier spoke about The Lighthouse Audit which involves:
- Optimise images
- Proper size images
- Serve images in next – gen formats
- Display images in correct ratio
- Lazy – load offscreen images
Image size and format
- Thumbnails: 70kb ideally
- If the images are more than 2MB they are too heavy.
- If you have an image larger than 500kb, it should be compresses.
- Ideally we aim for 100KB.
- Google crawls in property with the mobile user-agent
- The attribute defines the set of images the browser can select from, as well as the size of each image
- Retina – friendly images serve double the pixel density
- Alt – should be description, simple and relevant
- Text near the images adds to their relevance
Next – gen image formats – are gif, jpeg xl and href (lead by Apple).
Best practices for Load time optimisation
- Use an image CDN that can result in 490 – 80% savings in image file size.
- Many image CDNs supoort automotive selection of best format.
- Width and Height MUST be respected
Pillars of image optimisation – using the optimial file type.
- Lazy Loading – there is a native inline of code Chrome for Lazy Loading.
- A web performance budget for images sets limits and provides a useful framework for discussing performance with stakeholders.
- For example images should not be more than 100kb or user must be able to interact with the page in under 3 secs
Classic Image Search
- We have this image search because of JLo that broke the internet. People were looking for pictures.
In reverse image search, the image generates a search request.
Google Cloud Vision is the artificial intelligence and machine learning based technology behind Google image.
The hierarchy of Cloud Vision
- Faces. Emotions in the faces
- Objects – objects detected in the image
- Tags – detected visual elements
- Web Entities: Web content is relfected
- Properties: colors
- Safe search
- Image properties:
- URL path
- Srcset attribute
- Alt attribute
- Title attribute
You need to make your images readable and interpretable by search engines.
Getting Executive Buy in Throughout Your Career
Bethan Vincent has worked from Day 1 with the C Suite. What todo, what not to do. There should be stuff in the talk for every one.
What does the C-suite think of marketing?
Ran a survey of over 50 companies, CEOs, CCO, CFOs.
Shared the results.
The marketing resources – not considered to be effective but communicate well.
So there is the legacy of marketing been seen in the coloring in department. There is a perception detail with pretty graphics.
How can we better make a value.
Know the audience – as marketers good at understanding users but do not always think of internal audience.
Walk in their shoes, work alongside and shadow your internal customer.
Stakeholder mapping – look at these and map them out. High influence and Low stake, they can push through things. Get them on board and have them as champions.
1. Understand your organisations’s cycle
When do we do budgets? When do we need to make decisions by? This helps.
If you are going in and advocating for CRM team, do not suggest it goes in Q1 for sales team as v busy there.
- Test before broadcasting. Get someone on board before you suggest it in a meeting.
- Be specific and measurable.
- DO not say “we have increased brand awareness:. The business care about metrics connected to evenue. Instead you can say “In Dec 2022, direct users increase by 60% vs other times, drive an extra £20k.
- Drip feed your success.
- So weekly updated – one sentence summarising key reminders for upcoming deadlines and dates.
- A bulleted list of brief updates, these might be a campaign launch, results achieved, project milestone.
- Close with invitation for people to reach out with questions.
- Senior people like to interrupt. It is always going to happen. You should prefer to be interrupted as shows they are interested.
- So set expectations, then summary of background and opportunity then the inevitable interruptions and then 4. Bring it back to next steps.
- Summarise, summarise, give good ones. So important to give these.
- Succinct information takes time to create !! Social media management, it is hard.
3. Demonstrating Value
Think about the metrics you are showing to your stakeholders.
Dashboards – has every date point in it, so confusing. DO not include metrics that require a lot of extra context.
Leverage familiar and trusted data points.
ADD some insight too.
Why I pass on IDEAS (Bethan shares why she would not agree with some new ideas)
- I don’t understand (do not assume they have the knowledge.)
- Bad timing
- I do not see the big picture fit (connect what you are doing with the business strategy).
- I cannot see the route to ROI.
Levelling up your SEO Career
Helen Pollitt shared what she has learnt is helping people to progress in careers and her in her career too.
Relish your job so to love being in SEO.
What do I want from my career?
What sort of things do you want in a role?
Helen had sole responsibility of SEO. YOU NEED to think about what level of responsibility you have. She worked for herself but did not work for her. Freelance was brief for her.
- Do you want to be a manager? Well if you are in small place and there are no staff, then you cannot.
- What do you like about your job?
- What does success look for you?
- Eg money? Manager?
- Helen likes a job title
- Design you perfect job
- You will not get all of it but 80% of the list yes you will
Skills Gap Analysis
You all have some skills gaps. What is it? How can you be the best SEO you can be. Fire up Linkedin and Look at job ads a few stages ahead of you. Ask your colleagues.
Create a skills matrix
- Have a list of the skills you need and you rate yourself out of 10. Rate yourself how experienced you are and how strong is the theoretical knowledge and how confident do you feel.
- Eg developing a technical audit.
- Review your skills matrix once a year.
Identify training opportunities
- Get a mentor
- Identify your blockers – no matter how serious it is, somone here may help you navigate it.
Championing your ideal role
- Found out what what to do, know the training and skills. How do make your boss know it is the role for you. If the role is needed, then identify it. If you want to be a manager, then see what it fieses, who else will benefit from it.
- Get buy in – get it from those who make the decisions.
- Find out how role changes happen?
- Solve the problems before they are raised. How will this job change make them money? Making the team more productive? How will this job change please the stakeholders?
- Why you’re the right person for the job? What about the current workloads, where will this go?
- Why should you do tis jo and not an external hire.
- How do you prove your readiness, how do you prove It to yourself?
- So keep a record of achievements. How have you done more for your role?
- Traffic and leads and project outcomes. Client feedback.
- Make your boss’ job easier.
- Identify what gets others celebrated.
- Recognise how your values different the company’s.
- Should about your achievements. Have you seen the organic traffic.
Start a side project
- Something you are doing inside work. That allows you to test those skills.
- Introduce as well some new skills in your current role
- Shadow someone, maybe you want to be a manager, sit on a meting, what doe managers do.
- Attend talks you are NOT interested in.
Standing in Your Confidence
Leyla Okhai is Founder Diverse Minds UK
NOT from SEO tech world. Started the business 5.5 years ago. Work with BAME but do not use that term anymore.
Confidence – when we ask that question, everyone has a different nuance.
Want to feel more confident and it means that I want to ask for a promotion, challenge in meetings. It is like a meandering river. Have highs and lows.
It is about having trust in ourselves.
When self esteem is low, we will feel overwhelmed. When self esteem is high, can take on challenges and feel positive. Need to know how to nurtures that.
We compare how we are feeling on the inside with people on the outside.
Some people have high self esteem cause of how they are brought up but it is way we can foster that and learn.
Sometimes we need a bolster or injection of confidence. (POWER POSE Ted Talk – Something Kadi).
Systems can boost confidence, but can also remove confidence.
- Women still do 60% of mental load, caring etc.
- Gender stereotypes – called stereotype talks. Not flitting in can be dangerous, want to be part of a group. So being micro managed can affect our confidence.
- Imposter syndrome – it Is a common experience.
- How helpful is it to keep talking about this? Probably not.
- You have to feel the fear. There can be a disconnect to where you feel you fit in to where you do not.
What stands in our way?
- Disputing patterns
- Process over Perfection
- Consider your journey so far
- Building a positive network
- Know the FAIL = First Attempt in Learning
- Write down your Strengths
- You are more than your Career! You are unique.
You are dispensable at work. You are indispensable at home – you cannot survive. Need ot look after you.
- Fear is where the magic happens
- Real life is not Instagram
- Comparison is the thief of joy
- Seek professional support if and when you send to
- Micro goals
We are all meandering on this river. Confidence means different to others.
I left the conference feeling inspired and motivated to continue on my freelance journey.