The women from the ROAST SEO team took on Women in Tech SEO Festival once again this year, which came at the perfect time: the Friday before International Women’s Day. What better way to reflect on how far women have come than to watch and meet 10 brilliant speakers, and to be reunited with old friends in the industry. From these talks, our team have highlighted the key takeaways alongside what they found inspiring.
The event took place at the beautiful Barbican Centre on the 3rd of March, and we made sure to take notes. Keep on reading for event photos and key takeaways!
Information Architecture Audit for SEO Success
What I loved: The terminology Yagmur used, such as “SEO Galaxy”.
Why it was great: Yagmur’s alert key and the way she broke the correct approach to information architecture down, for example, your anchor text as your keywords makes her talk a super actionable guide to information architecture (IA).
Key takeaway: Yagmur’s talk reiterated to me that IA is everything for us as SEOs.
What I learned: Updating your IA shouldn’t necessarily just be an annual activity – you can drive significant results by changing it according to the seasons (particularly relevant for ecommerce).
What inspired us: Yagmur’s warmness and openness. Her personality shone through her deck too. As well as discussing technicalities in a second language, she shared trusted sources for supporting Turkey following the earthquakes.
Favourite quote: “Good vibes…happy users, happy search engines”
Creating and Automating Content in a Meaningful way
What I loved: Syphaï spoke about the responsibility content creators have, “if we disrespect this, knowledge becomes garbage.”
What I learned: Syphaï’s theory about being an expert is that the hours put into learning the subject matter less than the sources – this really resonated with me and uncovered a huge pitfall in information you read from ChatGPT.
Key takeaway: You can be an expert but be boring. Ignore automation tools, they do not know your market or your client like you do and will create boring copy. Remember your goal, create better content, and be more interesting than your competitors (don’t be boring!).
What inspired us: Automation is not a dirty word, it’s about being lazy and smart. Without being lazy you can’t imagine what you can do to automate.
Favourite quote: “Your audience and the internet are like Santa Claus; they know you are lying.”
The Six Keywords to Prioritise when Building a Topic Cluster (focussing on SaaS)
By Chima Mmeje
Why it was great: Chima’s do’s and don’ts and six keyword types made her talk really accessible and actionable.
Key takeaways: Not to obsess over search volume, but to obsess over selling your client’s products or services. Remember that users want to be told what to do, by being generic, you’re confusing them more by giving them more options: they only want one!
What I learned: A demo video can make up the entire buyer journey: from “is this the right tool for me?” –> “this is the right tool for me,” in one go. Invest in demo page visibility.
What inspired us: Firstly, the anecdote at the beginning (fun and brave!), secondly Mmeje’s approach to competitor review content – use themes from reviews to identify how your product or services solve user problems and write about those.
Favourite quote: “Authoritative content is content that enables a user to do something, it’s actionable. That is what ‘helpful’ content is.”
Going Down the Image SEO Rabbit Hole
Key takeaway: No one cares about images until there’s an audit, but they are often what makes a site pleasant or not pleasant and for this reason, as well as the multiple optimisable elements they contain, they are a significant opportunity for SEOs.
What I learned: Kots of new points! The difference between lossy, lossless, and gloss. Also, I’m not sure how I didn’t know this, but Jennifer Lopez “breaking the internet” with the interest her outfit brought is one of the events that lead to the creation of images results!
What inspired us: Myriam showed opportunities from far outside of Lighthouse tests, lots of tool recommendations, for example, Calibre, Speedcurve, and Google Cloud Vision
Favourite quote: On image file names, “you feel guilty not using them, and when you do you’re not sure you’ve done it right”
Getting Executive Buy-in Throughout your Career
What I loved: The way Bethan broke down and spoke about the most effective approaches using marketing terminology.
Why it was great: Bethan spoke openly and practically sharing her tips for communicating as a marketeer, but especially as a female marketeer.
Key takeaways: To approach each stakeholder as an individual audience and aim to inspire them like you do your target audiences and exclude metrics which require context to understand that your stakeholders don’t want or need.
Favourite quote: “We don’t just belong at the table, we’re needed at the table”
Neuroscience of Search
Why it was great: Giulia highlighted where understanding how our brain works can get us ahead in SEO and where we might be getting it wrong currently, for example, putting primary keywords to the left or centre of a phrase is more effective.
Key takeaway: A successful SEO strategy is about more than just using the right keywords.
What I learned: Studies have proven that TikTok and similar platforms have actually shortened people’s attention spans. Emojis appeal to us because of the ease with which our brains interpret faces – Google is bringing them back to SERPs.
What inspired us: It is especially inspiring to see a woman in STEM work in SEO. From one male-dominated field to another, Panozzo is incredible at what she does!
Favourite quote: “Our job does not end when the user lands on the page.”
Natural Language Processing for SEO
Why it was great: Josephine shared her tool Salient.
Key takeaway: NLP is a tool not a strategy.
What inspired us: Google has to understand what people are looking for, even when the user isn’t typing in the correct thing i.e., the thing they mean.
Favourite quote: “writing for robots only helps them find you, it doesn’t help them rank you”
What I loved: Lazarina’s approach of treating data points as characters and using the drama of storytelling. Think about your stakeholders and which characters they like and care about.
Why it was great: Lazarina gave lots of practical advice, including data visualisation, decision trees, and to start including less SEO characters and more UX, lead, and revenue characters.
Key takeaway: Dashboards tell you what, they don’t tell you why.
What inspired us: In her time working at agencies, Lazarina has realised that lots of people are good at SEO, but not many are good at SEO and data storytelling.
Levelling Up Your SEO Career
What I loved: Helen’s example of the AWFUL interview question, “so where do you want to be in 5 years time?”
Why it was great: …She pointed out that there is no good way of answering this – either you’re after the interviewer’s job or you have no aspirations!
What inspired us: Identify your blockers, e.g., being middle class, having a lack of funds. She advocated reaching out to the community – someone will have had similar blockers to you – find out how they navigated them.
Favourite quote: “data python-ing”
Standing In Your Confidence
By Leyla Okhai
What I loved: Leyla is not an SEO, but pulled examples from talks throughout the day to make it relatable for us.
What I learned: The word confidence comes from the word trust, it’s about having trust in yourself.
Key takeaway: There is a balance to confidence, too much is as hindering as too little. It’s human to feel fear and question yourself but confidence comes from overcoming and circumventing these.
What inspired us: Confidence is “like a meandering river, it’s never stable”. People aren’t born confident, it’s how they were raised and there are skills we can exercise to nurture confidence.
Favourite quote: “your the CEO of your own life, you control who’s on your board”.
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