Tuesday evening, early September. No fewer than five ladies from the SEO department at ROAST strode into WeWork Eastcheap, ready to get technical.
Only the third Women in Tech SEO event, we were blown away by the pace at which this community has grown. More than 60 of us came together to share ideas and experiences in the field of Technical SEO, with talks held by three fantastic speakers: Paola Didone, Rachel Costello, and Briony Gunson. Enormous thanks go to WTS founder Areej AbuAli, as well as Distilled for generously hosting us all.
Paola Didone – SEO Analyst at Distilled – @latenitebird
It’s the stuff of nightmares: you’re confident in your keyword research, but it somehow missed the mark. What could have gone wrong?!
Paola came to deliver the following foundation stones of effective keyword research and content planning.
All this need not be rocket science – ask your client for this essential intel before executing your keyword research with customary skill.
The above points help you understand a key aspect of your research:
Why is the user searching the way they are?
This helps you create properly angled keyword research and content that users will love.
Reach beyond the standard answer of “traffic and conversions”. Excellent keyword research and content creation can lead to improved sales, without overloading your site and potential customers with commercial pages.
This is through content that builds awareness and trust for your brand, such as:
Keywords with only a one-word difference could have completely different intentions behind the search! Paula used the example of “women’s climbing shoes” versus “best women’s climbing shoes”:
“Women’s climbing shoes” – the SERP is 85% commercial – product pages, where the user can buy climbing shoes for women.
“Best women’s climbing shoes” – the SERP is made up of content pages, where the user can read guides comparing different models and makes.
So: check the SERP before optimising the page. This is the easiest way to establish the intent of users searching for your keyword. What pages are ranking? Are they content or commercial?
Observe and adapt – if the page you’re working on is commercial but your targeted keyword returns only content pages, go back to your research and find an alternative that returns other product pages.
Key takeaway: the obvious choice of keyword to rank for may not be right for your client and their customers.
Rachel Costello – Technical SEO at DeepCrawl – @rachelcostello
Rachel hails from DeepCrawl and brings us crucial advice not only on technical advances within programming and SEO, but also our wider role in the digital ecosystem.
On the agenda:
The user shouldn’t need to render to see a decent page standard.
Optimise the critical rendering path by marking which page elements go first – get that hero rendered.
Rachel recommends using Diffchecker to compare how a page’s content changes after it’s been rendered.
PWAs offer myriad benefits to users – enhanced function, a sleek user experience and lightning fast reactivity to name a few. One spanner in the works – search engines can’t interact like users so you need to take precautions to ensure your content gets crawled!
And, Rachel says it louder for the people in the back:
Start conversations with your dev team. Learn exactly what is possible for your website. Get to know standard web development terms such as the following, best of all by chatting with the very developers who may implement them for you:
Briony Gunson – Mindset Coach and Digital Freelancer – @BrionyGunson
Briony spent 9 years working in Digital, before going on a journey that started with tackling workplace stress and continues today with her work as Operations Director by day, meditation teacher by night.
We were introduced to some of the factors that influence our mindset, and how we can harness this understanding to reap rewards in work and throughout our lives.
Mindset is broadly influenced by:
Resources refer to the emotional, mental, and physical leeway you have available in any given moment. When your resources are plentiful – you’re low on stress, well-rested, and feeling fresh – you have much more ability to handle any challenges that come your way. This room for resilience is known in some fields as your Window of Tolerance.
When you have less resource, it comprises your mindset by narrowing your window of tolerance.
To bolster your resources, Briony recommends:
What are your healthier habits, where could you improve?
Learn to recognise the difference between your emotions and your feelings. Emotions can be seen as your physical state during a situation, for example: the increased heart rate and flushed face that you may experience alongside the feeling mildly described as tube rage induced by a neighbour’s warm tuna sandwich.
Feelings are how you think of those emotions – tube rage is a feeling. You can handle the rise in emotion that begins with the drawing of the sandwich by not labelling your response as annoyance, and avoiding escalating to tube rage. Instead, you feel annoyed but then again, maybe they are starving, and it’s only fish molecules in your smell receptors, and it could be worse, it could be egg mayo.
‘Where attention goes, energy flows’
‘Neurons that fire together, wire together’
Two lovely rhymes that reinforce Briony’s message – Your attention is like a spotlight.
We can channel our attention and energy into productive tasks, at work and home, by staying present and aware:
All these prevent getting stuck in habitual behaviours such as reactive, repetitive thinking. Instead, harnessing your mindset encourages original, innovative responses and the acceptance of challenges. Just what an SEO needs.
As you can see, it was an evening of insight and wisdom among inspiring company. Women in Tech SEO – we’ll see you next time.
Find WTS here: