3 BrightonSEO Takeaways That You Can Start Applying Right Away
I’d come to accept the fact that I would be missing out on this season’s BrightonSEO. As one of the largest gatherings of digital marketing professionals in Europe I missed out in the frantic 4 minute scramble for tickets a few months back. But fate had other plans. A last minute spare ticket, heroically offered by the guys at digital marketing agency Noisy Little Monkey, saw me getting up at a seriously ridiculous time of the morning to travel down to the south coast.
As ever there were far too many talks to get around in one day and far too much information to cover in one blog post, but I thought you, the lucky Internet user, might like 3 of my top actionable tips from the day that you can start applying right away.
1. Make user personas
Creating user personas can really help to add structure and purpose to your marketing decisions and Laura from Impression did a great talk on how to go about creating them.
Start by thinking about your customers’ general personal details – things like age, location, salary, marital status etc. Don’t forget to give them a name and a lovely stock imagery photo of someone with perfectly white teeth. Then, as Laura says, you have to dive a little deeper into this imaginary persons imaginary mind and consider what they’re motivations are, what challenges they face, what they think about and what interests them. With that in your back pocket you can start to give your audience the exact things they’re looking for!
Once you’ve got these personas you’ll find they start framing your decisions and help everyone in your team to be on the same wavelength with regard to who you’re gearing your content for.
Here’s Laura to explain more.
2. Optimise your headlines
Nathalie Nahai is a web psychologist and a terrific speaker, so her keynote talk on the “Psychology of persuasive content” was a highlight of the day. She covered so much great stuff (102 slides worth) but the one quick tip I wanted to pull out is how to optimise your headlines.
You need 5 things – a number, a trigger word, an adjective, a keyword and a promise.
“Isn’t this just clickbait”, I hear you shout/scream/sob. Well, it depends. Nathalie makes the point that it is but only if, “You’re not offering value, or if you’re promising more than you can deliver”. If you are delivering then you’re good to go.
Whilst we’re on the subject of Nathalie – check out the event Humanise the Web which she hosts. There are some really important questions asked about how we can harness the power of technology to help us make the most of ourselves, our lives and our relationships.
Watch Nathalie’s whole talk below
3. Speed up your site
Of all the talks I saw at BrightonSEO, Tom Bennet’s “Site Speed for Content Marketers”, offered the most really actionable steps.
1. Optimise your images
Don’t just take a lovely photo on your new Canon 5D Mk III and stick it straight on your website. Think about how large the image will be on your site and compress it to a JPEG (if a photo) of that size. This really can save you huge amounts in both page load time and page size.
2. Optimise your fonts
Do you really need the entire Google Font’s family being loaded, or are you just using “Regular” and “Bold”? If so, only load them! Also, and this was a really nice tip, if possible use externally hosted fonts. That way users may already have them cached on their machines!
3. Minify your scripts
Make sure you’re using the “min” version of tools such as jQuery and Bootstrap and if you can, minify and concatenate your own too.
This is a server-side compression technique that compresses the files that get sent from the server to your browser, thus speeding up the page load. Kind of like when you “zip” your holiday photos up to send to your Mum. Check in with your website hosts and see if they can switch this on for you!
5. Don’t forget about mobile
Unless you’ve never moved on from your trusty Nokia 3210, you’d have noticed that mobile usage is going through the roof. Make sure that you use “srcset” (now native in WordPress 4.4!) when adding images to your HTML so that smaller image files are used when on smaller devices.
Check Tom’s slides here – http://www.slideshare.net/TomBennet1/brighton-seo-site-speed-for-content-marketers
Grab a tea and your favourite leather-bound notebook – here are all the talks from the main hall at BrightonSEO!