At the end of May I had the pleasure of attending WordCamp Brisbane 2015, my second WordCamp. The line up of speakers was excellent and at times hard to choose between the two steams. Luckily everything was recorded and slides were provided by the speakers.
A few sessions really stood out for me, below I’ll summarise some of the highlights:
Creative SEO – Dan Petrovic
Dan Petrovic is a well known name in the field of search engine optimisation in Australia and is director of DEJAN. His talk shared many valuable insights into SEO, below are just a few:
- Being number 1 in Google is a thing of the past. There are too many variables now such as location, device, language and history. What might be a number 1 ranking for one person could be number 7 for someone else.
- Find influencers in your industry through sites such as Klout, Wefollow, Buzzsumo and Followerwonk. Embed links to them within content you produce on your website.
- Have a link to your valuable content on your bio page if you are an event speaker. Often the organisers of the event will copy your bio from your website and not strip out the links giving you a valuable back link.
- Always use a UTM for links you put out on the web so you know where your visitors are coming from.
- Consider rejuvenating old content if you have an archive on your blog.
- Currently content hidden behind tabs or accordions is no different from unhidden content to the search engines however this could change in the future.
WooCommerce Case Study – Jen Jeavons
Jen Jeavons is director of Pixel Palace, a Brisbane based digital design studio and co-owner of Coffee Beans Delivered. The latter was the subject of her insightful talk as a case study for WooCommerce. Here are some tips I picked up:
- Find a product that does reliable drop shipping.
- Research keywords to base your business name and url on using Google focussing on CPC, competitors and popular keyword searches. Choose a business name and url that says what you do as well being a good SEO keyphrase.
- Find opportunity where there’s a hole in the market, ie. a popular keyword but the competitor’s websites are less than appealing and not well functioning.
- Photography is extremely important as is consistency in branding – fonts, colours and style.
- Having excellent customer service is imperative. Use live chat and telephone your customers directly.
- Have a very clear customer persona.
- Keep shipping simple such as a flat rate for all of Australia or free shipping over a certain amount.
- Be innovative, don’t sit still.
Make WordPress Accessible – Charlie Carter
Charlie Carter of Webbism gave an excellent talk on web accessibility. He shared this great YouTube video produced for Global Accessibility Awareness Day which is a perfect introduction for anyone who doesn’t understand the importance of making accessibility a priority when building websites or producing other digital media content.
Of the many great tips and ideas that Charlie shared here are just a few:
- Always put your audience first when building a website and understand there are many different needs involved.
- Many WordPress themes and plugins are not accessible and do not pass the Web Accessibility Content Guidelines (WCAG).
- You could consider using the WP Accessibility plugin to help with common issues.
- If you don’t add alt text to Infographics you’re missing out on valuable SEO juice.
- Avoid CAPTCHAs at all costs, use the Honeypot approach.
- For video captioning a useful tool is Amara – https://amara.org/
- Recommended book: A Web for Everyone: Designing Accessible User Experiences – Sarah Horton and Whitney Quesenbery.
These were just three of a really great group of speakers who volunteered their expertise at WordCamp Brisbane 2015. These events never cease to amaze me at how many experts are willing to share their knowledge and time to help others. Not to mention the amazing group of volunteers who put these events on. If you have any interest in WordPress whatsoever, I highly recommend considering the next WordCamp in your area. No matter what level you are at, whether you’re a complete novice, a highly experienced developer, or anyone in between there’s something for everyone. I’m looking forward to the next Australian WordCamp already!