On 25th February 2022, three members of our search engine optimisation (SEO) team – Angela Lopes, SEO Account manager, Hannah Mitchell, Organic Strategy Director, and Lana Wiench, Senior SEO Account Manager, attended the Women in Tech SEO Festival in London. Women in Tech SEO is a global community of women working in the SEO industry that aims to share SEO knowledge and empower women to build a network and accelerate careers.
We enjoyed an exciting and inspiring line-up of speakers, with sessions ranging across a number of topics around technical and on-page SEO. Throughout the sessions we recognised overarching topics around women’s empowerment, accessibility, and diversity in the SEO industry. Of the many insights we gained, here are our key takeaways from the event.
Empowering women to turn perceived weaknesses into superpowers
A key aspect of several sessions was empowerment, with speakers focusing on how we as women can manage mixed internal messages and turn our perceived weaknesses into superpowers.
Lou Chiu, a diversity and inclusion and coaching consultant, talked about the conflict women face in the work sphere as well as in our private lives: how sometimes as women we are told that we can have it all, that we should be a support system for everyone and that we are superwomen, while at the same time systemic patriarchal and racist systems can make us doubt ourselves and create an inner imposter syndrome. She highlighted the importance for women to learn how to recognise and navigate these internal and external pressures in order to feel empowered in the workplace as well as in our personal lives.
Shannon McGuirk revealed how she transformed her high-functioning anxiety, turning it from a potential kryptonite, into a superpower. Even though anxiety and mental health can make us doubt our abilities, dampen our self-esteem and second guess ourselves, Shannon spoke about how individuals with anxiety tend to be successful, well-organised and high performing. Discovering how we can manage our weaknesses and in fact turn them into our strengths can help get us ahead in our careers and strengthen our personal connections.
Supporting accessibility, inclusivity, and diversity through SEO
We were delighted to see many speakers highlighting the need for the industry to push accessibility – be it on-page or IRL. One in five people in the UK are disabled, and an estimated two million people are visually impaired. As large parts of the web remain hard to access for people with disabilities, online retailers in the UK are losing £17.1 billion in digital business annually. Not only does site accessibility make sense for businesses, we at Croud believe that it is vital for the SEO community to do our part in making the internet more inclusive for people with disabilities and neurodiverse users.
Miracle Inameti-Archibong spoke about how missing alternative text for images is one of the most common accessibility issues, with WebAIM finding that around 61% of homepages lack image alt-text. By leveraging machine learning and NLP capabilities, SEOers can automate the creation of alt text, speeding up what can otherwise be a time-consuming task.
Paige Hobart highlighted the importance of data-driven information architecture. Good site architecture benefits all users – but finding what you’re looking for easily and quickly is especially important for neurodiverse users. SEOers can leverage keyword data to inform better site architecture. By analysing and categorising user searches, websites can tailor their site structure around solving their customer’s problems. A good site structure means higher engagement with all users, and more effective targeting of users at the right stage in their search journey.
Creating effective SEO reports
Aleyda Solis’ talk covered creating effective client SEO reports. She stressed how the quality of reports can make the difference between satisfied and unsatisfied stakeholders. While her talk was a valuable topic on its own, it was further supported by industry insights Aleyda had gained from Twitter polls: 33% of respondents stated that reporting was their least favourite activity and 41% of respondents said that they only use dashboards for reports with no insight overlaid.
To empower the SEO community to look beyond communicating data, Aleyda outlined a structure for effective reporting. This involves focussing on meaningful key performance indicators, which are directly related to our SEO strategy, stating the causes of results through data storytelling to highlight insights, and outlining actions to ensure we’re working towards achieving our goals and requesting client support where necessary. This was combined with practical application and examples of how this reporting structure could be brought to life.
Attending this talk was an important reminder about how SEO reports are more than an opportunity to communicate results. It highlighted the value of using reports as strategic milestones to outline insight-informed actions that will bring us closer to our goals. SEO reports are an opportunity to gain additional support from stakeholders and they can help SEOers drive our strategic recommendations forward.
The sessions at the Women in Tech SEO Festival raised many important topics, from inclusivity and accessibility in the SEO industry, to communicating effectively with clients and driving positive action. The conference was a safe space for women to empower other women, and it enabled us to learn from others in the community.
If you’re interested in connecting with our team following the Women in Tech SEO Festival, please get in touch. Also, if you would like to learn more about the SEO services we offer at Croud, visit our SEO services page.