Last week Primary Image travelled to the BrightonSEO conference, which brings together thousands of search marketing professionals from across the world. Over the two days we heard from Google and other SEO (search engine optimisation) leaders, who shared their top tips to get your website noticed, as well as their predictions for the future.
Here’s a few takeaways Mike and Jake picked up in Brighton:
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
There was a lot of talk about artificial intelligence (AI) rapidly changing the SEO landscape, especially following the launch of ChatGPT at the end of last year. Unsurprisingly, poorer quality AI-generated articles are now flooding website blogs.
AI-powered tools can be incredibly clever (e.g, asking ChatCPT to write a blog post about a certain topic), but bear in mind these tools typically regurgitate content already found on the internet (at least for the moment anyway!). And search engines are desperately trying to filter out poorer-quality articles too.
So the best advice would be to focus on genuinely new and interesting articles, telling real stories, give your content a human touch, and stand out amongst the crowd.
Whilst AI is not going to steal everyone’s job (just yet!), it does have its place as a useful tool. For example, content marketers are increasingly using AI to generate ideas, but combine this with your own expertise and inspiration to ensure your content is unique and relevant.
Lots of websites fail at internal linking. Whilst you may have strong links from your home page and a well-structured navigation menu, quite often the links between pages are overlooked. It’s vital to guide your visitors from one section to another, e.g. to other useful services, relevant blogs on your website, etc. This is a big missed opportunity to keep people on your website for longer.
Google continues to evolve
We heard from Google’s John Mueller, who explained how their algorithms are constantly improving to check websites for three main aspects: your website’s content quality; your website’s technical quality (e.g. loading speed); and filtering out web spam.
John covered the benefits of using a common website platform (such as WordPress, which we specialise in!), where new technological best practice can be adopted fairly easily into existing websites through the software.
He spoke about the importance of a good page experience, e.g. fast loading webpages, no annoying pop-ups, etc, which is a key SEO factor nowadays. More changes are coming in March 2024.
And, no surprise, Google is experimenting with AI-powered search results, with an initial rollout of its Search Generative Experience (SGE).
Ensure your website is accessible to all. For example, ensuring text is an appropriate size, has good colour contrast, and all images have “alt” descriptions, etc. These steps not only help disabled users, but help search engines better understand your website too.
State of the Web Browser 2023 conference
Separately, this weekend, we’ve been at the State of the Web Browser conference at London’s Barbican Centre.
This covered topics such as the importance of good quality web coding, webpage accessibility, website performance and exploring what’s new in web technology. Lots for us to take onboard when we get back to the office!
Mike founded Primary Image in 2010. He specialises in the WordPress website platform and speaks regularly at national web design conferences. Mike became a member (MCIPR) of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations in 2015.