Our key findings from WordCamp 2017 – The Annual WordPress Conference
As WordPress specialists, the Fellowship team recently attended WordCamp, London 2017. Packed with sessions from industry experts, there were some really interesting points to take away with us, some of which are likely to be helpful and beneficial to our clients.
Content – is yours working?
We attended an insightful talk from professional content marketeer Ilia Markov (@nochainmarkov) discussing the analysis of ROI from Content Marketing. A lot of organisations produce content marketing material, such as blogs, without fully considering who it is they are targeting along with user engagement. Users may be viewing your post but you may want to consider the following questions; are these users potential customers? If so, are they converting into customers?
These are just a few of the questions you should begin to ask yourself when preparing content. If it’s done correctly, content marketing can be a really powerful and cost-effective tool in your armoury. For example, many SMEs are experts in their field but miss the opportunity to provide great content their potential customers are searching for. If you think about your business, are there questions that customers regularly ask you that you can apply your expertise to? If so, use these as the basis for a piece of content, be it written or video. Another useful tool is Google Search Console, where you can find out exactly what users are searching for and where your website currently ranks for those phrases. Are users searching for content you can create?
A good measure of the ROI of your content marketing shared by Ilia is this:
Lifetime value of client (LTV) > 3x Cost of Acquiring (CAC).
I hope the above offers some food for thought. If you would like to discuss your content marketing strategy, please get in touch.
Big changes coming soon for Data Protection
Moving on to the serious issue of Data Protection, we attended a very interesting talk by Digital Law specialist Heather Burns (@webdevlaw).
You may be aware that the UK still relies on a Data Protection act that is 20 years old next year and somewhat outdated when you consider not only the mass amounts of data shared online but also the rapid pace of change. Most internet data is held in the USA, so it may surprise you to learn that the USA has no universal data protection but instead regulate this on state-by-state basis, something very tricky to manage online!
Unsurprisingly, the UK’s Data Protection Act is soon to be superseded by a new data protection act, the ‘General Data Protection Regulation’ (GDPR). However, many people will not be aware this actually comes into place in May 2018, bringing it with it many new requirements.
To ensure we and our clients are prepared for this change, we strongly recommend first reading ICO’s ‘Preparing for GDPR: 12 Steps to take now’ document.
Users are trusting us with their data, so let’s ensure we take care of it! Look out for future updates from us regarding GDPR.
Is your website fully accessible?
Accessibility was high on the agenda at WordCamp, a topic that we believe is often low on the agenda from a client’s point of view. We feel this is an increasingly important issue and so our team attended separate talks by specialists Graham Armfield & Adrian Roselli.
Designing for accessibility (@coolfields)
One of the first considerations highlighted within the design of a website should be the colour and readability. How much do you really consider the potential users, when selecting the content and the colour palette on your website? Here are some facts that may surprise you:
- 10% of people in the UK have dyslexia = 6 million people
- 4.5% of people in the UK are colour blind = 2.7 million people
- 2 million people in the UK have low vision
I’m sure you’ll agree that’s a pretty significant amount of people, so have you fully considered the issues these users might be facing with the content on your website? For example, dyslexic people can struggle to read words at very high contrast such as black text on a white background. Changing the background to pale green or blue makes it much easier for them. Other issues often experienced by visually impaired users include the use of colour alone to convey meaning or status, with red/green being the most popular colour blindness as well as the use of just colour to indicate links.
In summary, approximately 20% of people in the UK might suffer from one visual impairment or another, and a vast amount of websites are not accessible. If you believe your website may be restrictive to some of its visitors, please email or call us on 01284 830888 and we can use our accessibility tools to help identify improvements.
Accessibility is not only helpful for people with permanent disabilities (@aadrian)
Another common misconception is that making a website accessible is just for those with permanent disabilities. It isn’t. There are actually many things that happen to the majority of people that can make using a website very difficult, such as ‘getting old’ for one!
Our hearing may deteriorate, our arm may temporarily be in a sling, or we might just be in a difficult environment – unable to see clearly or concentrate in the surroundings we are working in. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean we cannot browse a website but these kinds of issues can make it that bit harder, so is there anything that can be done to ease this? Well, if we really want a distracted user to comfortably read our content we might start by using larger text or we might look to avoid using elements with low contrast, which can make reading outdoors difficult if the sun is beating down.
In summary, accessibility is a huge topic and not something that should be overlooked. We always recommend taking some time to consider who your users are and where they might be when browsing your website. It shouldn’t be taken for granted that all of them will be sitting comfortably in their office chair.
We hope you’ve found some of the topics above useful and we look forward to sharing more detailed information on them with you in the future.
Before we go, we’ll leave you with some important SEO news shared by @Yoast recently. Mobile page speed is soon to be used as a ranking factor by Google in its mobile-first index. Google suggests the average mobile landing page takes up to 22 seconds to load. That’s a pretty long time if you compare this with the suggestion that the average user decides in just 3 seconds whether they want to stay on a page! You might want to read the full post on Yoast’s website.