Optimise Oxford: a new meetup for our SEO, social media & PPC community

Last week a bunch of optimisation aficionados gathered in the St. Aldate’s Tavern for an inspiring meetup organised by Optimise Oxford. The event started at 6.30 pm and consisted of three diverse but equally interesting talks delivered by industry veterans: Ned Poulter, Daniel Bianchini and Jono Alderson. The event was well organised and I took away some useful tips that I would like to share into this post. It’s great to see yet another group in Oxford freely and enthusiastically sharing their knowledge with the rest of the community.

Optimise_Oxford

I joined the meeting for two reasons: first because a few months ago I started working as an administrator of the Support and Optimisation team for White October, a leading digital agency in Oxford, so I felt I ought to know more about this world. Secondly, because even more recently I have launched my blog First We Love and I was looking for some ideas on how to improve SEO and understand user behaviour.

 

What did I learn?

I learned that most of us have a very addictive and insane relationship with our phones, on average in a day we probably interact more times with our phones than with anything or anyone else, but this doesn’t probably comes as news. What struck me most was the information that Google has released around 90 algorithms updates in the last five years, that have affected thousands of websites and altered the results of users searches.

Given the prominence that mobile phone usage has reached in our lives, in April this year Google released a mobile-friendly update (also known as Mobilegeddon) to shift the preference to mobile ready over non-mobile ready websites. What did this mean for website owners? It means that companies need to ensure that they’re giving mobile customers the same level of service as customers accessing their site on other devices.

Improve_website

Tools to improve your UX

YouGov Profiles – this is a rather interesting tool that helps you create personas for your project. I tried it when creating a profile for someone interested in weddings, and I found it quite amusing but can give you some good ideas of social trends. It returns demographics, lifestyle and media interests, personality traits, brands and online preferences of a selected audience. Data was collected from a sample of 250.000 UK YouGov members.

UKGov_Profiles

Google mobile-friendly – simply type in the form the link to the web page you want to check and this tool will analyse it and give you thumbs up if it’s mobile-friendly. If not, hover onto Google guides to find out more on how to improve your site for mobile users.

Hotjar – the name of this service is quite relevant as it provides heat maps to help understand how users behave on your website. Another great tool of Hotjar is ‘recordings’, this draws a route of a single user mouse movements within the site. This service is free and give a simple graphic insight into your site analytics.

Hotjar_heatmaps 

Final words

We ought to make better sites, providing a better experience for our mobile customers will result in better conversion rates. We must keep in line with new trends and think about how our customers interact with our websites to engage them more and ensure they have a better experience.

As someone with little or no knowledge of digital marketing, I am very grateful to Optimise Oxford because it has given me some insight into this challenging and constantly evolving industry, and great tips to take home and share on this post.

 

To know more about Optimise Oxford:

Optimise Oxford Meetup

@OptimiseMeetup

 

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