34SP.com sponsored and attended Manchester WordCamp this year. Director Daniel Foster, Kayleigh in Tech support and Siobhan in Sales had a great time on the day. Great talks, great people and not to mention great food! :
For anyone considering going to a WordCamp event, I would definitely recommend it. There is something for everyone at WordCamp, whether you are a developer, a business owner or you simply want to learn more about SEO and blogging. Being from the Sales department and writing blogs for 34SP.com I found the educational talks to be very beneficial.
Easy Lazy SEO
Jessyln then went on to talk about WordPress articles and blogs and the importance of making your WordPress article bot friendly. She advised to go on directories such as Yelp.com. I grabbed lots of useful ideas from this discussion and will reference them as I believe anyone who looks after Internet writing should know the basics of these…
“…Make sure to include keyword rich URLS for your article, consider the readability of the article and the length of the written content. Make sure that the titles of your articles reflect the content. Be sure to keep updating your site with regular NEW content, smaller businesses should have at least 3 blogs a week, medium size businesses should have 5 to 7 and large businesses in excess of this.”
“…For media rich articles consider the types of media you use. A blog should have clear Alternative text for images. For images and videos descriptive file names are the pinnacle. It was discussed but not confirmed in this talk that media rich articles keep the reader’s attention for longer, longer times spent on a blog would make it more ‘recognised’ to Google… A fantastic theory. Keywords are certainly helpful too. Jessyln mentioned an SEO plugin by Yoast. The plugin features red, amber and a green light for when your keyword is optimised enough.”
“…BEWARE of Google penalties though. There is the manual penalty. Google can contact you when you violate Google guidelines. This could be by having tons of spam links and irrelevant content. There is also the algorithmic penalty where you receive no warning, you start to dip in rankings.”
Thank you @jesslynnrose for the brilliant advice, it was a great start to an informative day.
Managing A Multi-Author Blog
15 year old Entrepreneur Sam surprised the audience with his impressive stats and fantastic poise during his talk. Sam is the Editor of a blog aimed at developers and the WordPress community. He invites developers to write for him on specialised subjects to do with WordPress and I have a feeling he gained a couple more writers this weekend!
Sam talked about how useful Trell0 is for organising tasks, blogs and editing, as well as earning revenue from Google Adsense. He also uses Skype and Tuts+ as a way of getting to know his team and potential team members. Sam’s WordPress blog received over 50,000 unique visitors to the site within the first month with nothing but SEO and backlinks.
He talked about how his daily tasks include creating a profile, bio and gravatar for new writers, spending an hour or so editing articles. He mentioned the most important things to look out for are punctuation, capitalisation, adding footer passages, giving feedback and making sure none of his writers publish feedback on another writer. He also made a point of saying ‘Don’t be afraid to ask for another revision’.
Best of luck to @sam_berson, dare I say boy genius. Thank you for your confident presentation, it was very enjoyable.
WordPress Plugin and Social Media
Carolyn Jones and Tim Nash hosted talks separately about the benefits of Social Media and Managing your WordPress plugins.
Carolyn surprised me with Social Media stats, I was expecting her to tell me that Facebook has 71% of the Internet population, however I wasn’t expecting her to tell me Pinterest has overtaken Twitter by 2%. 19% of the Internet uses Twitter while 21% use Pinterest. Very interesting and a real eye opener to me.
She explained that we most definitely want to be shared/followed and befriended on Facebook and we want to make the most of each share. Carolyn also briefed on Twitter cards and making the most of them, something I’ve touched on recently in another 34SP.com Twitter blog.
Carolyn also let us into tricks of the trade. To use a website called buzzsumo.com, put your website in it and it will show where it has been shared the most. Another interesting trick of the trade is to make a thank you page when someone leaves a comment on your blog. On this thank you page invite your reader to follow you on Twitter and Facebook, plus social media in general.
Tim Nash also gave an interesting talk on WordPress plugins. He mentioned the best place to acquire WordPress plugins are, WordPress.org, Github, Individual developer websites and VIP.WordPress.com/plugins/ Before purchasing the plugin to ask the following questions… Does it do the job?, Will I need another plugin? and Does it load lots of additional resources? Remember the anagram K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Stupid
He also mentioned that you want your site to do 55 things, so instead of getting a plugin that does those 55 things, get 55 plug ins that do the one thing well. Tim was also full of handy hints as to use a test site and enable WP-DEBUG on your site and use the P3P Plugin Performance Profiler, this allows you to measure the impact your plugins have on the performance of your WordPress site.
Thanks @tnash 34SP.com can’t get enough of WordPress safeguarding and tips.
I must say I’ve left the best until last. The talk I found most beneficial was all about the Consumer Rights Directive by Heather @idea15webdesign Heather is from the technical industry however she has devoted a huge amount of time to helping like minded people in the industry determine the Consumer Rights Directive in plain English.
Heather talked about how recently the Consumer Rights Directive has started to acknowledge that web products exist. There are a number of important changes to make to websites to comply with the law. The main one being that the checkout button on your site must be crystal clear. It must be evident that the customer is going through to the payment section of the website, or what was once considered a 14 day money back purchase is extended to 365 days. Also any check boxes must no longer be pre-ticked to be legal.
Heather talked about her book A Web Designers Guide to the Consumer Rights Directive in it she explains what goes into a good Web Design Contract. Heather impressed the audience with her know how and her ability to communicate it to this type of market. Her talk was fun as well, a great end to the day at WordCamp.
It’s really not worth me talking in more detail about the issues mentioned and the advice given however 34SP.com learned a lot from this discussion and its worth every penny to buy the Consumer Rights Directive Ebook.
In total we had a fantastic time and we are looking forward to getting to know more people in the industry at the next WordCamp. We caught up with one or two of our customers, to have a drink at the after party. It was nice to see you and we would like to meet more of you!