I’m feeling rather sheepish as I start to write this as it’s been over a month since I last updated my blog. Over the next few posts I’m going to explain what’s been keeping me from blogging and share with you some of the things I’ve learned along the way.
Over the past couple of months I’ve provided a package of digital support work for Groundwork UK, the community charity with the green heart. The work I’ve done breaks down into three main areas:
- Improving the accessibility of the Groundwork UK website for both disabled and non-disabled people to use it.
- Optimising the Groundwork UK website to boost its visibility on Google and other search engines.
- Writing original website content for Groundwork UK that is designed to connect with the interests of its target audience, as identified through keyword research.
Accessible design benefits everyone
As a former Disability Equality Officer I really enjoyed having the opportunity to improve web accessibility. I also loved being able to show that making your site more accessible is good for search optimisation and vice versa.
For example, something as simple as remembering to add ‘alt text’ descriptions to images not only allows screen reader users to understand the meaning of your image, it also helps Google analyse your site’s content, making it more likely your image will show up in user searches.
Here are some useful resources for improving the accessibility and search performance of your website:
- W3C: Easy Checks – A First Review of Web Accessibility
- WebAIM: Color Contrast Checker tool
- Google: Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide
Writing relevant content
One of the best ways you can improve the search visibility of your website relevant content that appeals to the audience(s) you wish to target. But how do you know what topics are most likely to appeal to your audience? That’s where keyword research comes in.
Keyword research is the term given to figuring the words and phrases which your audiences uses when they searching for things online. Once you know what people are searching for, you can adapt your existing content or write fresh content which will (hopefully) show up when people are searching online.
For example, if you run a charity that provides summer activities for young people, it’s very helpful to know whether people tend to search for “summer activities for teenagers” or “summer activities for young people”. If more people search for the former than the latter, referring to teenagers rather than young people will give your website a better chance of being discovered.
There are many ways to do keyword research. For the Groundwork UK project I used Google AdWords’ Keyword Planner tool to calculate the relative popularity of various search terms related to Groundwork’s business operations. The tool is by no means perfect but is useful for assessing whether a site’s existing is well-matched to its audiences and spotting new opportunities to write targeted content.
After carrying out keyword research I agreed with Groundwork UK to write several new pieces of content related to the topic of work experience, which ranked highly in keyword research.
I wrote the new content with the aim of people discovering it when they are searching online for work experience. The articles provide clear, helpful information about how to find the work experience that is right for you and gently informs people about work experience opportunities at Groundwork.It is still early days but it is hoped that the new content will encourage more people to visit the Groundwork UK website and boost work experience enquiries.