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How Content Design
Impacts SEO &
Accessibility
Slideshare.Net/ChloeSmith123
@chloeivyroseseo
Chloe Smith
Blue Array
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
pronouns:
they/them
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
what we'll cover
what content design is
the crossover between UX and SEO
how good content design = accessibility
how to design content for UX, SEO &
accessibility
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
what does "content
design" mean?
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
Source: UK
Government
(sorry)
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
quick & simple
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
content design is…
delivering info in the best
possible format
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
content design is…
giving users what they need
in a format they expect
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
content design is…
clear, accessible, easy to
understand information
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
reading patterns
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
A BRIEF CAVEAT
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
users typically
read in an "F"
pattern
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
while it's not the only
pattern, it's the most
common for text-heavy
sites
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
spotted 👀
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
layered cake 🍰
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
total engagement 🤝
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
but back to that F
pattern
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
walls of text
no paragraphs? no attention span
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
no subheadings
using h2s and h3s breaks up content &
makes it easy to read
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
efficiency
time-poor users trying to be quick
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
quick & simple
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
use this knowledge to
your advantage, and
create content that
fits this pattern
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
how is this relevant
to our jobs as SEOs?
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
google is putting
more and more focus
on user experience
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
cast your minds
back to august '22
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
…and then again to
december '22
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
while the page
experience updates
focused on technical
UX
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
i propose the helpful
content update
focuses on content-
based UX
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
"The helpful content update aims to
better reward content where
visitors feel they've had a satisfying
experience, while content that
doesn't meet a visitor's expectations
won't perform as well."
Source: Google Search Central
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
"The helpful content update aims to
better reward content where
visitors feel they've had a satisfying
experience, while content that
doesn't meet a visitor's expectations
won't perform as well."
Source: Google Search Central
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
"The helpful content update aims to
better reward content where
visitors feel they've had a satisfying
experience, while content that
doesn't meet a visitor's expectations
won't perform as well."
Source: Google Search Central
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
"The helpful content update aims to
better reward content where
visitors feel they've had a satisfying
experience, while content that
doesn't meet a visitor's expectations
won't perform as well."
Source: Google Search Central
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
which means poorly
designed content leads
to…
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
possible negative
impact
from algo updates
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
users having less trust in us
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
users having less trust in us
(worse engagement metrics as a result)
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
SEOs
🤝
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
good content design =
accessible content
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
people in the UK living with sight loss,
& likely using assistive tech to access
the web (e.g. screen readers)
Source: RNIB
2.2 million
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
treat search engines like giant,
glorified screen readers
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
(or treat screen readers like less
complicated mini search engines)
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
how to design your content for
search engines, non-disabled
users, and disabled users alike
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
use short, simple
sentences using plain
language
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
use short, simple
sentences using plain
language
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
Source: UK
Government
(sorry)
((again))
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
don't assume a level of
education beyond your
usual user base
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
or you'll risk alienating
your users 👽
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
for your content
structure, think of your
content like a book
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
think of your content as a book 📚
page
title
H1 H2 H3
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
think of your content as a book 📚
page
title
H1 H2 H3
cover
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
think of your content as a book 📚
page
title
H1 H2 H3
cover
title page
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
think of your content as a book 📚
page
title
H1 H2 H3
cover
title page
chapters
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
think of your content as a book 📚
page
title
H1 H2 H3
cover
title page
chapters
subheadings
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
like a 600 page book with no
chapters, a wall of text is
intimidating & overwhelming
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
sectioning out content
makes it digestible,
accessible, and
optimised for SEO
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
(because those are
all the same thing👀)
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
introductor
y content is
short &
sticks to the
F pattern
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
introductor
y content is
short &
sticks to the
F pattern
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
h2
attracts
the eye
introductor
y content is
short &
sticks to the
F pattern
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
h2
attracts
the eye
introductor
y content is
short &
sticks to the
F pattern
formatting
allows users
to jump to
content that
suits their
needs best
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
h2
attracts
the eye
introductor
y content is
short &
sticks to the
F pattern
formatting
allows users
to jump to
content that
suits their
needs best
bonus point:
including
jumplinks to
headings at
the start
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
so, to summarise
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
understanding how users
interact with content can
help improve design and
formatting
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
correctly designing
content improves
engagement metrics &
trust
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
good content design =
accessible to disabled
users as well as search
engines
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
UX and SEO are growing
ever closer, so good UX is
good SEO (and vice versa)
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
quick and simple content
is the way to go
@chloeivyroseseo #brightonSEO
thank you!
where to find me
@chloeivyroseseo
@LondonSEOMeetu
p
@bluearrayseo
/in/chloeivyrose/

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Content Design & its Role in SEO and Accessibility [BrightonSEO Spring 2023]

Editor's Notes

  1. I asked this question when I co-hosted serpstat_chat the other month, and most of the answers were what I expected, all about structuring content etc.
  2. But this one stuck out to me. when we hear 'design', we think about visual elements, which i guess is why this person immediately thought of colours. but it's not about what colour your font is or how big it is, because if i tried to design a website it'd look like this
  3. so to get a straight answer, i went to the most trustworthy website there is… the UK government site. sorry. but their website is a really good example of good content design and having an understanding of what your users want to see vs what you want to convey. "Good content design allows people to do or find out what they need to do from government simply and quickly using the most appropriate content format available." And i want you to consider those two words, simple and quick.
  4. but to be able to effectively design our content in a way that is quick and simple, we need to understand how our users read our content. so let's go off on a little tangent to discuss reading patterns for your sighted users
  5. and having clear, accessible, easy to understand information. in the UK, the average reading age is between 9 and 12 years old. while we don't want to talk down to our users, we do want to make sure we're not assuming a level of understanding that they don't have
  6. and having clear, accessible, easy to understand information. in the UK, the average reading age is between 9 and 12 years old. while we don't want to talk down to our users, we do want to make sure we're not assuming a level of understanding that they don't have
  7. and having clear, accessible, easy to understand information. in the UK, the average reading age is between 9 and 12 years old. while we don't want to talk down to our users, we do want to make sure we're not assuming a level of understanding that they don't have
  8. but to be able to effectively design our content in a way that is quick and simple, we need to understand how our users read our content. so let's go off on a little tangent to discuss reading patterns for your sighted users
  9. this will obviously depend on which language you're writing in; european languages like english french etc will read left to right, but others like arabic and hebrew read from right to left, so some of this may not apply.
  10. i.e. reading the first few lines in full, then skimming the first part of each line for the rest This is the default reading style. It does have disadvantages: Limited engagement Not enough clues about the content You lose your reader very quickly
  11. researchers used eyetracking to identify people's typical reading patterns; this one shows a clear F, from the header down to the introductory content it's quite thoroughly read, and then attention starts to dwindle and only the first parts of paragraphs are read.
  12. But this doesn't just apply to editorial content or landing pages. one of the reasons the top three positions in SERPs get the most traction is because users often read them in the same way as they do other content.
  13. Where the reader knows exactly what keyword they're looking for in the content. Scanning to identify keywords.
  14. Where the content is well organized and the visitor is given a guided tour of the page. The text has been structured for scrolling.
  15. When the content is so engaging that every word is read. This often happens if your audience is physically captive or is your loving mum.
  16. but to be able to effectively design our content in a way that is quick and simple, we need to understand how our users read our content. so let's go off on a little tangent to discuss reading patterns for your sighted users
  17. even if we disregard both page experience updates that bring UX to the forefront of SEO…