Day 20 of the bigmouthmedia SEO Advent Calendar. You can read day 19 here.
It will be no surprise to our regular blog followers that bigmouthmedia firmly believe SEO without Usability (and vica versa) is, quite frankly, illogical. Here are some reasons why:
- Both are attributes of good quality design
- Both are measured by visits, bounces and conversions
- Both impact the acquisition of high value links
- Bother offer insight into the target audience
- Both deliver tailored marketing messages to the audience
We’ve previously recommended that you fuel digital marketing with user research and design site navigation for both search engines and users. Here are some more handy tips to help you further align SEO and Usability priorities so you can maximise performance whist being efficient with your available resource.
Integrate SEO Activity into the UCD Process
Web usability with a media campaign is not just about ongoing optimization. SEO is a strategic activity that should be considered and planned for at the beginning of every development cycle. As such, SEO absolutely has an important role to play in the user-centred design process.
Here are two examples of how this can be built into key development phases:
- The site specification must include accessibility, usability and SEO requirements
- User research and marketplace analysis can inform keyword research
- Keyword research (identifying user intent) can inform user personas, taxonomy, information architecture and content creation
- User personas can further support keyword research refreshes, digital asset promotion, blogger outreach, meta data and more
- Combining an SEO audit, heuristic usability review and accessibility review will ensure a high level of user and search engine optimization prior to launch.
Design Landing Pages for Search Engines and Users
Approximately 91% of people will find a website via a search engine. Is there any point to a page designed to be found but not serve the user?
To ensure you design a landing page that is optimized for both traffic and user engagement, ask yourself:
- Is the page relevant?
- Is the page task based?
- Is there a clear value proposition?
- Do calls to action stand out?
- Is it accessible?
- Is it useful?
And remember, websites don’t operate in a vacuum:
- Where does your traffic come from?
- What will they see on their way to your site?
- What messages will they come across?
- Have they been here before?
- What expectations will they have?
At the very least you must look at all media assets your organization produce and ask yourself. What would I expect?
It’s worth spending time optimizing landing pages for both search engines and users. There is no point testing for conversion then finding your traffic has dropped off
Give your users a pleasant online experience, from search result right through to conversion and beyond, and they’ll become advocates for your brand. They will bookmark you, link to you, refer you to friends, blog about you, review you etc boosting your visibility online.