Although web usability and SEO are two different things, they are ultimately about the same thing… optimising opportunity.
During my day-to-day work I see websites (or do SEO on websites) that rank very highly for some key phrases you would think would deliver great results (and do in terms of traffic) but deliver little else. And, as this miserable old git always says, traffic is not the focus – it’s conversions.
I’m not just talking about form enquiries and emails, I am talking about increased brand profile (which very often works hand-in-hand with other marketing media or advertising campaigns) or increased social engagement, both of which are measurable.
Chasing The Rainbow
Since the web became an everyday tool for marketing, the goal posts keep changing in terms of ‘good practice’. Technology and trends are changing the landscape every day.
So, what does everyone do? They follow the latest trends like sheep, taking their old marketing ways with them, Ie. marketing at people, rather than with them.
They shift from one marketing ‘tactic’ or technology (because the current one doesn’t work) into the new one that promises that it will. And, of course, it doesn’t.
Meanwhile, the basics get overlooked, especially quality web design – with sound structure, content and user journeys.
Quality Web Design
Good web design is about interface and user flow – not whether the MD likes it.
Getting traffic from a search engine is one thing. But, when a person lands on your website, do they see all the things they need to see to allow them to the next step?
Optimising the Journey
Analytics Apps (such as Google Analytics) are great. But, if you chose to focus on headline stats and forget to join up the dots, or dig deeper, your graphs could be doing nothing but making your wall look pretty – it won’t please your sales manager.
Understanding what your website is delivering – and what could be achieved – is essential. As is watching which elements of your website drive a journey.
Very often, the design of the elements of website miss basic information, simply because there is an assumption that something should be obvious to the visitor.
One of the common things missing from websites is lack of geographical marker, ie, where is this company? Or, if geography is not essential to the sales offering, what is the specific sales proposition?
Without these simple ‘signposts’ how is a visitor supposed to know they are in the right place. And, if they don’t know that, how would they know to take the next step?
Website audits can un-earth a lot of weak points with a website. Running usability sessions and implementing the findings with a refreshed web design, you will often find the optimisation process working wonders with conversion.
With consistent growth in web traffic from search engines, combined with increased user engagement, you will often find that you don’t need to keep chasing the rainbow – you’ll find enough gold on your doorstep and have the tools to collect it.