Search Engine Tricks

  Homes arrow Search Engine Tricks arrow Search Engine Optimization and Web Site Usabi...
 Webmaster Tools
 
Base64 Encoding 
Browser Settings 
CSS Coder 
CSS Navigation Menu 
Datetime Converter 
DHTML Tooltip 
Dig Utility 
DNS Utility 
Dropdown Menu 
Fetch Content 
Fetch Header 
Floating Layer 
htaccess Generator 
HTML to PHP 
HTML Encoder 
HTML Entities 
IP Convert 
Meta Tags 
Password Encryption
 
Password Strength
 
Pattern Extractor 
Ping Utility 
Pop-Up Window 
Regex Extractor 
Regex Match 
Scrollbar Color 
Source Viewer 
Syntax Highlighting 
URL Encoding 
Web Safe Colors 
Forums Sitemap 
Weekly Newsletter
 
Developer Updates  
Free Website Content 
 RSS  Articles
 RSS  Forums
 RSS  All Feeds
Write For Us 
Contact Us 
Site Map 
Privacy Policy 
Support 
 USERNAME
 
 PASSWORD
 
 
  >>> SIGN UP!  
  Lost Password? 
SEARCH ENGINE TRICKS

Search Engine Optimization and Web Site Usability
By: Developer Shed
  • Search For More Articles!
  • Disclaimer
  • Author Terms
  • Rating:  stars stars stars stars stars / 0
    2004-02-03

    Table of Contents:

    Rate this Article: Poor Best 
      ADD THIS ARTICLE TO:
      Del.ici.ous Digg
      Blink Simpy
      Google Spurl
      Y! MyWeb Furl
    Email Me Similar Content When Posted
    Add Developer Shed Article Feed To Your Site
    Email Article To Friend
    Print Version Of Article
    PDF Version Of Article
     
     

    SEARCH DEV MECHANIC

    TOOLS YOU CAN USE

    advertisement

    Search Engine Optimization and Web Site Usability
    by Kristy Meghreblian

    Build a Web site and the people will come. Ha! If it were only that easy! The Web is the one sales environment where the customer has total empowerment. They have all the resources (i.e., your competitors) just a mouse-click away.

    Not only are you in competition with the millions of other Web sites owners who sell the same product/service as you, but you are also competing for users' time and attention. While search engine optimization and submission can bring you the traffic you need, only you can ensure that visitors will stay on your site by giving them a reason to want to stay. That is where Web site usability comes in.

    What is Web site usability?

    The International Standards Organization (ISO) defines Web site usability as the "effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction with which a specified set of users can achieve a specified set of tasks in a particular environment." In simpler terms, usability is how efficiently and effectively users can accomplish what they are trying to do when they visit your Web site.

    Now that you have an understanding of usability, we'll explain the basics of what a Web site should include to make the most of the user experience:

    Content is king

    Let's face it, people visit Web sites for content -- they want information. Sure, it helps if your site is visibly appealing as well. But, without the right content, the results of the user experience can be fatal to your business. They simply won't come back.

    Here are a few tips to remember in regards to content:

    1. Be concise. Research shows that reading from a computer screen is about 25% slower than reading from paper or other print medium. To that end, you will want to edit your writing to say the exact same thing in half the words it would take if you were writing on paper. Also, think back to the last time you came to one of those really long-winded Web sites where the content may have been great, but you still had to scroll and scroll and scroll to get to the end. It can be a nuisance. So, keep your pages short.

    2. Make your content scannable. When people use the Internet, they are looking at mass amounts of information. Help them get to the core of what they want by using bulleted items, short paragraphs, and subheadings to make it easier for them to find what they are looking for.

    3. Write without error. There is no excuse -- absolutely none -- for poor grammar, typographical errors, and misspellings. If you own a computer, you have access to spell-checking and grammar-checking technologies. Use them. These small details will reflect upon your site. If you don't convey professionalism on your own business, how will you be conveyed to potential clients? Can they trust you with theirs? Before uploading any new content, proofread it. Then, turn it over to someone else for their input.

    4. Write as if you were a Public Relations pro. Granted, many of us aren't PR exec's, but you should know how to market your business. Use the lingo that is most appropriate for your business. While you want to provide information, your main goal is still one thing: to sell. So, write to sell.

    5. Maximize your keywords. As part of the search engine optimization process, you went to great lengths to select keywords and phrases that are most appropriate for your business. Be sure to use them whenever possible (without being overtly redundant) in your content.

    6. Refresh, refresh, refresh. Web sites should be updated on a regular basis -- don't let them go stale. Add new products/services, update users with new information and tools, do what you can to change your content and keep users coming back for more.

    7. Know your audience. Since most audiences vary in terms of experience level with both your product/service and their experience level with the internet, you will want to simplify things more than ever. You don't want to talk to yourself - make sure potential clients understand your product/service. The best way to do this is to create content that is informative, yet easy to understand for even the newest of the newbies.

    Web site design

    Secondary to content is the actual design of your Web site. While the user comes to your site specifically for information, they also will want to enter an area that is easy to use and visually appealing. Here are some usability tips regarding Web site design:

    1. Avoid long load times. While the latest technology for Web sites is incredibly interesting and fun, lots of graphics, Flash images, and audio can create long load times that make the user wait. And, if customers have to wait too long, they may leave -- and never come back. As a guide, users will generally wait for a site to load for ten seconds before vacating.

    2. Make your pages easy to read. A common error in Web usability is the incessant need to create the prettiest Web site that ever existed. We've all seen them - every color from the Crayola box of 64 has made its mark on these pages. And, with a little bit of color usually comes a lot of cute little images that dance across your screen. In all seriousness, resist the urge to do this. Not only will it hoard a lot of memory, but it will drive your users crazy. Black text on a white background is the easiest to read. If you really want a colored background, stick with a lighter shade, but remember to use black text.

    3. Create a well-organized site. Maintaining a consistent look and feel throughout your site is critical. The navigation you use on the home page should be carried out throughout your Web site. Clear navigation can either make or break your site. You are basically providing your users with a road map to your products and services. Don't let them get lost along the way.

    4. Consider your space. Content should amount to 50-80% of your page design, with navigation taking up approximately 20% of the space.

    5. Stay consistent with design elements. Select one or two (maximum) fonts and stick with them throughout your site.

    6. Have a secure and automated server. Amazingly only 20% of current Web sites are secure.

    7. What can you do different? This is probably the most important thing to remember when designing your site. Think about your business and your competition. What are you doing differently that will make users visit your site? Once you find out what that is -- whether you offer the lowest prices, have a special widget that no one else sells, or have reputable customer service -- capitalize on that one thing by incorporating it in your design elements.

    Conclusion

    There are good sites on the Internet and there are an equal number of bad sites (if not more!) out there. The good sites provide for a smooth user experience - easy navigation and easy-to-find information. The bad sites are slow to load, difficult to navigate and leave the users frustrated before they can even get to the information they initially needed. If you've already invested the time and effort into developing a Web site, you should take a serious look at the usability of your site. Here's an easy homework assignment: Some day, when you've got a few hours to spare, surf the Internet and make note of sites you think are good and which ones drove you absolutely crazy. Investigate the qualities of those sites and what made them good or bad. Pretty soon, you'll start to see some patterns that you can learn from and implement into your own usability strategy. Remember, usability is all about creating a unique and enlightening user experience. Usability is the name of the game -- isn't it time you started playing?
    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

    More Search Engine Tricks Articles
    More By Developer Shed

       

    SEARCH ENGINE TRICKS ARTICLES

    - Time for Your Site`s SEO Tune-up?
    - The Basic Parts of an SEO Campaign
    - Dynamic Content Still Challenging for Search...
    - Google`s Panda Update at One Year Old
    - Why Links Don`t Count Instantly
    - Check Your Code for SEO Issues
    - To Be an SEO, Start With What You Know
    - Don`t Worry About Bad Inbound Links
    - Guard Your Google Places Listing
    - Overlooked SEO Tricks
    - A Simple Long Tail Keyword Strategy
    - Writing for the Long Tail
    - Choosing and Using Keywords
    - Seven More SEO Myths That Can Hurt Your Sit...
    - Google Tips and Tricks

    Developer Shed Affiliates

     



    © 2003-2018 by Developer Shed. All rights reserved. DS Cluster - Follow our Sitemap