Welcome to WebProNews Breaking eBusiness and Search News
Advertise | Newsletter | Sitemap | News Feeds News Feed 
 WebProNews Search Part of the iEntry network iEntry inc. 

SES- Two Peas In A Pod: Usability And SEO

Lee Odden
Expert Author
Published: 2006-08-10

WebProNews RSS Feed

Moderated by Rebecca Lieb of ClickZ with presentations by Matt Bailey of SiteLogic and Shari Thurow of Grantastic Designs. First up is Shari who answered questions about usability and search.

What is usability? Shows term highlighting in Google search results. Titles, snippets and web address.

Web site usability serves two purposes: Relevancy and encouraging clicks to your site.

Usability addresses all search behaviors.

- Querying (refining, expanding)

- Browsing, surfing

- Pogo-sticking (Jared Spool)

- Foraging

- Scanning

- Reading

What is web site usability? Shari believes usability is a quality attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces are to use (Jakob Nielsen). Usability is task oriented. Usability meets a balance between satisfying users and business goals.

Information architecture precedes building the interface of a web site. Shares interface usability best practices. A balance between good architecture and the interface means the site has meaning whether there is search engine friendly content or not.

Interface: Areas of a website that are of benefit to users and search engines

- Navigation

- Linking

People need to understand where there are on a web site. A sense of place is what tells people where they are in a web site and also provides information to search engines.

Cross linking is important: horizontal and vertical. Vertical links are often breadcrumb links. Breadcrumb links provide "sense of place" cues, they are keyword focused and also provide a keyword optimization opportunity. They also communicate visited and unvisited pages.

Also need horizontal cross links. Types: embedded text links, related links, alternative links, alphabetic links.

Site maps should be part of the information architecture. Add a link both above and below the fold.

URL structure is part of the interface. Hyphens are better than an underscore. Also avoid problematic characters: &, ?, =, $, +, %. Short urls with keywords are usually better.

URL structure does not affect ranking, but it does affect accessibility.

Shari winds things up with a case study on Medicine.net and a reminder that usability is for both users and search engines.

Next and last up is Matt Bailey from SiteLogic with a special pen that he used to mark up example web pages.

SEO - get people to the site.
Usability - Get those visitors to do what you want them to do.

The main problem with usability is that for users, if they can't find it, it's not there - it doesn't exist. Same goes for SEO. If you're not ranked, you don't exist.

Matt explains what is important for both SEO and usability on the home page. It should be clear immediately what the site is about. It should also lead them to the information they're looking for.

Uses several sites as examples bad usability. Don't call your products, "products" and services, "services". Label content based on descriptive phrases rather than generic references. Make sure links to content are obvious and easy to read,

Taxonomy: hierarchal structure, classification, grouping. Offer alternative methods of getting to content because users search differently.

Category Pages - Use established set of categories with supporting categories. Use Keywords in the links to categories. Obvious links to products with images. Be careful of cramming categories together, as that will dilute the relevance for each.

Great example of usability: thinkgeek.com, wine.com

Product Pages. Matt's advice is to call products what they are. Give product information so users understand and to include keywords. Selling products to the logical and emotional sides of a consumer will involve the use of descriptive content and keywords. Include benefits to answer the questions consumers have and to provide keyword rich content.

Landing pages should provide exactly what the consumer is looking for.

Matt provided a variety of examples showing good and bad usability with a particularly humorous example involving something called "butt paste".

Usable Analytics - Analytics can be the key to finding usability problems. Also segment your keywords and content according to the users' needs.

Great job to Shari and Matt on this presentation. It was one of the best I've seen at this SES, especially Matt's. Very informative, lots of examples, some humor and a great session overall.

Bookmark WebProNews:

Receive Our Daily Email of Breaking eBusiness News

About the Author:
Lee Odden is President and Founder of TopRank Online Marketing, specializing in organic SEO, blog marketing and online public relations. He's been cited as a search marketing expert by publications including U.S. News & World Report and The Economist and has implemented successful search marketing programs with top BtoB companies of all sizes. Odden shares his marketing expertise at Online Marketing Blog offering daily news, interviews and best practices.

WebProNews RSS Feed

More Top News Articles

Contact WebProNews


Targeted Information for Business
WebProNews is part of the iEntry network

Internet Business: Marketing: Small Business:
WebProNews MarketingNewz SmallBusinessNewz
WebProWorld AdvertisingDay PromoteNews
EcommNewz SalesNewz EntrepreneurNewz

Software: Search Engines: Web Design:
WebMasterFree Jayde B2B DesignNewz
NetworkingFiles SearchZA FlashNewz
SecurityConfig SearchNewz WebSiteNotes

Developer: IT Management: Security:
DevWebPro ITManagement SecurityProNews
DevNewz SysAdminNews SecurityConfig
TheDevWeb NetworkingFiles NetworkNewz

The iEntry Network consists of over 100 web publications reaching millions of Internet Professionals. Contact us to advertise.

 Advertise | Contact Us | Corporate | Newsletter | Sitemap | Submit an Article | News Feeds
 WebProNews is an iEntry, Inc. ® publication - $line) { echo $line ; } ?> All Rights Reserved
About WebProNews
WebProNews is the number one source for eBusiness News. Over 5 million eBusiness professionals read WebProNews and other iEntry business and tech publications.

WebProNews provides real-time coverage of internet business.

Free Email Newsletters:
WebProNews SearchNewz
WebProWorld DevWebPro
Marketing SecurityNews
Plus over 100 other newsletters!

Send me relevant info on products and services.

Ten most recent posts.

Featured Software

WebProNews in the News
View all recent mentions of WebProNews from around the world!

Recent Articles On ...
Google eBusiness
Yahoo Ask Jeeves
MSN Blogs
Search Engines Blogging
Affiliate Programs Marketing
eCommerce Advertising
eBay Sun Microsystems
AOL Adsense
Microsoft Adwords
Oracle IBM
Amazon Apple
SEO iPod
Adsense XBox
PR Adobe

iEntry.com WebProWorld RSS Feed WebProWorld Contact WebProNews Print Version Email a friend Bookmark us