Usability may not be the first thing that comes to mind when SEO is brought up, but it should rank considerably high since it is very important. If people aren’t able to find what they’re looking for when they get to a website, then it doesn’t even matter if they are at the top of the search engines or not. In an interview with Webpronews at the SES conference, Kim Krause Berg of Cre8asite Forums, talked with us about the connection between SEO and usability.
Although usability is part of the site design process, it actually has more to do with behavior and ability. According to Krause Berg, just because one website implemented something that works for them, doesn’t mean that another website could implement that same method and have the same success. Each website has their own demographics. Navigation also plays a key role in usability. Krause Berg believes that good navigation is directly related to good memory. Good navigation will always allow you to know where you are and will suggest to you what should be next.
One common misconception concerning usability is that many companies put a lot of links onto their homepage. This practice only calls for confusion on the user’s part. It can be overwhelming and difficult to sort through. Krause Berg suggests that companies approach their website from the user’s perspective. Have someone else look at the site and observe them while they work. See if they have any problems navigating the site. If they do have problems, the company can make the necessary changes before the site’s reputation is ruined.
With the rapid growth of social media, companies need to realize what users want and need. Shopping websites are very popular, and competition is intense among them. Companies must pay attention to usability since it will help them beat their competitors. Usability includes marketing and behavioral tactics. According to Krause Berg, instead of competing to everyone on a global scale, companies should narrow their market and develop a target. Word-of-mouth is a good marketing vehicle to use for finding a target market.