Search engine optimization is increasingly moving beyond simply addressing the needs of search engines to include user experience. One of the most important differences between websites and traditional communication platforms (TV, radio) is the role of the consumer. Traditional media platforms treat consumers passively, while website visitors are active agents who determine what content they receive, in what order and for how long.
Why Focusing on User Experience is Important for Your Website
As the internet moved into the centre stage of the marketing landscape, the customer moved from the back seat to the front seat of the advertising vehicle, making a consumer’s web experience and web capabilities important in the prediction of the flow and the success of a business.
When a consumer visits a website, the content and navigation flow they experience during their visit will determine their user attention and affinity for that website. Two important predictors of user attention are flow and involvement. The more engaged consumers are in their web visits and the more involved they are with the topic of the site, the higher their attention for the site.
The Importance of Good Content and Layout
Content is critical to a company’s success; customers have a higher appreciation for useful information available and the opportunity to delve through it as much as they want. Navigation should be logical, buttons and links should function in a way that the visitor expects them to, and the design of the website should not distract the visitor from the main objective of the page: getting them to contact your business.
The Secret to a Good User Experience: Respond and Adapt
Creating a website is a learning process, over time, it is not only necessary to update it, but analysis of web visit statistics allow companies to restructure sites, to improve the user interface and to experiment with new functions. The learning process of marketers is mirrored by the learning process of consumers. The contents, capabilities and objectives of websites change over time, as marketers become better able to integrate the unique characteristics of the latest internet developments into their strategies.
By focusing on user experience in an optimization strategy, you actually make the website not only user friendly, but search engine friendly as well. That’s because these goals are converging. Search engines reward websites that users will find useful, and vice versa: a great website will be shared, bookmarked and linked to, boosting your search ranking –and your business.