Search & Usability took a deeper look at the ever-changing world of searcher behavior and how search engines have been evolving to provide the best user experience. As search engines place more emphasis on website previews in search results and take into consideration factors such as site speed, landing page quality, mobile vs desktop search experiences, social signals and beyond, this column focused heavily on balancing information architecture and human interaction. It no longer runs as a standalone column and has since been incorporated into the Content Marketing column on Marketing Land.

The Intersection Of SEO & Web Design

SEO Web Design Javascript As technology advances and web usage evolves, so do SEO best practices. Web designers now have more choices and technologies available than ever before. As we enter 2014, I expect we will continue to see advances in web design that bring even more options. I thought it would be helpful to revisit the top SEO considerations relating to some of the latest website design trends, which include parallax, responsive, and HTML5 design. Although I am a huge fan of incorporating all three design choices when appropriate; in all cases, site architecture and accessibility remain the primary SEO con [...]

Top 10 Search Modifiers: Why They Matter, What They Are & How To Use Them

Search Modifiers Google is working hard to improve search, and it's doing such a great job that the general public doesn't seem to be noticing. With the inclusion of personalization, localization, customization, and with the depth of data Google knows and understands about the average user, it’s easy to overlook how much goes into making a useful (intuitive) search. Especially when you factor in how little the average person understands Google, or how Google search actually works. Yet despite Google’s improvement, or perhaps because of it, people seem to be losing their ability to perform advanced s [...]

SEO Smackdown Round 2: Old Vs. New Search Engine Optimization

Has SEO really changed? Search engine algoholics might say “Yes!” Experienced practitioners might say, “Not really.” Instead of keywords, site architecture, and link development, maybe we should understand aboutness, information scent, and validation.

How Does Color Usage Affect SEO & Conversions?

Many search engine optimization professionals have different interpretations of the term search-engine friendly website design. Learn how color affects your SEO efforts and conversions.

How To Make Your Online Checkout More User Friendly

Have you ever gone shopping for a couple items, only to find the checkout lines too long or slow, so you drop your items and leave the store? I have, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. It may not happen all that frequently at a brick and mortar, but it does online. A lot. Getting shoppers in the door from search engines is the easy part. Getting them to buy from your online store is the difficult part. Shopping cart dropout rates are a problem many online retailers have to overcome. Every day customers who appear to be ready to make a purchase abandon their carts before completing th [...]

6 Easy Ways To Improve Your Site’s Navigation

Just about every website has some form of navigation. Unfortunately, not every website's navigation is good. Most of the time, a website's navigation is put together by Web designers who know a lot about making pretty websites, but very little about marketing a website or creating a website built for the customer. Just because your navigation is built into the site doesn't mean it's doing the best job of giving your visitors what they want. Navigation can make or break your website's overall performance when it comes to retaining visitors, keeping them engaged and driving them through th [...]

A Simple Guide To Understanding The Searcher Experience

When search engine optimization (SEO) professionals talk about the searcher experience, they often cast their personal mental models onto the minds of searchers. What is your role in understanding and delivering a successful searcher experience?

How Website Structure & Information Architecture Should Mirror Your Business Goals

design-architecture-planning-featured Thomas is the CEO of a major corporation. He had supervised a recent website redesign project, loved the snazzy new look with bells and whistles created by a talented graphics designer - but was calling me to help with a problem. His beautiful new website wasn't getting many visitors! "Why don't people want to visit our lovely website?" Thomas wailed, genuinely puzzled that the results of his intensive efforts weren't as rosy as he had expected. As a strategic SEO consultant, the reasons were glaringly obvious to me... but I had to soften the impact, and gently explain what went wrong. [...]

Keyword Classification: Understanding The “Why” Of SEO

Why people search - image

Keyword classification is often the missing ingredient in SEO plans. Without understanding the reasons why people search, search engine optimizers will often misinterpret or improperly classify keyword phrases. How do we understand the “why” part of the optimization process?

The Ties Between Emotional Design & SEO

Shari, are you crazy? Search engines don’t have emotions! What does emotional design have to do with SEO? A lot more than you might think.

How To Understand Keywords In Searcher Context


Is it possible for SEO professionals to understand searcher context based purely on keyword research data?

The Value Of Testing Website Usability & Search Engine Performance

For one day during the holiday shopping period in December, customers could not use a well-known retail giant’s website. Heads rolled. Jobs were on the line. Searchers were puzzled. How is it possible, you may wonder, that a website representing a popular brand could experience a day of lost sales during the busiest shopping time of the year? What did they lose, in addition to customer trust and revenue loss? Consider what they did to become that famous brand. Most likely, they have a marketing company that handles everything from print advertising, PPC, sponsorships, social media mark [...]

Web Searcher Behavior Quiz – Test Your SEO Knowledge

Searcher behavior quiz - image

Think you know the web searcher goals and behaviors that are important for long term search engine visibility? Take this quiz and find out.

The Ultimate Secret For Successful Marketing & Web Design

We’ve just experienced another season of roundups in the sports, music and movie industries and throughout it all, I noted interesting things about marketing and human behavior. Super Bowl It began with the TV commercials during the Super Bowl. Usually my favorite part of this final game of champions is watching the new commercials that are made especially for launch during the Super Bowl, but this year, they were so uninspired and boring that I couldn’t wait to get back to the football game. The only brand that stuck in my head later was Volkswagen and that’s because of "Bolt", the [...]

Spreading SEO Awareness & Knowledge

Missing piece of puzzle - why people search (image)

Taking that first step to genuine SEO awareness can be difficult for SEO professionals as well as information architects and usability professionals. How can we make crossing that bridge easier?

Recent Findings On Captcha & The User Experience

The opinions on what makes a form or Web application user friendly may vary but most everyone dislikes Captcha fields. Some Captcha’s are so difficult to decipher they actually increase form and page abandonment. Along with the freedom the Internet provides humans, it is unfortunately humans who also created barriers to our free flow of information. It’s uncanny the amount of search engine marketing money spent to bring people into websites, only to chase them back out because they must prove they are indeed, human. Spam helped create the need for Captcha. To defend ourselves from th [...]

Website Usability 101 For SEO Professionals

Want to be better at search engine optimization? What all SEO professionals should know about website usability.

10 Search & Website Usability New Year Resolutions for 2012

No matter where in the world you live, it’s likely you have rituals that you participate in at various times of the year. Website owners have a New Year ritual too. The first item we need to address is updating the copyright year in the footer of our website. Not only does this show that somebody is home maintaining the site but it signals to search engines that life exists there and to keep visiting. [caption id="attachment_106362" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Website Resolutions"][/caption] This, like a new determination to lose weight, could be the first and last resol [...]

What Is Your SEO Archiving Plan?

SEO and archiving content - image

If the answer to this question is stunned silence, your website could lose long-term search engine visibility. Archiving has always been an important part of the SEO process.

Why User Experience Design Needs Search Engine Marketing

Most articles in this column focus on the how’s and why’s of usability, persuasive design and search engine marketing. We sound like a broken record. SEO needs UX. What about the other way around? There’s just as many misconceptions in the usability and user experience design industry towards search marketing and organic SEO. One of their more common fears is on page SEO mucking up user centered design. [caption id="attachment_103780" align="alignright" width="210" caption="Who is open?"][/caption] It takes a bit of time, skills and logic to blend Usability and SEO so they do [...]

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