• http://www.OracleDigital.com.au Clint

    “Search engine marketers are focused on rank, traffic and revenue for their clients. Many will never tell their client that their website must be usable, understandable, and conversions oriented.”

    How true. I was having this exact same conversation today with a colleague in the industry. All that is short term, expensive (mainly) and unsustainable. At the least opportunistic.

    Most SEO’s focus on doing ‘stuff’ and not assisting their customers in creating great content that is shareable, viral, valuable, and even linkbait(able).

    Many (most) SEO’s are not doing conversion optimisation for their customer either – why? because it takes someone with an insight into the given niche/industry to be able to effectively do it. It’s not something that can be outsourced offshore. Well, not if you want it to work ;)

  • http://www.dabrianmarketing.com Brandon

    Great article! All too often these two components remain almost polarized. More often than not, SEO even seems to be an afterthought to the web design. Getting the right people in the same room from the start is the key to an optimal web offering for any business.

  • http://www.michaelyneu.com Michael Neu

    Well Said! I would also argue that UX design also needs to incorporate the other side of SEM also, regarding A/B Testing, conversion optimization, etc. Data and feedback should help direct UX design choices, and I feel far too often all of these elements live in ‘silos’ rather than all working together.

  • David Schreiber

    You’ve touched on an important aspect of Web development that is easily overshadowed by our need to simply turn dials and improve search results and conversions (yeah, that’s really important). Strategy. It may be boring, but having an over-arching idea about who you’re site is targeting, what problem you’re solving, how you’re going to break through, what you’re going to offer… This stuff matters — and when you get it right, SEO, usability and design decisions get smarter and more effective. Peace and love from Chapel Hill.

  • http://www.pwnland.com/blog Chris Keune

    Agree, but let us not forget that Analytics holds the keys to tie everything together. It starts with looking at the user behavior on the site, then expanding what drove them there (ie keywords). That gives a clear indication of how SEO is currently working on the site. Then we focus on the best customer via SEO and cluster these words so that we can benchmark our SEO efforts. Then focusing on those ones that drive the highest ROI, then UX can take these insights provided by analytics and produce wireframes, page tags , and navigation menus. Once the site is live, analyze how the new site changed its SEO SERPs.

  • http://www.cre8pc.com Kim Krause Berg

    Thanks for your comments! I wasn’t sure how this article would over. Typically I write about how and why SEO needs UX, not the other way around. The divide between them has always fascinated me, especially when I seen proof, over and over again, of the collapse of sites when skills from both practices are not included in a project. Even when analytics clearly show a high bounce rate, I’ve watched companies rearrange keywords to fix it, while ignoring their site design completely. I’ve had clients invest 10s of thousands in SEO and then come to me not trusting what a usability consultant can do and certainly not willing to pay very much since they’ve been burned. But, that’s a story for another day :)