Combining Usability and Search Engine Readiness in Web DesignDate Posted: Saturday, November 27th, 2010
There is no question more important to ask in web design, than “What makes a website effective?”
And there is more than one answer, depending on who you ask. But, for a new website, the two essential aspects to consider are visitor usability and search engine friendliness.
Having a vibrant and well designed website are great for site appearance in captivating your audience. And let’s face it, it’s the fun part of web development! However, optimizing your site for search engines and people are more important for a first consideration. A website is much more effective when a search engine can find it, and then a person can easily use it. Which is why when designing a website, you must always first optimize for a combination of these two.
What Is Web Design Usability?
Usability is important in helping your website achieve its purpose, be it selling something, providing information, or simply showcasing a product. A website that sells a product should be designed for easily buying a product. A website for showcasing a product should make product images easy to view. The question is always, “Can your visitors easily access the information they need, so that they can do what you want them to?”
To create a healthy usable website environment several things are considered by your web developer, including information accessibility, information availability, navigation, and search engine readiness. To accomplish this you can use a few great tools: Use appropriate and relevant content, make information easy to find, and create a good navigational system such as with a navigation bar, short-cuts, and a site map. The bottom line is that you want to make sure your site is usable by ALL your visitors.
Search Engine Readiness = Search Engine Visibility, and without it you will get few visitors.
Let’s say you sell “widgets” to any and everyone in the U.S. You design a website to be beautiful and easy to use, so that anyone visiting can buy a widget and enjoy their stay on your site. You have even included a vast array of meta tags and keywords for SEO. One day you decide to do a search for “widgets” to find your website. But, alas it is nowhere to be found. You even do a search for your company name, but still no where to be found in the search engine.
When hiring a web development firm, be sure to ask your website designer to focus on Usability and Search Engine Readiness. You can always design your site to be as visually appealing as you desire, just make it a second priority if you have to choose between the two.