Usability: Optimize your site for People

You already know how important Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is for the success of your website. You may not know how important good usability is for your site, too. Website usability focuses on the ease with which people are able to use your web site. The difference between SEO and usability can be summed up like this: SEO is what brings people to your website; usability is what keeps them there.

Benefits of usability
A site that is optimized for usability will increase the odds of a person requesting a quote, filling out a contact us form, or downloading a CAD drawing. Usability makes it easier for a person to find what they are looking for on your site. Usability will also increase the likelihood of that person returning to your site or referring your site to a colleague. All of these are crucial to the success of your website.

How SEO and usability work together
There are many times when optimizing for people and the search engines work together. An example would be adding call to action statements on your site. Let's say you added a sentence like this to your web page "Call us today at 333-333-3333 to learn more about our search engine optimization services." This helps usability because you're adding a call to action; you're making it easier for a person to contact you and encouraging them to do so. It addresses SEO because you've added the keyword "search engine optimization services" to the page, which increases visibility for this keyword in the search engines.

More ways to improve your site's usability:

  • Use headlines and bold print to break up content
  • Add links within your copy to related services and products
  • Make sure you have a sitemap
  • On your contact forms, keep the required fields to a minimum
  • Use a consistent top and/or left navigation throughout site
  • Use alt tags on your images
  • Make sure your contact information including your phone number is on every page
  • Use a breadcrumb navigation for large sites

SEO Usability = More Sales!
When your site is optimized for both the search engines and people, good things start to happen. You will see more sales from your site. SEO and Usability make it easier for a person to find your products and services, as well as how to inquire about them. Remember, SEO is what brings people to your website; usability is what keeps them there.