SEO and Usability

Some SEOs seem to acknowledge now that usability “should” be part of an SEO campaign, when most of the serious, professional SEOs practice it since a long time. After all, one of the main focuses of an effective SEO campaign is optimising website structure and navigability, structuring the web page content to read well both for the search engines and the users. Almost all the SEOs I know give the same advice: “optimise for the users, not for the search engines.” Then why the big fuss?

In many serious speciality forums we can read, finally, that users’ behaviour drive the rankings into the search engine results better than anything else. The truth is that SEO has changed in the last 6 months faster than any other online marketing discipline. PPC has improved, SEO wears different clothes to reach the same purpose. It even takes other paths. And our clients are confused. They don’t get it anymore. Why don’t links work as they used to? Why are meta keywords inefficient? If no onsite optimisation technique works, how am I supposed to score into the SERPs. We end up reaching the same conclusion: focus on usability. Focus on the users.

Usability has always been there. Even in the past, despite all SEO efforts and high rankings, the users were still picky. Many website owners complained: I get tons of search engine traffic, but no one orders. Why don’t people order? Because in your run for high SE rankings, you forgot your main target: the people. They buy!

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