SEO, Meet Usability

Every business wants their website to be #1. They want it to appear at the very top of Google search for all of their targeted keywords, driving thousands of visitors to their site every week. However, achieving this is going to be pretty impossible and hours of time (and a lot of money!) could be used up along the way.

So, instead of focusing on making the search engines happy, why not think about your actual, human site visitors?

This doesn’t mean giving up on your targets and forgetting about Google altogether, but simply stepping away from the stats and figures obsession to create a site that people want to visit…

If you’re struggling to get the balance between SEO and visitor usability, then here are some suggestions on how to overcome some common problems…

  1. “All of our written content needs to sit above the fold” – Search Engines do look at content above the fold, but it doesn’t always look so pretty on the page for your visitors. You could try out expanding text, showing the most important line or heading that then expands to reveal the rest of your text if someone wants to carry on reading. Or a simple ‘read more’ on the end of a short paragraph, linking to a page with a more detailed description can work just as well. Remember to include as many of your targeted keywords in this text as possible, without making it too obvious!
  2. “We want to include videos on our website, but Google can’t index this?” – You may miss out on Google reading the written copy on your website, but take advantage of video SEO needs such as titles and descriptions, particularly if your video is being hosted on YouTube. Different media on your website will help to engage visitors and keep them on your site for longer. Videos are also a great source of ‘shareable content’ that can be used on your social media and blogs to increase following on these profiles.
  3. “We have some legally required text to display on every page – will this be seen as negative ‘duplicate content?” – It can be difficult to distinguish between what Google classes as ‘duplicate content’ or not. Google made a statement last year saying this type of content shouldn’t cause a concern, but you never know when Google are going to change the rules. A solution would be too create the text as an image. Users can still see what they need too, you’ll fulfil any requirements and you will rid your site of any excess duplicate content.

There are plenty of other things you can do on your website to keep everyone happy – the main point is to keep adding fresh, relevant content. This satisfies the Google bot’s needs by giving them plenty to index and your users will be encouraged to return to your site to read your blog/ news etc, share it on social media, view new products and ultimately turn into customers.

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