I thought I would try to live blog this session. I'm realizing that it's hard to keep up with everything that's going on. We'll see if I have the stamina (and laptop battery power) to do more of this live blogging stuff.
Shari Thurow - Omni Marketing Interactive
Web developer, library sciences, human and computer interfaces - wrote Search Engine Visibility
Misconception: SEO and usability do not go together
Ease of use with which users are able to find desired information before they view a web page and while they are viewing a web page.
- error prevention
- user satisfaction
Search behavior does not only mean querying behavior. Search encompasses a wide variety of behaviors including but not limited to:
Marcia Bates, berry picking
Key Concepts of Search Usability
1. Sense of place
-Where are you?
-Whate page are you viewing?
-What makes you feel confident about this page?
2. Scent of information
-is the info you desire available on the page
-what can you do?
-where can you go
-how do you get there?
-how do you get back?
-where have you been?
When you provide sense of place and scent of information - your pages are keyword optimized
3. Information architecture
- organization of content into groups
- always do keyword research research before you begin info architecture
- headings are the first thing people look at
- primary navigation, 2nd level navigation, etc.
- locational breadcrumb links
(example site: midwestmetalfabrication.com/drilling.html)
use captions (considered primary text, unlike alt text)
people's eyes naturally go from areas of heavy color saturation to areas of low color saturation
5. User confidence
The time to become involved with seo/search usability is before the site is designed.
Website usability testing - measures the ability of a person to complete a task
Behaviors reported in focus groups do not reflect bhaviors observed during usability testing.
Goal is to balance between user (customer) expectations and business goals (the user isn't always right--you have to make money)
Graphic images vs css text - TEST! Don't assume text/css is always better. see which one performs better.
Usability can help with link building, because other site owners are more likely to link to the site that is easier to use.
Also mentioned that the new edition of her book, Search Engine Visibility is coming out very soon (or just came out, I'm not sure).
Matt Baily - Sitelogic
1. Get people to your site
2. Get them to do what you want them to do
If they can't find it, it's not there
If they can't find you, you're not there
Position yourself in a way so that when people get to your site there's no question about what they need to do.
Types of searchers
1. Shartshooters - know what they want - product, brand name, etc
2. Shotgun - concept searching, not specific product or brand, but now generally what they want
3. Artillery - idea search, looking for something that will feel good
Coke website - in flash, still loading
Shop now or enter website (pacific customs website--Matt says it's the worst website he has ever seen)
PetSafe example - nothing on homepage to indicate that they have more than one product.
Taxonomy - how do you organize information?
Hierarchal Structure, Classification, Grouping
Different ways to shop for wine. Wine.com offers many choices to find wine. vs. winerackshop.com - which has adsense ads on the right nav and no clear navigation system on their own site. Plus the blue/black links on dark background. Nice!
Every page on your website is a homepage! From every page on your site they need to be able to find what they need. Navigation should be in grouping that makes sense to the user.
dynamism.com - too many products on a single page
chefgadget.com - have to go back to the main navigation to find the other products in subnav
thinkgeek.com - does a good job with subnav, wine.com also does a good job of this with interior pages
Not just organization of information, but how you display that information
John Deere - example of marketing hooey...doesn't tell people how it will make things better
Hates ppc ads - "big waste of money"
Coke site is still loading
They're not going to find you unless you call it what the customer calls it.
Butt Paste (diaper rash ointment)
toilet tank aquarium
doc fizzix - good job using words to explain what their products are
coke is still loading
You should not have to explain to your customer how to use your website.
Geek Toys - usb cup warmer example - paramountzone.com, well written - also used keywords (gadget) in reviews that were not used in the product description
Tip for International websites - make the address fields international friendly in contact forms.
Quote from Jacob Nielsen: After usability design, websites increase desired metrics by 135%
Bob Tripathi - Search Strategist, Discover Financial Services
Website Usability - how easy it is for website visitors to perform/complete a task on your site.
Search Engine Usability - determines how easy it is for search engine crawlers to index your site
Another quote from Jacob Nielsen (these usability gurus love that dude).
Search engines are looking for text, links, images, video, etc. = traffic
Website visitors are looking for information, to buy a product, download software, etc. = convert (sale, lead, etc)
The ownership issue--who is responsible? Your design and development experts and you--the SEO.
In bigger organizations, you have more players, usabilty, design/dev, seo, acquisition, content, legal. Everyone has a stake--and an opinion.
You have to get all the stakeholders in a room (shows picture of two bulls fighting). Your job is to get everyone on the same page and act like a modern Budda - the doctrine of non-attachment. Don't be attached to any one department, but look at the holistic goals.
Collaboration is the king - work with all the various teams and players on what needs to be done.
Keyword generation, SEO guidelines, on-page SEO
Create prototypes, usability testing phase, design phase, quality testing -> website launch
Be clear what needs to be done
Educate each team on the basics of SEO, get them speaking your language. Build together, stay together.
Examples from website usability iemployee.com, goldfish.com.
Why do bloggers get our articles to show up better than on our own site? Matt: Bloggers present information in bite-sized chunks. Shari: it's a duplicate content issue--the bloggers have a better link architecture, more links, etc.
How to test w/focus groups & multivariate testing? Shari: Focus groups are guided and aren't always best. Multivariate testing,
Matt: focus groups are liars. for multivariate, make a lot of little mistakes fast and learn from them
Shari: balance user goals and business goals. Sometimes you have to sacrifice user goals to make money, sometimes you'll make more money
Matt: there's no such thing as a completed website, it's never done?
Question for Matt. Can you clarify the considerations for international you mentioned in your presentation?
Matt: US-specific forms ask for state and Zip, but that doesn't work for international addresses.