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The Teeter-Totter of SEO and Usability

Posted by Lauren

16 Jun 2011 — No Comments

Posted in SEO, Site Usability

Two children on a teeter totter

Just like playing on a teeter totter, striking a balance makes Web sites happier.

Get Your Site’s Head out of the Clouds
Many companies have gorgeous sites… sites that entice, enthrall, excite and engage you. These sites typically employ lush graphics, Flash animations, very limited copy and a lot of graphic text. While the experience may be satisfying, you have to wonder how many more people could enjoy the experience if they could find the site on search engines.

Get Your Site off the Ground
On the other side of the teeter-totter are sites that are designed for SEO. These sites usually pack search keywords within the site copy (making the copy less than engaging to read), include text-heavy pages with limited supporting graphics and are lacking an intuitive hierarchy across the site architecture – all of which detract from the User Experience. The problem with this approach is that while you may be pulling a lot of people in from the search engines, they probably don’t enjoy the experience when they get there.

Strike the Balance
Obviously, the goal here is to bring the two sides in balance. Finding the right blend of keyword rich copy, headers, page titles and alternate tags, along with attractive HTML-text navigation and intelligent use of graphics and JavaScript modules will allow your site to “play nice” with the search engines, while also making your visitors happy. Because the ultimate goal of a successful Web site is to not only drive traffic to the site, but also provide a positive User experience once they get there – which will ultimately increase the chances of a conversion.

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