Focusing on Findability to Improve SEO

With great importance placed on SEO, site owners are engaging in a constant stream of optimization tactics that may not be targeting the ideal user. As user experience becomes more and more important, a close relative of Search Engine Optimization – Findability – is seemingly the UX strategy that is often overlooked and rarely seen as an area that should be critically addressed and optimized to make SEO work all the better.

While SEO serves a main purpose in getting a user to the site, many times the search lands the user deep within the content and worse, in the wrong place. Users then must navigate back to find the origination point of the content they are looking for to complete their task, taking them longer than desired.

When a findability strategy is implemented, content is developed from a top-down approach, allowing a user to locate the needed information at any point in a site. Users can be easily directed to information in a variety of ways:

Title Navigation

Navigation is one of the most important parts of findability. It is the true ‘north star’ for a user and helps to build trust, advocacy and build brand knowledge. Every page of content has a message, and the titles must fully represent that message. Ensuring that tiles are representative of the content it leads to is critical.

Simplified Content

While creating content to populate a site isn’t an insurmountable task, creating content that will resonate takes some care and craft. Content should be pared down to the essence of the message in order for the user to understand it quickly and concisely. Including keywords that are SEO friendly is important, however, avoid keyword stuffing as this can work against the optimization strategy.

Calls to Action

Benchmarking specific areas on a site that require additional conversion tactics should be carefully highlighted. Whether moving a user to conversion or additional information, these areas should be well designed via well designed buttons or hyperlinks.

Internal Links

Regardless of the task at hand, users do tend to ‘browse’ sites for more information to to discover something new. Internal links can be of great help to a user in getting them back on track to the information that they came for. Links must be relevant and accurate to ensure usability.

To achieve a truly optimized search engine initiative that will lead to conversion, tapping into a findability strategy is key. Taking a comprehensive design and content approach to this critical aspect of optimization will lead to increased UX and a better overall bottom line.

Vanessa Petersen

As Executive Director of Brand Strategy based in ArtVersion’s Portland office, Vanessa manages both national and West Coast accounts. She brings with her a passion for strategy with extensive experience in creative marketing, brand growth and development. She is a true advocate of storytelling and brand building from the inside out, and her keen knowledge of the marketplace, trend patterns and usability lead her to identify opportunities that can inspire powerful design strategies.

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