Likes. Shares. Clicks. Retweets. Reposts. Comments. There are many different ways that Internet users can interact with online properties and content, and web marketers and their clients continuously refer to these interactions when describing the popularity and effectiveness of an online property or piece of content marketing. When browsing through a blog or social media account, one can see specific tallies of these interactions attached to the footer of each post, and we consciously and unconsciously judge the merit and value of content based on how many user-generated actions were generated.
Developed For Human Consumption
However, the one aspect of digital marketing that designers and their clients often overlook and even sometimes ignore is that people – real, living human beings – are powering those interactions, and that all content produced for the Internet should be designed, developed and released specifically for human consumption. When properties and content are designed without a focus on the human beings that produce digital interactions, digital marketing initiatives can fail, often without a readily-apparent reason.
If your digital marketing efforts and initiatives are producing mediocre results, or if your marketing funnel isn’t converting enough visitors, readers and social media users, you may simply need to refocus on the user experience. Are your online properties usable and is your content findable, both within your website and blog and externally to search engines?
The Importance Of Usability
What is website usability? In short, usability refers to the user-friendliness of a website. Do you remember a time when you simply wanted to contact a specific company or organization, only to find an online form that was confusing to use or even broken? Perhaps you wanted a confirmation that your message was received, only to be left in doubt, confused as to whether you should resubmit your request? A website that feels limiting, confusing or outright dysfunctional is the result of a breakdown in usability, and it can also result in a devastating breakdown at the very end of your marketing funnel – after all, spending time and money to attract new visitors to your website, only to have them leave in frustration, can be worse than failing to attract them in the first place.
Yes, You Should Care About Findability And SEO
Have you ever visited a website with a specific purpose in mind, such as locating a specific product in an online catalogue, but quickly exited in frustration once your attempts at finding and using the internal search function proved to be fruitless? Maybe you’ve visited a website in a vain attempt to find a specific event or product update, only to find it nearly impossible to locate a newsfeed or blog? Findability refers to the ease in which pages, components and content can be found within a website, and in the same vein as usability, a lack of findability can result in similar user frustrations and abandonment that can derail your digital marketing initiatives and marketing funnel.
As findability applies to the ease in which users can locate pages, components and content within a website, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the ease in which search engines such as Google or Bing are able to find and index your website, improving your reputation with these services and elevating your standing within search results. SEO can be more opaque than usability or findability, simply because the companies that own search engines often keep their inner workings a secret in order to discourage competitors and marketers who attempt to illegitimately influence search rankings. However, there are reputable techniques, tools and services that websites can utilize to improve their SEO, and the importance of effective SEO techniques that improve your findability within a search engine can’t be overstated.
Creating A More Usable, Findable and Optimized Website
If you believe that your website isn’t as usable or optimized for search engines as it could be, don’t panic! While you may not have the ability to fix these problems yourself, you do have the ability to poke around within your website and test various search queries in order to determine what may be missing, broken or simply wrong about your website. Your efforts don’t need to be exact; in fact simply having a specific feeling that something is wrong can help a web developer fix, redesign or completely rebuild your website, improving its usability, findability and SEO.
If you believe that problems exist with your website, don’t wait! The sooner you address these concerns, the sooner you can optimize your website and convert more of your visitors into clients or customers!