I have always found it interesting that Usability Experts and Search Marketers both discount each other's work as not being relevant. Usability focuses on making a site more intuitive for an individual whereas Search Engine Optimization focuses (primarily) on making a site more intuitive for a search engine.
When compared side by side, both focus primarily on organization and retrieval of data. Let's think about this for a second. The algorithms that a typical search engine uses are built based on retrieving results relevant to how an individual would search for them.
Knowing this, it's easier to understand why when a client comes to me expecting a search engine optimization proposal that I have been known to respond with a proposal that contains tactics such as: "A/B testing," or "site analysis." Frankly (and this is where my colleagues in a competing business may get nervous), each business industry should be offering these skill sets as a service to their clients. I have found this knowledge imperative for developing my web strategies, implementations and subsequent testing. A process, that because of this methodology is no longer linear in it's approach.
Still, I know of many Search Engine Marketers (SEM's) that do not know how to read/write HTML. Conversely I can also think of many Designers, Developers and Information Architect's that have never considered a keyword strategy" or the ramifications that AJAX and/or Flash can have on a website.
A Designer may even tell you "We care more about the experience than the ranking that the site has on a search engine." A SEM may try to convince you that "exposure alone drives conversions." Both of these statements are missing the bigger picture.
In closing, a search engine will entice a user to come to a site as a result of proper page indexing. A properly designed and functional website will entice them to stay. When traffic and in turn content is targeted, usage and subsequently conversions will increase.
Labels: A/B Testing, internet marketing, Search Engine Optimization, web marketing, web strategy, Web Usability, Website Analysis
5/26/2009 09:46:00 PM
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