ReelSEO's Contributing Guest Reporter Erika Blackwell continues her coverage of the Search Engine Strategies Chicago 2008 conference, and asks the Usability and SEO Panel – What usability tip do they recommend to clients when it comes to featuring video on their website? The panel's reply: Include transcriptions and captions; plus include a "click here to read [keyword title]" SEO-friendly link of both the video and audio-only file. The following notes are not specific to website video content, but can provide helpful supplementary information with laying out your website's visual design and site architecture that may include video.
Matt Bailey, President, Site Logic
- Most people scan websites – in particular the headings, subheadings, bullet points and paragraph headers. Layout, typography, font size and color schemes are all very important and raise the credibility and integrity of the website.
- Good examples – ThinkGeek.com and Wine.com, CNET.com and John Deere are all examples of well laid out sites.
- Bad example – Cross.com is not as well laid out, visually.
- Five to seven links should be max for any group of links.
- Too much of the color red on a website is not good; red doesn't read very well.
Kathleen Fealy, President, KF Multimedia & Web, Inc.
- Persona development. Know your targeted user. Develop a persona – a composite of one of your visitors.
- Navigation should come from task analysis.
- Use persuasion, emotion and trust for conversion. (Conversion is how a visitor uses your site.) Example: Catch a Lobster's website calls on the emotions of catching a lobster for conversion.
- Make clear calls to action – a 'scent' (of information).
- The elements of a persona include the demographics, what the visitor wants to do and what the visitor needs to do…
Kimberly Krause Berg, Owner, UsabilityEffect.com
- Every home page must have a value proposition.
- Create user personas.
- Creating validation entails answering – Who is your company? Who are you targeting? This should be clear on every page of the website.
- Often overlooked but simple information for customers…Where is the company located? If you are selling products, you definitely need a physical address.
Jordan Kasteler, Senior SEO Analyst, Overstock.com
- Forms: Split up long forms – creating a task for each. State fields when required. Keep error messages listed at the top of the form – keep them clear. Use ajax or jQuery to provide real-time error messages. Set focus for forms.
- Copyblogger has a good newsletter location at the top left of their page.
- Do A/B (Multivariate) Split testing of web site pages (i.e., same landing page but a number of versions with different design and copy elements), so you can test out what your audience responds best to.
Randy Pickard, VP Product Innovation, User CentricC
- The home page is the most important to optimize for usability
- Keywords in headlines, keyword density.
- Three directory levels is what you want to shoot for.
- Meta title tags with google are now limited to 66 characters. (How your title tags and meta descriptions are displayed in Google results is important for usability, especially so they read properly and are not cut off at a confusing point for the searcher.)
- Bruce Clay is a very good site.
Erika Blackwell is the Founder/Owner at http://www.VideoSellsYourBiz.com, a licensed affiliate providing video communication tools including video email, live broadcasting, video conferencing, and video podcasting for small business owners everywhere.