Last September, I attended some usability training courses in New York City offered by the Nielsen Norman Group (www.nngroup.com). I took UX Basic Training, Measuring User Experience, and User Research Methods. In my own experiences, I have found that a site with a poor UX will not do as well in the search engine results. This comes as a result of people not liking the site, and thus not linking to it. This in turn informs the search engines that the site is poor, and thus the search engines drop its rankings in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERP).
- An excellent UX is thus REQUIRED for your website to achieve higher rankings in the SERPs.
In taking these courses I have become UX Certified and may now be addressed as: Shawn Campbell UXC (Ha!). With one more course, I will become a UX Research Specialist (probably next September).
The first course, UX Basic Training, explained UX beyond the website and into everyday life. Problems like a bathroom scale that is too complex to use, or a teapot that drips every time you pour it, these are usability problems that affect the user experience. We learnt which research methods to use and how to analyse the data we acquired. We learnt how to use the data to improve the user experience, and how to make UX an important part of any service or product. With this knowledge, we can now properly evaluate how to measure their usability.
A great take away from this course was to always make sure that your core service was easy to use, and that the peripherals did not interfere with the usability of that core service.
See part 2: User Research Methods & Measuring UX
Shawn attended classes in New York City this week and completed his certification in User Experience. Congrats Shawn!
Click to see the certification details. https://www.redcarpetweb.com/ux.html
I attended a Conference at Google’s Montreal office yesterday. I got an excellent refresher on all the of the advertising opportunities in YouTube and with the Google Display Network. A few things stood out as I learnt about some great new features, some of which are still in the beta stage, and also more about Gmail ads which have been available for about 1 month. Any advertiser can now use Gmail ads to target the user based on keywords or domain names that appear in email messages as well as Google search queries on the Web, sites visited and Google Profile information.
Another interesting feature for display ads and YouTube ads is Brand Lift. Brand Lift uses one question surveys to measure the effectiveness of your ads and how they affect awareness and branding.
Overall it was a conference worth attending and will help me to offer the most appropriate Google ad opportunities to my clients.
See this Infographic comparing a UX designer with a UI designer.
This week Google added mobile friendliness as a factor in search engine ranking. Some of the factors in determining mobile friendliness are the text size, button size and the amount of space between links. A good solution is to have a mobile responsive site which means that as you adjust the screen size the layout changes to accommodate. This avoids having to zoom in and scroll side-to-side when viewing a site on a smaller device. See this site for example: plomberiedaeva.com and drag your window size smaller to see how the page adjusts. Notice that the menu also becomes a drop down menu which is easier to use on mobile.
We have been converting many sites to mobile responsive so that sites are easier to use on mobiles. If your website is not mobile responsive, please contact us to help with this transition.
A Google representative said mobile friendliness was “one of many” factors used by the search engine to rank results. In a blog post the company said it would have “a significant impact”.
You can check this link to see how your site scores for mobile friendliness: google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly. The plumbing site I linked to above scored “Awesome”.
On March 16, 2015 Google announced that they will adjust their algorithm which will strongly impact websites using doorway pages. The explanation behind this change is that Google believes that doorway pages negatively impact a user’s search experience. This is especially true for pages with similar content but only keyword changes or for websites created with the sole purpose to lead traffic to another website.
Landing pages can be set up on a website as a destination page for specific ads or even to bring in traffic from search engines. These two uses must be treated differently especially after this latest algorithm change.
If it is a landing page for ads, there are good reasons for customizing pages that would not be SEO-friendly. For example you might want to create several pages with very similar content except for keywords which match the ads bringing in traffic. The keyword focus would improve your quality score and improve conversions. There is no need to integrate these pages in your site menu or from links on other pages since the landing pages are meant specifically to convert visitors who come in from ads. To avoid penalties to your site you must inform search engine robots not to index these pages. Use either the meta tag <META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW”> or use a separate robots.txt file to tell robots which pages not to index.
Will a NOINDEX also block the AdsBot-Google
Blocking all robots in your meta tag or robots.txt file will not block the AdWords bot unless you explicitly block AdsBot-Google. AdWords will assume that you want the page to be spidered since you put it as a destination for a paid ad. Google Adwords support confirmed this with us with the following email:
“If we are ever unable to crawl a site for any reason, we will manually review the landing page before giving it a quality score. We do not automatically give you a bad quality score if the ads bot is unable to crawl the site.”
If it is a landing page for SEO meaning that you want to attract visitors from regular search results, it must have original, useful content and have links from menus and other pages on the site. Think of it in every way as new content to be properly integrated with your website.
Building doorway pages is a technique that we stopped using many years ago for exactly the reasons mentioned by Google. Ironically, doorway pages are what launched our company in 2000! Building landing pages for Google AdWords campaigns on the other hand is still a very good idea as long as you block search engine robots from pages with duplicate content.
Great article describing the SEO process on a month by month timeline.
Why add Google Street View for your business?
Quite simply, it provides additional visibility for your company on Google Search, Google+ and Google Maps. It invites your potential customers to a virtual sneak peek of your place of business. High resolution, 360 degree images are taken by a professional photographer in your city, at a convenient time for you. You can discuss what your needs are with the photographer and what images you want of the exterior and interior of your establishment. Once approved, the images are posted after only a few weeks and the photo rights belong to your business, not the photographer. Google Street View can also be easily embedded on your website via Google Maps API or HTML. Numerous case studies have demonstrated that Street View has substantially increased foot traffic to businesses. Read more about Google Street View.
Read this convincing article that gives some teeth to the importance of SEO.
Here is a glimpse:
“Leads generated through SEO close at around 14.6 percent while leads from other channels close at an average of 1.7 percent. -HubSpot”
“The #1 organic result gets nearly twice as many clicks as the #2 result. –Chitika/ Search Engine Land”
See the full article here
Authority on the web is one of the building blocks of SEO. Being popular online helps raise your search results just as having high search results helps raise your popularity. Basically you need to be popular… to be popular. Not very useful advice – I know. But how do you break into this circle of privilege? You can actively work on authority building. In fact we will do it for you!
See our authority building service for details.