Usability and SEO: A Holistic Approach

By Jennifer Knodler

As a usability expert with over 10 years of industry experience working on UI designs and helping large fortune 500 companies test their websites for their customer experience, I recently became intrigued if there exists the practice of combining both usability and SEO expertise to arrive at the optimal site. In simple terms, usability is the art of optimizing the ease of use of a site. By ease of use I mean that you can do what you intended to do on a site, without saying “WHAAAAT, phew this awful…later!” We all have experienced this feeling of helplessness. By SEO, I mean search engine optimization - or making your site easy to find on the web. Come on folks, unless you are a big retailer or an already known entity -- you probably are spending way too much on AdWords or other online marketing means. I know this is the case with one of my most recent customers, Praxtel Telecommunications, a telecommunications retailer focusing on fiber optics cables, patch cords, connectors and enclosures.

Hence, I’m putting together this blog to document the process of optimizing a site for both user experience and SEO. For the next few weeks, I’ll update my progress and show you how such a domain, which we will label Holistic UE/SEO, is doable for retailers. As a special added bonus, I’ll try to document if there exists differences for multi-lingual sites as the case site I will be using is in English and Spanish.

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