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Basic Search Engine Optimization: Usability

May 10th, 2016 by

Usability is key in pleasing both your website visitors and the search engines.

When you’re designing and building a website there are countless things to consider. From color schemes to checkout design, there’s plenty to keep you busy in the run-up to a website launch. It can be easy to forget about search engine optimization when you’re completing your build, but WestHost is on hand to make sure you’ve at least got the basics covered.

We recently penned a blog article about the importance of keywords to your site, and how they should blend seamlessly into your well crafted content to be sure your site is attracting the right visitors. If you’d like to find out more about how you can optimize your website’s keywords to please the search engines, then you can do so here.

In this article we’ll be focusing on usability; that is, how easily your customers interact with your site. There are several factors within usability that could hit a nerve with Google, Bing, Yahoo etc, making it an important influencer on your site’s design.

So what is usability?

Usability is pretty self-explanatory: it’s the way your customers “use” your website, and how well you make this process as simple as possible. From displaying your products clearly and pricing them accordingly, to making the checkout and purchase journey as simple and easy as possible, usability measures how well you cater to your customers’ online needs.

What does usability have to do with search engine optimization?

Google and other search engines design their algorithms to favor sites that create a user experience that will make the customer’s online journey as hassle-free as possible. The search engines crawl your website, ranking it according to how well it will please an online customer or visitor; the number of steps your customer has to take to make a purchase, for example, will affect your site ranking in some way.

How can I optimize my website to rank highly with search engines?

Designing your site with usability in mind really isn’t difficult, you simply have to put yourself in the shoes of your customer. Everyone who is shopping online expects a speedy website, clear points of purchase on every web page and a simplified, user-friendly checkout process. Don’t add in extra unnecessary steps to your checkout; make sure your customer can make a purchase from any web page and that your products are priced and displayed clearly. Speeding up your website can be done behind the scenes.

As we’ve been hosting websites for over 15 years, here at WestHost we know what bogs down your site’s speed. Cleaning up your customer journey will keep your sitemap size and complexity down, which means there’s less for your site visitors to download when they access your site. Investing in your web hosting package is also essential to boost usability and search engine ranking, if you want your site to be reliable – even during periods of high traffic – you should be investing in a dedicated hosting solution.

Find out more about how a dedicated server could boost your website in this blog article, and check out WestHost’s dedicated server offering by clicking here.

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