How often do you go online to do a quick search on Google or Bing? 5 times a day? 10? Most of us can’t even count anymore. I definitely know I lost count. It is a reflex action that most online businesses have come to count and depend on. Search engine optimization has been their gateway for many years to be able to get you to click on their site and hopefully become their customer. For the longest time SEO was God and websites did anything and everything to get those rankings. Unfortunately, this has led to some nasty strategies like keyword stuffing, content duplication and doorway passages that are there to trick and annoy you.
Even companies that do not go so far as to use these black hat tactics, have focused so much on having the right amount of keywords and internal links that they completely neglect the actual website user experience. Google has taken this idea to heart and with the release of their Panda algorithm, they have sought to ferret out overuse of SEO techniques and force people to make their websites more organic and focus primarily on a user experience design.
This might seem annoying, but it is actually a push in the right direction for most businesses. In the past, online companies often became frustrated when, even though they were getting so much traffic on their sites from SEO tactics, they weren’t getting any real customers. Just because you’re positioned to get all the traffic that you want, doesn’t mean that any of that will convert to buyers. You have to create themes, add pictures and videos and create a website user experience that will draw them in. If all they see is a several blocks of text in the tradition of old Geocities websites, they might stay for just a moment before going elsewhere. It’s these sites that Google is trying to force out of the top pages.
You need to think of this new strategy to combine SEO with a good user experience as a nice piece of candy. The delicious piece of dark chocolate that is SEO needs to be wrapped in something sleek and shiny like a user experience design rather than toilet paper. Choose fonts and background themes that are pleasing to the eye. Create interactive content that will make viewers want to click further into the site. The more time that they spend on your site directly impacts the likelihood that they will become a customer so take Google’s hint and create a site that everyone will want to visit.