SEO Beginners - Know Usability
A number of years ago, the National Cancer Institute, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, worked with a number of treatment providers, and noticed that the quality of the websites they worked with varied considerably. That was the impetus behind the website usability.org
- to help provide the usability guidelines they developed for those treatment providers to use, and then the world itself when they recognized how helpful the guidelines could be to others as well.
The Guidelines are evidence based, which means that every single one of them points to a number of additional resources that you can check out to find out more about specific guidelines.
As you do SEO for a website, it's good to know that some of the things you are doing can also do things such as improve the usability of a website as well, and for that reason it is really good to spend time with a site such as usability.gov
to learn about the guidelines they've created. Here's an example of one:
7:3 Use a Clickable 'List of Contents' on Long Pageshttp://guidelines.usability.gov/guidelines/69
There are other sites that focus upon usability as well, and making them part of your continuing education by following new articles and blog posts as they are written can broaden your knowledge and be useful in your everyday efforts. Here are a couple:
User Interface Engineeringhttp://www.uie.com/
Content Marketing Sustains the Conversationhttp://www.uie.com/articles/content_marketing/
Nielsen Norman Grouphttp://www.nngroup.com/
Infinite Scrolling Is Not for Every Websitehttp://www.nngroup.com/articles/infinite-scrolling/
While the focus of audits and recommendations that I provide to clients tends to be upon SEO, some suggestions on usability are often appreciated as well, especially if you can also provide some resources that back up your suggestions as well. By helping clients improve their visibility on the Web and in search engines is a strong part of SEO, helping to improve the quality of their sites so that people stay once they've arrived on a site is just as important. By learning the lessons you can from usability, you become a more rounded, and better consultant.