Chris Wowak | 06-09-2011
Does good SEO guarantee a successful website? In one word no. Good search engine optimization helps with website traffic and search engine ranking, but will not keep users on your website or convince them to buy. There are several things about a website that you should take into consideration in addition to SEO. Remember the goal of a website is to get the user to contact you or purchase your product.
First make good use of the Visual Pane. Not familiar with the visual pane? The visual pane is what a user sees when landing on the website without scrolling up or down. Research shows most users want to find the information that they came to your website looking for in the visual pane. That being said, this would be a good place to have a featured product, contact information or any other important piece of information that you think the user is looking for. Some essentials for the visual pane include but are not limited to the call to action statement, navigation, and most importantly contact information. For some users the only reason they are visiting a website is to get the contact information.
As mentioned above a call to action is a critical a part of your website. In fact it is every bit as critical as your contact information. What is a call to action? The call to action is a statement that answers two questions for the user and allows you to guide your user where you want them to go next on your website. First, it should answer the question, why am I here? And second where do I go next? Most research shows that you have less than a three second window to accomplish this and keep the user from backing out of the website and going somewhere else. So if you want to keep users on the website, make sure the call to action statement is the focus of your home page and is about the user and their needs. That being said while you are writing this keep in mind what you want the user to do next while on your website and tailor this message to accomplish that goal.
Finally, user friendliness is essential to keeping users on a website. The longer a user is on the website the better chance of making them a customer. If a user can't navigate the website easily or understand the information on the website they will simply leave the website and go somewhere else. There are a lot of things to consider making a user friendly website. The navigation on the website should be easy to find and understand. If a user gets lost they will simply leave. The content needs to be relevant, brief, and to the point. Be careful here. In today's digital arena most people are numb to selling language and they will skip over it. Keep the content simple and about the user and their needs. This will make the experience more about their needs than your sales. If there is a shopping cart on the website make sure it is an easy process for the user to check out. Most users won't enjoy working hard to spend their money. The best way to test the user friendliness of a website is to sit back and take notes while observing new users to the website navigate the website without helping them. Then you will see where they get stuck and how to improve the user friendliness of the website.
SEO is a very important element of a website. SEO will direct traffic to the website however to be truly successful make sure the website is up to the challenge after the SEO has done its job.
Christopher T Wowak
CEO Last 7 Studios