The question that everyone in the online industry has is how to rank number one in the search engines? Every single person with a website knows something about SEO, and some people pay great amounts of money for people like me to do SEO for their site. The fact is that not every website can be numero uno in the search engines. The reason why? Simple, not all websites deserve to be number one, the first thing a website needs in order to rank well in the search engines is quality content, basically, a website worthy of traffic.
A website that is currently number one in a certain field is not there just because of SEO, it is there because it has something of value to offer. If that wasn’t a fact than the site wouldn’t be number one for a long time and the most important thing is that such website can never keep onto its visitors, and that is what we all want. Ranking high in search engines is just a means to an end, end being plenty of visitors.
The basic idea behind getting and keeping a large number of visitors to your website is usability. Usability is the simplicity of your website, easier to use, but at the same time attractive, website will always be in front of the competition. The idea is to make your site user friendly, providing the best experience for your visitors through the following:
- Organization and informational architecture is number one. The more your website is arranged by hierarchy the easier is for your visitors to find information they are looking for. The hierarchy on your website needs to be intuitive and simple, a complex hierarchy will only confuse a user and it will make it hard for the visitor to find what he is looking for, which is a big minus for you and your website.
- Although some will argue that design is one of the last things you need to attend to I will strongly disagree. The layout and graphical elements of a website are directly related to the usability of a website. Visibility and contrast of the website, along with fonts and colors directly influence how usable the site is. No one wants to go blind trying to read the letter on your page. If you put your navigation and advertisement on your website in the same place it will look unprofessional. Separating important aspects of a page is crucial for visitors to understand the content of the page. The basic rule of website design is to make all of the important elements of the website, like logo, menu, layout and colors, the same throughout the entire website. Consistency is always a good thing and users like that. Just imagine how hard it would be for a visitor to navigate through your website if the navigation was different on every page!
- A very significant, in fact critical part of the website usability is navigation. Good navigation needs to guide users through both top and deep level pages with ease. You have to realize that navigation is the primary function of a website, without it no one can access your site’s content, so you should realize how important a good and easy to use navigation really is.
- Another thing you need to keep in mind is the functionality of your site and optimization for multiple browser platforms. You have to make sure that every script, every anchor link works, nothing should be broken as that represent a minus for both visitors and search engines. You have to make sure that your site is visible in every popular browser, Firefox, Opera, Internet explorer and Google Chrome, that way everyone can have a great experience when visiting your website.
- The last, but one of the most important things of the site’s usability, is your content. We mentioned that content is king and that without quality content you can never get and keep the number one spot in search engines. But people tend to forget that content also needs to be usable and that is often overlooked. What do I mean by usability of the content, well it’s simple, the headline, subheadings, accuracy and quality of the content all make the content easy to read and easy to navigate through making it more likely for visitors to like your website and come again and also to gain links back to your website. No one wants to neither read nor link to a website whose content is hard to go through and one that can’t be understood.
Creating a solid usability is basically providing easy access and comfortable experience for your visitors. If you succeed in this task you will gain higher conversion rates, more links from other websites, and a great relation with your visitors that will gladly come back to your website. I know people are coming back to Practical SEO over and over again, and the reason for that is because I fulfilled all of the things mentioned in this article. Another thing that keeps visitors coming back is that I always promise something new and I always deliver, so keep tuned for the next part in the SEO basics titled High Quality Content, You Must Have It.
About The Author
Zarko Zivkovic is the founder and CEO of Practical SEO and also a passionate blogger. All of his free time he dedicates to his Practical SEO blog and giving free advice as well as participating in the blogging community.
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