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The Pursuit of User “Happyness”

By Rishi Khanna

In his recent article, Columnist Eric Enge shared how user experience is so important that it can even have an impact on search engine rankings. While user experience is typically seen as something that awes the user, there are factors like content quality and engagement that also attribute to it. And search engines have started measuring websites on such parameters.

“It is quite probable to have engaging and informative content to have a better ranking than one, which is quite keyword-centric.”

But wouldn’t user engagement differ for different users? How can the reaction, satisfaction and delight of users be measured?

 

Give a good user experience with a focus on quality

If you have duplicate, inadequate, cluttered or salesy content on your websites, the users will clearly not get what they are looking for. You have to be really careful about plagiarism as Google will penalize the website if the content is not original.

Like in the example below, the banner is a desperate attempt in making a sale without giving any reason to the user to click it. From a user’s perspective, always answer the question ‘what’s in it for me’? Cater to all needs

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When a search engine performs content analysis of designs (like the one above), it ranks it as substandard and something that is definitely not meant to give an enhanced user experience. People come to your website either looking for information or to make a transaction (they might be planning for a future transaction). You have to address all the needs rather than only trying to push them to make a transaction. The content should provide enough drivers to plan/pursuit a transaction.

Every page of the website should be easily accessible. The menus and sub-menus have to be intelligently structured with an easily recognizable contact page.

 

Design

It works to be simple. You have to use images that are static, simple and yet emphatic. The images should be able to say a lot about your brand identity. Also to make your website responsive, you need to consider grid based layouts.

The placement of a graphical navigation button is important when robots crawl the website. If the button is part of an image then most likely, the robots will not crawl images. The alt tag will be crawled in such a case thus impacting the ranking of the website.

 

Speed

Focus a lot on giving a high speed website to your users. Some of the ways you can do that is with a caching plugin. It works efficiently to help you discard old drafts/archives and images. Another recommendation that you must follow is to reduce the size of large images by compressing them.

For better SEO results in a long term, engaging and making a user happy with some of the areas covered above are critical and the effort has to be consistent.

 

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