SiteSuite - Website Design Sydney

Did you build your website for your users?

by Chris Sutton | January 26, 2012

On the surface, the question “Did you build your website for your users?” sounds pretty stupid, but in reality a great many websites are built with search engine optimisation in mind rather than the user experience. We’ve all seen these sites, stuffed to the gills with keywords, ads and other distractions that make it difficult to find what you’re really looking for. Google already looks for keyword spamming, ignores keyword meta data etc and now the latest release is looking at page layout and specifically ad placement in their latest “page layout algorithm improvement”

One of the questions we almost always get asked when we’re taking a brief for a new website development is “how do we build my site for maximum Google ranking”. My advice is always the same (assuming that ranking is important, and sometimes it’s not), plan your site for ease of use and effectiveness for your customers and then consider how the site will be best optimised. It’s absolutely no use at all driving a lot of traffic to your site if the user experience when they get there is so bad they disappear straight away.

It is clear from this latest Google update, and the changes that have been introduced over the last couple of years, that the optimum user experience on a website is one of their key goals. Sites that don’t deliver that user experience can expect their ranking to be reduced. The latest update is focused on excessive ad placement above the fold. As you’ll see from the Google blog, they understand that some ads are always going to be placed above the fold as that’s a prime position, but when the number of ads above the fold makes finding content difficult, then the site will be ranked adversely.

Given Google’s increasing focus on user experience, it seems to be clear that in 2012 we will see more algorithm changes along these lines. So why not look at your website usability now and get ahead of the game.


SiteSuite Website Design - Online Marketing Blog Author Chris Sutton

Co-founder and Managing Director of SiteSuite Australasia, Australian pioneers in web design and ecommerce since 1997. For more from Chris you can follow him on Google+ or Twitter, and for further professional musings and thoughts on his other passions in life,

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