Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

Usability and SEO. Which comes First?

Eric Enge wrote recently on the Search Engine Watch web site about the strong relationship between usability and SEO. He wrote, “First, you have to start with the knowledge that the business of the search engines is enhanced by having the most relevant results in their index (the ones that do in fact answer the user’s question quickly), and this means that usability matters to them. Therefore it is in their strategic interest to develop an understanding of a site’s usability.” Of course, it’s clear that if the search engines have an “understanding” of a web site’s usability, that will be factored into their ranking algorithm.

The bottom line: usability comes first. SEO comes second. At Rank Magic, our advice to clients is to never let SEO considerations compromise the usability of your web site or the effective marketing message it conveys. Even if you achieve wonderful search engine rankings, if you’ve hurt the usability of your web site you’re conversion rate will drop as your web site turns visitors off and they go elsewhere.

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