A warm memory of my childhood is reciting movie lines with my family. We could pick up every line in a movie scene after one viewing. We would recite the lines in our everyday conversations and the others would respond with the next line or name the movie or repeat the line. The laughter would get even louder when no one could remember the movie name and no, we were not allowed to look up the lines to find the movie title. Sometimes, we broke that rule when we could not stand not-knowing. We were not the only people looking up movie information at any time.
We are among billions of people who search for specific information at any given time on any day. If we used our mobile browsers to look up movies titles, we were among 52% of people internet browsing on mobile devices. All the while, search engine optimization programs were working to spit out the correct movie to their corresponding lines.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization, SEO, is an integral part in website findability, usability, and user experiences. SEO is the process of defining certain key factors in your website, so they are prominent for internet bots to pick up on and file away for search engine result pages.
SEOs are a way for web designers to put their website within their targets audience’s direct field of vision. When we talk about an audience’s vision, the field is made up of search engines results.
An audience member will type into a search engine looking for specific information, the search engine will generate answers based on SEO’s ranking, categorizing, and indexing of website pages.
How it works
A website is created, and the domain is registered. In order for this website to reach its audience, it must be crawled upon by internet robots. These bots gather the most important information from the site, its main points and purpose, based on countless ranking factors. Once the information is gathered, its files are saved to that SEO’s index. Finally, the search engine delves into this index to generate search engine results which will include the new website.
How the new website will rise through the ranks of the results depends on the sites crawlability, structure, keywords, and backlinks. The website must be available for bots to crawl through. The structure should highlight to most important information at the top of the information architecture. The keywords can be used as meta tags and should correlate with the site’s main purpose. Backlinks provide a level of ethos for your site, so the internet knows the information is safe.
SEOs change and balance over time
Like everything else, SEO’s are not immune to the everchanging technological horizon that has develop over the last twenty years; and continues to develop as you read this. SEO recent history can help us better understand where the future of SEO’s is going.
In the last two years, we have seen a decline in organic search engine results, results that are outside the realm of paid space or corruption, and an incline in paid and no-click searches. No-click searches are recorded searches where the user has not clicked on any of the search result links. This is a harmful uptick to SEOs because we see the results not being used. While they are not being used, their value decreases.
In order to mend the damage done, web designers and businesses can work together to better meet what the audience is searching for. Businesses can increase their findability, even during a decline in search engine usage, by expanding their brand and specifying their keywords to those their audience are looking for.
Moving forward in this time of SEO uncertainty, search engines must keep up with the fast paced change of our modern world. Websites can keep pace by updating their key words to reflect modern vernacular and adapting to new technology. When the websites are updated, SEOs have the content to stay up-to-date as well.
What comes first, findability or usability?
The internet has exponentially expanded over the last 20 years. However, one cannot use what one cannot find. Businesses, brands, products get lost within the ample amount of information kept on the internet, before they are discovered. Some of this loss can be attributed to the lack of findability of a site. Some of the loss can be reversed by an SEO program.
The SEO algorithm allows for a website to stand out enough to get noticed by its audience. Findability is the first step in the user experience.
The user experience is further by the usability of a site. If the site begins to gain traction, usability becomes the next step in the user experience. Once the site is findable, the audience needs to be convinced to stay. The site needs to be usable to develop consistent traffic to succeed. The usability of the sites structure and content can support its wider purpose on the web.
SEO and Design
In order for a site to fulfill its general purpose, it must be investigated by a SEO algorithm. In order for an SEO to use a website, the design must be SEO friendly. That is to say, a factor of design decision making should take SEO bots and ranking into account.
The design of a website has an impact on what the crawling bots can read. The main points of the site should be introduced in the forefront of the websites structure and design. Important information given upfront is important because it will be easier for the bots to retrieve.
4 SEO Design Tips
The design is also impacted by other SEO actors. According to Forbes, there are 4 design concepts that consider search engine optimization simultaneously.
- Usability is important to the user and the bots. Poor usability will result in lesser traffic and therefore a lesser chance of the website succeeding.
- Discoverability is important in order to reach the appropriate audience and the bots. If the site is unreachable; it will not succeed.
- The content needs to reflect the rhetorical situation of every page. The purpose and audience of the page should be clearly defined before the design process begins. The main points of the content should be easy for the bots to recognize and easy for the user to understand.
- While re-designing a website, SEO should always be used to lessen the chance of mistakes being made. To do this, crawl the website yourself and see what can be deleted, what can be reworked and what is necessary to stay for the main purpose of the site and the SEO.
The design of the site should, in part, be designed to account for the SEO. SEO factors should be considered in the early stages of the design process.
SEOs Moving Forward
Due to the development of the internet, concepts like SEO needed to be created. We can learn from where SEOs have taken us thus far. The history of the SEO concept guides its path as the internet expands further.
Within the everchanging internet-scape, it is important to be able to find websites. The design of a website should consider how the website will be found. Once the findability of a website is stable; the usability of the website should be established. The usability should be created with the audience and bots in mind. It needs to reflect an impressive interface all users, computerized or not. SEOs can help any designer or business with reaching its audience and creating an internet presence. Those who do not use SEO will be searching for help themselves.