User experience is a big part of Google’s new search algorithm, Google Panda, released in early 2011. User experience encompasses a vast array of factors such as information architecture, intuitive linking and anchor naming conventions, navigation design, logical keyword targeting, customer centered thinking (as opposed to IT or tech team centered thinking) and much more.
This post highlights 5 quick and easy user experience tips that will improve how visitors interact with your web page.
1. Prioritize the conversion goal. The screenshot below shows The Net Impact (TNI) Event Speakers page. The purpose of this page is to make it easy for website visitors to schedule one of TNI’s event speakers. In a prominent location (top right web page corner), we included contact information for inquiries. This gives priority to the conversion goal of this web page.
2. Horizontal and vertical linking. Both horizontal (child page-child page) and vertical linking (parent page-child page) can optimize user experience on a web page. Make sure to include horizontal linking (as illustrated in the “About” side bar, which facilitates linking to equivalent third-level navigation elements) and vertical linking (as illustrated under each speaker listing that links from the third-level page to a fourth-level page).
3. Make Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and your company blog links top reusable content. These icons should appear on most every web page in a web site – unless there is a compelling reason to exclude them. See TNI’s social media icons, shown in the top right corner of the page.
4. Put videos, images and downloadable content at the top of the page. In most cases, users prefer to interact with videos, pictures and downloadable content when provided. If these media elements make sense for your web page, create them and make sure they display at the top of the page.
5. Entry page link. Links to logical entry pages provide users the ability to navigate back to the parent page. This facilitates further movement through the website and further discovery. Always a plus with Google Panda.