SEO Industry Directs Attention to Usability

Bruce Clay Inc. hosted a Twitter Chat, #SEOChat, called “The UX Force Awakens”, where Cre8asiteforums founder and administrator, Kim Krause Berg, was invited by Bruce Clay moderators.

We were also delighted to have Kim Krause Berg — the veritable UX whisperer — join us for the chat.

— Source: What Is UX? Who Owns User Experience Optimization? What You Need to Know About SEO & User Satisfaction from #SEOchat

At long last, online marketers are taking user experience seriously and more importantly, are interested in understanding what, exactly, usability is.

Cre8asiteforums, launched in 1998, is the first forums for search engine marketers, website owners, and web developers to host a usability forum. It’s founder, Kim Krause Berg, already established as an SEO, crossed the bridge to usability and accessibility in 2000. At that time, and for the next decade, the number of SEO’s wanting usability site audits for their clients could be counted on one hand, from around the globe.

Today, there are two hands worth.
Just kidding.

Three hands.

Usability is referred to by some internet marketers as “conversions”, or “customer experience”, thus ignoring what usability is. The result? Websites that fail to perform will also fail to convert.

“I was pleased to see that many SEOs place a high value on user experience for all devices, and that they understood why … I’m thrilled that Bruce Clay, Inc. is educating people on UX,” Berg said post-chat. “UX is HUGE … it includes empathy for every human, using every device and every software application and every search engine wanting to provide what humans want, in every environment, with an understanding of the limitations of age, bandwidth, Internet availability, use cases and business requirements specific to one’s business or web page intent.”

Do SEO’s Understand UX?

Screenshot from article on SEOChatDo you? Here is a transcript of the entire discussion, Summary: The UX Force Awakens on #SEOchat.

Cre8asiteforums Thread – #seochat Twitter Discussion With Bruce Clay On Usability

10 Free Must-Have Design, Video, Email, Accessibility Tools and Plug-Ins

The best  web development and Internet tools are easy to use, save us time, provide valuable information in terms we understand and free. Here are some favorites:

1. Web Developer Extension for Chrome is a must-have.

2. Google Page Speed Insights

3. WP Accessibility . WP Accessibility provides fixes for common accessibility issues in your WordPress site. Learn more about the importance of WP Accessibility from its developer.

4. WP Post Styling. This plugin provides a custom field on your WordPress interface where you can add custom styles to be applied only on that page or post. Useful for being able to publish articles with a unique look.

5. Http Status Code Checker. Here are more free webmaster tools.

6. Cre8asiteforms Web Page Size Lookup

7. Create your own Favicon with the Cre8asiteforums Favicon Tool

8. Mobile emulator tool by Keynote MITE. This robust, free tool provides access to hundreds (free), thousands (enterprise) mobile devices for performance testing.

9. The free Color Contrast Comparison is a strong favorite for checking color contrasts during web design.

10. This one is three bonus recommendations.

PakWired’s 3 UX Design Tips Startups Can Implement Today

I like to use the same concept throughout my designs: display what you need to display, don’t leave out anything important, focus attention on places you want your users to be drawn to, without spamming them with ads and “buy” buttons.

3 of Deborah’s Favorite Obscure {but valuable!} Free Video Resources

For those of us in the video industry, finding resources can be addicting. I love tools. I love ebooks. I shouldn’t tell you this, but basically if it has the word “Video” in it, I’m pulling out the credit card. In my quest, I always welcome freebies, as well. Today I’m going to share three resources, two of which do not have nearly the buzz they deserve, when compared to the value of their resources.

and

Smarter Outreach: 3 Tools to See Who’s Behind Each Email

Today’s social networking world is overwhelming: You meet people online, talk to them, lose them for a month or two, then find them again. There should be better ways to keep up than trying to remember everything!

I Can Prove Your Web Site is Not Converting (Said the Invisible UX Fairy)

This has been my mantra for a long time and I feel like I am a tiny little fairy with a whisper of a voice screaming into flowers with huge egos who think usability testing is not important.

fairyPeriodically, I seem to go on a wild tear about the value of a working website.  It appears to be a foreign concept or at least one not worthy of investing in.

The other day my husband was trying to enter information into a website.  I could hear him grunting and sighing and then he said, “Don’t let my wife see this site”, before continuing on with his task.  The brand new site was built to work in only one browser – one we do not use.  I was unable to stomach this, which is why he was doing this annoying task.

I am a tolerant person with a forgiving nature – when it comes to people.  When the thing I have to deal with is a website, however, I suddenly channel one of those people like you see on the stage of the Jerry Springer TV Show.

In fact, here are my episodes: (Based on this month’s TV show topics.)

You Can’t Make Me Click You

Penalized, Ugly Design and Dumped

Future Episode Ideas:

Do you want to confront the usability analyst who failed your web site?

Are you in an SEO/Usability/Social Media love triangle?

Is it your fantasy to have a web site that sucks?

Featured Show

I’m Psychic and Your Web Site Doesn’t Convert – Kim says that she’s positive her client, Website From Mars, is ignoring  her usability recommendations. How can she be so sure? She’s a third-generation psychic and she’s seen visions of….

In all seriousness, I have a friend who does long distance healing and messaged me on Facebook a few days ago to tell me that I am not smiling inside.

Jerry springer titles

Why would you not trust me to conduct usability audits for your web site? What could possibly be more crazy than hiring someone with a dozen years of usability testing experience, topped by two decades in the search engine marketing industry doing stuff like speaking at conferences on web site conversions and who teaches usability at the Search Engine College.

As one Cre8asiteforums member put it, while addressing my questions about being the invisible usability fairy,

You have to be tough…and you have to be persistent and smart and you have to let rejection roll off you like water off a duck.

If you want to participate in the recent discussions on usability, testing, conversions and what it means to get a usability audit, here are some of the great links to check out:

Questions On Usability, Conversions, Persuasive Design

Why Do Companies Invest In Marketing Rather Than Web Design?

Drunk Usability Video

When To Request a Web Site Usability Audit

You Have to See This: The Secret To Search Engines and Internet Marketing


Photo credit – Dark Fairy

Web Sites Are Like Cars

Owning a website is like owning a car.  Everything is fine until the engine light goes on.  Today’s automobiles even have computers that tell you what is going wrong. So do websites.

Statistics are Your Engine Light

Service CenterPerhaps the recent events happening with the stars, planets and moon, but lately it seems as though everyone is facing mechanical issues with their websites.  For example, what happens when bots start hammering your website, causing it to overheat in the server?

For Jonbey: A Not So Simple Guide To Blocking Bots

This guide came out when I started asking for help with a pesky bot driving one of my websites crazy, causing the host to automatically send me alarms.  Several things were happening here, such as me not knowing how to find what was causing the problem and not knowing how to fix it.  I wasn’t alone.  So Cre8asiteforums Site Administrator, “iamlost”, wrote a guide, when Moderator “jonbey” recommended one would be helpful.

The real problem is that most webdevs are hosting on shared servers without control of necessary hardware, software, and functions. And that said hosts do a excrementally poor job on your behalf. What you should be able to do, and which should have a noticeable effect.

When my host contact me, it was about a Huge Number Of Executions Of Wp-Cron.php. One particular bot from ahrefs was stressing out the server, hammering at one of my websites.  This was even more of a concern since that particular website is not used actively and sits in the garage, waiting for a nice leisurely Sunday drive.

Member, Joe Dolson, explained more:

wp-cron.php is used to run all scheduled tasks in WordPress: automatically publishing posts, running backups, checking for core, plugin, and theme updates, etc. All of these are run through wp-cron.php. wp-cron.php is executed every time your site is visited and there’s a scheduled task that needs to be completed. In normal use, that’s rarely more than a dozen jobs a day, although it will increase for highly active publishing sites, obviously.

To see what’s currently scheduled in cron, install the plug-in “Cron View” (https://wordpress.or…gins/cron-view/), which will give you a view of everything currently scheduled in WP cron.

Do It Yourself Mechanic

When you are not a Do-it-yourself site owner, depending on others to maintain your website can be frustrating. The more you can learn about taking care of your website, the less expensive it is and more satisfying.

If you want help, Cre8asiteforums members are extremely helpful and wise.

Is your website slowing down? Losing its mojo? Try A Question On Declining Search Traffic

Are you worried about duplicate content? Rel=Canonical Makes Hundreds Of Links In Wmt

I thought it was OK to use the same article on multiple sites but the way that the links are being transferred looks risky.

It certainly never hurts to get an expert mechanic to help you with your website. However, forums are great places to learn enough to save you money, time, feel independent and love your website even more.

Let’s No-Follow Google, Shall We?

Google has generated such a negative reputation that it is called “G#######” inside the forums by angry Cre8asiteforums members.

You know nothing GooglePenalizing MyBlogGuest, which is a “good person’s intent” website and not evil, is for many people, the last straw. When Matt Cutts shared his rant, The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO, he upset millions of guest contributors and blog owners.

Cutts wrote:

Back in the day, guest blogging used to be a respectable thing, much like getting a coveted, respected author to write the introduction of your book. It’s not that way any more.

Wrong.

To the Google Spam Protection Squad, it may appear as though all guest posts are spam, but to those of us who take our guest writing seriously, pour over research, gather our facts and struggle over every comma and period, this was unkind and untrue. And unfair.

Cutts wrote:

In general I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well. Likewise, I wouldn’t recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a linkbuilding strategy.

Wrong again.

Woman bending backwardsThis thinking is the same practice as a teacher who punishes the entire classroom for the act of one bad student. I’ve never respected those teachers and lost respect for Google even more than I already have.

I recently put up a website for my high school. It is entirely guest post driven, by students who have stories to share about life, growing up, high school memories, or anything they want to share. I don’t promote it. I don’t optimize it much. I don’t ask for links to it. Its readership comes from our high school classmates Facebook, where the idea to share our stories originated.

No spam. I monitor the comments. There are no “no-follow” links in it. Its intent is to share stories among old friends and classmates from a small country high school. We can vouch for each other but I doubt that matters much to Google.  We clearly must be up to something rotten.

Cutts softened up a bit later:

I’m also not talking about multi-author blogs. High-quality multi-author blogs like Boing Boing have been around since the beginning of the web, and they can be compelling, wonderful, and useful.

And then MyBlogGuest was shot.

Eric Enge wrote Is Link Building Dead?, which describes the latest head games.

Here are some of the lessons we need to learn:
1. Intent is Not What Matters: It is only the results that matter. Ann Smarty (the owner of MyBlogGuest) did not design her service to support spammy behavior, but it appears that much of that resulted, and this was exacerbated by the No NoFollow policy. To Google, this ended up supporting bad link building practices by others. So regardless of Ann Smarty’s intent, Google did not like it, and they acted.

If you own a website and are unable to control the actions of others, you risk receiving a Google penalty.

As Barry Welford wrote in one of the discussions covering this latest hoopla,

Does Google expect the whole world to change its practices in order that the Google PageRank-based algorithm should continue to function. It’s ludicrous. I think Matt is rattling sabers here.

What are Cre8tive Members feeling about all this?

Matt Cutts Warning: Guest Blogging Is Done

Googles New Unnatural Links Messages For Myblogguest And Other Networks

The Only Safe Seo Method?