Home Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Boost Your SEO - 5 Usability Principles That Make Visitors Stay

Boost Your SEO – 5 Usability Principles That Make Visitors Stay

Does your website allow visitors to stay around?

If not, it’s not only losing your clients – it’s also potentially destroying your site SEO (search engine optimization).

User experience has always been an important part of SEO… but it’s becoming more and more important. After all, Google (and other search engines) aims to deliver content that fits the customers ’ needs. For instance, the RankBrain algorithm uses AI to understand the meaning behind a user’s search, so that Google can produce the most appropriate results.

Effective usability makes it easy for visitors to do what they want to do (e.g. find and buy a product) … to increase your bottom line and potentially give your SEO a very useful boost.

Read Also: Top 5 Ways To Capture Your Customer

Here are 5 major usable concepts to consider when designing your digital marketing strategy:

1. Don’t Make Me Think

Steve Krug is a leading usability expert who has been consulted on both Apple and Bloomberg. His first usability rule is “Don’t Make Me Think” (which is also the title of his book). It’s not “nothing important should ever be more than two clicks away” or “speak the language of the user” or “be consistent.” It’s a lot more basic than that.

Many of your visitors are going to be worried. They’re not completely focused on your site: they’re worried about what to cook for dinner, or about the next item on their to-do list. You need to make it very simple for them to take the action they want to take: don’t make them hunt through a menu or sidebar to connect the dots.


Check your website to ensure that you have a great user experience. Don’t make assumptions about what the ‘ordinary user’ would want: there’s no such thing.

2. The “Needs Met” Test

Does your website fulfill the needs of users? (This generally means that it is strongly relevant to their query and addresses their question or lets them do what they set out to do.)

Google has a specific rating scale for this, which focuses especially on mobile phone users … so it’s important that you make sure that your site is optimized for them in particular. If your site does not satisfy the needs of the user (i.e. if they are likely to return to the search results to check other pages instead), then you would not rank very high on this scale.


With usability, it’s easy to end up concentrating on how your site performs for desktop users (as you’re likely to do all your testing and tuning on your computer). App usability is important, however, and Google’s emphasis on this when discussing “user needs” illustrates their wider shift toward mobile-first indexing.

Read Also: How Small Businesses Can Use Visual Search Engine To Boost Sales

3: The Grunt Test

If you showed a caveman your website, will they be able to “grunt” what your site is all about from the homepage?

This is a simple test created by Donald Miller, the creator of StoryBrand. It takes less than a minute and requires just three questions.

First, expose your website to someone (who has never seen it before) for five seconds, then close your laptop.

Then ask them the following three questions:

  • What does my company have to offer?
  • How is this going to make your life better?
  • What do you need to do to buy (or get started)?


Will users do what they need to do within five seconds of their arrival on your website? If they don’t, they’ll click the back button.

4. The “KISS” Principle

Good design is also a basic design. You don’t need to have a complicated and flashy site to impress.

The acronym “KISS” means “Keep it Simple, Stupid” (or, if you prefer, “Keep it Short and Simple”). It means that your site needs to be easy to understand. This could include details like:


Make the website as clear and easy to use as possible. If you have two choices on how to do something, choose the easiest one. For example, having a single field for ‘username’ on your sign-up form is better than having three fields for ‘first name,’ ‘last name,’ and ’email.’

Read Also: Why Landing Pages Are Critical To Your Campaign Success

5: The Rule “Users Don’t Read Webpages”

Few users would even be able to read a single page on your site. Instead, they are going to scan for what they need.

Designers and usability experts have known this for a very long time: back in 1997, Jakob Nielson’s famous study found that “79 percent of our test users always scanned any new page they came across; only 16 percent read word-by-word” and more recent research found the same thing, even for content like blog posts, that you would expect people to read in-depth.


To get people to take more of your content, make it easy to scan: that means using subheadings, bold text, and a lot of white space. You may also want to monitor which sections of your pages users are reading using heat mapping software.

Usability is crucial to the success of your platform, and by implementing these five concepts, you are going to ensure that visitors can quickly see what you are doing, know that they are in the right place to get what they want or need and take reasonable action on the basis of… such as buying from you.


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