A proposed synergistic framework for website visibility & website usability.
Kritzinger, W. & Weideman, M.
Poster in Proceedings of the 10th annual Conference on WWW Applications. 3-5 September. Cape Town, South Africa.
Kritzinger, W. & Weideman, M. 2008. A proposed synergistic framework for website visibility & website usability. Poster in Proceedings of the 10th annual Conference on WWW Applications. 3-5 September. Cape Town, South Africa. Online: http://web-visibility.co.za/website-visibility-digital-library-seo/
Search engine (website) visibility is defined as how easy (or hard) it is for search engines to find and crawl a webpage. Furthermore, the process of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an attempt to improve this visibility. However, SEO focuses only on the needs of the search engine and not on the user. In contrast, website usability in general refers to the efficiency with which a customer can perform his/her task with the product (in this case the webpage), and their overall satisfaction with that process. In contrast to website visibility, website usability generally only focuses on the needs of the user.
The methods employed in this project include a full literature review on website visibility and usability, as well as an evaluation of the Visser model (visibility). Previous empirical research has shown that the implementation of the Visser model had a positive effect on a website's ranking with search engines. From the literature a usability framework was devised with similar categories as the Visser model, namely: Essentials, Extras, Cautions and Dangers.
It is proposed that any website design should include constant reference to and implementation of this dual-strategy framework. It could be necessary to vary the emphasis between the worlds of visibility and usability, depending on the intended audience, the purpose of the website and the preferences of the website owner.
In most cases it can be assumed that in case of a contradiction in specifications, usability should receive preference above visibility. All websites must be easy to use, but not all have to be visible.
- Kritzinger, WT, Weideman, M & Visser, EB. 2007. Search Engine ranking profile maintenance - a case study. The 9th annual Conference on WWW Aplications, 4 - 7 September, Johannesburg, South Africa.
- Nielsen, J & Tahir, M. 2002. Homepage usability: 50 Websites deconstructed. USA:New Riders Publishing
- Visser, E.B. 2007 The effect of search engine optimization elements on website visibility: The Western Cape real estate SMME sector. Unpublished MTech thesis, Cape Peninsula University of Technology Cape Town.