• AEO,  Search engine industry,  Usability

    Adding Relevancy to Your AEO for SEO Strategy

    AEO is one of the latest buzzwords used by digital marketers focused on search engine rank. Answer Engine Optimization (AEO) brings SEO one step closer to usability and accessibility territories. I was invited to substitute for Marie Hayes, a long time friend in the SEO industry, for a series of webinars out of SEMRush, makers of SEO tools, training and well written educational blog. The topic is AEO for SEO, which would normally not be in my wheelhouse. However, the master mind of the website series, Jason Barnard,  in his investigation into AEO, realized that optimization for answers is powerless without adding human elements to the search engine algorithms. In other words, this is a continuation, if not a robust…

  • Laptop on desk
    Usability,  User Testing

    Why Do I Need a Usability Site Audit?

    If you have ever used a website and become frustrated with it, you know first hand why a usability site audit is necessary. And, because there are so many websites that are difficult to use, you may not be surprised to learn it was never tested to begin with. Every website has a short shelf life. During the 1990’s when website design was in the exploratory stages the common mantra was “build it and they will come”. They did because there was no other place to go and if you were lucky to be the first website, you could get away with imperfections. This is no longer the case. For the past 20 years web designers, programmers and marketers have…

  • An empty desk for thinking
    Search Behavior,  Usability

    Empathy for the Searcher

    The holistic approach is a simple concept. It says to us, “Create, develop and market with empathy for all people.” The heavens opened to me several months into my new position as a software QA usability engineer after overhearing a salesman marketing a project I knew was a wreck. It was a website I was assigned to help design, but my usability recommendations were ignored. By the time it entered the development phase, I was chosen for a newly formed software QA team that needed a usability person. My duty was to prove it was defective, failed UX standards and missed the business requirements. That I was on the shit-list of the marketing department would be something I needed to learn to…

  • Android Screenshot
    Blog,  Search Behavior,  User Testing

    Google Mobile Friendly Does Not Mean User Friendly

    Google’s announcement that websites must pass its mobile device test has everyone in a panic. However, in the effort to redesign websites to meet this new criteria, user experience is not improving. In fact, some companies are destroying the usability of their desktop layouts while trying to adapt to Responsive design specifications.  And worse, basing mobile tests on what Google says passes its mobile readiness does not automatically translate to a better user experience on all mobile devices. Do I Need to Be Mobile Friendly? For small businesses and organizations such as churches, non-profits and hobby sites, this news from Google presents a dilemma. The cost of owning a successful website is high enough, when you factor in keeping the…