Tag Archives: Web Usability

Starting an Online Forum or Forum based Website

From my previous experience with an US based Insurance community  site, I can share some of the points as to how you can manage an online Forum or what is famous as Online Community or Discussion Forum. The forum I worked for, was an Insurance forum as well as a community, which was made to sort out the problems of the US insurance consumers (what they face in their daily life with respect to the Insurance policies).

I had to do the works in the supervision of my immediate boss Mr. L. Phukan, a diversified knowledgeable person and a good guide as well. From the scratch we had to develop the website to an Insurance Forum which will be recognized worldwide. That was our approach.

We started doing research taking along the technical team that what should we do so that each insurance, each country, every insurance consumer could be incorporated. If you move to the site, you can realize the fact.

How did we start the Community Building – You can follow that:

1. Keep on posting the pseudo posts regularly (every day) to each forum.
2. Carry on the posts in a discussion manner.
3. Try to maintain the language construction and spelling mistakes.
4. At the same time do some organic marketing.
5. Use avatars.
6. Build different characteristics according to those avatars. (Ex: If you use an avatar of a DJ, the write ups should reflect that character).
7. The above part helps to build an imaginative character in the mind of the visitors. That in turn serves a psychological purpose of web usability.
8. While making posts to the forum, create 8 to 10 identity on your own. And use avatars for those.
9. Try to include other resources, design from time to time.

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Art of URL Engineering

URL engineering is one of the most important part of SEO work. An SEO must know how to design the URLs of the respective pages keeping in mind the on-page and off-page optimization.

The design follows somewhat the architecture of a corporate hierarchy. Beginning from the CEO to the junior executive levels, one can think of the same pyramid while designing the URLs of a website.

For the site www(dot)shriraminsight(dot)com I have put the following recommendations to the technical team:

We have 8 sub-pages starting from equities to My account. Take the equity page first. The design would then be like-

http://www.shriraminsight.com/ – The home page
http://www.shriraminsight.com/equity/ – the sub-page
http://www.shriraminsight.com/equity/easy-trading.asp – more deeper pages ending with the extensions.
Like wise we have designed the other page, derivatives, commodities, mutual funds. But not implemented yet 😦

Advantages:
1. Navigation both in terms of search engine and visitors. This helps the visitors to find out information in a sequential way.
2. On-page optimization with relevant keywords/phrase of that page.
3. In terms of Web Usability, your site could get a better mileage.

SEO professional must look into this factor while designing the web-page, as page design is an important part of SEO.

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Observation and Analysis – Two prime objectives of SEO

Observation and accordingly the analysis of the behavior are the prime strength behind a successful SEO campaign. Whether be it the guidance to the content team, or the link building team, the SEO manager would have to engage himself in a continuous process of website analysis, market (related to the product of the website) analysis, algorithm study, web strategy (marketing) building, web usability study and so on.
1.  Start with the basic  procedure to optimise/marketise (organic) the site. One way link building, blogging, 3 way reciprocal etc.
2. Study the content as to how the search engines catch keyphrases and keywords. Generally in, the, to, of (prepositions and interjections) these words become redundant in the search phrase and engines do not provide values to these. What to do?
3. While writing content, ask the content team to include lesser and lesser no. of prepositions and interjection (but not violating the actual meaning) to the article/ content.
4. Keyword rich content is ready.
5. Try out web usability to convert the traffic. This will take some time to implement as study is quite necessary about the placement of the product or information.
6. Have a close look to the Link Building process. Study the competitors website, backlinks, contents and other related aspects.
5. If you have any Finance related website, you could include a latest news box. In that box put daily updated news for the industry in an analysis form. Ex: An interest rate cut could influence the sell of auto, home products, loans etc. So news tracking would one of the prime task to the SEO manager.
6. Articles should be unique as well as analytical to the extent that layman visitors could understand. Some data would serve the icing on the cake.
7. Different search engines have different algorithm (though the base is the same). So another job is to study and observe the algorithm. And this research could be implemented for individual pages as well.
8. Now-a-days search becomes more personal from Websites to Blogs to Local search to Mobile. You need to change the strategy accordingly.

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Filed under Product Design, SEO

Brain Thinkers and Web-Usability

left-right brain
Chracteristics of Left Brain:

Logical
Sequential
Rational
Looks at parts
Analytical
Objective
In addition, this part likes technicalities, numbers, data, facts, logic and precision.

Characteristics of Right Brain:
Random
Intuitive
Subjective
Looks at wholes
Holistic
Synthesizing
This part is more interested in challenge, risk, new ideas, imagination, and whole picture.

While going through a web page, do the above brain characteristics influence the visitors, as to how to gather the information, navigate the page, put remarks, product analysis, loyalty as well as time given to the site etc.
OR
At all those factors influence the usability or not.

I don’t know whether research works have already done or not.
If not then Usability analysts and web researchers could think of the brain thinking factors to enrich the search marketers and SEO professionals with research outcomes.

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Web-page Usability and Country Specification

Does web usability preferences differ from country to country?
OR
Is Web-Usability the Unique/General one applicable to all countries?

I have got the opportunity to work with the US based web-sites and the Indian sites also. The preference to look for the Resource Desk is likely to right-panel based. And I saw a bunch of websites having right alignment information desk and those websites are of great success with the informations, architecture and of course the customer conversions.

Q. Well, that prompt me to ask the question whether US people (in general) have the tendency to navigate the page starting from the right-panel?
If so, then Eye-tracking structure and Usability may not be Universal and leaves the scope of research on the basis of Age, Countries, Sex, Education level, Language.

Q. What would then be the Brain Alignment application to Usability incorporating all other factors above?

The future Search Marketers and SEO professionals will be pleased to include these research studies for page designing and traffic conversion.

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New Issue of Web Usability – Focus the Age-group

The Web Usability research could be extended to the different age groups also. And accordingly search marketers could reap the benefits from the web page outlet.

This is something Unlock Your Creativity.

Go to a children school, put a point on the board and ask what is that?
You could be mesmerized with the answers you might get.
1. A point
2. Burned hamburger
4. Smashed Insect
3. French Hat and so on…

On the contrary, if you ask the same question to a meeting crowded with lots of executives, the likely answer would be one (in most of the cases) – Point. We had read this kind of article in our school time.

So search marketers and web usability analysts can thought of this issue for the design, eye-tracking behavior and at the end marketise the products, informations.

Different age groups might have different nature of navigation and usability and they used to search for different products. What do you call this? Vertical Search! Yes, diversification of vertical search.

  1. Children would search for educational information, games and other related queries.
  2. Keywords for genY would be different.
  3. Old generation certainly search for medicines, diseases, spiritual meaning (I suppose).

Accordingly product and product management targeted to the niche customers could be designed on the basis of keywords and key phrases.

So the bottom line of web research is, whether web usability analysis could track the creativity aspect of human nature (while navigating the web page) or not.

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