Tuesday, July 22, 2008

User Experience Design and SEO

What does user experience design (UX) have to do with SEO? EVERYTHING!!

Usability and user experience design can help improve your conversion rates, but this takes time and effort. Bad design can lead to a poor user experience. Tweaking your website's UX can have big time payoffs for your SEO efforts, leading to more conversions and an increase in your bottom line.

A good UX design incorporating business and marketing goals while catering to your end user's Experience isn't easy and it doesn't happen over night. The template and graphic tweaks can take a week to do and roll out. Then you have to wait a month to see test the results of your new UX design tweaking. One of three things will most likely happen: nothing will improve; your stats and conversions will remain steady (+/-3% on your conversions); you will have a modest gain in conversions (maybe 3-9% more conversions, which is a pretty good gain in conversions) or you will have a substantial gain in conversions (over 10%, up to 30% increase in conversions)

The key is patience and being able to afford tweaks and changes on your website. Who does User Experience Design and SEO tweaks on their website(s)? How about Google for starters. I recently listened to one of their podcasts and they had a 30% gain on conversions for one of their products, Picasa. Want to know why Google does so damned good? They spend time and money on good UX. And if Google doesn't get the UX tweaks right the first time, they do UX tweaks again until they get the bump that they need.

Don't just think you are going to make a website and get the user experience design right the first time. This is never the case. Every website is always in Beta, it just might not say it on the logo. If you care about keeping a healthy defensible competitive edge on your competition keep user experience design in your mind and your budget. Defending and improving your Defensible competitive edge like this can be dangerously awesome for your bottom line.

User Experience Design and SEO

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Cost of Winning A Macbook Air - The Whuffie Factor

I was talking to a designer friend of mine at Superstarch yesterday and Marcus asked me, "How much effort did you put into winning the Macbook Air?" I thought that was a really good question, so it needs a really good answer. How much is a $1800 Macbook Air worth? How much was the Whuffie Factor?

The answer to his question is simple, yet very complex. First I took a look at what the contest was and decided to throw my hat over the wall, join the site and invited some friends. Very quickly I put myself in the a position to get in the running for it by having the most referrals on the site, having the Most Followers, and being the Most Commented. I also had a ton of content from the services that Second|Brain supported.

Once Second|Brain choose me as one of the Six it was all downhill from there.

I took a look at the other competitors none of them had the network or Social Media empire that I have. I was very thankful that someone like Scoble wasn't in on the Contest and later when they turned it into a vote I knew the Macbook Air was mine, unless all the people on Second|Brain voted against me, I just had more Social Capital then everyone else.

What is social capital? My 474 friends on Myspace, my 320 friends on Multiply, my 309 followers on Twitter, my 146 Followers Plurk, my 538 friends Iconbuffet and my 234 friends Facebook. This is the Whuffie Factor I had in my favor. 1547 or so people (some are dupes), that is about a dollar a person. All my years of social spelunking paid off in the form of Whuffie.

The cost of time was about five extra hours a day between my misc tasks over the course of six days. One of the days I even took off and helped a friend fix up his new house. The real cost was social momentum; one year on Iconbuffet, four years on Myspace, four years on Multiply, one year on Twitter, one month on Plurk and two years on Facebook. All that time spent on these social networks was what won me the contest. I just had more social capital then anyone else in the running. Who knew having a giant SEO Social Media network could pay off so well?

The Whuffie Factor = $1,749.95
The mere fact that I won the Macbook Air in the Second|Brain Contest - Priceless.

Cost of Winning A Macbook Air – The Whuffie Factor

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