FINDABILITY – What is it?

Findability - Designs by RonFindability is a term for the ease with which information contained on a website can be found, both from outside the website (using search engines and the like) and by users already on the website. Although findability has relevance outside the World Wide Web, the term is usually used in that context. Most relevant websites do not come up in the top results because designers and engineers do not cater to the way ranking algorithms work currently. Its importance can be determined from the first law of e-commerce, which states “If the user can’t find the product, the user can’t buy the product.” As of December 2014, out of 10.3 billion monthly Google searches by Internet users in the United States, an estimated 78% are made to research products and services online.

For an e-commerce site, great findability is key to conversion. If a would-be customer does a Google search for a product, clicks on a paid search ad, and fails to find the product, they’ll bounce. Or if a mobile shopper (who’s already challenged by thumb typing and a small screen) can’t easily search, navigate and discover on retailer’s mobile site, they’ll leave…often for and potentially never to return.

e-commerce website design

For an e-commerce site, great findability is key to conversion. If a would-be customer does a Google search for a product, clicks on a paid search ad, and fails to find the product, they’ll bounce. Or if a mobile shopper (who’s already challenged by thumb typing and a small screen) can’t easily search, navigate and discover on retailer’s mobile site, they’ll leave…often for and potentially never to return

FINDABILITY – How do you use it?

You know the routine, we’ve all been there hundreds of times. You go to a website and can’t find what you are looking for on the page? Most websites today overwhelm users with content irrelevant to what they’re looking for. Users end up getting lost and search engine optimization by designs by rondistracted, spending extra time looking for the content they wanted. This happens because too many websites promote content discovery without considering content findability. It’s good for users to discover new content, but not at the sacrifice of being able to find the content they want.

A website is a lot like going to the grocery store and looking for products. You might see some products with hot deals at the front of store, but soon after that you’re off to the aisles looking for what you came to the store to get. Users that visit websites do the same thing. In order for the store customer to find what they’re looking for quickly, they need to know which aisle to go to. They do this by scanning the aisle signs. However, not all stores with aisle signs have high findability.

Aisle signs with high findability are individually distinct. Customers can scan the aisle signs and quickly find the product they’re looking for. What makes the signs visually distinct and easy to scan are the color coding, pictographic icons, large label font and a general single word label representing all the products on that aisle.


Signage above has limited information while the signage to the right sparks interest with the graphics and provides excellent findability as per products.

aisle-signs-high-findability - designs by ron

Heading Tags

Use heading (h1, h2, h3 etc) to break your content up into like chapters. Each heading or sub-heading is specific to the information following and utilize keywords and query terms within your headings.

NEVER use more that ONE (h-1) tag per page and as a rule keep (h-2) tags to a maximum of 3 or 4 at the most.

Let your content flow on a personal level and write each chapter as yourself, don’t try to project, try to interest. Once a gain a person’s interest you are more likely to gain a client or customer that when you are trying to project.

Optimize your images

I can’t say enough about this one. I’ve picked up many a client and when i got into the back end of the site I found ALL their images were 1234567.jpg or something similar. What is that? Which is exactly what GOOGLE is asking also.

First and foremost, name your images what they are. And hyphen separate the words. I know, its a hard habit to get into, but well worth it. Underscores are seen by search engines generally as “word combiners”, and hyphens are seen as “word separators.” Scott was right, never use underscores for anything. You can make a sure bet that this issue reflects one of the many, over 200 factors that Google takes into account when evaluating your website. They’ve inadvertently stated this in the past, even Matt Cutts has stated plenty of times himself not to use underscores.Search Engine Optimization - Designs by Ron

Get some good imaging software, personally I use Photoshop CC and highly recommend it. Regardless of what software you utilize, use something and enter some meta information into the images. Code the image with a title, description, keywords, author (you) name, and all else where applicable because all those entries add up to dividends end the end.

Use “alt” tags on ALL images throughout your site. The term “alt tag” is a commonly used abbreviation of wha’ts actually an alt attribute on an img tag. Every time you have an image in your text, the alt tag should describe what’s on the image. Screen readers for the blind and visually impaired will read out this text and thus make your image accessible.

And implement title tags on your images. You’ve seen them. They’re the popup with text describing links and images. Therein lies another keyword opportunity to achieve ranking and status within google. Google LOVES a properly optimized website and rewards accordingly.

Utilize internal links

Learning how to work internal linking is another important part of a successful SEO strategy, because it helps search engines find the deeper parts of the site. You’ll want to know that everything links up correctly. Adjust how you structure your internal linking system so that the keywords you have in the content on your site link to other pages.

By using text as “anchors” a user can click on a specific linked item and go to the exact spot on the corresponding page and it’s right in from of them. No Scrolling needed. This way, you’ll improve your results while creating a seamless experience for your users once they land on your website.

Optimize your URLs and Page Titles

Utilize you keywords in your page titles whenever and where-ever you can. You’ll want to make sure that your page URLs contain those keywords you’re targeting. This way, search engines will rank your site based on this, too. And anything that boosts your ranking when it comes to search engines is a big help.

Be MOBILE Responsive

responsive website design in central paGoogle is giving websites that are designed responsively for cross-platform viewing a boost in search query results over non-responsive sites. With so many people relying on their mobile devices for Web browsing, it’s essential that you don’t ignore mobile sites when designing an SEO strategy.

Eighty-one percent of Internet users use their phones to browse. Since search engines rank your site higher if you have a mobile version of the website as well, you don’t want to ignore users on 4G LTE phones on T-Mobile or other mobile phones.

USE Google Analytics

When you’ve selected your keywords, written your content and followed all the steps for SEO, you’ll want to track your results to make sure you stay on target. Google Analytics will come in handy here as well.

You’ll have access to the data that shows how you’re performing, and with that knowledge, the power to tweak things to get even better results. Check out these sections in particular: Content Drilldown, In-Page Analytics, Speed Suggestions as well as City Location of viewers. Find out how you are doing in Local Search utilizing this information and adjust accordingly.

Utilize this knowledge wisely, view your search queries to see what visitors are looking for and change out titles and tags accordingly to attain higher ranking where needed. Pay attention within demographics to age group and gender and market accordingly there also.