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SEO and UX Working Together Are Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter


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By re-imagining the classic "I’m a Mac... and I’m a PC" commercials, Jonathon Colman and Erin Hawk from REI help attendees learn how two individual disciplines -- User Experience design (UX) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) -- can work together to help customers succeed in their goals and, in so doing, redevelop their relationship while growing their business.

Using real-world examples, lots of humor, and group collaboration with the audience, this presentation will “Make It Better” by helping these two disciplines re-focus their strengths, approaches, and goals to support not only one another, but the customer as well.

Would you like to know more about the intersections of SEO and UX design? Check out additional resources at

You can learn more about Jonathon Colman at

Published in: Technology, Sports

SEO and UX Working Together Are Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter

  1. Photo © Flickr user LVCHEN,
  2. I’m a UX Designer – and I’m an SEO: Working Together to Heal the Rift Between Customers and the Marketers Who Love Them Erin Hawk (Team UX at REI): @erinhawk Jonathon Colman (Team SEO at REI): @jcolman Slideshow available for download:
  3. Let’s learn about youwith a quick survey… Photo © Flickr user omarhabayeb,
  4. Our question: Can UX andSEO be like chocolate and peanut butter? Photo © Flickr user jamieanne,
  5. Top 5 UX design myths about SEO Photo © Flickr user LVCHEN,
  6. Myth: SEO is SPAM. Photo © Flickr user OCReactive,
  7. Reality: SEO isrelevancy marketing. Photo © Flickr user jmsvuk,
  8. Yep, it’s this one. It’s just one tool in your belt. Photo © Flickr user herzogbr,
  9. High search rank correlates with high traffic and conversion. Source: The Atlas Rank Report: How Search Engine Rank Impacts Traffic
  10. Myth: Design is forpeople, not robots. Photo © Flickr user mringseis,
  11. Reality: Search engines areconsumers of your content, too. Photo © Flickr user H Brown,
  12. …and people rely on robots as wayfinding agents. Tip: We prefer City O’ City coffee at 206 E. 13th Ave. Photo © Flickr user ebatty,
  13. Myth: SEO seemsfilled with secrets and mysteries. Photo © Flickr user JK Mallory,
  14. Reality: So is any discipline…when seen from the outside. Photo © Flickr user Alegrya,
  15. SEOs are not gurus; they’rejust practitioners. Like you! Photo © Flickr user mrbenjamin,
  16. …and SEO works best whenit’s built-in to the experience. Photo © Flickr user Jonesemyr,
  17. Myth: SEO is abouttext, not design or IA. Photo © Flickr user jcolman,
  18. Let’s look at aproduct page…
  19. Text is clearly animportant part of the experience for humans and search engines.
  20. …but how did they find that product?Design and architecture affect humans and search engines.
  21. Reality: SEO is all about IA, taxonomy, ops,analytics, infrastructure, relationships… UX! Photo © Flickr user temposmodernos,
  22. Myth: I can rely onadvertising for traffic. Photo © Flickr user s.urich,
  23. Reality: Paid Search CPCincreases ≈30% each year. Does your ad budget?
  24. Reality: If SEO isn’t at least 50%of your traffic, it’s still growing.
  25. Top 5 SEO mythsabout UX design Photo © Flickr user LVCHEN,
  26. Myth: You can’t trulymeasure “experience”. Photo © Flickr user undoneclothing,
  27. Reality: UX has manytools for measurement. Photo © Flickr user Winter Bicycles,
  28. Myth: You can’ttie UX to profits. Photo © Flickr user mickwatson,
  29. Reality: Oh yes you can! 40 (Roughly $76,000/month!) Image by Dr. Susan Weinschenk © Human Factors International, Inc., Video:
  30. Myth: Search solves allyour navigation issues. Photo © Flickr user refmo,
  31. Reality: Users often don’tknow what they don’t know. And that’s OK! Photo © Flickr user zert.sonstige_2008,
  32. …which is why we…because learning and refining need to support both browsing is part of their experience. and searching. Marcia J. Bates: The Design of Browsing and Berrypicking Techniques for the Online Search Interface
  33. Myth: I alreadyknow our customers! Photo © Flickr user coblat,
  34. OK, so which one am I? Reality: You don’t know Jack. Or Jill! Until you talk to Jill. And other Jills who are like her. Photo © Flickr user MeFind,
  35. Myth: The user’sfeelings don’t matter. Photo © Flickr user wishardofoz,
  36. Which one of thesepeople will come back? Or recommend you? Reality: Satisfied customers are loyal, long-term shoppers and referrers. Photo © Flickr user lunaciel,
  37. Actually, the user doesn’t matter. Photo © Flickr user yubyungman,
  38. Reality: Search engines can’t buy anything from you. Photo © Flickr user largeprime,
  39. Group exercise:Can UX and SEOwork together? Photo © Flickr user usnavynvns,
  40. Scenario: This is a product userslike. REI ranks well for its name. And it drives traffic.
  41. When customers clickon the search result, they get a “Product Unavailable” page.
  42. Guess what? We have a newerversion of this product in stock! But it’s located at a different URL that does not rank well in search.
  43. What would YOU do? Split into two teams… Team UX: Team SEO:What would you do to reduce What would you do tobounce rate on the old jacket improve findability and drive and improve conversion for traffic to the new version of the new version? the jacket? Photo © Flickr user Colin_K,
  44. Nice work!This stormtrooperdemands that you hug it out.Photo © Flickr user balkov,
  45. So... Can we make UX and SEO belike chocolate and peanut butter? Photo © Flickr user jamieanne,
  46. Photo © Flickr user let5ch,
  47. Photo © Flickr user Rajiv Patel,
  48. Want more SEO/UX tools?Get 90+ hand-curated articles and resources at: _ Photo © Flickr user Noel C. Hankamer,
  49. Erin Hawk: UX @ REI Twitter @erinhawk Jonathon Colman: SEO @ REI Twitter @jcolmanGraphic © Flickr user Jesse Fletcher,