Beyond SEO: How to optimize your discoverability – Imarc, a digital agency

Table of Contents

Beyond SEO: How to optimize your discoverability – Imarc, a digital agency

What would you call it? If you said “plant,” that’s the sweet spot for that image in a conceptual hierarchy. The middle area of the conceptual hierarchy helps users recall and conceptualize, which is why it’s the right target.

Of course, you may have come up with other terms too. For example, you might’ve said “greenery” or “house plant”, but those are too broad and abstract. You could’ve also said “tropical plant” or “monstera”, which are too specialized. The extremes are called superordinate and subordinate categories, respectively, and are not super helpful.

Spend some time thinking about the broadness and specificity of your categories, and change them if you find they are too much in one camp or the other. This will help a wider audience find what they are looking for.

Consider drop-down, searchable areas & pre-populated menus

People are busy, stressed, overwhelmed, and easily distracted. You can reduce the user’s cognitive load by making elements, actions, and options more visible.

For example, pre-populating answers in search bars helps users find what they are looking for faster. You have likely experienced that feature in Google searches, but it’s just as useful in site searches to help users recognize phrases rather than recall them.

Audit your drop-down menus, any searchable website sections, and pre-populated menus to see if they provide recognizable clues to the searcher. This will make for a better overall experience.

Reduce clutter

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by too much information or repetitive information? A website can have its own type of clutter. To help users find what they need, clean it up.

One example of this issue is when academic or government institutions use “Office of” in front of every department’s functional name. Eventually, users delete that information subconsciously and find themselves lost because they want to find the function of the office, not its official internal name.

To help your users, increase the information scent of navigation items or links, use words that carry the most information first.

Make informed organization choices

While there is no perfect way to organize your website, you can sort your information in a way that helps users easily find what they’re looking for.

Large menus with over ten sub-categories are easier to navigate when they are sorted alphabetically. For example, Walmart sorts its large menu of product categories in a way that’s prioritized internally by the business, while Costco chooses to utilize alphabetical order to help users find the category they’re looking for and where they expect it to be. Sorting by business priority can also be effective, but it’s better used in smaller menus.

This content was originally published here.