Tag Archive for: UX

The Washington Post may not be the first organization you imagine when you think about SEO experts, but as a popular news organization read by millions around the world, The Post has dealt with its fair share of issues in developing its long-term strategies for web performance and SEO. 

Now, the news site is sharing the fruit of that hard work by releasing its own Web Performance and SEO Best Practices and Guidelines.

These guidelines help ensure that The Washington Post remains competitive and visible in highly competitive search spaces, drives more organic traffic, and maintains a positive user experience on its website. 

In the announcement, engineering lead Arturo Silva said:

“We identified a need for a Web Performance and SEO engineering team to build technical solutions that support the discovery of our journalism, as the majority of news consumers today read the news digitally. Without proper SEO and web performance, our stories aren’t as accessible to our readers. As leaders in engineering and media publishing, we’re creating guidelines that serve our audiences and by sharing those technical solutions in our open-source design system, we are providing tools for others to certify that their own site practices are optimal.”

What’s In The Washington Post’s SEO and Web Performance Guidelines?

If you’re hoping to see a surprise trick or secret tool being used by The Washington Post, you are likely to be disappointed. 

The guidelines are largely in line with practices used by most SEO experts, albeit with a specific focus on their specific search and web performance issues.

For example, the Web Performance section covers three specific areas: loading performance, rendering performance, and responsiveness. Similarly, the SEO guidelines are split into on-page SEO, content optimization, technical SEO, and off-page SEO. 

More than anything, the guidelines highlight the need for brands to focus their SEO efforts on their unique needs and goals and develop strategies that are likely to remain useful for the foreseeable future (instead of chasing every new SEO trend). 

To read the guidelines for yourself, visit the Washington Post’s site here. 

User experience is more important now than ever. A few years ago, visitors would put up with a glitchy or poorly functioning site because the internet as a whole was less developed. Now, if one site doesn’t work well, visitors will simply look for another that was designed properly and responds how they want it to.

Visitors aren’t the only ones who care about user experience, either. Search engines are putting a bigger and bigger emphasis on how much users will enjoy a site instead of focusing on technical things like linkbuilding that visitors won’t ever notice.

Robert Hoekman has been working in the web industry for thirteen years and has first hand seen the changes happening as user experience became one of the most important aspects of running a website. While there are a few dissenters, Hoekman is part of the majority who are happy to see websites being designed for users, not for designers or search engines. However, he knows some designers have had some growing pains during the transition.

To help designers understand the importance of user experience and why it is the key to creating a well ranked and well liked site, Hoekman created a list of 13 tenets of user experience (one for every year he has spent in the business). If you don’t get what the big deal is or why user experience was bound from the beginning to become the most prized aspect of design, his rules should make it all clear.