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Well-organized website content improves usability and search engine optimization, which reduces user frustration and fosters feelings of goodwill among your site's visitors.
When measuring a website's usability, these "markup" factors are highly influential and have meaning:
It’s not about how things look; it’s about how you’re conveying information to all users (including those using alternative browsing methods—on mobile platforms or for accessibility—or those who are using search engines or quickly scanning a page).
Each page title (which appears in the <title></title> code, and at the top of the page within <h1></h1> tags) should make sense even if the reader sees it entirely out of context, as in a web search result.
Titles and headings should accurately describe the content of the text to follow. They should not be mysterious or overly wordy. Do not include links within headers.
Page content should be organized with the use of headings in HTML header tags (<h2></h2>, <h3></h3>, etc.). This will ensure that all browsers (including those for the visually impaired) will correctly interpret the content of the page, and will also properly order information for search engine optimization.
Proper use of section headers will help your website have a consistent look and feel, and will aid your users in quickly and easily parsing the content of each page.
If your content is specific to a particular audience, identify that group as quickly as possible to attract the audience you want and let others continue their search elsewhere.
Do not assume that your reader has arrived at your page through any particular path. Be sure the purpose of the page is clear, and provide links, if necessary, to more (or less) advanced materials.
When similar content is scattered throughout your site instead of together on the same page or group of pages, users may have trouble finding all the details they need, or knowing whether they've exhausted your resources on the topic.
Keeping like with like also helps prevent the duplication of materials, and eases the task of maintaining current information.
For more information contact web @ uua.org.
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Last updated on Tuesday, February 26, 2013.
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