SEO Tools: Looking at SEO Specialists as a User Class

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McVittie, David

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University of Guelph


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of designing or updating websites with the goal of garnering top rankings in search engines for a desired set of keywords relevant to the website’s target audience. SEO, a subfield of the multi-billion dollar web marketing industry, is done by SEO specialists who use software tools to streamline processes and automate repetitive tasks, such as data collection. SEO software tools enable SEO specialists to focus on analysis and research rather than menial data entry. While SEO tools are an intrinsic part of performing SEO work, opportunities exist to improve SEO tools and offer an improved experience to SEO specialists. To understand this, a two-part study was undertaken: a multiple choice and short answer web survey followed by semi-structured follow-up interviews. Results from this research reveal opportunities to improve SEO tools. Opportunities include increased integration of keyword research and SEO reporting functionality, and the inclusion of social metrics and conversion analytics in SEO tools.



user experience, search engine optimization, seo tools, seo specialists, online survey, user centered design