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Our Learning Management System is undergoing a homepage redesign. Our target user is teachers, and the main goal is to drive registrations while signposting out to the learning resources available (courses, videos, blog posts, events, etc.).

From my research, teachers want to be directed quickly to the most useful information, and see browsing around lists of courses and videos, events, etc on a homepage as unnecessarily complicated and usually not relevant. I would prefer the homepage to link to other dedicated /courses, /videos, and /events pages because once there, we can presume they want to view this particular content type and we can show more relevant information.

My boss is of the mind that as long as we capture the CTA and signpost out to these pages above the fold, we are free to add long lists of courses, videos, testimonials, social proofs underneath, and even if no one scrolls down and clicks, Google's bot will crawl all of this and it will help our rankings.

I think my boss has a point somewhat, but I am concerned that extra content will become a confusing experience that will distract my target user. How could I validate whether potentially helping SEO is hurting conversions?

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  • Are teachers directed to the courses from other sites/pages or do they land there because of search engine results? If the first is true, you have clearly separate audiences and should have two separate pages, if the latter is true, the target audience is not clear to all parties (conflicting persona's?). – jazZRo Apr 26 at 7:48
  • why is people voting to close this question? It has a direct question that has direct answers – Devin May 1 at 18:29
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The optimisation doesn't imply all information to be on the same page. Placing it on the on page won't help rankings. If it was true, the first found result would always be a long page that contains. Try searching "pottery", "pottery courses", "pottery events near me" and "pottery videos", you'll see that all results are different and not leading to the same big page that includes the all relevant information at once.

Saying this, I may recommend to go with the way which is the best from the UX point of view since the assumption about how optimisation works is just not correct.

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In my experience, your boss is right. Think any booking or virtual courses websites and you'll have the answer validated with previous successful websites.

However, I think there are some considerations:

Start with SEO

I assume when you say UX you're referring to something between UXR and UXD, so this would be the start of the page content. SEO strategies are complicated and evolve frequently, so you need to have a good SEO strategy in place, preferrably before any UXD consideration.

Be ready to change fast

The above strategy has to be dynamic enough to change as needed, while keeping the definitive UX decisions. Tricky, but once you get the grasp of it is quite automatic. The point is that most UX (specially UI) will hardly change for a relatively long period. SEO strategies may change every day.

SEO vs UI is not a real thing

Based on the user case you're describing, you're facing a UI vs SEO case. Don't be afraid to test. You can even use 2 or 3 versions (for example: the one you have, one that is content based, one that is link building based), use Google Optimize to split versions and make data driven decisions. Just a warning: it's advisable to define a canonical version (you cna change it later)

Real SEO takes time

If you're looking for fast results and you're not an SEO expert, then is better to go with SEM while you build SEO. SEO is difficult and very competitive, but then the results are worth it. It should always be teh starting point, but better late than never.

Additional reading

I wrote an article about UX and SEO to generate 3 millions a month (and growing), that also includes another user case at the end. It might be of interest for you since I included a lot of information on what to do and how, almost step by step

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