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Usability Testing and Optimization

We are living in an economy that depends on the ability of sellers to reach their potential customers, and on the ability of customers to find out about the merchandise they’d like to buy, using the devices and the navigation tools available. The technologies that connect them—search engines, tags, databases, websites, smartphone applications—become crucial tools of commerce, constantly refined and tweaked, and so a new source of paid work.

Our alumna Jayelle works as a “website optimizer,” that is, as a person who makes it more likely that the employer’s or client’s website will be found by the target audience. She explains in the video below what her job is really about and how it makes use of the skills acquired as an English major.

Jayelle also explains how the found the job through internships and networking:

jayelleI came across a listing for internships within a digital agency looking for college students that were studying communications, journalism or English. I took a chance and was given an interview. For about two months I studied search engine optimization and geo-targeted content creation for websites. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of getting traffic through written content, from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” listings on search engines. All major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing have such results, where web pages and other content such as videos or local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users. Geo-targeted SEO is content that is specific to a certain region.

Then I spent about seven months putting all of these techniques into practice. I wrote optimized content for law firm websites, rare disease websites, adult content websites, and debt collection websites. I worked there four days a week for nine months with no pay, but the amount of experience I received helped in landing me the job I have now. Once I left there I continued to intern for advertising and marketing agencies, I even spent time as an editorial intern for UPTOWN magazine in Harlem. 

My day-to-day consists of handling the social media campaigns for my assigned clients, pitching new campaigns and tracking the social engagement reach. For the content side, I also have to create up-to-date content for each of their main sites. For one client, geo-targeted content is especially important in driving traffic to their site as they have four different locations. While another client requires more entertainment news content, this requires me to keep up with pop culture. The most important part of the position is keeping track of the time spent for each client, and how my engagement is benefiting their overall business model.