Ways to Ruin the User Experience on Your Site

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Great SEO cannot save a bad website, no matter how strong off an offsite link building campaign you invest in. If your site doesn’t have a good user experience, you’ll never see the increase in conversions you were hoping for, even if your traffic does improve.

Here are 5 ways your site might be ruining the user experience for your visitors:

1. No contact information.
While having a “Contact Us” form is great, you really should list your full address, phone number, fax number and company email address. Make sure your “Contact Us” page is easy to find—you don’t want to make it hard for someone to connect with your business! As a consumer, it’s very frustrating to be searching for a phone number that the company seems to want to keep buried at all costs. If someone is trying to reach out to your business, let them!

I always recommend to my clients that they put all their contact information in the footer of the website as well as having a “Contact Us” page. This helps from both a user experience perspective (it’s one less click for a visitor) and from an SEO point of view (a great way to target localized keywords).

2. Using “marketing speak” throughout your content.
Yes, there is probably certain industry jargon that you have to include on your website, but that doesn’t mean you content needs to read like a set of stereo instructions. What exactly can your products/services do for your customers? Don’t get lost in the world of fluffy marketing speak—get to the nitty gritty and make it about your customers, not your company. How is their life going to improve once they buy your product? Speak to a specific audience in their language!

3.  Writing for the search engines.
The first rule of SEO writing is to always write for a human reader, then optimize for the search engines. Too often site owners are too focused on making search engine-friendly content and they forget who their real audience is. The search engines are not the ones that are looking to do business with your brand! While it’s important to properly optimize your website for SEO, you never want to do so at the cost of the user experience. Never over optimize your site; Google even recently announced an over optimization penalty for sites that take their SEO too far and forget the end user in their quest to dominate the SERPs.

4. Poor internal linking.
A visitor shouldn’t have to struggle to get from one page to another on your site. A good user experience allows for lateral movement throughout your site (one internal page to another), not just a high level navigation bar. Link related pages together to keep your traffic engaged in your site (especially useful on the company blog!) and pass link juice from one page to another. Each page has the potential to rank in the search engines, so each page needs to be treated like a landing page. If someone were to happen upon a random page on your site in the search engines, would they be easily able to move around?

5. Thin content.
You want to make it as easy as possible for a visitor to find the information they are looking for. If you spread your content too thin, you are actually negatively impacting the user experience. Take a good look at your site—what pages could you consolidate to make one super page? What pages could you beefen up with a few extra paragraphs? You want to give a visitor all the information they could want in order to be convinced to convert.

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