No matter what product or service a site provides, there are a variety of internet marketing techniques which can help enhance the visitor experience. For the most part, these SEO strategies aim to be a “win/win” situation. That is, beneficial to both the customer and the business.
When visitors have a great experience on a site, they’re more likely to purchase a product or service (or otherwise think positively of a brand).
As the SEO pro, your job is to drive traffic to your client’s site and encourage as many purchases as possible. But there are certain marketing techniques you should avoid. These strategies create a user experience which is, well, annoying.
Here are the five most annoying techniques in SEO – and some user-friendly ways to avoid them:
Both users and search engines love real information. High-quality content related to your industry will increase your SERP, while that same content will also establish your brand as an authority among users. But there’s a right and wrong way to deliver this content.
The annoying way to deliver content is through pagination. You’ve probably seen these before. They’re popular not just on e-commerce sites but also on news and entertainment sites. Pagination is when information is presented in a list format – but each item is given a separate page.
Here’s an example from CNN titled, “Sequel Mania: A Guide to the Next 5 Years of Film.” Each film is given a page all its own. In order to read the entire article, the user has to click and view 21 separate pages.
Loading all these pages dramatically increases the amount of time it takes to read the relatively simple article. This is, of course, pretty annoying.
Originally, the reason for pagination was to increase the number of page views. If the article is only one page, the page view is simply one. But by breaking up the article across many pages, the page views extend up to 21. This is obviously a more attractive number to advertisers.
Or, at least, it was. Page views are quickly losing their appeal. People don’t stick around to click through multiple pages. Pagination on a site also decreases the likelihood of future visits and email sign-ups.
The solution here is to provide quality content in just one or two pages. Your users will be able to quickly find whatever information they’re looking for. This will both establish your brand as an authority and generate plenty of goodwill among your users.
Users visit your site because they believe you have the content they want. This could be a product, service or even just information. If they don’t find that expected content, they’re going to be pretty annoyed.
This applies to both search engine results and intra-site navigation. While very few legitimate sites will attempt to blatantly lie, some common issues are:
· Pushy Sales
The solution is simple: Make your links accurate. If the user expects information on something specific, take them to that page directly. Don’t just send all visitors to your home page, for instance. If the user doesn’t trust your links, they definitely won’t trust you enough to make a purchase.
3. Poor Mobile Access
Mobile is here to stay. Your site needs to provide a great mobile experience. If users can’t navigate your site with a smart device, they won’t make a purchase or take a desired action.
Creating a fantastic mobile experience is more than proper sizing and responsiveness. You also want to provide:
· a click-to-call option
· map integration (for brick-and-mortar businesses)
· mobile-friendly videos
You also want to make sure any display ads don’t dominate the mobile screen. This is a common problem when sites are converted to mobile. Not only does this hinder the user’s ability to navigate your site, but an ad which blocks the entire screen is, well, annoying.
4. Pushy Email Requests
There are tons of advantages to building a robust email database. When a customer gives you his or her email address, they’re telling you they are interested in the products or services you provide. This can be a valuable, long-term customer you’ll want to engage with in a multiple of ways.
But just because a customer’s email address is important doesn’t mean you should be pushy with your requests. Never ask for your email address until your customer has a chance to check out your product or service. An email request which acts as a barrier to accessing useful content is going to annoy more users than it will bring in new email addresses.
5. Confusing Calls-to-Action
Ultimately, the purpose of your site is to encourage your visitors to take action. This could be purchasing a product or service, opting into an email newsletter or something else entirely. You need to make sure taking that action is easy.
Your call to action should:
· have a clean design
· be easy-to-understand
· appear “above the fold” on any page
Nothing’s more annoying for a user than when they want to take action but are confused about how to do so. But if you make your call-to-action clear, you’ll find an increased conversion rate. Your users will be happier, too!
No Need to Be Annoying
Sometimes, SEO pros will focus too much on the end goal – the opt-in, the call-to-action or the sale. This can lead to annoying, pushy marketing. While you might get some temporary success with these types of techniques, in the long-run users will be annoyed and lose confidence in your brand.
But magical things start to happen when your site doesn’t annoy your users. Trust increases. Customer satisfaction improves. Opt-ins increase. So always remember to keep the user in mind. They’ll reward you when you do.