5 ways to wrong-foot your website audience

Posted on May 18, 2011

 

One of the many pieces of advice SEO gurus always give is ‘please your audience.’ It’s easy enough to say, but very hard to do. A good way to figure out how to meet the needs of your audience is to completely go the other way, making mistakes left, right and centre. As you don’t want to do that, I’ve provided some examples I’ve come across:

1. Blind them with your charm. Pushing your sales angle can put users off. Good search engine optimisation is about the subtle sell.

2. Force them to dance your way. One thing I come across frequently is site design that ignores usability. Unusable design really shouldn’t make it through the SEO process, as cleaning up navigation is one of the most important SEO jobs. Some errors do slip through, though.

3. Step on their feet. It’s important to gauge the level of knowledge that your audience has. All too many businesses publish content that really is below the level of the reader. Don’t assume your users are stupid, and don’t assume they know everything, either.

4. Fail to engage. Sites can fail to engage users in myriad ways, but the main form in SEO terms is badly presented content. If you’re writing about computers in Chester, think about truly interesting content and present it in an easy-to-read way.

5. Don’t call the next day. One major killer for return traffic is failing to respond to overtures from your site users, such as replying to comments or emails. If you catch them, try to keep them.

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