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Is Bad Website Navigation Costing You Customers?

Bad website navigation can cost you customers.
Tons of time and attention are given to website content, optimization and a number of other web marketing aspects. What often gets ignored is website navigation, which is shame because it is actually one of the most important parts of your web presence. Get it right, and your navigation will guide visitors easily through your site and to their (and your) ultimate goal. Get it wrong and the only place you will guide visitors off your site.

So HOW can bad navigation cost you customers? I count the ways (six of them to be exact) in my latest article for SEMRush.

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The 3 Most Important Website User Experience Issues to Fix NOW

3 Website User Experience Issues

“User Experience” has become quite the buzzword in web marketing and SEO. There is no doubt that creating the best user experience is essential to build a strong and lasting web presence. But how do you create that great experience?

There are literally hundreds of ways. But don’t get overwhelmed. In my latest SEMRush article, I narrow it down to the three most important issues to focus on. Check it out!

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Where Does Your Site Search Box Belong?

It's important to put the site search box where visitors expect to see it.

When adding a site search option to your website, one of the first things to consider is placement. Where, exactly, should you place your search box?

Many designers and developers place the search box in the right- or left-side navigation. Makes sense, right? The visitor’s eyes are already there looking for the next click, so placing the search box in those areas would seemingly put the option right in their path.

This is one of those things where convention overrules what may seem like common sense. Through the years of using the web, site visitors have become accustomed to certain elements being located in certain places. In this case, the search box is often sought out in the top right corner of the page , somewhere in or below the header for the page.

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Products Vary But Display Consistency Shouldn’t

ecommerce product templates

Most ecommerce sites of any significance already use templates to display their products. Ecommerce product templates help you maintain consistency in how your product information is displayed from one product to the next.

But some sites have a wide range of products that don’t lend so well to using the same template. Nothing wrong with that; product diversity can be a boon to sales. But with that diversity comes new and different types of information to display that may not fit so well in the existing product template.

With that, then, comes the development of a new template for the new products. But what shouldn’t come with that is a radically different template. [Tweet This] Sure, you need to add some new fields, etc, but all products share similar types of information such as price, description, shipping info, add to cart buttons, etc.

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Declare the Doctype of Each Web Page

declare doctype

HTML is a pretty simple markup language, but as most languages go, it has evolved over time. Think of the different versions of HTML as different dialects of the same language.

I’m reading a book about ancient biblical and extra-biblical texts. The author is taking the reader through the story of finding the Dead Sea Scrolls. While the scrolls were written in Hebrew, they were written in an early version of Hebrew.

In order to properly translate the documents, scholars had to have an understanding of how that early version of Hebrew worked and how it differs from Hebrew today. If translators tried to use modern Hebrew to translate these ancient texts, it would be wrong. Very, very wrong.

HTML is no different.

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Give Your Website Visitors a Little (White) Space

give website visitors white space

We’ve all been there. You’re trying to have a conversation with someone who is just standing Too. Close. They could be giving you the secrets to immortality or unbelievable wealth, and all you’re thinking is “Back Off. Back Off. BACK OFF!!” Or worse yet, “What the heck did he eat!” Regardless, maintaining the proper personal space is an unspoken social norm that we expect all people to respect. When they don’t, it makes us uncomfortable and distracted.

You are likely cringing right now thinking about someone who has invaded your personal space. But could you be doing the same thing to your visitors on your website?

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Being the Alpha Male of Web Marketing

website visitors aren't convertingMost of us don’t like jerks who are always telling people what to do. I’m one of those people that likes to figure things out for myself, so if you tell me what needs to be done, I’ll either get it done or ask for help if I don’t know. But I don’t like to be told how to do something because it takes away my opportunity to figure it out.

But when it comes to your website, your visitors want to follow the alpha male. That’s right, they want to be told what to do and, in many cases, how to do it. [Tweet This] They want everything spelled out for them so there is no guesswork and no chance of getting it wrong.

In fact, they just don’t want to have to think about it.

I recently watched an episode of Malcolm in the Middle on Netflix. It was the episode where Reese joins the army. If you know anything about the show, Reese is the kid that doesn’t listen to anybody. But in the army, he finally gave up. He turned his brain off and did only and exactly what he was told to do. The drill sergeant says he’s never had a finer soldier cross his path.

Of course, hi-jinx ensue as the radios are broken and the commander cannot communicate with Reese. He is simply paralyzed, unable to make a decision. As a result, his team is soundly defeated in a war game.

But this is a great analogy to visitors on our website. If they are not told what to do, many will simply do nothing. Do you want them to “download” your ebook, or “buy your product”? Don’t make them have to figure that out for themselves, tell them. And make sure that you provide all the links and instructions along the way. It needs to be so easy, even Reese could do it.


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Are Visitors Getting Lost on Your Website?

getting lost on your website

Any visitor on your site should immediately be able to tell what page they are on, regardless of how they got there or where they landed.[Tweet This] If your site is well optimized, then every page is a landing page. This means visitors may land on a product, category, about us, or other page, just as much as they might land on the home page. It should be clear which page they are on at just a glance. Otherwise, visitors may be getting lost on your website.

How do you ensure that doesn’t happen?

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Why Mobile Website Design Should Be A Priority for 2015

mobile website designWith nearly seven billion mobile subscriptions throughout the world, mobile has changed the way consumers interact with businesses each day. Whether it’s from a tablet or smartphone, consumers are using their mobile devices to create relationships with brands they care about.

As a business owner, it’s essential to create a mobile design for your business’ website. Especially if you want to keep up with future mobile trends, you’ll have to create a mobile design that will make you more accessible to consumers.

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