You did it—you survive Black Friday and Cyber Monday! The holiday shopping season is in full swing now, and we hope you’re moving more product than ever and reaching tons of new customers this quarter. In the past few weeks, our recaps have centered on things you should do, like leveraging your social media pages and keeping your SEO strategy in top form, and we hope our advice has been helpful. Just for a change of pace, this week we have some thoughts on what NOT to do! You won’t have to learn from your mistakes if you don’t make them—and this week, we’re reviewing some pitfalls you’ll want to avoid. Check them out!
10 Horrendous Mobile Websites – Albert Costill – Search Engine Journal
Sometimes, the best learning tool is an example of what went wrong. And since we’re always emphasizing the importance of designing responsively for mobile devices, we’d love for you to take a good look at Albert Costill’s list of 10 Horrendous Mobile Websites on Search Engine Journal. Some of the big-name offenders include YouTube and Brown Paper Tickets. Common complaints? Long load time, difficult navigation, ugly layout, and unavailable content. Since smartphones and tablets are such an enormous part of the way we search for and consume information these days, it doesn’t make sense to treat responsive design as an insignificant matter. Keep your customers happy with a web site that loads beautifully no matter where they’re surfing to it. It should mean better numbers and feedback for you.
Not a Good Practice to Create Articles by Combining Content from Other Sites – Matt Southern – Search Engine Journal
Matt Southern shares some feedback from Google search spam guru Matt Cutts on the practice of squishing together a bunch of content gathered from other web sites. The answer is pretty cut and dry: don’t do it—not even if you cite your sources with links. Content that is not unique adds nothing of value, and search engines don’t hold high opinions of web sites with unoriginal material. This is a practice you’ll want to avoid for search engine optimization purposes—and, frankly, you should anyway. What fun is it to copy and paste someone else’s content onto your site? Aside from that guilt trip your tenth grade English teacher gave you about plagiarism, using someone else’s material means you’re not sharing your original thoughts, ideas, inspiration, and humor. It’s like a third-rate comedian recycling someone else’s stand-up routine. Instead of passively borrowing a chunk of a Wikipedia entry, get creative and give your users something they can’t find anywhere else—a piece of you!
Study Says Choice Overload Leads to No Sale – Cynthia Boris – Marketing Pilgrim
Cynthia Boris shares some interesting results from a recent study conducted by the University of Miami School of Business Administration. In summary, users are more likely to click away from an online retailer’s page with nothing in their shopping carts when they’re bombarded by tons of product photos or images. You know that feeling you get when you walk into a store and experience sensory overload—i.e. “Forget it, I can’t take this”? It’s a little like that. Her advice is not to offer your customers too many options. You want them to take the time to focus on one item and consider it carefully, not cause their eyes to dart all around the screen at your entire collection. Boris also includes a smart tip on checking out the shopping experience on your own web site. If you haven’t done it in awhile, it’s time to make sure that it’s still an easy, convenient, and pleasant process. If your checkout procedure is a pain to navigate or requests way more information than necessary, an update is definitely in order!