SEO Myths that Destroy User Experience

04-06-2013

Many webmasters believe that in order to be able to optimize their websites adequately they will have to make a few user experience compromises.

While, a decade ago some of these myths did have some truth to them today things are a lot different. Holding on to these myths will just mean that you do an awful job of entertaining and engaging with visitors on your website. In this article we hope to dispel some of these myths.

Myth no. 1: Single or multi-page forms

Do you think that having multiple forms instead of a single large one offers a better user experience? In most cases yes! Breaking up otherwise large forms like a checkout at an online store or signing up for a free service offers a better user experience. However, many SEO People seem to think that adding multiple pages is actually bad for SEO since search engine crawlers are not able to crawl through them (because they are protected). The other reason cited for not wanting to break up large forms is that it will make the website bulky and sluggish. In fact none of the two reasons cited above is a good reason not to break down large online forms into two or three short steps. User experience experiments show that users find it easier to fill thing out if it does not seem like an endless process. As far as search engines go they (search engines) do not really care too much about the size of your website.

Myth no. 2: The paradox of choice

Many SEO people seem to think that adding a whole bunch of social networking links to each and every page or post on their website will improve visibility. Unfortunately, adding a ton of social networking links that range from Facebook to Twitter and Digg may not be helping your cause. Many times people will simply look at three lines loaded with icons and decide not to share your content because it seems like a hassle. So, adding a ton of links with messages to motivate users to share them on every social network is in fact not good for you neither in terms of SEO and user experience. What you may want to do is to limit the icons / social media links to just the most popular ones i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, MySpace and Digg. Also consider the fact that 80% of your users are active on Facebook so just adding a Facebook icon does 80% of the job for you.

Myth no. 3: Text only pages are bad!

Many SEO people think it's a horrible idea to make blog posts without graphics. So many bloggers end up sticking stock images with their posts which is even worse that just text only posts. The fact of the matter is that users will have a far better experience on your blog if it's just text but which is broken up into easy to understand pieces. If your blog post is not large enough to break into multiple sections simply add headlines and sub headlines to make things easy to understand. This is far better than adding awful and generic stock photos in the hopes that your posts will be liked and shared across social media websites.

Conclusion:

The problem with many of the myths that circulate today is that they are further backed up by so called experts. However, with some experimentation and critical thinking you should be able to debunk a few of them yourself.

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