Are Your SEO Strategies Causing User Problems?

There are a lot of ways of manipulating your webpage’s code to improve search engine ranks.  While we want to use all the tools in our arsenal, they shouldn’t be abused.  Make sure that your SEO tactics aren’t causing user experience problems.

If you have a web template specifically set up with SEO in mind then chances are this is a minor or non-existent issue.  But for many consultants, trainers, and professional coaches, their site was set up with a professional look but not necessarily with SEO elements in mind.

Here’s a common example, using h1 or h2 tags can increase the value a search engine places on the content.  Many sites are built with a WordPress, Drupal, or other CMS template that has a set definition to how h1 and h2 tags display.  In an effort to highlight an important keyword one of these tags might be used in the body of a paragraph or across a whole sentence.  That can make the page look bad and create user problems.  Imagine if I wanted to highlight a particular phrase in a sentence:

You perceive traditional marketing strategies as exploitative and even manipulative behavior. It goes against your grain to think of yourself in the role of stereotypical selling. Handle the Pressures of Business Development. Text text text.

Unless it’s a very specific design decision the sentence looks like an error.  Do that several times throughout a page and it will be darn right hard to read.

Make sure that your template is responsibly adding SEO elements.  If the template is not well suited to add these elements, find ways of formatting the page so that it’s easy to read and works well for search engines.  The page needs to be usable to a person because all the traffic in the world won’t produce an ounce of value if people struggle to take in your message.