Today, we’re talking about online user experience. Granted, this is the type of post that belongs on my Reputation Management blog, so I’ll be brief and expand on it there later. It’s still worth my time to cover these topics here or on MySpace because those are the places where my Internet illiterate friends hang out, and they represent the types of people who will “discover” the amazing opportunities made available by the Web, and without some kind of help they’ll throw up the ugliest or most unusable site you can imagine.

Here are the 2 biggest mistakes people make when designing and developing their first website:

1. FLASH – I don’t care how cool FLASH looks, designing your entire site in FLASH is a HORRIBLE idea. Don’t do it! I don’t care about how cool it looks, it’s a waste of your marketing dollars. Google and Yahoo! will not be able to index your site’s pages, which means you will get crap for search engine results. And in case you didn’t already know, the number one way people locate websites is by searching Google or Yahoo!. You absolutely cannot ignore this fact and must build your site to meet the standards of “crawlable” site.

2. Content Overload – No matter what you’ve seen from circa 1997 web designs, it does not help your website or company to place thousands of words on a single page. It’s a waste. Limit each page of information to 300-400 words. If you have that much more to say on a subject, think a little more strategically and organize your points so you can turn that one massive page into multiple, easy-to-digest pages. On the flip side, it’s equally unhelpful to have next to nothing on each page. If writing isn’t your strength, sub out the work to a professional copywriter (hmmm…. I wonder who?).
In EVERY situation, research what will improve online user experience for your targeted readers. There is tons of information out there to help you do it right the first time. You can always call me if you want to connect with someone offering professional design and SEO.

Once you’ve been around the SEO industry for awhile, you’ll get comfortable with the basic requirements of site design, development, and copywriting. Until then, feel free to shoot me your questions and I’ll be happy to help out.

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