These Troublesome Experiences Could Be Driving People Away from Your Site
In the world of modern SEO, there are literally hundreds of tiny decisions to consider that may boost or reduce the number of people who can find your website via search and who will stay around to learn more about it. Troublesome for many bloggers and brands, this dynamic is unfortunately something that must be dealt with if search engine rankings are important to them. The impressions that people have about your website can cause search engines to reduce overall visibility, as can the impressions that the search engines themselves conclude from crawling each page. Below, we’ll talk about some troublesome concepts that might be turning people away from your website or preventing them from seeing it in the first place.
While some websites – notably Forbes – have used interstitial ads for more than a decade, the concept has become increasingly prominent on many websites over the past two to three years. This concept – one where an ad is shown before a person is taken to the website – can impact rankings in two very meaningful ways. First, Google has stated that interstitial ads may be a negative indicator for SEO at some point in the future, although it has admitted that pinging users to these ads as of yet does not jeopardize SEO rankings. However, the second problem that interstitial ads can create is the issue with bounce rates; if someone does not want to wait to be re-directed and/or is turned off by the ad, then the effects this can have on search rankings is well-documented as being negative.
Page Formats & Loading Times
The amount of time that someone spends waiting to see your website can create tangibly negative effects for webmasters and bloggers with respect to search engine rankings. Unfortunately, there is an exponential effect with respect to a slower page loading time and a lower ranking in Google SERPs. Likewise, the effects covered via interstitial ads – bounce rates – can cause a 1-2 punch. Furthermore, the overall formatting of a web page can create challenges for websites that do not properly use tags, heading, subheadings and other elements. Search engines tends to prefer well-organized pages that clearly lay out content; the bots that access this information are designed to inspect it in many ways how a reader would like to see it.
There are many different reasons why content might not be immediately visible to users who land on a given page. Perhaps a “below the fold” style is utilized – which is perfectly legitimate. In other cases, a “read more” link or other styles of hidden content may be utilized to get people to demonstrate further interest or click on another page. Search engines have become very adept at reading web pages from the perspective of what users themselves would like. Whenever content is “hidden” or made more difficult to access through a variety of gimmicks, this can hurt the overall reputation and rankings of a web page. Instead of pinging users with teases about how to find the remaining portion of the content, be upfront and deliver it to them all at once. While not always possible, showing the entirety of a page or piece of content without needing to click elsewhere will help mitigate the wrath of search engines in at least one important area.