This site is hard to use.

by Jim April 15, 2021

Ever find yourself yelling in frustration at how difficult some eCommerce sites are to use? I know I do. Daily. We tend not to complain in physical stores, but seem to accept issues in eCommerce environments. The new Core Web Vitals update will help you improve the user experience on your store that will help with rankings and fewer customer complaints!

  • Some sites are so hard to use!
  • Why it’s not always the customer’s fault.
  • Why Google’s new update is user experience.
  • SEO should be UXO.

Transcript

Hey, welcome back Rankers. God, this site’s hard to use. Have you ever said that? I have, I do it a lot, almost every day. Oh, it’s my job, right? But I don’t say that about a shop. If I go into a shop I might say, “I didn’t like the staff”, but it’s not hard to use. I know with one exception, Ikea. I would say that is a shop that’s hard to use for me. It drives me crazy that I have to walk in this line and I don’t know where the shortcuts are, but… That’s crazy navigation. And I haven’t seen that sort replicated online thankfully. But there are a lot of things that happen online that we just accept. I mean, every other day I’m having conversations with clients about, “What do you mean, the people aren’t seeing that thing? What do you mean they’re not using that?” We just got a call from this customer saying this, “Can you just change it? I don’t know why they’re saying these things.”

It’s not always the customer’s fault.

There’s always these things that we blame the customer for with e-commerce and it’s industry wide. It’s not just a client. Because we seem to think that we put that thing on the website. We put that search bar there. Why are people still complaining about finding stuff? It could be that your search results on your site are rubbish, that’s really frustrating. And I had an awful experience like that on the weekend. I was in Bunnings; Of course, I was. And I asked someone where this particular product was, because I thought, “I don’t know, I’ll just ask one of these people, a staff member.” The equivalent of search.

Quick, easy to find, bang. She’s all, “Yeah, yeah, it’s there in aisle 12.” “Thank you.” So I went down there, not there. Asked someone else. They sent me somewhere. Not there either. I knew they had the product. I knew they had the product. I asked two people. They couldn’t tell me. I left the store and I bought it at the local hardware shop, which is probably what I should have done in the first place and support local business.

But my point is to you is that these things are happening every day on sites. And whilst we tend to blame the users a bit, as an industry wide thing. I mean, this is what the Google update at the moment is about, the Core Web Vitals update, big update, user experience. As we’ve been saying for years, as I said last week, we should be talking about user experience optimisation, not search engine optimisation because we’re not optimising a search engine. We may have used… Maybe years ago, we used to optimise our own sites for search engines, possibly, you could say that.

User Experience Optimisation

But user experience is what it’s all about, I mean, that’s why Google’s ranking sites high. Google will rank sites high that have great user experience. Great brands, they work well. Everything about them. Now, you can talk about technical SEO until the cows come home but unless you’re talking about site maps, anything to do with SEO, pretty much is about making the experience better for the user. And that includes things like duplicate content. That includes things like 404’s. That includes things like a slow site. All of these technical SEO things are user experience optimisation.

Now don’t go and search for UXO because it stands for Unexploded Bomb Audience, Unexploded Bomb Ordinance, yes. Now that I’ve said that, I’m hoping YouTube doesn’t ban me. Said the B word, oops. Anyway, go and have a look at your site, go and do a test on web.dev/measure because there is a great little tool that you can look at to get an idea of the sorts of things that Google is or how they’re weighting certain things. So for instance, if you go to Lighthouse, there’s a little link in the performance where you can see, see calculator, and it takes you to Google Lighthouse calculator page.

Now this is just giving you an idea of what Google thinks is important for this particular way that they score a page here. And so you can get an idea of maybe what you should be focusing on, maybe the things that carry a larger weighting that you’re low on. Maybe you want to hit those first, ones that will have the biggest impact for the lowest touch. That’s what you’re looking for, always. That’s what we’re always looking for in business.

So just remember that, ask someone else to buy something off your site, buy something off your mobile device, if you haven’t already. Make a note of sites that you buy from that you find frustrating. Please let me know, I’d love to know what your most frustrating e-commerce buying experience was. I’d love to hear from you. Someone said to us, “Most e-commerce sites I go to are just awful.” She couldn’t pinpoint why they were awful. She just said, “Just awful.” You know why? It’s not like shopping. You’re making it hard. Shopping should be easy. And that’s what e-commerce should be.

Hopefully that’s helpful. If you want help or a hand with your site, please hit us up, [email protected] And remember, please, share, like, and subscribe to this video if you found it useful. And hey, even if you didn’t, I’ll take it. Thanks. Bye.

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