Articles Tagged with User Experience

Beware: Asterisks & Other Symbols Can Ruin Your Tap-To-Call Phone Number Link

Smartphone in the dark imageWhen someone gets to your website, it’s important that your contact form works, your email address and phone number are written correctly and your checkout process is working correctly (if you’re running an Ecommerce website). After all, you’ve worked hard to drive traffic to your website – you don’t want them bouncing at the final hurdle, affecting your conversion rate.

Clients/customers are one thing. Imagine if your visitors were contemplating suicide…

The other day, I noticed that the Samaritans’ phone number on their Contact page wasn’t working properly if you were on a mobile device and you were trying to use the tap-to-call function.

Their phone number is 08457 90 90 90. However, due to the asterisk immediately after the third “90” (which references a bit of small print talking about the cost of the call per minute), my iPhone wasn’t processing the number fully when using tap-to-call. Instead of the full number, it was picking 08457 90 90 – an incomplete and incorrect version of the phone number.

As you can see above, I tweeted @samaritans to let them know, as I was worried it might stop people needing help getting through, and – to my delight and relief – they let me know the following day that they had fixed it.

So I urge you all to check that your website’s phone numbers are working correctly from mobile devices. It might be worth checking from multiple devices – it might be the case that it’s fine on an iPhone but not working on an Android, so don’t just check one and assume that it’s fine across the board. Check them all if you can.

[Smartphone image credit –]

Are Other Rich Snippets Overriding the ‘Mobile-friendly’ Tag?

Just a quick post today based on a random discovery that I made over the weekend…

I was checking a SERP on behalf of my parents’ company (IT recruitment sector) from my phone simply because I didn’t have my laptop or tablet to hand. A search for "web developer job cardiff" showed the following:

Mobile SERP - screenshot
(Click to enlarge)

Two things struck me as odd about the first result, which is first on both mobile and desktop searches. Firstly, the top result isn’t labelled ‘Mobile-friendly’ (any SEO who’s not been living under a rock will know that this is big news at the moment), yet it’s ranking above two results that are. Secondly, having been on’s website before, I was convinced that it was mobile friendly – so I clicked (or tapped) on it, and – as a matter of fact – it is:'s mobile site screenshot
Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test even confirms this – here’s the results page for that page:

Mobile-Friendly Test results for screenshot

So… what’s going on here?

Let’s take a closer look at the SERP:

Mobile SERP - (highlighted) screenshot
Notice how the label next to’s result shows ‘Jobs 1 – 10 of 370’ instead? I have a feeling that this rich snippet is overriding the ‘Mobile-friendly’ tag for this result – i.e. that Google is choosing to show the former instead of the latter (even though both are true)… which isn’t good for (more on that below).

Click to read more!

Why I Prefer A Full URL Slug

Slug!Recently I noticed a difference in the way that the URLs of my blog posts were being generated and presented. Some of the ‘gubbins’ words such as “the” and “a” (I believe articles is the correct grammatical term) would be taken out when I generated a draft, so for example, for a post called “Why I Prefer A Full URL Slug”, instead of the URL being /why-i-prefer-a-full-url-slug/, it would be /why-prefer-full-url-slug/.

I checked my plugins, immediately suspecting that it was a change made to the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast (which is awesome, by the way). I couldn’t find anything related to it in its settings, so I let it go, manually ‘beefing out’ the URL each time I drafted a new post. However, a few weeks later, I checked Yoast SEO looking for another feature and came across this…

Yoast Permalinks screenshot(Click to enlarge)

This feature of the plugin “helps you to create cleaner URLs by automatically removing the stopwords from them.”

In the words of the mighty Partridge: “A-HA!” Bingo. Unticked. Job done. All is well.

Here’s the thing though… It’s ticked as the default, suggesting that most people prefer it this way, and/or that it is the standard as far as SEO is concerned.

Always enjoying an opportunity to be controversial, I disagree!

Click to read more!

Google Help Needs UX Improvements, A Content Audit & A Better Attitude…

Help Wanted signAs someone who’s been doing SEO and PPC day in and day out for nearly 5 years, I’m no stranger to Google’s Help sections. While there’s a lot of great search engine marketing advice out there on other people’s blogs, sometimes it’s helpful to see what Google themselves suggest and recommend about Google-y things, especially if it’s a brand new feature or a confusing topic.

Of course, the info isn’t just intended for SEO and AdWords folk: it’s for your everyday webmaster (hence why one of their main Help blogs is called Webmaster Central). Your everyday webmaster (definition: the person responsible for maintaining a website) might be an individual working in marketing, web development or IT, however it might even be the business owner his/herself, especially if it’s a small business. Therefore Google should endeavour that all of its information is sorted in the best way possible for convenience and accessibility and that the sections in general are as easy-to-use as possible in order to reduce frustration.

…But that’s simply not the case.

What Google Help needs is:

  • UX (user experience) improvements,
  • A content audit, and
  • A better attitude…

Why UX improvements?

I had an incident recently that just screamed ‘frustrating user experience’ when I tried to contact the Google AdWords Help team, who – in their own words – are “here” and “love to help.”

Click to read more!

SEOno News & GB Posts: Part 2

Following on from last time, just a quick update…


I finish my coursework at the end of this month, after which I’ll finally get on with the site redesign. I’m serious. I’m not kidding! I’ve been talking about it for well over a year, so it’s about bloody time I got it sorted. Seriously though, I’m marking it as a priority from September, even at the expense of writing less content until I get it done.

Speaking of content, I have some great posts lined up. I’m in the process of asking for people’s comments for a post relating to online marketing for live music, which will probably end up being one of my next posts. I also have half a dozen or so ideas for content – it’s just having the time write them that’s the issue!

Oh and I have a new job! I started my new role as an SEO Strategist for Box UK in July, as part of their new Digital Marketing division. Exciting stuff!

Guest blog posts

Not really guest posts per se, but 4 new posts on other sites…

Before leaving Liberty, I wrote a two-parter titled ‘What Is Keyword Research?’ The first part covers what it is, why it’s important and how to go about it. The second part covers a few common mistakes people make when conducting keyword research. I was supposed to have another post about PPC appear on a well-known PPC blog on behalf of Liberty, but I don’t think they ever published it unfortunately.

I’ve also helped to produce two posts for Box UK (already)! Before I’d even started, I was asked to write an introductory post, so I wrote a list of do’s and don’ts in carrying out SEO in 2012. I was also involved in an interview on SEO and UX (User Experience) with my colleague Chris from the UX team – we talk about how SEO and UX should work in unison and not be treated as separate entities.

I also have another YouMoz post in the works, which I submitted back in June. I wrote my first one a year ago, which seemed to go down well, so I’m very excited to have another post pending publication. Fingers-crossed this one makes it onto the main SEOmoz blog – I’d be absolutely delighted if that were to happen!