A sad story about redesign, site speed, ads, interstitials, poor UX & losing Google traffic.

SEO, Conversion & Paid Advertising Strategies

This was a short topic I originally covered on linked.

A web designer/dev on my feed recently shared a redesign of a project they have been working on. It was a content-based site/blog and I thought I would check it out.

I was viewing from my iPhone and IT TOOK OVER 10 SECONDS TO LOAD. Yes, 10 seconds! It felt like an eternity!

Normally I would have just hit ⓧ, but I wanted to see this new design, so I stuck around.

The homepage loaded with a very basic, clean blog design – nothing that should impact speed too much, but it was just so slow!

I clicked on one of the articles in order to see the post design. Instantly a full-screen ad popped up about something completely unrelated to the topic of the post and the overall site. I won’t go into all the other irrelevant ads I saw once I reached the post article, but let’s just say the page was packed with them and finding the core content was painful 🤦‍♂️.

It was obvious this site was trying to make money from ads, which is ok. This is how publishers work, but you need to be smart with it. It needs to be relevant, it needs to be tasteful, you don’t want to put readers off, you want them to recommend you, share your stuff and keep coming back.

I then took a look at the site’s traffic to understand their organic traffic and general trends. It wasn’t pretty:

This site was getting over 7k visits per month at some point according to ahrefs (and it was probably something like 30-50% more than that). It has been on a downwards trend for a while and is currently getting just under 2k visits a month. For sure, reasons for that drop could be related to many things, redesign without a real SEO migration, change of content or ownership, competition and more, but still..

Designers, Site owners, small publishers, etc. Please pay attention to site speed, UX and also read up a little on ‘interstitials‘. Your traffic might start heading in the right direction.