Thanks to all of you who wrote me in response to last week's SherpaBlog. Here's a quick summary of what I've learned from you:
- Pages must print:
If you decide to switch right-hand links to the left-side of pages based on the usability-lab research I mentioned last week, make sure users can print pages without losing any information off the right edge.
I had our Web guy Ryan add a "print this story" button to the top and bottom of every article on our site to help with this problem.
- SEO is unaffected:
For those of you who were concerned that your search engine optimization might be affected by moving links from the right to the left, I asked expert Jill Whalen of HighRanks.com for advice.
Jill said, "Either way of having the links makes absolutely no difference to the search engines. Unless your HTML page is over 110K (not including graphics), the spiders will index *all* the content and follow *all* the links."
- For ecommerce keep your buy button right-side:
Click analysis researcher, David Niu of NetConversions told me based on his data, "A retail best-practice that we've observed is that call-to-action should be placed on the right-hand side and most cross sell and up sell opportunities are also best placed there or under the product."
- In email, right-side links not always visible:
Loads of you wrote in to note that when it comes to email newsletters, you don't always open your window all the way to read. Smaller windows = right-hand columns being cut off.
So if a newsletter (or other mailer) wants clicks, don't put critical stuff over on the far right.
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