Having a user-friendly website brings in new business—that’s a fact; however, a website that presents obstacles to visitors quickly loses not only visitors, but potential business. In this article, we’ll take a look at how you can make your site more user-friendly and make it a pleasant experience for visitors.
The Importance of a User-Friendly Site
Why does it matter if your site’s user-friendly and pleasant for visitors? It matters because this is the main method for keeping current clients engaged with the company, along with offering new visitors information about your business.
If your site’s accessible and easy to use, visitors tend to spend more time reading and engaging with your brand. With a beautiful, easy to use site you’ll keep current clients and customers, while engaging new ones. This is why your site needs to be user-friendly.
Let’s take a look at some ideas to help make your site user-friendly.
1). Ask Your Users
When it comes to navigation and ease of use, your regular site visitors will have the answers. Don’t be afraid to ask site visitors what they like about your site, what they feel could be improved, etc. You might be surprised at their answers.
Visitor or customer feedback can help you and your web designer/developer improve the website. There are a few ways to ask for visitors’ opinions. You might try creating a customer survey. You could consider embeding survey as a popup on the website. Another option is to use a feedback button on each page. You may need to consider using a lead magnet to get feedback. You could offer a free gift, a certain percent off their next purchase, etc. in exchange for visitors’ feedback.
Get creative—don’t hesitate to ask for feedback.
2). Keep Navigation Simple
Navigation is the key to attracting and keeping visitors. In fact, if your site’s navigation is confusing and even non-existent, visitors will quickly become frustrated at not finding the information they need and want. As a result, you’ll lose visitors who will then search for information on competitors’ sites.
Keep your navigation easy to find—the best places for navigation is horizontally across the top or on the left of the page as a vertical sidebar. Once you’ve chosen the best place for your navigation, keep it in the same location on each page of your site. Be sure to keep the style, fonts and colors the same each time. This lends your site consistency and makes the navigation easy for visitors to find.
Keep navigation phrases simple and to the point—avoid lengthy phrases, but at the same time avoid generic terms. Along this line of thinking, you’ll want to keep the number of links to a minimum in the navigation section. Too many links can be overwhelming for site visitors—the optimum number of links is about seven.
3). Speed Up Your Site
These days, visitors expect a site to load in 2-3 seconds or less! If a site takes longer than this to load, many people simply move on to the next website. Not only that, but Google monitors a site’s load time and uses this to calculate the site’s rank. If you have a slow site, you’ll lose visitors and ranking in Google’s search engine. That’s a double whammy.
To find what may be causing your site to slow down, there are tools that can help check your site’s speed and diagnose what’s causing the problem. You can try Google’s Page Speed Insights or another site called Pingdom. These sites offer various web performance tools that can help pinpoint issues that are making your site’s load time too slow.
4). Make Information Readable
Site visitors are short on time and tend to scan a web page for the information they require. If paragraphs are several sentences long, readers have a tendency to completely skip the information. To avoid this problem, keep paragraphs short—about 2-3 sentences maximum. Content will be easy and fast to read/scan.
Use of white space is also important when creating your site pages and content. What is white space? It’s the space between elements on a page. These are places where there are no graphics, text, etc. White space offers “visual breathing room” for visitors’ eyes. White space can even help readers better understand what they’re reading. Not only that, but white space also helps a website look neat, clean and uncluttered. Be sure to work in enough white space to balance your site’s pages.
Formatting text is another way to make your site’s pages more readable. Make use of formatting such as bulleted lists, highlighting of words and sentences, headlines and more. Formatting directs the eye and keeps a reader’s interest.
5). Choose Colours Carefully
Colours are an important part of your website and you’ll want to use them wisely. When considering the colour scheme for your site, consider your company’s industry, who will be visiting the site, your site’s goals and objectives. For instance, will your visitors come from a local or global market? Visitors from a global market will have different cultural perspectives of colours.
Be sure that the colours you choose are a good match with your industry and your brand. Brand consistency means keeping colours the same across all mediums—from business cards to your website, logos, social media accounts, etc.
6). Make a Mobile-Friendly Site
Most people are using mobile devices to search for information on the Internet, so your site will have to have to be mobile-friendly. This means your website design must be responsive. You’ll need to make sure your site looks good on both a desktop computer and on mobile devices. Make sure mobile users can access things on the page without zooming and make it easy for them to navigate the entire site.
For instance, buttons on a mobile site will have to be positioned so they can be easily tapped with a finger on a small screen. A responsive design should also make use of optimized images, which helps reduce bandwidth and scaling problems. The best image file formats are GIF, JPED, and PNG.
These are just a few of the things you can do to make your site more user-friendly. Make sure your site is beautiful, easily accessible and friendly to all visitors. You’ll soon see your business grow as a result.