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There’s nothing more annoying than coming across a website that seems more like a scavenger hunt than an information resource. When visitors come across such sites, they say, “I am not accessing this site again!”
This is exactly something that you don’t want your target audience to think of your website.
Your company’s website is one of the most essential marketing tools that help establish your business’s credibility and reach out to a wider audience. Inevitably, at times it is natural to get caught up in making the website more visually appealing and overlooking its usability.
There are businesses out there who think a site that looks good is best placed to make the right impression on its target audience. But they are wrong. It’s a site that offers a highly satisfying user experience (UX) that helps promote your brand effectively.
Your main objective should be to build a website that is functional and easily accessible to your customers. Only then can it lead to an increase in conversions.
Here’s a list of six major concepts that play a pivotal role in the creation of a user-friendly website.
- Effective Navigation
(Image credit: http://blog.aheadworks.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/01_Layered_Navigation.png)
A good navigation system quickly gives your customers the information they need without any fuss. Making it intuitive will undoubtedly help in providing a seamless experience to your target audience.
Follow these tips in order to improve your website navigation:
- Firstly, you need to figure out your website’s information architecture.
- Avoiding jargon in the navigation menu is important or else it might contribute to a bad user experience. Use simple and easy to understand terms that won’t perplex users.
- Use a clean navigation design that remains consistent for all your pages.
- It is vital to let users know on which page they are at all times. Using a different navigation background and leaving a breadcrumbs trail are some of the best ways to do so.
- Use concise and relevant content
(Image credit: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Content-Blackboard.jpg)
Plain and endless text is not something your users are looking forward to. According to reports, users often leave web pages in 10-20 seconds, but pages with a clear value proposition can hold people’s attention for much longer. So, make sure that you keep your content clear and concise throughout your website.
Relevant information regarding your products and services is of utmost importance. The content needs to clearly answer all the questions your users might have. It is through focused content that you can keep your target audience engaged. The visitors not only end up becoming your customers but they also help in bringing more business through social mentions and references.
Break up text into lists, use correct headings, sub-headings and paragraphs. All of it will help the reader quickly go through your website and access the information they need. Delivering clear content is the stepping stone to making your website more user-friendly.
- Don’t forget efficiency is a must
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Slow loading pages can easily chase your users away. This can certainly be avoided if your website loads within 4 to 6 seconds. What’s more, speeding up your website will also help in improving your search engine ranking. Ensuring users get their jobs done, as soon as they land on your web page should truly be an essential feature of your website.
There are various factors that influence your website’s speed such as number and size of images and pages, use of Flash animation and the amount of excess code.
Multimedia takes up a lot of space and bandwidth. So better resist the temptation to make your website more enticing by putting a lot of multimedia files on your website.
- Make it mobile friendly
(Image credit: http://www.searchnsocial.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/mobile-friendly.jpg)
Research shows 30 percent of online shoppers will abandon a purchase transaction if the shopping cart isn’t optimized for mobile phones. This figure in itself is enough to let us conclude that a mobile optimized website has become the order of the day.
Mobile users will refuse to stay on a website if it requires add-ons to display in a browser or if they have to constantly squint to go through illegible text. Now with one-quarter of global web searches conducted on a mobile device, it is tremendously important to have a mobile friendly website and to reduce the bounce rate.
- Don’t underestimate the value of ‘Call to action’
(Image credit: http://marketeria.net.br/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/call-to-action2.jpg)
Call to action (CTA) is a very powerful design element that should not be overlooked. It is the use of words or graphics or both that point out the next logical step to the user. By adding CTA in the right places, there can be a significant increase in the conversion rates.
Research says that users are more likely to act when they are prompted to do so. Make sure that you add these psychological cues for your users. Don’t let your CTA sound ambiguous. You need to sound assertive and confident in your CTA. Only then will they help in reinforcing the desired action from potential customers.
- ‘About us’ Page
(Image credit: http://blog.twmg.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/about-us.png)
Last but not the least; credibility plays a very crucial role in your website. Introducing yourself and letting the users know about what your company does in the ‘About us’ page will help in building brand credibility. And remember, this page should mention what you do succinctly and in an interesting manner.
Many ‘About Us’ pages fail on this front!
One of the most compelling ways to do so is to tell a story, one that talks about how and when your business came into being. Stories are very effective in establishing a strong sense of connection.
You need to let your target audience know that you are a real company with real people-not some cyber thief hiding behind their computer screens. Don’t let your users become skeptical about you. Ultimately, this is all about building trust. This page should clearly reflect your business’ personality.
Your website allows your target audience to get a better idea about your business and all that it stands for. It also plays the role of your business’s presence in the online world. You must do everything you can to make sure your online presence is liked and appreciated by your audience. Failure is not an option.
Michael Georgiou is a dynamic business professional and entrepreneurial guru associated with Imaginovation – Web Design Company in Raleigh who has proven his success in creative strategy, online branding, project management, and communication projects in both the public and private sectors.