There is no shortage of opinions and information for website design, but one thing often overlooked is website usability. You could have the most beautiful website on the internet; but, if it’s not easy to use your visitors will leave in droves…very quickly. Not a good thing if you want your visitors to learn about you or your company.
Here are 7 keys, based on usability testing, which have been proven to increase the chances of your site becoming one of the more popular websites in your niche.
Professional Web Design
It is true your site appearance is evaluated quickly by your visitors. If it looks like it was designed in 1998 you are probably in trouble right away. So you definitely want an attractive graphic design, but you also want to go beyond looking good. Pay attention to the actual layout of each page; the typography, imagery, and consistency issues should all be taken into account.
Make Your Website Easy to Use and Useful
You want to have useful and educational content, but it also must be easy to find. Many sites forget about those who will use the site and instead focus on their ego or trying to dazzle visitors with the latest web technology. There’s nothing wrong with incorporating the latest technology, but not if it gets in the way of what your visitor wants to do.
Update Your Website Content Often
Not only do the search engines treat you more favorably, but frequent visitors to your site will stop returning if they don’t find updated information.
Avoid All Errors on Your Website
No matter how small they may seem, errors like typos and broken links damage the perception of your website. Your visitors will begin to question your credibility. Broken links hurt your website usability and your search engine ranking.
Make It Easy to Contact You
Go beyond a simple contact page. Give visitors a way to contact you from every single page on your website. Bake it into your website design. If a visitor can easily find how to contact you as soon as you have caught their attention the greater the chance they will do so.
Highlight Your Expertise
Make sure your website design and layout includes areas to demonstrate the expertise and credentials of your people. Sprinkle in testimonial quotes from customers and vendors. If you have credible affiliations highlight those. Beware that overdoing this can hurt you, so be careful and thoughtful about it.
Educational Content More Than Promotional
It is certainly alright to have some promotion as part of your web design you want the majority of your content to be educational. Most people like to buy, but they don’t like to be sold. Too much promotion on your website and you will lose your visitors quickly.
There are other elements that go into website design, but you want to make sure you are using a web designer who understands usability is at least equally as important as looking good.