In the web-marketing world, it seems to me that businesses are zeroed in on improving SEO, creating links, and developing their blog. This is great, but none of it matters if your site is built around poor webpage usability.
In short, webpage usability is the ease by which a page visitor can navigate, view, and absorb information on a website. If the user can’t read it, view it, or navigate through it, then they will undoubtedly leave the site.
Here are a few things to consider when developing your webpage usability:
Ugly sites get fewer views.
It doesn’t matter how great your content is, the average web user will choose a sleek, trendy design over the traditional plain text webpage. To prevent this from happening to your site try some of the following tips.
- Keep you site updated. If your site hasn’t had a facelift for 2-5 years, you might want to consider some modifications. Change is good.
- Use images. People become engaged with a good picture. They say a picture speaks a thousand words, so why don’t you have any on your site?
- Don’t be the judge of your sites beauty. Your opinion will undoubtedly have a bias. Ask for feedback from your spouse, a friend, a random stranger, and a professional before you launch.
No one waits for pages to load
I know I just told you to make your site look nice with images and the works, and now I am going to tell you to reduce the load up time for your site. It’s tough, but no one is going to wait for your site to load especially when they can find the same information on the next guys website. Here are two simple ways to speed things up.
- Optimize your images. You have control over how large your image sizes are. Most photo editing programs will let you reduce the file size. Web images should be 72 dpi. Anything greater will only slow down the load time.
- Clean up your code. Useless code will slow the user down. Figure out what you do and do not need. If you have no experience web coding, have a professional take a look under the hood.
Everyone hates to get lost
I was on a site recently where the only way I could get back to the home page was by clicking the back button in the browser several times. Guess what I did… I left the page. Consider these tips.
- Make it intuitive. We have all navigated hundreds of pages, and we know how a page should function, so make it natural.
- Appropriate titles. Call home, home and about us, about us. Cute titles like “Call me” for your contact page might throw people off. Sure, creativity is fun, but if it compromises your navigation, leave it alone.
- Less is more. Unless you have a really good reason, you should never have more then 8 menus items in your main navigation bar (even that could be too much). The famous apple corporation in all its industry grandeur has still managed to keep only 7 menus on their navigation bar.
Usability = Useful
The crowning success for webpage usability is when a page visitor takes away something from your site and uses it in their life. Every business is unique, so usefulness is relative, but here are a couple things everyone can do.
- Let visitors share. Social media has opened the door for information sharing. Make it easy for people to share your content.
- Make your information interactive. Find ways for people to get involved with your content (quizzes, games, demos, free trials, how to videos). possibilities are endless.