Having a new, up to date website is great, but what’s the point in having one if it’s not user friendly?
Discover our tips for creating a website that is easy to use and straightforward to navigate-
Plan Your Website Route
By planning your website route, you can help visitors have a better understanding of where they need to be, not just where they can go.
The best way to plan your website route is by creating an index page that lists all the pages on your site. This ensures visitors have easy access to alternate routes and a way of locating pages. You can also place your main navigation in a sidebar or along the top of your site to make it more visible.
You can also use meaningful navigation and drop-down titles that are clear. This means that your visitors should have a general idea of what to expect on a page before they’ve even clicked on the link.
Also, by having your logo always accessible and visible you can help visitors know they’re on the right site. Usually it is best to have your clickable logo located in the top left hand corner to direct visitors back to your home page. If you don’t have your logo clearly displayed on your website, not only are you missing a prime branding opportunity, but you could also be confusing visitors.
Make Sure Your Website Works on Every Platform and Browser
Firstly, you need to remember not everyone will be using a desktop to view your website. Some visitors will come from tablets and mobile devices. Consequently, you’ll need to optimise your site for these devices too. This includes having buttons that can be tapped easily on a small screen and ensuring your website looks good in the 4:3 aspect ratio that tablets use. It is also important to prefer to use GIF, PNG-8 and JPEG formats for best results.
Not everyone uses Google Chrome, so you need to ensure your website is fully optimised for every internet browser.
Use Extra Website Elements
By using extra website elements such as ‘related products’, ‘recommended content’ or ‘related articles’ you can help users quickly find what they’re looking for and increase the time spent on your site. Links like this will also help search engines crawl your website and sitemap so they can identify how your site looks.
Whether you’re a small business or large company, external links are also beneficial to include. They help you become trustworthy and assist visitors with information that isn’t available on your website.
Having a search bar is helpful for sites as it offers great navigational features. This allows people to easily search for keywords and topics without manually going to other pages. Especially if you have a site with lots of pages or content on a single page.
Displaying your social media icons also helps with creating a user friendly website. Not only will it direct people to your online presence on social platforms, but it will enable visitors to share your content.
Make Your Information Easy to Read
To make your information easier to read, it is beneficial to differ your text formatting. For example, when it comes to your web design, consider bullet point lists. They are a quick way for your visitors to take in content easily.
Although you’ll want to demonstrate your expertise in your field, try to not use too much industry jargon if possible. If you have a first time visitor they’ll want to take in information quickly and smoothly.
Also, by breaking up large sections of text with images/videos or call to action buttons you will keep your visitors engaged for longer. Make sure your call to actions are in suitable, easy to spot places on your page. In conjunction with this, you’ll want your buttons to be clear. For example, ‘Contact Us’, ‘Download Now’ or ‘Click Here to Order’. The key is not to over complicate it and confuse your audience.
Ensure Quick Load Times
If your business website takes a long time to load, your users will give up waiting and go to your competitor instead. This will increase your bounce rate on your website. Studies have revealed that people leave a website if it takes more than ten seconds to load. Additionally, too many videos and other multimedia on pages will inevitably slow down your site, so make sure to not overdo it!
Tools such as Google’s page speed insights and Pingdom enable you to check your site speed to make sure it’s up to standard.
Keep It Simple
Too many options on a website will confuse your visitor, so keep it simple. If you have a site that is easy to use and mobile friendly, visitors are likely to return and buy from you. When creating your website you should design with your user in mind. So you should always test the functionality before your site goes live, as a broken site won’t help customers or enhance your search engine optimisation.
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