Image by Brian Robert Marshall
A fundamental part of owning a website is generating a decent amount of traffic to view your pages, buy your products, read your articles etc. If this isn’t happening, then there really isn’t much point in even having the website.
This article is split into four main sections. If you adhere to all four sections, your website’s viewing statistics are sure to increase by quite a margin.
First and foremost, a website needs to be accessible and easy on the eye.
Sufficient contrast of background and text should be accompanied with a clean, clear and well laid out design. Doing this will in turn improve your site’s loading time, thus not discouraging potential visitors.
Choose a consistent font style and size throughout the entire site to keep things tidy and images will need to positioned and sized adequately too.
If a web-user can’t understand the purpose of your site in less than five seconds, then you’re probably not getting as much traffic as you could be. A prominently placed logo (top left of page ideally), a short and snappy tagline and a logical and concise layout of information all help to get your homepage digestible in five seconds.
An “About Us” page is pretty much essential, as on this page you can go to town on what you do as a company/person and ensure that your brand image is solidified. In addition, contact info should be either within the “About Us” page or somewhere equally as prominent on the site, since people like to see that you’re easy to reach if they have any questions to ask.
Ensuring that your main menu is a simple central page for clear links to other areas of your site is paramount to a website’s usability. If you sell motorbikes as well as pushbikes, then simply labelling a page “Bikes” won’t be ideal. A differentiation of the two is essential.
Other minor things like having your logo link to the homepage, having links which standout (underlined, blue etc) and having a “search” function all help to build the foundations of a user-friendly site.
Content has never been more crucial since the Google Panda and Penguin algorithms came into force. Emphasis on quality content is key to this and the way it’s laid out will mean a high page rank on the Google search results.
This means that your content must be add free and pop ups shouldn’t constantly get in the way; use bold and italics sparingly and the content’s font and style should be the same, with a clear voice behind the writing.
Most of these points should be obvious and their use explains the benefits to be had in increasing website usability. Covering all of these areas shouldn’t take anymore than a day on an existing website – depending on how large your site is – and for a new website these things should be implemented straight away.
If you can suggest any other points not mentioned in this article, please feel free to comment and share below.
James Duval is an IT Support Manager and often blogs for strategyinternetmarketing.co.uk who specialise in SEO techniques, website usability and increasing conversion rates.