Almost anybody can slap together a website these days. With the software and template available, setting up a website can take mere minutes. A multipage dynamic website can be set up in a day. But just because you have a company website up and ready to go doesn’t mean necessarily that it’s a top-notch website. If your company’s website has poor usability then its page hits will be low and online customers will go running straight to your competitors.
Website usability may be the latest hot phrase when it comes to websites and online marketing, but it’s a concept that has been around forever. Basically, website usability has to do with how well your website’s visitors can interact with the site. If your visitors have an easy time using your site, then the usability is high and they will return. If your company’s site is virtual unusable, potential customers will head somewhere else. Several factors can affect your websites usability. Here are the top five that you should keep in mind when developing your business website.
1. Site Architecture & Navigation
This alone can account for up to 80% of your website’s usability. After all, if customers can’t navigate the site, odds are they’re not going to spend a lot of time on it. Most website visitors will leave a site and not return if they can’t find what they are looking for within three clicks. You also want to make sure that regardless of where your customers go on your site, they know where they are. In other words, display your company name and image on every page in the same location. Consistency from page to page is key to great site architecture and navigation. You want the navigation to be clean and to ensure that there will be no guessing about where a link will take a visitor.
2. Stay Away From Clutter
Having some white space on the pages of your company website is okay. In fact, in some cases it’s preferred. Trying to avoid white space and cluttering up your website with images and unneeded text will only make your website messy and busy looking. And it will make the important things harder for your visitors to find. A clean design with only the information that is important to your clients increases your sites usability.
3. Fast Loading
Today’s web surfers are an impatient bunch. If a website takes too long to load, they’ll simply go to another site. And odds are they won’t return. Make sure that your website isn’t bogged down with a lot of stuff like graphics, videos, etc that will take a long time to load. If it will be quicker for a customer to call you or physically go into your store rather than wait for your website to load, they’ll shop elsewhere.
4. Quick Registration
If you require customers to register at some point, especially if it’s when they are trying to buy products from your site, make the registration form as short as possible. If a customer spends time on your website and wants to buy something and then gets to the checkout and has to fill out a long and complicated form, they will most likely not finish the order. Keep your registration simple and stick to the basics.
5. Easy To Read
Some color combination just don’t work on a website. A bright, bright background with dark text will make most web user leave your site in a few seconds. A white or light background color with black lettering works the best. If you want to add a splash of color, make sure that you do it in your header or sidebars.
Guest Post by Eric