Research conducted by HubSpot.com shows more than 75 % of respondents said the most important factor in a website is ease of finding information. If the navigation is too complicated, content too difficult to understand, or design functionality too cumbersome, you will lose business.
So remember, from your visitor’s point of view, the key issue is usability.
10 Tips to Ensure Usability
- Mobile compatibility. Did you know that more than 50% of visitors use mobile devices (smartphones, tablets) to access websites? Check to see how your site looks on mobile. Or use the Google mobile-friendly test at https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
- Position your logo at the top left. Having a logo on your website is a necessity. And because people read from left to right, top to bottom, placing at the top left is best to maximize visibility.
- Include contact information. Who are you? Without contact information, your credibility is damaged. It needs to be in a conspicuous place, like the footer or contact page. Give people a choice to communicate by phone, email, and business address.
- Focus on effective navigation. A simple pencil sketch of the site’s page hierarchy helps define substance; i.e., content, structure, flow and functionality without visuals that distract. Ask yourself: What are visitors looking for and how easy will it be to find it? Once you clarify their needs, you can define the content of each page and how will contribute to the sales process.
- Make content easy to absorb. People don’t read anymore—they skim. If your content is clear and concise, including bulleted lists, you have a better chance of getting your message across.
- Add search functionality. This type of search pertains to locating information inside a website—not using an external search engine like Google.
- Accept online orders. People are used to online shopping, so they expect to place an order directly on your site. Don’t miss sales because your site doesn’t sell online. You’re not only losing profits; you’re not expanding your list of potential clients.
- Usable forms. Forms are extremely important on business websites. They generate leads and allow communication. Two important tips: 1) Keep the number of fields to a minimum; and 2) display an on-screen message upon completion.
- Add social media icons. If you have a strong social media presence, why not add links to your website to attract your followers? Likewise, website visitors can connect to your less formal social presence and learn about specials, new products, and more.
If you’d like, contact me for a free analysis and ideas on how to improve visitors’ perceptions. Websites are evolving constantly, and you’d be surprised by how much you learn from a periodic review.