A user friendly website focuses on details that make website browsing a good seamless experience. Google loves user friendly sites and it ranks them higher. User friendly websites have higher visitor retention numbers, lower bounce rates and more conversions. The design phase is an important time when you lay the foundation of a user-friendly site. User experience is better if it is included as a factor right from the offset in the design. As the website then grows, user experience can be improved upon.
Use fonts that are easy on the eye. The color and lines should be clear. The paragraphs should be short. Web users don’t like a lot of text. Jargons, abbreviations and acronyms should be avoided. It is important to pay attention to the clarity of text. A site should have a good quality content which is search engine optimized. Google loves quality content. The content should be original with no sneaky redirects, hidden text or links. Pages with irrelevant keywords or duplicate content should be avoided.
A good user friendly site should be responsive. It is no longer a luxury, but a must have. Responsive design serves multiple devices, including tablets, laptops, smartphones with one UTL and a single content source. Users can view the same website on different devices and get optimal experience. A non responsive site doesn’t provide a complete site experience on smartphones or tablets. Google favors websites that perform better on mobile devices. If your website is not mobile friendly its ranking will plummet.
Web designers need to ensure that the sites load faster. Image size should be reduced using PNG-8, GIF or JPEG. Use image editing program to scale the images. Google loves fast sites. Site speed is a ranking factor. Google crawls a site slowly if it loads slowly. If your page doesn’t load fast the people get bored and go away. 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
Poor and confusing navigation will drive people away. It is important to have a navigation structure that is simple to understand. A bad navigation affects user-friendliness and conversions. Labels should be descriptive. Navigation bars should not have more items on them. Avoid drop down menus – they don’t convert well. Avoid graphical button shaped navigation, use text based links. If the site navigation is not clear, the visitors on your site will never know where they are at any given moment.
Favicons are small pixel icons displayed next to the URL in the address bar. They are associated with websites and are typically displayed next to the page’s name in a browser tab. Favicons help with bookmarking a site and helps site visitors in identifying a site when numerous tabs are open at one go. If you need to add a Favicon you can do that with the help of a plug in. Favicon helps you build your brand. A Favicon is 16×16 in dimension. Attention to detail makes a website stand out. A website without a Favicon will have a generic tab. One needs to make it distinct to stand out.
You need to design the website in a way that it is stable and secure. If your site is not secure it is the biggest blunder you could be making. Unless protected well, you risk leaking out the details of all your users. Every site achieves and maintains PCI Compliance to ensure they adhere to the security standards defined by PCI SSC (Security Standards Council). You could hire PCI Compliance experts. There are other SaaS eCommerce platforms that can handle this aspect for the clients. SaaS based eCommerce technology handles the DDoS mitigation for you. You could go for site-wide HTTPS to ensure security.
Many web designers do not pay attention to browser inconsistency. You need to ensure that your site looks identical on all browsers. You need to know what your users are seeing on your site. The look and the feel of the site changes depending on the browser and the operating system the user utilizes. You need right codes to ensure that every browser provides a right view of the content. Browser inconsistency can annoy your users and they do not get the right picture.
If your users land up on your site and do not know what to do after landing there – you need to smarten up and provide clarity. You need to provide clear messages and tell them what to do after landing on a page. The page should be designed in a way that only the important things are paid attention to. After designing the landing page, test different variations of the page, so that you hit on the combination of the elements that work the best for you. Ensure that it is impeccably designed and the content is of top quality. Use a strong call-to-action buttons. If you need your users to fill out forms, keep the fields to a minimum. If you make your users work hard for information, they will not return.
Broken links on a site are signs of unprofessional-ism and carelessness. You need to ensure that the site is free of them. There could be many reasons for broken links. Sometimes the websites are restructured, redesigned or there is shuffling of content which could result in broken links. Sometimes the reason is firewalls. Plug-ins or Content Management Systems can be used to track broken links. You could also use broken link checker tools to manage them.
User friendly sites rank better on search engine results, are loved by the users and help in conversions. You could track the behavior of your visitors, learn where they drop off in the customer journey and study the pain points. If you reduce the bounce rate, you can manage the ranking and conversions to some extent. A user friendly site would do well to avoid these blunders. Here’s hoping for more conversions.
Wynn is the founder of Novage Communications – a leading web design company in Singapore. She specializes in SEO and loves applying her skills to help local clients. She has successfully set up a baby online store in Singapore.
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