Traffic is one of the keys to your website’s success. However, that traffic isn’t going to do you any good if visitors leave your site as soon as they get there. You want them to stay and peruse what you have to offer. But one of the reasons why visitors don’t stick around to explore your site is because they don’t see any reason to do so – your site is just not user-friendly. Here are six ways to change your site for the better.
1. Pay Attention to the Accessibility of Your Content to Your Audience
Whether you wrote your content yourself or hired someone to write it for you, it’s important that you take a second look at it. Your content is what is going to make or break your site. It’s the main reason your visitors are there, so it has to capture their attention.
First of all, don’t get overly technical with your writing. Sure, explain certain concepts or products if that’s what your customer will want – but don’t overcomplicate things in the hope of ‘impressing’ readers.
Keep paragraphs to a minimum in length. Large blocks of text can look like walls of text and can quickly turn off any would-be reader. Four to five sentences per paragraph is fine. The more you break up your text into smaller chunks, the easier it will be for your audience to look at and the more they’ll be inclined to read it. ProBlogger has a brilliant series of posts on how to write excellent content.
Use pictures, videos and other non-text illustrations as often as you can in your content. Online audiences don’t always have large attention spans and are looking for something to entice them into reading more. Great images or other media will help keep them interested throughout a post, or even on your product pages or landing page.
2. Have a Clean Layout
Make sure your site looks clean and is easy to navigate. Confusing layouts are one of the biggest reasons people turn away from a website. They want to be able to find the information they’re looking for easily. Make sure your navigation is clear and obvious and don’t try to hide links to things like your “Contact Us” or “About Us” pages. Clear navigation is really important, as www.FuelYourBlogging.com points out and www.GetBusyMedia.com exemplifies.
You also need to consider how your site looks on a mobile device. It may look super on a regular computer, but appear all jumbled up on a phone or tablet. With increasing numbers of people getting online via mobile devices, you have to make sure your layout is mobile-friendly as well as PC-friendly. Consider using responsive design to overcome this problem. Responsive design uses CSS and media queries to determine what type of device is accessing the site and adjusts the site accordingly. This will let you have one site instead of building a separate one for mobile devices.
3. Include Contact Information
Whether or not your readers ever want to get in touch with you, providing your contact information on your website will give them confidence that you’re legit. Audiences want to know there is a real person or business behind the website they’re reading. In fact, the presence of contact information can have a positive impact on your conversions if you’re selling something on your site.
On the other hand, lack of contact information makes people suspicious and can have a negative impact on your conversions. Providing an email contact form on your site is the least you should do. You’ll get more trust and more positive results from your visitors if you’re able to include a physical address and telephone number, as well.
4. Make it Visually Appealing
While you don’t want to crowd your site with too many confusing graphics or distracting animation, it’s a good idea to make sure the site looks attractive. People are more likely to spend time on an attractive site. In web design, less is definitely more – check out Web Design Trends In 2013 here. A simple two column site usually does quite well. When you’re choosing colors, make sure they’re complementary to each other and not too overwhelming. www.Kuler.Adobe.com will help you choose a great palette for your site. Easier, still, use the colors of your logo on your site.
5. Keep Loading Times Fast
If your site is slow to load, visitors are going to get impatient and go elsewhere. This is not the age of dial-up where it wasn’t uncommon to wait an hour or more for a page to load. Visitors want instant access to your site. Visitors are impatient and will not wait for a slow site. The best way to ensure a fast loading time for your site is to get a good web host with a lot of bandwidth that is able to provide that capability. Compare different web hosts through different user reviews on a site such as www.WhoIsHostingThis.com and find one that provides fast, reliable loading times at a decent price you can afford. They’re out there and it’s essential for you to find one for your site to make a great first impression.
6. Get Rid of Broken Links
Broken links are annoying and can make your site seem less professional. Visitors can be put off if they see a link to something that looks interesting, but that doesn’t work when they click it. Go through your site regularly and check for broken links in your content and in any graphics that link out to other sites. If they’re broken, fix them, or remove them if the site that was linked to is no longer there.
It doesn’t take much time to make your website user-friendly. All you need is a little knowledge of what your visitors want from your site, and then give them what they want. You have been presented with all the tools you need right here to make your website a hit with your visitors. Now go out there and make those changes. You’ll be surprised at the difference these changes can make for your site. This can be the dawn of a whole new age on the Internet for you.
Image credit: Micky Alridge