Have you taken the time to think about whether your website is user-friendly or not? There are many factors in deciding whether or not a website is user-friendly, including the site’s design, content, and the site architecture.
Having a user-friendly website is crucial when attracting new and returning visitors. If you aren’t sure whether your website is user friendly, this article is for you. By the end of this article, you’ll know if your website is user friendly and understand your next steps to improve your site’s usability.
Visual and Responsive Design
Visual Design: Appealing to Your Target Audience
When in the design phase of creating your site, two of the key things you need to keep in mind are: who your target audience is, and what you want your site to achieve. These two aspects will determine what types of colors and images you should use on your site, as well as how you should word and format your written content.
The colors and images you choose for your site will have a huge impact on visitors’ impression of it. Make sure your website’s visuals are in line with your site’s goal, whether that’s to inform users about a cause, or sell your products. If your visual elements don’t match your purpose, you won’t reach the right audience effectively.
The Importance of Responsive Design
When using the internet, most people don’t think about the difference between looking something up on a desktop versus on a mobile device. When they’re at home or work, they’ll probably use a desktop, but studies show that most searches are done on mobile devices. It doesn’t matter to them which one they use, so long as it is a good experience for the user.
Have you ever visited a website on your phone and had to zoom in because all the text is too small to read? Or how about when two links are too close together, and you accidentally click on a page you did not want to visit?
If you have experienced similar issues, it’s because those websites don’t have proper responsive design for mobile devices. Be sure to test your site to see if it suffers from any of the issues above, or recall any issues you have experienced yourself. If there are some responsive design issues on your website, it’s time to consider site maintenance.
Tips to Increase the Appeal of Your Site
1. Always use engaging and relevant content and images
2. Use video content (when it makes sense)
3. Update your site’s design - look for modern design trends and incorporate them into your site
4. Implement designs optimized for desktop, AND mobile devices
5. Stick to your complimentary brand colors
6. Communicate a clear purpose for your visitors (does it pass the 5 second test?)
7. Avoid a busy website layout (a busy site can be overwhelming as a user)
8. Learn from visitor feedback and analytics data to know what can be improved
Quality Content and User Experience
Relevant and High Quality Content
Another essential part to making sure your site is user friendly is the written content. People visit your site because they are looking for either an answer to a question, or a problem they’re having. Make sure your content is straightforward and thorough, if your site doesn’t give them what they’re looking for, they’ll likely go to a different one.
One way to make sure your content is worthwhile is by following the EAT Principle. “EAT” stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. and is a guide of what Google (and users) are looking for in a website’s content. If your content is able to express your expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, visitors will be much more likely to rely on your content and therefore, your website. When your content is engaging and valuable, visitors will be hooked and want to keep reading.
User Experience and SEO
At first, it may seem like SEO isn’t very important for a website to be user friendly. Sure, SEO is important for a user to find your site, but what else can it really do? Surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly), good SEO practices are based around improving a website for the user, not just optimizing for the search engine.
At Dog and Rooster, we make sure to always be looking for ways to improve our clients content and user experience through SEO. We are constantly reviewing our client’s websites for ways to optimize their content and page experience (among other things). We make sure our client’s content is engaging for the reader, and that the site provides a friendly experience. Nobody likes a site with boring content, especially one that takes forever to load.
Not only will deploying an SEO strategy help make your site more user friendly, but it will also help drive more traffic to your website.
How to Increase Content Quality and SEO
The best way to increase your quality of content and on page SEO is by hiring an expert. SEO experts know what your site needs and how to implement it. However, there are some things you can do yourself to get started.
Your first step should be to review your site. Go through your content and see if there is anything out of date. If you find anything, be sure to update that content right away. It’s also extremely important to make sure your content is engaging and written for your target audience.
Your website’s content should be written with your target audience in mind. This will determine your topic and the type of language you use. There’s no need for jargon language. Concise and clear language is much more effective.
It’s fine if you have a lot of content you want to share, but be sure to break it up with headings, subheadings, and different paragraphs. Don’t put everything into one long block of text because it can be difficult to read.
Website architecture refers to the way a website is structured and organized. Good website architecture is crucial for providing a positive user experience, as it makes it easy for users to find the information they are looking for and navigate the site.
There are several key aspects of website architecture that are important for user experience. One is the site's information hierarchy, which determines the order in which information is presented and how it is grouped. This helps users understand the relationships between different pieces of content and find what they need more easily.
Another important aspect of website architecture is the site's navigation system. This is the set of links and other tools that users can use to move around the site. A good navigation system should be intuitive, organized, and consistent, making it easy for users to find what they are looking for without getting lost or frustrated.
Overall, effective website architecture is essential for creating a user-friendly website that provides a positive experience for its visitors. By carefully planning the structure and organization of a site, you or designers can ensure that users can easily find and access the information they need, making their experience with the site more enjoyable and productive.
Contact and Interaction
Allow Visitors to Reach Out
Many visitors to your site will have questions about the content on your site, your services, or products, and want to contact you directly. It is very important that you have a place (or multiple places) on your website where visitors can contact you. Many sites have a whole page dedicated to contacting them. It is also common to put contact information in the footer or high transaction intent pages, such as a service detail page.
If your site doesn’t have a place for visitors to contact you, be sure to add that right away!
Respond to Your Clients and Visitors
Answering your legitimate inquiries back is just as important. There’s nothing more frustrating than reaching out with a question or problem and not being answered. If the contact information is there, visitors will expect a response.
Make sure you are regularly checking any messages visitors to your site may have sent you, and respond to them. Don’t let those messages go unanswered any longer than 2 days. The quicker you respond, the more impressed visitors will be with your customer service.
8 Questions to Ask When Reviewing Your Site
1. Is your website designed with your target audience in mind?
2. Does your website have a responsive design? Is it friendly on mobile devices?
3. Is the design of your site modern?
4. Is your content relevant and engaging for your target audience?
5. How is your site’s loading time?
6. Do you have long blocks of text on your site?
7. Is your site architecture organized and user friendly?
8. Can your clients contact you? Do you respond to them in a timely manner?