Website usability – 10 tips for getting it right

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For a business, there isn’t anything more important than the website when it comes to online marketing. It’s the focal point of your business’ online presence and your success rides on its ability to deliver to visitors a great experience. Follow these 10 website usability tips to ensure that your business’ site is doing exactly that. 

1)     Make sure that visitors understand immediately what you do. Many companies make the mistake of assuming that their site visitors already know what they are offering. Not necessarily. Visitors need to be able to understand what your company does within seconds of landing on your site. Let them know they’ve come to the right place right off the bat.  

2)     Keep the distractions to a minimum. Think about your main calls to action and ensure that they are front and center.  Keep things focused on what you want your visitors to do. Don’t deter them with other, less important content.

3)     Make your content easy to digest. Large chunks of copy can be overwhelming. Use headings, bolding, bullet points etc… to break up the copy and help visitors easily identify important points and main ideas. Font size, spacing, colour and contrast are important too. Ensure that your information is presented in a way that is easy to scan and digest.

4)     Keep your forms as clean as possible. When creating your website forms, keep them as simple as you can. Remove any information that isn’t absolutely essential. Long, detailed forms can be a deterrent.

5)     Be quick. Websites with long load times quickly lose visitors. Ensure that your site is speedy, avoiding flash or cumbersome plugins.   You could check out services like www.yottaa.com

6)     Monitor your website visitors. Learn about what your visitors are doing on your site. Find out where they drop off, where they click and what catches their eye. Use this data to further improve your website.

7)     Don’t be afraid to test. A/B or multivariate tests are a great way to test different parts of your website – whether it’s copy, design, layout, images etc… You may think that you know exactly what your target market wants and prefers – but only by testing can you know for sure.

8)     Talk to your customers in their language. Convoluted copy that is full of jargon, is vague or comes across as too stuffy or professional does not make for a good experience. Your copy should have a conversational tone that is easy to digest and resonates with your target audience.

9)     Don’t hide content. Don’t force your site visitors to spend time hunting around your website to find what they need. Many of them simply won’t bother. Your top information should be accessible by just a click or two from anywhere in your site. Your navigation should be clear and consistent throughout. Navigation that disappears or changes on inside pages is confusing and frustrating.

10)  Have contact information front and center. Buried contact information sends the message that you don’t want to be contacted and forces the visitor to do extra legwork. Your contact details should be accessible from each and every page.

Internet marketing success depends on a great website. And a great website depends on its usability.

About the Author

Hartland Ross is an online marketing strategist, entrepreneur, and founder and president of eBridge Marketing Solutions - an online marketing agency and consulting firm catering to B2B Technology companies. Considered a pioneer in the online world, Hartland has been working in the sales and marketing of web based technology companies since 1999. He is well recognized and regarded in the hosting industry and to date has worked with over 150 web hosting companies providing business growth, marketing strategy and industry direction advice and recommendations. With 15 years of business development experience, plus over 12 years experience in working specifically with technology companies, Hartland is a sought after speaker and online authority who is often interviewed and quoted in various industry related case studies and articles.

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2 Comments

  1. Yes but probably more accurately you want to make it as easy for your visitor to do what you want them to do - ie register, complete a form, download a trial, create an account, purchase etc. All of these elements underpin this concept.

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  2. I guess in short what you are saying is to keep my website simple. That is easier said than done if I have alot of pages and information to share. Thanks for the tips

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