User friendly sites and their importance By Neil
Just because you like the way that your website looks does not mean that it’s doing you any favors. Appearance is not always everything. If your site isn’t user-friendly for your readers or doesn’t offer a call to action, there is no point even paying the money you’re wasting for hosting.
In today’s society, most people don’t go a day without getting on the internet and many even say that they would rather go without phone service than internet service. This just tells you how important your website can really be to the success of your company.
People use the internet for more than just checking their emails and doing a little shopping nowadays. Most are more likely to get on the computer to look up a phone number to order pizza than they are to call information or look it up in the phone book (yes, phone books are still being made).
If your website has a properly structured interface, it can be a quality tool for you. It should augment traffic and keep readers on your page longer. If your bounce rate is high, you need to evaluate what’s chasing viewers away.
So what makes a great user interface? Aside from grabbing the attention of your targeted audience, there’s a few other qualities you should be looking for when you evaluate your site.
A site that is too empty can be just as unappealing as one that is too busy. Not only that, relevant, current and important information should be positioned where it’s the first bit of information noticed. Readers shouldn’t have to search for your current specials or the newest products.
Not only is it unbelievably annoying for readers to have to wait for a page to load, it hurts your ranking too. Search engines view these sites as heavy, meaning that you need to condense photos, decrease the number of videos you have or look at your hosting to find the problem. Poor ranking is always a concern but few readers will sit there and wait longer than a few seconds for each page to load when they can simply move onto another site.
You can create menus in the header, footer and even on the sides of the page. The easier you make it for readers to navigate around your site, the more likely they will browse around and find what they’re looking for.
It doesn’t matter how great your site looks, if you are lacking content or if the content that is there is poor, people will have no use for your page and no reason to return. Your content should be fresh, accurate, interesting and free of errors.
Whether you’re developing the website yourself or paying someone else to do it for you, it needs to be well-optimized and search-engine friendly. Make use of your meta tags and check that your site map hasn’t been blacklisted for any reason from time to time. If search engines can’t find you or don’t like your content, the most attractive site in the world isn’t going to get you anywhere because browsers won’t be offered your website address when they’re searching for information.