The answer is yes, a user friendly website is super important. Of course, you are likely to want more in depth information than that short answer, which is why I’m here to give you a few pointers. Some of these are related to good ol’ SEO and others are more web development focused. Ultimately, you want to combine all the best aspects of both to find the right look and feel for your site. Not every site is the same some I can’t be more specific, however, I will do my best to give you a good idea of what to look for in your own site.
Site navigation is probably one of the most important aspects to making a user friendly website. If someone lands on your home page, for example, and they can’t readily get to other pages on your site then you have some problems. Most websites have at least a basic menu setup so to be a bit more specific, you want to make sure that your menu lets users go to all of the important pages on your site such as a main product’s page, your ‘about us’ page, perhaps a ‘contact us’ page, and any other pages you think your customers should see.
People like to look around a website so helping them find all of the pages that could help drive a sale can really help you out. You also want to make sure that if you use a footer with links that they are clean and clear on where they’ll take users when they click those links. Category headers for footer links can be a helpful asset if you have a decent number of links in your footer. Understand, however, that many customers won’t ever look at your footer.
On Page Content
What’s on those pages that you want customers to see? Do you have a long wall of dry and boring text? If so, you’ve already lost them. They may skip around your site and may still make a purchase, but that boring page could very well cause people to visit a competitor instead. Text is a great way to inform people, however, you want to make sure that you hit on all the important points up front and detail them as people read. Most people won’t read more than the first paragraph or two anyway, so make sure you tell them what they need to know sooner than later.
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Images can certainly liven up a page as most of us are visual people and like to look at nice images, especially if we are shopping for a product. Placing an image or two at different points in your text can help break up the monotony. Play around with the placements to find what looks the most appealing. Alternating right and left justified images can help keep they eye flowing around the page.
The last thing, and certainly not the least, that you need to pay attention to are your conversion points. A conversion point can be anything from a simple contact us form to a full blown shopping cart. Make it easy for people to send you their contact information or to make a checkout. It is even recommended that on most pages that people will regularly visit would have some sort of button or small form that either sends people to a conversion point or gathers their basic contact information. Don’t try too hard either. Something on a side bar or after a chunk of text can do it. A button that take you to a conversion point can also be in your header, the top part of your website so that you also have it there on every page on the site.
Always try to put yourself in your customer’s shoes when looking at your website. Review how many clicks it takes to get to somewhere a customer would want to go. Most pages should only be a few clicks at maximum from the home page. If you’re still not sure how user friendly it is then get a friend or family member that is not familiar with the back end of websites to run through it as though they were shopping and give you some feedback.
Written By: Doyle Clemence – SEO