One of the most effective things that a webmaster can do to increase the profitability of their website is to enhance the user experience so as to invite them to stay on-site longer.
High bounce rates dilute the ability of a website or sales page to sell products and services to a visitor. For this reason, anything and everything that can be done should be done so as to effect a user experience that is as comfortable and informative as possible.
So, what are some of the main items to consider when designing a website that begets a user friendly experience? There are numerous ones, but here are a few.
Tag Lines And By Lines
One of the most important aspects of a website is it’s tag line or by line. The tag line is the brief description of a website’s purpose or scope that is, in many cases, found just beneath the title of the website. This tag or by line is usually located in the website header. Ideally, the header information would be located on every page of the website and have a consistent appearance throughout. This is very important due to the fact that not all traffic comes to a website through the home page. Rather, it comes through whatever landing page it finds first which more often than not is via organic search results. In this regard, consistency is key.
As just mentioned, the layout of the header is key. However, the header layout is a function of the overall layout of the entire website. The arrangement of a website would include first and foremost it’s navigation buttons. For many websites, these can be found at the top of all website web pages, beneath the header or down a column on either side of the main content. Whatever layout is chosen, it should be consistent and visitors should feel comfortable navigating the site in a matter of seconds. If it is not, the browsers “back” button is usually the preferred replacement.
Text And Fonts
All information on the website should be created using fonts and text size that is easy to read. Graphics help, but these should be used sparingly as they may affect site load time. Pleasant colors that are consistent throughout the website can help give your site a professional look and go a long way to build the trust of your visitors. Additionally, you would want to check your text size and fonts in all browsers to make sure that they are readable in each one.
Any type of media that is chosen for your site should be used sparingly. Keep in mind that not all of your visitor will have all of the required plugins installed for certain types of media such as flash. Many browsers do not have these plugins installed by default. Therefore it is not uncommon for many visitors to search for the information they need on sites that do not require the use of special plugins. For this reason, keep flash and other types of required media functions to a minimum.
A Custom 404
If a visitor comes to your website looking for information or a web page that is, perhaps, no longer available, a good thing to have would be a useful and customized 404 page. This page would explain to you visitors that the information they seek is no longer available. Additionally, it would have prepared for them a variety of alternatives to their search. The objective is to avoid annoying the visitor and provide them with a solution at the same time.
Clear Path To Products And Services
When ever a browser lands on you website, a clear path to your products or services or information about your products or services should be clear and easy to find. All of the aforementioned items in this article should be considered when placing information about main means of monetization. With respect to your offerings, your navigation and call to action should stand out and be obvious.
Clear Path To Search And Contact
If for some reason, your visitor cannot find your products or services right away, there should be an obvious search function available on you site to take them to whatever page of content they desire to see. In this regard, a site-map will also help and further the enhancement of your user experience. Finally, when all else fails, give your visitors a reliable way to contact you so that you can assist them in any way they need.
Website layout and usability are only a few aspects of running a successful online business. There are many more. If you are interested in obtaining a well rounded education on setting up an online business, it is highly recommended read our site.