If you want visitors to stick around, keep coming back, and spending more money, your website has to completely user-friendly on every device it is showcased on.
Today’s internet users have high expectations and often prefer a company whose website and its design offer a great user experience, even if the prices aren’t as low as elsewhere. This is why, with profit margins being so tight and many competitors offering broadly similar services, user-friendliness is often the decisive factor in choosing which website to buy from. In this post, we’ll show you some useful ways to improve your user-friendliness.
1. Improve loading speed
User-friendliness begins before your visitor has even arrived on your site and begins with how fast your site loads on their device. If it does, you’re off to a great start. If it doesn’t, then you need to recognize that if it takes longer than a couple of seconds to load, you’re losing almost half your visitors (and sales) already.
Slow loading sites aren’t user-friendly at all. They are troublesome, especially if the user needs to browse several pages and each one takes an eternity to appear. Most users will abandon the site quickly and go elsewhere – many won’t even wait for the first page to load.
To improve speed, choose a web host that provides fast hosting and use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool which will show you how fast your site loads and tell you how to speed it up. Alternatively, you can hire someone that can diagnose your website and get it up to speed!
If your website isn’t fully responsive, those people who visit using a mobile device won’t be able to access the site properly. As people now spend twice as much time browsing on a phone as they do on a computer, this means you could be losing up to 60% of your visitors and the subsequent conversions. Again, Google will show you how mobile-friendly your site is with its Mobile-Friendly Test tool.
3. Make it easy to find everything
Websites can be large, sprawling places with loads of categories and subcategories. This can make it difficult for visitors to obtain the information they are looking for. A user-friendly site is one that makes everything possible to make finding things easy.
Menus are one of the main ways people find information and these should be conveniently located, clearly labeled, and have their contents organized in a way that the user would find valuable. Importantly, the menu needs to be simple to utilize. If the menu is overcomplicated, the user has no chance with the rest of the website.
Another essential navigation feature is a site search, where users can type in what they are looking for. Many themes have these built-in, though there are various plugins that can be used if yours doesn’t. Site search makes it extremely easy to find precisely what you’re looking for, particularly on very large, complicated websites.
Finally, you should also consider a filtering feature. This is excellent for eCommerce websites as it lets customers narrow down their choices to meet their exact needs. For example, if a customer is searching for a suit, they can filter the results for the price, size, color, and brand they are searching for. You’ll be familiar with these user-friendly features in most reputable online stores.
4. Give clear instructions
Some websites don’t give clear instructions to their visitors about what things they need to do next or what they are trying to showcase. This could deter customers from adding an item to a shopping cart or checking out, it can leave them unable to give feedback or initiate an online chat or it could stop them from navigating to another part of the website.
When visitors feel disoriented, confused, or unable to carry out an action, they leave and go to a competitor. Providing them clear instructions helps prevent this. These can be done simply by putting the information on the page – often in the form of a Call to Action – such as 'Add to Cart', 'Go to Checkout', 'Learn More', or 'Click Here to Chat To Customer Service'.
5. Write your content for your users
A user-friendly website is one whose content is easy to digest and follow. How easy, depends on your intended audience. If your site is for the general public, then the content needs to be relatively broad and written using short sentences that don’t use elaborate vocabulary.
If you are writing for a niche audience, the use of targeted language may actually be required. Similarly, an educated audience might expect more complex vocabulary.
The key to getting it right is in knowing who your audience is and writing in a way that they find agreeable. An elementary school website, for example, would write its content differently for primary school children than it would for those taking a history degree.
It’s not just the actual words that need thinking about, either. You should also think about the way the content is presented, such as the size and color of the font, the use of white space, and the images on display. All these need to be user-friendly for your visitors.
6. Make it simple to get in touch
Any business that puts its customers at the center of its operations will make it easy for them to get in touch. They may have a problem with a product, a query over delivery, want to change an order, or have a question that could lead to a new sale. Being able to contact you quickly is not only user-friendly; it improves customer confidence and trust and improves your company’s reputation.
The easiest way to let customers get in contact is to have a 'Contact Us' page that is clearly linked to on every other page of your website. This page should display all available methods of contacting you (phone, email, chat, contact form, social media, business address, etc.) and give explicit instructions of how it should be done.
Another option many businesses use is a chatbox feature, like the one we use on our website. This allows for a very fast point of contact for your website visitor. There has been a study that you are 300% more likely to convert the visitor if you make contact with them in the first 5 minutes of the point of contact.
User-friendly websites have never been more important for any brand. With so much competition for customers to choose from, a website that goes out of its way to be easy to use is one which will attract new visitors and retain them over the long term, helping your business to keep on prospering.
If you want your current website or looking to create a brand new user-friendly website, visit our web design page to see our solutions.