As I’ve been working on new client sites and re-vamping my own, I’ve narrowed down 2 of the most important aspects of a website in relation to happy viewers. Happy readers means they stay longer, come back more often, and will buy from your site.
Here are the two aspects that I think are probably most important.
1. How fast is your site?
Nothing makes a visitor click off your site faster than not being able to load the webpage. If the page doesn’t come up quickly, your visitor is gone.
We’ve grown accustomed to instant gratification online. If your web page takes longer than a few seconds to load, you may miss out on valuable prospects and visitors.
It’s not just that they won’t be happy having to wait for your information, it’s that we have incredibly short attention spans online. Really? How many tabs do you have open right now?
So what can you do to ensure quick load times?
- Reduce and minimize your graphics. Make sure a graphic takes up no more than 10k on any given page.
- Don’t use flash. Many website designers still turn to flash to add interest. Don’t do it. It takes too long to load. If you do use it, make sure you give your visitors the opportunity to click through and skip the show.
- Use plug-ins sparingly. There are a number of really useful plug-ins. However, they’re bulky and can slow down your load time. They can also distract from your web page’s purpose and make it look cluttered. If you’re going to use a plug-in, make sure it supports your goals for that page. And make sure it enhances the visitor experience.
2. How easy is it to find the right information?
The other thing that makes visitors happy is a website that’s easy to navigate. Straightforward and intuitive website navigation can be difficult to accomplish.
The following tips can help you get the job done.
- Eliminate clutter – Many times a web page has so much going on that the visitor isn’t sure what the page’s purpose is. Are they supposed to look at ads? Fill out a form? Read an article? Make sure your web pages have a purpose. Then make sure that page is designed to support that purpose. Everything from the formatting to the add-ons can add or detract from your page’s purpose.
- Intuitive buttons – The buttons on your page are there to guide your reader deeper into your website. Therefore, they must make sense to the visitor. One of the best ways to ensure your buttons are easy to understand is to make them keywords.
- Keywords are likely what drew your visitor to your website. They’re what the person is using to search for and find information. Create categories and subcategories with your keywords. That way your user is able to easily find the information they’re looking for.
When your visitors are able to navigate your website with ease, they’ll stay longer. If they’re able to find the information they’re looking for without struggle and frustration, they’ll return again and again.
When you combine a straightforward layout with quick loading times, you’re well on your way to giving visitors a very pleasant experience. Happy visitors turn into happy customers.
Take a look at your website now. Does it make visitors happy? (if not, contact me and I’ll give you some pointers)