10 top tips for a more effective, and profitable, website
It is estimated that the average visitor gives a website just 4 seconds to catch their attention before moving on (Akami Technologies Report). This means if your website is not working, you could risk losing orders, alienating customers and damaging your brand.
Read 10 top tips that Nick Watt, Usability Expert from Reed Business Insight, has shared with us.
3. Provide a clear call to action from the homepage
Homepages that are very complicated look ‘busy’ to visitors. This can cause a visitor to feel overwhelmed with information, especially when there is no clear call to action. However, be careful not to undersell the content of the site, very simple pages can give the impression of paucity of content.
4. Place critical content above the fold
Visitors often tend to miss links, logos and other content on the homepage if it appears below the fold (i.e. the user has to scroll to view the content).
5. Grow trust in the site quickly
If visitors do not trust a site they will not interact with it for long – and they will not share core information with it or purchase from it. Trust can be grown by reputation (translate real-world print or bricks-and-mortar brand value), promise (privacy policies and information on who the site really is) and warranty (returns policies, support, feedback and contact options).
6. Use a prominent and consistent navigation bar
Both left hand and horizontal navigation bars are usually well understood by visitors, provided that they are prominent and behave in a predictable way.
7. Avoid virtual ‘blind spots’
Visitors generally pay less attention to the top-right and bottom-left areas of a web page, and will often not notice links or content in these areas. Blind spots are also created by visual elements on the page – for example large blocks of colour near the top of a page are taken to be banners and ads, and visitors tend to pay less attention to links and content placed within or above them.
8. Structure and prioritise content according to the target visitors’ needs
Web sites that are not structured around the needs of their visitors will be time consuming and frustrating to use. Gathering requirements from visitors when developing a web site or when making significant changes is central to providing an offering that is useful and usable.
9. As far as possible, ensure that advertising is relevant and not distracting
Advertising that distracts visitors from their task always frustrates. Distracting advertising is most problematic when visitors are at a low level in a site and focused on a task (e.g. reading a news story). Flashing advertising or advertising that cannot be scrolled off-screen (e.g. when in frames) is particularly distracting.
10. Keep search as simple as possible and text entry fields to a minimum
From offline form filling experience, visitors feel compelled to fill in as many boxes as possible in online forms – this commonly causes an over-specified and unsuccessful search.
Free mini website health check
Request our usability team to take a look at your site and give you feedback on one positive and one negative aspect of its design for FREE.
Fill-in the form below to take advantage of this offer.