Saturday, August 25, 2012

How to make your website more user friendly

A website is created for your audience. It contains text, images, videos, funky java scripts, flash etc only to enhance the user experience. Thus, the prime motto of a website designer is to make the website more user friendly. If we talk from an Seo point of view, then it becomes more than important to make a website that is likeable by users so that they spend more and more time on the website. So, are they a set of rules which one should follow or are they any secrets to that? This post would answer all your queries related to how to make your website more search engine user friendly?
User Friendly Website (Image source:- Userfriendlycc)

Question 1

Think about who would visit your website?

Every website is created for a specific set of audiences; hence the website design and functionality differ based on the user behavior and industry standards. Hence, the first question you should ask yourself is to who would probably visit your website? Based on that data, you should create a user friendly website.

Question 2    
   
How do people recognize you? (Company Name or Brand Name)

Do people recognize you via your brand name or your product name? A good example is of Maggi Noodles. The company behind it is Nestle, but people recognize it with its brand name. If the people recognize you by your product name then it is better to highlight your product name on the website. Else, you may highlight your brand name. Highlighting a brand name or a product name gives satisfaction on the mind of users and they feel relax and continue looking for more information. On the other hand, if your website lacks proper highlighting of important areas then people lose focus and ultimately leave the website. 

Question 3

Why would people visit your website?

This is one of the most important questions and often the webmasters forget to answer this question. Find out why would people visit your site? Whether for finding specific information on any topic, to book tickets, to play games, to listen to music, to view videos, to view your brand information etc. It is better to find out the reason first then prepare your website accordingly. Remember content plays a very important role in making your website more user friendly. 
To learn more about content, visit- What is good content?. 

Rule 1

Make your website Easy to Navigate

Easy to navigate (Image source:- Ibrandstudio)
Imagine you are visiting a new place and you are lost in the middle of the road. There are no signals, road maps, signs etc. What would you do or rather how would you feel? Feel frustrated isn’t it? In the same manner user would also feel frustrated if he/she does not finds a proper channel of navigation. The point to remember is that, the moment user feel frustrated, he exits your website. Hence, the recommended design guidelines is to use proper navigation by using breadcrumbs, text links, contextual links etc to give your users several channels of easy navigation. 

Rule 2

Check your site speed

The speed of the website plays a vital role in the user behavior. Not all user are having a good internet speed. You need to keep that in mind while designing your website. Keep it simple (Read KISS approach in Seo) while adding various elements in your website. Do not add extra images, extra videos, extra functionality that may increase the speed of the site. Try to edit all the unnecessary components and keep only the important ones. Use CSS to separate the formatting from the main body. You can use various site speed checkers to check the speed of your website. 


Rule 3

Check your links

Many webmasters forget to remove links pointing to old pages on their site which they have removed. This leads to broken links and the users are unable to find content on the website. The end result is that they leave your website. Hence, they should be no broken links on your website. You may use Xenu broken link checker or  GWT to check the broken links present on your site. 

Secret 1

Measure the bounce rate

Google provides you with free utilities like Webmaster Tools and Analytics. You may use both these tools for free and measure how your website is performing with the audience. Bounce rate is an important factor in reading the minds of the users. It serves as the direct measure on how the users are reacting to your website. If they love your website, the bounce rate would be less else it would be more. Study the different aspects related to the bounce rate and keep it to a minimum.

Secret 2

Measure the Clickthrough rate

Clickthrough rate (CTR) is a direct measure of how your site is performing on the search engines. If the people find your site enticing, they would be willing to click on it else they will ignore it. The company name, the brand name, the title and Meta tags and the freshness of the content all play an important role in the user behavior on the SERPS.


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