How to Improve Website Usability


website usability graphic by sales and marketing technologies

April 28, 2020

 
Website usability is key to keeping visitors on the page so they’re more likely to take further action, but there are many different factors that can increase bounce rates like a busy design and slow loading speeds. Here are six considerations that can improve your website usability to make it easier to achieve your digital marketing goals.

1. Navigation

Multi-level dropdown menus and sidebars can make it difficult for visitors to navigate the website, especially on mobile since there’s more limited space. Information should be accessible so visitors don’t get frustrated by poor navigation functionality and leave the website. One way to do this by streamlining the navigation bar, allowing visitors to quickly find what they’re looking for.

2. Layout

An effective website layout is visually pleasing and easy to navigate. Be strategic with all of the elements on your page and appropriately use empty space to make hierarchical relationships more clear and give breathing room for visitors so they’re not overwhelmed. White space in the design is also easier to scan, thereby making the site look more inviting and improving the user experience.
 
Another reason to remove clutter is to help create a flow that directs visitors to a ‘call-to-action’ (CTA) like a contact form or purchase. Lastly, a streamlined layout is better for ‘responsive design,’ an essential factor for being mobile-friendly, because there are fewer elements to display.

3. Headlines and Copy

The page’s headline is one of the first elements that visitors notice so don’t waste their attention. Have a direct yet catchy headline that explains what you’re offering so visitors are more likely to stay on the page. In general, a shorter headline is considered better because it’s easier to scan and absorb.
 
Also, avoid generic copy that will bore the visitor or a lot of technical jargon that makes the copy too complex. The most important thing with copy is clarity. Don’t forget about UX design copy (aka ‘microcopy’) either like the text on buttons - they should make the page a more seamless experience for visitors.

4. Speed

According to Think with Google, 53 percent of mobile visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds. Slow-loading page elements can be due to multiple reloads and reshuffling of content, causing the website to become unusable, especially on mobile. Check your page’s load speed and make improvements by reducing redirects, using browser caching, optimizing images, and more. Fast page load times not only enhance the user experience, but website speed is also a ranking factor in search engine optimization (SEO).
 
Many businesses are moving away from heavy scripts such as JavaScript because they increase load times which raises bounce rates and makes the website harder to navigate. Having minimal scripts is better for website speed and the user experience as demonstrated by Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), an open-source initiative project/platform that helps pages load faster on mobile.

5. Mobile-Friendly

Your website should not only look and perform great on desktop computers, but also across mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Considering that 40 percent of online transactions happening on mobile, not having a mobile-friendly website will negatively affect your website usability as well as mobile conversions. Having a responsive design will ensure visitors receive the same experience regardless if they’re on desktop or mobile.

6. A/B Testing

A/B testing is crucial for determining which website design and functionality choices perform best with visitors. It works by offering two different variants to two different group sets of visitors to see which variant receives a better response. A/B testing removes the guesswork in determining the more effective choices so you get the best results in terms of user experience.

Web Development and Design

By employing these six considerations, you’ll be able to improve website usability while enhancing SEO and conversion rates. If you need help with your website, Sales & Marketing Technologies is here for you. We’re an Orlando-based digital marketing agency that helps businesses reach their growth goals through website development, design, SEO, and more.
 
Call 407.682.2222 or contact us below to schedule a free 30-minute call to discuss website opportunities for your business!

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