Three Simple Steps to Making Your Website User Friendly
Scott Oliver - September 25, 2007
If you were to walk into a business establishment, but you couldn't find the products that were being offered for sale or someone that could help you, chances are pretty good that you would leave, right? When you look at a website that's poorly designed, the same things happened. Visitors who can't immediately figure out a website are more than likely going to go back to the web search page to see what other sites are available. It's a matter of creating a user friendly site – and here's how you can do it.
Step #1: Think Less is More
Many businesses think that adding a lot of bells and whistles to a website is the way to increase their customer traffic. When you have a lot of graphics, Java applications, and other add-ons, you're not only going to confuse your visitor, but you are also going to overwhelm them. These are distractions that will make your website load slowly and, for some visitors, it may not load at all.
You need to start thinking about creating a website where less is more. You want to include the things that your customer needs in order to learn more about your business and to buy products or schedule services. Everything else is taking away from the basic goals of your business – which is also taking away your ability to make money.
Here are some things that you will want to remove from your website, or at least from the home page. Visitors make their decisions about your website from the first page they see, so this is where you need to quickly establish a professional impression.
Remove bright colors. Remove flashing words. Remove video clips (unless that's your business). Remove animated graphics.
Step #2: Remember the Basic Things Your Customer Needs
Like the first step, you need to realize that less is more. There are only a few things that a customer needs when they enter your site:
A home page that identifies who you are and what you sell. An About Us page that talks about the company. A list of products. A way to pay for things. A place to get help or contact information.
Try to look at this list as a check list of the things you absolutely have to include in order to be user friendly. These are things that a website visitor is going to look for, so when you don't include them, you will confuse them and often make them look for another website that is more accessible in terms of their needs.
Step #3: Make Sure Contact Information/Help is Available
A way to contact you can be as simple as an email address, while other websites have 'live' support desks. In most cases, as long as there is a way for a customer to get help, this will help them in their experience with you. You might want to include a FAQ or frequently asked questions section that will help them with basic queries, while offering an email address for more complicated questions. A phone number is another easy way for customers to contact you and for them to feel like you are always available for their needs.
Extra Credit: Look to Other Successful Websites
If you still aren't sure what to include and what not to include on your website, look at other websites that you frequent. You will notice this formula is the same. They offer simple ways to access different features, without being confusing or too energetic.
You can also include a comments section for visitors to tell you about their website experience so that you can make adjustments as necessary too.
Scott Oliver offers free video coaching to help you build a profitable home business FAST. Get an hour of "Website Traffic Secrets" and "Minisite Creation Tactics" for FREE -- immediate access here: http://www.InstantWebsiteBusiness.com