25 Feb How to Increase Your Website’s Business Value: Part 1: Making Your Website Easy to Navigate
In these ever-challenging economic times, businesses continue to increase their demand for high-quality websites with excellent return. No matter the service or product, learning to increase your website’s business value is an essential part of internet marketing. This blog series will include a number of tips to help online businesses hone in on the key points involved in achieving maximum recognition. Some of these points include:
- Is the website user-friendly?
- Does it clearly convey its brand identity?
- What is the quality of the content? Is it professional, well-edited and delivered to the correct audience?
- How goal-focused is the website? Does it meander into topics that may not be applicable to the target audience?
- Is the website properly search-engine optimized (SEO’ed)?
- How well are social media channels used and integrated into the website?
- Is the website also geared toward mobile internet users?
Making Your Website Easy to Navigate
This point is more important than designers might think. A poorly-engineered website that is slow and difficult to get around will significantly hinder the amount of reach to the business. Customers who run into trouble navigating will simply search for a different website that offers the same service or product.
Here are a few tips to make usability easier:
- Program navigation controls to use different colors and styles to indicate a selection or activation.
- All calls-to-action (buttons that lead the customer to the next step) should jump out and should be written clearly and in a legible style. It is all right to lead your customer to a purchase, but do not over-sell.
- All links to external sites and/or PDF files should launch in a new browser window.
- Enhance your content with copious imagery.
- Provide a site-wide free text search, especially on larger sites, and make sure that it is easy to access.
- Ensure site load-time is not too long.
- Make sure there is enough contrast between text and background color.
- Use flash and add-ons sparingly.
- Make sure the company logo is easy to see.
- Use a simple tagline to make the company’s purpose clear.
- Make sure that the company’s contact information is easy to access.
- Do not overload the homepage with information; it should be easy to read within five to ten seconds.
- Make labels clear and concise, and do not overload the website with buttons and links.
- On all pages, link the company logo to the homepage.
- All major headings should be clear and descriptive.
- Ads and pop-ups should not get in the way.
- Ensure styles and colors are consistent, that there is a uniform look throughout the entire website.
- Font size and spacing should be clear and easy to read, and emphasizing tools such as bold and italics should be used sparingly.
Providing a user-friendly website is one of the most basic and essential steps to increasing your website’s business value. You will not want to skimp on this step. Comb through it as many times as you need to and get second and third opinions until you are certain that a visitor will be able to find his way around easily.