Your website is a tool to promote your business, and an important one at that. Not that long ago, amateurs could create their own websites on the fly, but these days you need custom web design to impress savvy consumers.
Your website is likely to provide the first interaction most customers have with your business and your brand. As such, custom website design is essential to ensuring that consumers have a good experience and view your company in a favorable light.
Of course, you actually have to get them in the door first, which is where marketing services, online ad campaigns, and premium SEO services come into play. Once visitors reach your website, though, you must not only impress them with your custom website design, but also make it easy for them to navigate, find what they’re looking for, and reach their end goals (reading blogs, making purchases, signing up for membership, etc.).
Website usability plays an important role in customer engagement, lead generation, and sales. Here are a few ways you can improve your website’s usability and create more productive and positive customer interactions.
Focus on Layout and Design
The layout and design of your website are integral to ease of use, which is why it pays to spring for custom web design. A professional graphic designer knows where people look first and how they scan pages for information.
This person will ensure that the layout and design works both on individual pages and provides a cohesive and recognizable format that permeates your entire site. He/she will also provide navigational tools that make it easy for users to find what they’re looking for.
Experienced web designers can also give you advice about using appropriate colors and fonts to ensure readability and visual appeal. Web design is a complex undertaking that involves art, technology, and even psychology, so it’s definitely wise to hire a custom website design pro.
Pare it Down
Businesses have a tendency to bog down their websites with a ton of information users don’t necessarily want or need. In fact, an excess of content can actually impair a visitor’s ability to find what they’re looking for, leaving them frustrated.
This is not the outcome you want, especially with visitors new to your website and your brand. What you need to do is pare down your text to the essentials and make sure the most important information is supplied first, since people rarely read “below the fold”, so to speak.
Find a Reliable Web Host
In order to use your website, users must first find it. Nothing can hurt your ability to interact with consumers online more than a faulty web host. Your premium SEO services and efforts at lead generation will be for naught if users click through only to find an error page.
The importance of a reliable web host cannot be stressed enough. If you find that you’re experiencing frequent, lengthy, and/or unexplained downtime or consistently long loading times, you should start looking for a new web host that offers some guarantees and better service.
Optimize for Mobile
The number of users that rely on mobile devices to check social media, surf the web, and shop online is increasing year by year. It’s hard to deny the convenience of these on-the-go connectivity tools.
As a business owner, you need to do your best to enable mobile users to access your website. Although you don’t necessarily have to optimize for mobile, it will make your online hub of operations more usable for a growing number of consumers, as any marketing services professional can attest.
Track and Analyze
It’s not enough to spring for custom web design and budget for premium SEO services. If you want to ensure that your promotional efforts are working, then you need to use appropriate metrics to track and analyze usage. This can also give you clues as to how visitors navigate your site, where they get hung up, and how you can improve their overall experience.
There are a variety of tools available to help you test the usability of your website, such as readability test tools that tell you how easy your content is to read and understand. However, you can also hire marketing services to help you survey actual visitors to your site.
With the right questions, you can prompt users to tell you why your website isn’t working for them and how it can be improved. There’s no better way to get useful feedback on website usability than by going straight to the source.