Nowadays, it’s no longer enough to just slap up a website, include some text and add some graphics. In fact, it doesn’t matter if your website looks great. If it’s not user-friendly and frustrates its visitors, chances are that you’ll lose those visitors to your competition.
Unfortunately, there are far too many websites like this online, whose owners are losing a ton of money just because their websites don’t deliver the necessary usability that most people have come to expect. All smart and highly effective web developers and designers have a checklist that they go through to ensure that all their clients’ websites are very easy to use.
This checklist contains crucial elements that are commonly found in all successful and easy to use websites. So, let’s explore this checklist, shall we.
You know how there’s a 3-second rule about confronting your fears or picking up food from the floor? Well, there’s a 3-click “rule” for all websites. Essentially, the “rule” says that all website visitors should be able to find whatever it is they are looking for on your website in three clicks or less.
While this is not a rule or law per se, it clearly reiterates the need for a clean website with easy navigation structure. Your website should have a clear, logical arrangement and structure to it with proper categories and sub-categories. A cluttered website where it’s almost impossible to find what you need on time is repulsive, and most visitors won’t even wait to figure it out. They’ll just leave for another site.
Have you ever visited a website that took “forever” to load? Remember the frustration and disappointment? Well, you can expect the same from your site’s visitors if your website doesn’t load within 2-3 seconds.
These days, “forever” on the internet means anything above 5 seconds. In fact, Google is intolerant of slow loading websites and will often give more priority to a faster loading website. Bottom line, if your website is slow, not only will you lose a ton of visitors, you’ll also lose some of your hard earned rankings on the search engines. Therefore, ensure that your website is free of heavy images and scripts that will slow it down.
Your website should have a search function that is both accurate and effective at delivering only the best and most relevant search results on your website. Your web designer or developer may need to create a custom search function that will do an actual deep site scan and return the best data for your searches. For now though, you might want to avoid the generic search functions provided by Google and other providers.
Your site should have a comprehensive linking pattern. This will not only help your visitors access content that are deeply embedded in your website, it’ll also help the search engine bots scan your website and find/index your deeper pages. This will result in overall ranking boosts which will further drive more traffic to your website. Also, make sure to create a sitemap of all the pages on your website. This is extremely effective for increased rankings.
Did you know that the search engines generally consider a website with a balanced mix of text, videos and images, an authority or highly relevant website? If you didn’t, well now you know. Your website shouldn’t be designed for just text alone.
You should include options for images and video embeds. These will keep your audience engaged –thinking lower bounce rate and significantly higher rankings. Also, having all these properly optimised could result in multiple search engine listings and rankings.
Now that you know what the crucial elements of web design are, building and designing the perfect website is possible. Just follow the checklist, hire professional website design services and you’ll end up having a website that’s loved by both the search engines and its visitors. That’s the double whammy effect.