If A User Can’t Find What They Want Within 10 Seconds They Will Click Away – the world wide web has made people more impatient. Once they have found your website via a search, they expect to find what they are looking for almost immediately. If they don’t find what they are looking for quickly then they are aware that the next website down search engine rankings might have the information they want. This means that they will click away and visit a competitor’s website instead. To prevent this from happening you must ensure that the information that is pertinent to your visitor’s search is present on your website. But it isn’t enough that your information is there, it must be easy to find. User testing can be performed to find the weak points on a website where visitors click away.
A Picture Speaks A Thousand Words – a lot of old school Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) practitioners have neglected to include images in their websites in favour of copious amounts of text. Many of these SEO experts have wised up to the fact that websites need to be aesthetically pleasing and provide visual cues for calls to action. Having good positions in the search engines means very little if the targeted traffic that is being generated to the website isn’t converting into sales or enquiries. Improving conversion rates is a practice that is known in the industry as Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO). The end result of CRO is to convert more targeted visitors into either enquiries or sales. Visual content such as images which support text on a website have been proven time and time again to improve visitor conversion rates.
Don’t Make Me Think – one of the major stumbling blocks to good website usability is to overload website visitors which too much information. This causes cognitive overload which can confuse visitors and ultimately cause them to click away from a website due to frustration. The aim of a website usability practitioner is to improve what is known as the flow. The flow through a website is defined by a set of tasks which can be completed with ease. User testing can help to improve a website’s flow. The end result is better user experience, more repeat visitors and better conversion rates.
I’ve Got Options – different website users that different requirements. Some prefer to phone to make an enquiry. Others prefer to submit a contact form. This can depend on the urgency of the enquiry and the individual personality of the user. For instance, a visitor’s reluctance to speak on the phone might be overriden by the urgency of the enquiry which would go against their original inclination to take preference to contact via a contact form. Having different options will help to facilitate a different range of visitor personality types as well as enquiry types.
Help Me To Find You Again – whilst elements of websites such as allowing subscription to RSS Feeds, including Social Media follow/subscribe buttons and providing newsletter signup forms may seem beyond the scope of website usability they do help to improve conversion rates. Adding these elements as a minimum can help visitors to find your website again for future visits. You must be aware that the first visit might just be an informational search so subsequent visits might be the occasions when a contact or sale is made.