123Reactions
user_friendly_website

10 Ways to make your Website more User Friendly

It is no surprise that the internet has become overcrowded and competitive. You HAVE to be on top of your game to stand out and be successful, so probably the best thing to do is to give your site all the tools and tweaks it needs to achieve your big goals and help growing your business.

Check out these 10 ways to ensure your website visitors are happy, enjoying the stay on your site and always return back, Why you will lose visitors if you can turn them into a loyal readers?

Speed it up

Today’s web visitors have short attention spans. Slow websites lose visitors like Jenny Craig loses weight. Google looks at page speed as well, so speed it up! There are many ways to do this. Simply do a quick Google search to find some tips. I’ll also be writing a post shortly about various ways to increase page speed, so stick around.

Prominent navigation

Web designers are getting really creative these days. This is great because of all the good design that is around, but sometimes designers try too hard to “break the mold” and they end up throwing out a lot of the marketing methodology behind site layout. Creative designs are awesome, hiding important things like page navigation is not. Keep it cool, but keep your marketing hat on too.

Site map

There are several advantages to using well organized sitemaps. It is great for the search engines when spidering your website to ensure they index all of your pages. It is also great for users that are looking for a specific page. They can browse your sitemap and find what they are looking for quickly and easily. I recommend that you organize your sitemap into categories.

Search

Featuring a search bar on your site is a great way to help serve up relevant content to your users. If someone visits your site and is looking for something specific, all they have to do is a quick search and they are served up the content that matches their query. There is an analytics side to featuring a search bar as well. There are ways to track the searches made on your site so you can get a better understanding of what your website visitors are interested in.

Avoid Flash heavy doorway pages

Luckily this trend is coming to a close, but there is still much of this out there. There is no reason to put a page before a page. Web surfers are too impatient to have to visit a doorway page before they get to the page they want, especially if they have to view some extravagant Flash video. Just because you have a cool Flash video doesn’t meant you need to force visitors to watch it. Use the video, just find another place for it. Doorway pages are terrible for your SEO as well, so just try to avoid them altogether.

Categorize your content

This seems like a no-brainer and from what I have seen, most websites do this well. Try to break your pages into categories and sub-categories as much as makes sense. Most web surfers are scanners and the faster you can help them find what they are looking for the better.

Break up your content

If you have a lot of content on your pages, break it up with subheadings and images. This allows visitors to scan your content and digest it fast. Put important information that you want read in bold. Subheadings and images are great to break up long articles. Many visitors will bolt if they come to a page that looks like a book. Few people want to sit on a page for 15 minutes reading web content word for word.

Put thought into your call-to-action

Why do you have a website? Surely you had some goals and objectives in mind when you decided to build a website. I’m guessing that some of those goals were somehow sales related. So, if you’re lucky enough to attract web visitors to your site that are searching for your products or services, make buying easy for them. Highlight your calls to action prominently so the user knows how to take action fast.

Check your links!

The last thing you want is someone browsing around your website and come to a screeching halt when they run into a broken link. It is unprofessional and avoidable. Check your site and have someone else double check it as well. We are all busy and broken links happen, I’m guilty of it and I’m sure you are too. Just try to make a conscious effort to get another pair of eyes on your site to help you find things like this.

Easy on the eyes

By now we can all agree that content is great for your website. With that being said, let your content be great by being easily seen and read. Make your content easy to read. Light gray text on white background may look cool, but could be hard to read. Pay attention to colors on black backgrounds as that can make you text difficult to read as well.

Websites can be powerful tools, but they are surely not set it and forget it. Measuring, tuning and tweaking are ongoing tasks of today’s webmasters. Using these suggestions will help reduce your bounce rate and keep your website visitors happy and coming back.

This post is part of our Guest Blogging contest, if you like it then why not sharing it with your friends by retweeting it? this will give credits to the author and a better chance to win one of our awesome prizes.  By the way.. you also can participate in our contest, it’s not late!

Zack Hanebrink is an online marketing professional who works for RhinoSEO, a leading online marketing services company in beautiful Charleston, SC. Try our online marketing tools for free!

GET FREE EMAIL UPDATES

Get our latest articles delivered to your email inbox, plus download our FREE 15 minutes later marketing guide.

We respect your privacy!

{ 44 comments… add one }

  • Jimmy September 8, 2014, 3:14 am

    How about responsive feature for some mobile/tablet user? It will great if our website can auto fit with each display :)
    Thanks for the ten above, really inspiring..

  • Rodger November 20, 2013, 2:53 pm

    Very helpful write up, I think checking your links caught my attention the most, primarily because it’s an arduous task that most people are rarely bothered with. I think it’s something that I’ll have to make a routine of doing.

  • Suhas July 26, 2013, 5:48 am

    Hi Zack,
    User satisfaction has really become a crucial aspect for any website. I worked a lot to get my site load quickly without spending too much.
    These days I see many bloggers creating blogs and decorating them in such a way that they have page sizes of 4 Mb to 5 Mb and still host on shared hosting.
    The tips shared by you are really useful. Thanks for getting all this here for us.
    Suhas recently posted..The basics of Web designing in 2013My Profile

  • Posh Infosys March 30, 2013, 3:51 am

    Nice article for how to create the user friendly website..
    You can create the blog for website which is also the good way to create the user friendly website,
    you can also add the feedback form,however user are getting touch with us..
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Sarmista Aun March 15, 2013, 7:44 am

    Hi Zackrh,
    Each and every point is effective enough for making your website user-friendly. Creation of sitemap is really important because it is a way to informs the search engine regarding your website. It is a easily way to get indexed .

  • Dave June 20, 2012, 4:17 am

    Speed is essential and its actually easy to speed up a wordpress site with plugins like W3 total cache and supercache that support content delivery networks

  • Amna June 20, 2012, 2:52 am

    really usefull article. all the mentioned tips are of great importance to be considered. I am trying to build my own page. all these tips will help me grow ;)

  • Samuel May 29, 2012, 9:45 am

    A slow webpage is a bummer to the new visitor. These tips are great ways to make it more user friendly.

    Nice article!
    Samuel recently posted..How To Write A Good Article!My Profile

  • Rebecca November 10, 2011, 1:20 pm

    Nothing worse than going to a page that loads ever so slloooowwwwlly… i always like to remember things that I appreciate or that I don’t when surfing the web when trying to remember what makes for a great website. Thanks!

  • sejour ski October 29, 2011, 8:44 am

    To improve speed you missed out an essential plugin called WP Super Cache that will serve HTML pages, that are held in the cache, this means users receive a much quicker experience when searching around your blog.

  • Kaution October 16, 2011, 2:06 am

    Not to sound rude or anything, but something you may want to add to this article and also something you may want to stop doing yourself is quit using those pop ups! That will chase me away in flash. The inline ads on text is also bad for sites that do that. I click right off the page because there’s nothing more annoying then reading something and my mouse accidentally hovers over one of those text links and an ad pops up.

    But the main pop ups are the worst! Why? Because 90 percent of the time I browse the web with my android phone! And when one of those pop ups appear to try and get me to sign up it’s difficult close it out on my device. I have no other choice than to go elsewhere.

    Just saying, the world is going more mobile and I think it would be best to think about the readers rather than self promotion. If people actually sign those things for news letters, well, I guess keep doing what you’re doing. But you could be throwing away traffic from mobile users.

    Peace

  • Kostas September 18, 2011, 3:18 am

    Usability of a site and the speed that pages load are 2 of the most important aspects of on page seo and most importantly for visitors, additionally a website that loads quickly will have a low bounce rate which is another benefit…
    Kostas recently posted..5 Website Usability Tips that Drive ResultsMy Profile

  • Mark July 7, 2011, 6:07 pm

    Definitely Check your links! Excellent tip, Zack.

    I have actually been using the “Broken Link Checker” plugin for wordpress and I must say that it constantly cleans out a fair amount of dead links, in turn keeping my blog fresh and relevant in terms of outbound links.

    Whatever you do, don’t put large lists of hundred of links on one page because it will bog down your server. If you keep it under a hundred or so, then it is fine.

    I love that plugin.

    Thanks for the great article, Zack!

    Mark
    Mark recently posted..The Article Keyword Stuffing PrimerMy Profile

  • Nasif May 4, 2011, 2:46 pm

    You forgot to mention about putting an archive list in a blog !
    Nasif recently posted..Another Very Important Arm of Broadband Internet Satellite InternetMy Profile

  • Dave Lucas April 18, 2011, 1:46 pm

    I see too many “doorway” pages and way too many “sliders” — also, blogs where you get a headline, a few sentences and a “read more” are thoroughly annoying! I guess I’d better go “weed” my template when I get a round tuit!
    Dave Lucas recently posted..Dave Lucas is on KINDLE!My Profile

  • Mani Viswanathan February 6, 2011, 6:31 am

    A fast loading site with an elegant design makes it a user friendly site. Thanks for the other points. Will be helpful to me as I’m almost done with my blog’s redesign. So will take into consideration some of the points you’ve mentioned for last minute changes.
    Mani Viswanathan recently posted..HowTo Keep up with the Evolving TwitterMy Profile

  • Daniel January 30, 2011, 4:55 pm

    Great article!

    Too many people designing websites think entirely about how they view their site and don’t take into account their audience and usability. Certainly, your site has to serve the purpose of conveying your information; however, if its cluttered, unusable, slow, or any of the number of other “aesthetic” purposes you covered, it won’t be able to serve its purpose of driving traffic.

    Look forward to reading more.

    -Daniel
    Daniel recently posted..Build a Website Without HTML KnowledgeMy Profile

  • Karan Labra January 11, 2011, 1:00 pm

    I always keep an eye on my site’s loading time and how it is viewed in different browsers.
    I take special care of my readers as far as reader-experience is considered.

  • Ornela December 17, 2010, 7:59 am

    In my opinion, website loading time is really very important factor. When the website loading time is slow, visitors will leave the website. Thanks for sharing these tips.

  • Justyna Bizdra November 1, 2010, 4:07 pm

    Zack,
    That would great to see some of the examples of well designed and managed websites.
    Thanks for the list, “Put thought into your call-to-action” is my favorite one.
    there is one more thing that is also essential- brand your site, make it a bit different. How?for example, be consistent, give great value, and write the way you do it naturally…what do You think about it?

    best, Justyna:)
    Justyna Bizdra recently posted..Online Business Systems- How ‘Traffic Ten’ Fits InMy Profile

  • Yvette October 24, 2010, 12:35 am

    Great advice, and fantastic to see that you lead by example. The headings and subheadings really do make a huge difference (now that you have me paying attention to them)! And concise – can be absorbed at 1 am… :-) Keep up the good work!

  • Divina Bramley October 17, 2010, 10:58 pm

    have been following ur website around three days. absolutely love your posts. by the way i will be conducting a study regarding this subject. do you happen to know any other websites or maybe forums that I might learn more? thanks in advance.

  • Gabriele Maidecchi October 10, 2010, 7:19 am

    Nice post, I especially hate Flash websites, it really can make the difference between a long visit to a website and closing it abruptly after one second.
    Gabriele Maidecchi recently posted..To each its own- build your content around its mediumMy Profile

  • Darren Cronian October 10, 2010, 4:08 am

    To improve speed you missed out an essential plugin called WP Super Cache that will serve HTML pages, that are held in the cache, this means users receive a much quicker experience when searching around your blog.
    Darren Cronian recently posted..Hotel star ratings are useless to consumersMy Profile

  • abhishek September 28, 2010, 3:18 am

    Thanks for a wonderful article.
    For me the best thing about this site that keeps me coming back here is the content and the user friendliness here. The theme that is used which I think is Thesis and the way it is made out, it makes it really good on eyes and its a really good read. Even the posts here are always with a heading so it looks like we are going through a well written article rather than a article just posted for the sake of it. I feel if a blogger just follows this site he will learn much more on the ways of how to blog and become successful.All the best.
    abhishek recently posted..Babri Masjid Verdict Date-Will the verdict ever comeMy Profile

  • Ian July 13, 2010, 3:37 am

    Great tips
    i think that speed is a very important element.
    i moved from a shared hosting to a dedicated server and performance of my site has improved. Now i see bounce rate has decreased a lot and pages viewed by users have increased.

  • fashionartexpression June 25, 2010, 4:09 am

    Hi Zackrh, thanks for sharing your tips.

    These tips are the basics any blogger should know.

  • Paramjit March 23, 2010, 11:18 am

    Great article Zach. Loved it as usual
    .-= Paramjit´s last blog ..Running for Weight Loss =-.

  • Dev March 22, 2010, 2:40 am

    great article.
    I have done this already:)
    .-= Dev | Technshare´s last blog ..A Video Marketing Blueprint That Will Knock Your Socks Off =-.

  • chandan March 20, 2010, 11:22 am

    Really very good explanation Hesham, Attractive looking designed blog can drive more traffic and all other things like navigation, search bar, subscription button are also important to place on prominent place on our blog.
    .-= chandan@work at home jobs´s last blog ..10 Work from Home Money Makers =-.

  • Siau Hen March 20, 2010, 7:21 am

    Choose a simple and decent Wordpress theme (Like Thesis Theme) will definitely fulfill most of the point you mentioned.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Ski March 19, 2010, 8:44 am

    Good article. Good explanations and organisation. Like the way you categorise your ideas.
    It will help people.
    Ski
    .-= Ski´s last blog ..Résidence La Souleille des Lannes 3* =-.

  • Suresh Khanal March 19, 2010, 3:46 am

    Great tips, each more valuable than other.

    Ah! I was looking for some information on sitemap. Do I have any good plugin to automate the sitemap generation for wordpress that you can refer?

    I liked your statement “Keep it cool, but keep your marketing hat on too.” Really! Great!
    .-= Suresh Khanal´s last blog ..Does your blog load too slow? =-.

    • Zack March 19, 2010, 7:55 am

      Thanks Suresh! Yes, Google XML Sitemaps plug-in for WordPress works great. It puts the site map together for you, keeps it updated and submits. All you have to do is install!

  • Onibalusi Bamidele March 18, 2010, 11:26 am

    This is really a great article, page speed and easy navigation will have a lot of advantages for your readers. W3 super cache is doing a great job on page speed.
    Thanks for the great article.
    .-= Onibalusi Bamidele´s last blog ..How To Backup Your Wordpress Blog =-.

  • Tom R March 18, 2010, 10:52 am

    White space and font size (big enough) are two other ways to make a site user friendly. For example your blog has good spacing between the paragraphs and the H tags (but that may be the thesis theme running it :)).

    Consistency is another one of Steve Krug’s favourite (author of Don’t Make Me Think).
    .-= Tom R@Your Practice Website´s last blog ..Websites for accountants – 7 specialist suppliers in the UK =-.

    • Zack March 18, 2010, 11:58 am

      White space is a good point, sometimes less is more!
      .-= Zack´s last blog ..7 Ways to Increase your Blog’s Page Speed =-.

  • Home Business Marketing March 18, 2010, 8:36 am

    These indeed are insider info. I love the one about speeding it up and making it easy on the eyes. I have visited most sites and I couldn’t just stay a second because of the effect on the eyes. I think if you have the good of your readers in mind then giving something they will be happy about is a very important.

    Thanks for sharing.
    .-= Home Business Marketing´s last blog ..Guest Blogging plus some Prize! =-.

  • Jeremy L. Knauff March 18, 2010, 7:23 am

    Great article! It looks like someone beat me to mentioning search. Something else that is important is having contact info available in a easy-to-find location. People like to know they’re dealing with a real person/company.

    • Zack March 18, 2010, 11:56 am

      Good point, especially since the saturation of bloggers, being human can help set yourself apart.
      .-= Zack´s last blog ..7 Ways to Increase your Blog’s Page Speed =-.

  • Gautam Hans March 18, 2010, 7:23 am

    An amesome post! I use the technique of breaking up into lists or smaller paragraphs. And thanks for the linking to my article.
    .-= Gautam Hans @ Blog Godown´s last blog ..Boosting your Google Adsense Earnings using Google Certified Ad Networks =-.

  • Julius Kuhn-Regnier March 18, 2010, 4:01 am

    I think these are all important things you have mentioned here. I also think that people forget about putting a search function on their blog. People are so used to searching that it’s not a good idea not to have one.
    .-= Julius Kuhn-Regnier´s last blog ..The 3 Unwritten Rules of Blogging =-.

    • Hesham March 18, 2010, 4:08 am

      Specially if you used Google Custom search which is a perfect search tool and also it has some other benefits!

      I am trying to find time to change the search on this blog to Google!

    • Zack March 18, 2010, 7:41 am

      You’re right Julius, search bars are important even for blogs. People want info, and they want it fast!
      .-= Zack´s last blog ..7 Ways to Increase your Blog’s Page Speed =-.

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge