Is My Website User Friendly

Is My Website User Friendly

Did you know, you only have approximately 15 seconds to get people’s attention when they are looking at your website? That is literally how long it takes for someone to either A. be interestested in your company or B. lose all interest and leave. Don't get me wrong an engaging design and copy is great, but there are other things you can do to keep them hooked. I’m not just talking about font and color, however please please stop with the itty bitty light gray font. It's ridiculous.

The most common complaint of consumers is broken links. There are several ways to to make sure you can avoid this. Plan ahead and this will save your a lot of time and energy. If you are working with a professional web designer, they will make they are working properly. If you are doing it yourself through WordPress or Wix there are ways to do this. If you decide to change the structure of your site then please have a plan in place before you change anything. This will help make sure  your 301 redirects are working properly.

Contact forms on your website are great for user experience. Can you just have an email address listed on your website? Sure but now your run the risk of them writing down the wrong email address and losing it. Nowadays people don't like talking on the phone. With text messaging and email being so prevalent you will lose customers if they can only call. If you have a contact form on your page make sure it works. Nothing says bad customer service like someone reaching out and thinking they will get a phone a call and no one calls them. Especially if your contact form says someone will call them back. By performing a test contact form you will be able to see if the contact form captures all the info you need. Also make sure your contact form has a Captcha to filter spam. Once in a while make sure your recaptcha is working, if it stops working you will then have a bunch of spam leads. You don't want the embarrassment of your customers not being able to reach you.

Some people don't run ads on there page, but if you do keep them relevant and non intrusive. I understand some of you may make money off of these. If this is the case please customize your settings so that they are relevant to what you offer. If you are roofing company please don't have clothing ads on your sites. An issue I have found with this is that people complain that these ads mess up the flow of the page. Example of this is would be if you are reading a blog and an autoplay ad pops up it distracts the reader. This will distract them for reading the information you have provided. Why would you want to do that? You don't.

Pop ups are another thing that annoys people. Have you ever been in the middle of a site and newsletter sign up pops up? I have and its highly annoying. Now if you are a retailer and you are promoting a sale then yes pop ups are great!. They will advertise for you and people will check out the sale. However most of the time a simple banner will do the same thing. If you have a pop then please test it on several different mobile devices to ensure that your visitors can click out of it with ease. Another thing don't have them pop up right away and don't put “No Thanks” option in very light font.

Check out your site on a regular basis. Make sure it is up to date and the contact info is correct. If you terminate someone make sure there info is off of your site. One of my biggest pet peeves is when i'm calling a company looking for a specific person and I call the number on their site and the number is wrong or that person no longer works for the company. The other thing is make sure your hours are correct. If you are closing shop for a holiday make sure you put that on your website. Your customers are busy and let's be honest we all are and we all work hard, don't make your customers work to hard for the information they need.

Now another pet peeve is everything opening in a new tab. Please have a standard on when and what opens in a new tab. It's annoying to have to open new tabs because you want to see what they offer. The menu drop down should just load the page not redirect you to another tab. I will open a new tab if its an external link, if a website has me opening up ten tabs just so I can get information im out of there.You dont want people leaving your site!  If its a call to action link or button or a menu I will not open it in another tab. I am going to reiterate this you don't want people leaving your site because you are making them. You want them to spend time looking at your website and learning about your business.

You want to make sure your pages link together in a smart logical way. This might be old school but I like to keep a spreadsheet on Google drive of all the websites I manage.  This does a couple things for me. It keeps me aware of what I am managing as well as keeps me organized. On this spreadsheet every website has its own line consisting of Title, Topic, and URL. I add to this document everyday. Meaning I update it whenever I post on a website. This helps me to be consistent but also helps me create an interlocking structure. I can see what posts relate to what. This allows me to send users to certain areas of my website. Every post is numbered so I can easily link them together. I note on the spreadsheet what goes where and with what. That way I know what I have already interlinked and I will know if I need to add more or not. How do I know this? It's all on the spreadsheet.

These are all simple ways to keep your website user friendly. Keep in mind you want to make sure it is as easy as possible for someone to find what they are looking for. People like instant gratification and if they have to look for it then guess what they will move onto to the next one. Remember you DON'T want people leaving your site. They leave and  that is money out of your pocket.

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2614 Glenwood Ave
Joliet, Will County 60435

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