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Optimize for Website Usability

Convert Your Current Traffic Into More Sales

Your website’s usability plays a much larger role in your site’s success than most businesses seem to realize. The benefits of having well-designed content and effective image layout with proper calls to actions are huge. Besides the increase in sales conversions, your website’s usability will increase end-user satisfaction, increased end-user productivity and the overall success of your site.

Focusing on usability at the outset will reduce long-term development costs along with training and support costs. It will go a long way to improve your business competitiveness. The good thing about usability is that it can always be improved no matter what your site currently looks like.

The first step is analyzing the usability of a site is to make sure it is easy to use. This can influence the link building ability, popularity and then, your ranking. This checklist covers multiple elements concerning the visual aspects of the website development. Depending upon the type of site, different elements will mean more than others.

The site design is in effect the first impression that someone gets when they land on your site. If the design is lacking then your visitor’s impression of you will be lacking as well. A visually appealing site can not only strengthen trust and credibility, but it can make you stand out among other less-appealing sites in your industry. As soon as landing on any page the visitor must be able to tell what website they are on and what it is about.

Here are some things to consider about the usability of your website.

  • Clean image quality: Don’t use aged or blurry images. Keep them trim, clean and sharp.
  • Clutter-less design: Steer clear of trying to do too much at once. Keep navigation and content areas clear of needless clutter.
  • Consistent colors and type: Use matching colors and font styles from page to page.
  • Whitespace usage: Don’t bunch too much in and allow breathing room so key areas stick out.
  • Minimal distractions: Be careful of images, animation and even links that pull the visitor into unnecessary directions.
  • Targets intended audience: Make certain that your design targets your audience with suitable colors, layout and wording.
  • Meets industry best practices: Follow industry specific guidelines if they exist.
  • Easy to navigate: Make it is simple for your visitor to find the links they need to take them to their desired pages.
  • Descriptive links: All links should truthfully describe the destination page.
  • Good on-page organization: Put page information together in a consistent way and keep information where it is anticipated to be found.
  • Easy to find phone number: Phone number should be effortless to find regardless of page. The header is a terrific place for the phone number.
  • Don’t link screen captures: It’s not a good idea to link screen captures to other pages. Use text links or buttons.
  • Skip option for flash: If you use flash animations, have an option to pass over it or turn it off all together.
  • Consistent page formatting: Use a consistent layout from page to page so the site feels like one interconnected unit.
  • No/minimal on-page styling: Use external CSS for all on-page styling. Only keep on the page what is specific for that page only.
  • Font size is adequate: Don’t use excessively small fonts. Larger fonts increase readability of content.
  • Font type is friendly: Use fonts meant for the web, rather than fonts designed for print.
  • Paragraphs not too wide: Don’t allow paragraphs to get too wide. Use absolute widths if necessary.
  • Visual cues to important elements: Be sure important links and action items stand out visually from the rest of the content.
  • Good overall contrast: Make sure text can be read (black on white) and colors don’t bleed into each other.
  • Low usage of animated graphics: Avoid animated graphics unless absolutely essential to the user experience.
  • Uses obvious action objects: Calls to actions, links and subscribe buttons should be obvious at a glance.
  • Avoid requiring plugins: Don’t use plugins that visitors have to download before getting the full site experience.
  • Minimize the use of graphics: Don’t make your site graphic heavy to the point where the visitor is overwhelmed with visual eye-candy.
  • Understandable graphic file names: Name your images and other files in a way that makes sense if read.
  • No horizontal scrolling: Make sure the design is not so wide that horizontal scrolling is required.
  • Non-busy background: Keep site background unassuming to the main content areas of the site.
  • Recognizable look and feel: Your site design should be distinctive to you alone. Avoid templates that are mass reproduced.
  • Proper image and text padding: Give enough room between images and text so they don’t bump up against each other.
  • Uses trust symbols: Better Business Bureau, site security and other trust symbols should be in obvious and applicable locations.
  • Works on variety of resolutions: Test site to be sure it works on a variety of different screen resolutions.
  • Works on variety of screen widths: Test site to be sure it functions correctly on different width screens and browser windows.

The site design is in effect the first impression that someone gets when they land on your site. If the design is lacking then your visitor’s impression of you will be lacking as well. A visually appealing site can not only strengthen trust and credibility, but it can make you stand out among other less-appealing sites in your industry. As soon as landing on any page the visitor must be able to tell what website they are on and what it is about.

Call us at (610) 768-0357 to get more information on our organic SEO services.