Usability Principles to Keep People on Your Site
Does your website encourage visitors to stick around? If it doesn’t, this means that you’re losing customers and possibly even hurting your SEO. Usability has always been an important part of SEO, but it’s especially crucial now. Google wants to give users what they’re looking for, so having a relevant site that meets user needs is a must.
With good usability, your visitors can find what they’re looking for and be satisfied with their visit. Below are a few of the most important usability principles that you should follow on your site to make visitors stay longer.
Make Things Easy to Find
When people visit your site, you rarely have their full attention. They’re probably doing other things like watching TV, having a conversation or cooking dinner. Therefore, you need to make it easy for them to do what they came to do. The more hoops they have to jump through will only leave them frustrated. Bottom line: Allow users to accomplish what they need in a few clicks or less.
Ensure Mobile Friendliness
The majority of your visitors will be coming from a mobile device, so it’s important that you’re putting these users first. Even though you may be thinking about your mobile users, you’re probably making a lot of tweaks and adjustments on your computer. Be sure that you’re testing things on mobile so that you know the exact experience your users are getting.
Keep Things Simple
You don’t need to have a flashy website to get noticed. In fact, this can detract users from their main goal. Instead, keep your website simple and streamlined so that users can accomplish what they want. Also, simple websites tend to load faster, so you’ll get a better response from your visitors. Some tips for keeping things clean are:
- Ask only for the information you need
- Minimize visual clutter
- Write in a concise manner
- Use standard-looking icons
- Choose clear navigation labels
Make Content Scannable
Visitors probably won’t read all of your content. Remember, they’re preoccupied to begin with, and most don’t care to spend that much time on your site. To accommodate your audience, you must create scannable content. Use subheadings, bold text, bullet lists and white space so that readers can grasp the most important information from your site. You can also use heat mapping software to determine what parts of your pages users are looking at most.
If you want your website to rank well, you need to have good usability. Always put your users first and look at things from their point of view. Can they find the right information in the right places? Is the content easy to scan? Are the icons familiar? By keeping your site simple and easy to follow, you can get people to stay on your site and complete the desired action.