Take the “Easy Test” to see if your website is as visitor friendly as it should be! Websites often fail to produce the desired results. This can be because visitors find them too hard to understand or navigate. Here are some potential usability problems to avoid.
Hard to find
Is your website easy to locate? Do you promote it everywhere, (i.e. business cards, invoices, envelopes, etc.) and is your site search engine friendly? Do you promote the benefits of visiting? Is your site address easy to remember and easy to type? Does your url contain easily misspelled words? Is it complicated by repeated letters, i.e. “theentity?” Are there numbers, which can cause confusion, i.e., “1shopping” or “oneshopping?”
Hard to engage
Do you make it easy for visitors to understand why they should read on?
You have only a few seconds to persuade visitors to begin reading your message. Unless your home page immediately provides an obvious “why buy from us?” benefit, visitors are likely to leave—wasting the time and money you spent attracting them to your site.
Home pages should begin with headline that immediately communicates you are familiar with your visitor’s problems and can help them achieve their goals.
Time-consuming animations, vapid “welcoming” statements, and “brag and boast” claims, usually turn visitors away.
Hard to decide
Do you make it easy for visitors to decide what to read next? The best web sites have a clear and immediately identifiable focus and sequence. Many home pages, however, offer so many navigation options that visitors are paralyzed and choose to leave.
Studies have shown that, if you offer grocery store visitors an opportunity to sample 6 jams, 30% of customers will eventually buy one. But, if you offer 16 samples, response drops to 3%!
Hard to return
Do you make it easy for visitors to register for your e-mail newsletter, so you can invite them to return? Unless you obtain your visitor’s e-mail address and permission to contact them in the future, you’ll probably never see them again! Many web sites offer visitors an opportunity to sign-up for their e-mail newsletter, however, only a few offer a meaningful incentive to sign-up. Without an incentive, without showing or describing the benefits of registering, why should visitors sign up? Most e-mail in-boxes are already filled with unread newsletters!
Hard to read
Is your message easy to read? Easy reading is more critical onscreen than in print. Problems that might be overlooked on paper are critical online.
Long lines of text are difficult to read and make it easy for visitors to lose their place at the end of each line. Limit line length to 2/3’ds the width of the screen.
Keep sentences and paragraphs short, and add extra space between paragraphs.
Frequent subheads break body copy into short, bite-sized chunks. Each subhead “advertises” the following text and provides an additional point for visitors to begin reading your message.
Hard to print
Do you make it easy for visitors to print important articles and descriptions?
Links to “printer friendly pages,” correct line-and page breaks—add perceived value to your message and make it easier to share and read your message offline.
You don’t need to offer a printer-friendly link of every page, just key articles or important products or upcoming events.
Hard to share
Do you make it easy for visitors to pass-along important articles to others?
An “E-mail this to a friend or co-worker” link can expose your message to others who may join your opt-in e-mail list.
Hard to contact you
Do you make it easy for visitors to contact you? Do you include full contact information on every page, i.e. phone, fax, e-mail, and postal address? Avoid a single “contact us” link that only loads the visitor’s e-mail program. Give visitors multiple chances to call, fax, or mail a letter!
About The Author
Roger C. Parker knows the secrets to promoting your business one page at a time. Find out the simple way to keep in constant touch with your customers, while saving you time and money. Visit www.OnePageNewsletters.com.