When a visitor finds your website through organic traffic via SEO efforts or links placed on social media networks, what are they finding at the click through? The way a visitor feels that first moment a website loads (or fails to load quickly enough) will affect the entire browsing experience.
Website owners, both novice and experienced need to ask 10 questions about website look, performance and content to gauge how well the website is serving visitors.
1. How fast does my website load? Websites and blogs with tons of content are valuable to readers but Internet users are fickle. If a page loads slowly they will click away to another site that can provide them with the information they were looking for.
2. Is navigation simple yet effective? Website navigation in one of the most important tools readers use to move from one piece of content to another. The front page of a website does not typically have the “Buy Now” button, so readers will have to navigate easily to find the sales page and all other pages of content.
3. Are all readers accommodated? Not every visitor will have perfect sight and perfect hearing. Many webmasters are coding websites and blogs with audio readers and font that easily enlarges with the same quality as smaller type. This allows users with visual and hearing disabilities to enjoy the web content.
4. Are all links self promoting? Links should lead from outer pages of a website to inner pages, but there also needs to be some link love to places off site. Some websites choose to link out to .edu and .gov websites to gain credibility. This is a good choice as most .edu and .gov sites are not considered competition.
5. Are the colors appealing? Colors need to be pleasant on the eyes. If a reader does not like the way a website looks or if the colors are bright and hard on the eyes, they will click away. No sales can happen when a visitor can’t make it past the front page.
6. Are there too many ads? Too many ads on a website are just bad business. Ads could be how the website owner is making money, but readers want meat in the form of great web content.
7. Is there too much flash? Flash is quickly dying, but some websites choose to continue supporting banners that flash and move. This can quickly draw the eye leaving the visitor clicking away to new, more user friendly websites.
Take a minute and review your website. Answer these questions and try to make at least one change that has nothing to do with selling and everything to do with giving the reader a more pleasant, helpful experience on your website.