How to Create a User Friendly Website.

How to create a user friendly website

How to create a user friendly website

A user friendly website which provides a great experience is vital for encouraging users into your website and steering them down the sales funnel.

Ideally you want everyone who visits your website to become a customer (preferably straight away!). But if your website if confusing or frustrating to use, that won’t happen.

Providing users with an easy to use website and a great user experience will make buying easier. If they don’t buy then and there, they’ll remember your website and may return when they are ready to buy.

 

Design

Your website’s design is important for creating a great user experience and an easy to use website.

As we mentioned at the beginning of the post, your website should look easy to use from the second a user arrives on your website. If it looks confusing or cluttered people may be put off and decide to visit another website instead which looks easier to use.

It is also essential to ensure that your websites branding matches the branding on your marketing collateral. And your social media profiles, to avoid confusing users.

 

Navigation

Gardening Delights menuYour navigation is the core of designing a user-friendly website. If users can’t figure out which page they need to go to or how to find the information they’re looking for, they’ll go to another website where they can.

The page titles in your navigation should give users a good idea of what they can expect to find if they click on that button.

If you have a lot of pages or sections on your website, you might consider having a sub-navigation within each section or page to make things easier.

For example one of our clients, Gardening Delights, has a sub-navigation on the left hand side of root-category landing pages to help users navigate around categories easily.

To ensure you don’t confuse users, ensure your navigation is exactly the same throughout your website. And always make sure to include a ‘Home’ button.

 

Blog

If you have a blog make sure it’s integrated into your website and sits on the same URL as the rest of your website. For example ours is www.themarketingpeople.com/blog. Not only is this SEO friendly, but it also makes it easier for users to find.

It’s also important to use your websites navigation on the blog so users can switch between the two easily. Not only is it website friendly, but it looks much better and more appealing. Rather than having a blog which looks completely different to the rest of your website.

 

Content

Creating concise and useful content is important. As we’re sure you’ll want users to leave your website having learned something about your company or products, even if they don’t become a customer on that visit to your website.

There’s nothing worse than arriving on a website to be met by a wall of unformatted text. Even if it contains the best solution or answer to a user’s question, they’ll be put off by a block of text.

Encourage users to read your content by making it look appealing by using titles, headers, paragraphs and images. You should also consider whether the font’s readable in terms of; the font itself, size and the colour.

 

Mobile

Last year roughly one sixth of all internet traffic in theUK came from a mobile device, such as a tablet or smartphone, and that number will only continue to grow.

Having a mobile optimised website means that mobile users also get the same great user experience and are able to browse your website easily.

 

Case Study

We recently carried out some work for one of our clients, Gardening Delights, to help them create an easier to user website. This involved; reviewing the website and planning and organising the changes and carrying out the changes themselves.

As part of the websites update we;

  • Re-organised their navigation and renamed pages to make it clearer what kind of products users would find if they clicked on that button.

 

  • Added new categories to make large categories with lots of different yet similar products smaller and easier for users to look through.

 

  • Created and implemented new sliders and graphics for the homepage which linked to the root-category landing pages

 

  • Created three new landing pages which fit with the brands current positioning, which offers users helpful information.

The final result is a website which is much more user-friendly and enables users to find the products they’re looking for quicker and easier.

 

Contact Us

If you’re a small business based in Cannock, Burntwood, Lichfield or Staffordshire and need help making your website more user-friendly, get in touch to us to find out how we can help you. To find out more, call us on 01543 495 752 or fill in the contact form on our website.

 

If you want to read more from our website series of blogs, just click here to see what other resources are available.

Eight SEO Techniques to Avoid & What To Do Instead.

8 SEO techniques to avoid and what to do instead

8 SEO techniques to avoid and what to do instead

It’s natural for a business to want their website to rank first in search engines and black hat SEO techniques can be tempting. However they can do more harm than good.

Black hat SEO techniques are techniques which break search engine rules and basically trick a search engine into giving a website a higher search ranking than it deserves.

Search engines ‘frown’ upon black hat techniques and are smart enough to know if you’re using them and will punish a websites search rankings if you are caught. In some extreme causes they may even remove a website from its listings altogether.

SEO is a long and ongoing process, so using black hat techniques to try and get a quick win will do you more damage in the long run.

Not only can these techniques damage your search rankings, but by choosing to use these techniques you won’t be giving any readers any kind of benefit or useful information, so it really is better to put some time and effort into creating useful content.

Search engine algorithms are incredibly smart, and there are a number of things they will take into account when deciding which order to display search results, here are just a few;

–          Relevance to keywords searched for

–          Is the content high quality and helpful?

–          High quality inbound links

–          Traffic to the website

Below is a list of eight black hat SEO techniques you should be avoiding and what you can do instead to naturally improve your websites search ranking.

 

Keyword Stuffing

This is probably the most common black hat technique as it’s fairly easy to do. It involves ramming your content with keywords and keyphrases to the point it probably makes little sense to anyone trying to read it.

The idea behind this technique is that the more instances of keywords you want to rank for there are in your copy, the higher you’ll rank in a search engine.

Thankfully search engines are smart and can distinguish between high quality content that is naturally keyword rich and content which is just crammed full of keywords.

What to do instead

Carry out some research into keywords you want to rank for, look at keywords your target audience may use to reach your website and carry out a Keyword Research Report (KRR).

Once you have done this you can begin creating helpful and useful copy which is keyword rich and makes complete sense to the reader and which will help you improve your search rankings.

 

Hidden Text

Hidden text means creating text which is the same colour of the background.

A user will be unable to read this hidden text, however search engines can read it no problem.

Since search engines can read hidden text and users can’t, hidden text is used for keyword stuffing.

What to do instead

As we mentioned above; carrying out keyword research and writing high quality, useful content will benefit you, your website, your users and your business far more than hiding a massive list of hidden keywords.

 

Buying Links

Parting with £9.99 and receiving 5000 links sounds like a good deal, doesn’t it? No.

Inbound and outbound links can benefit your SEO, especially if you’ve got incoming links from authoritative websites, such as the BBC or .gov websites.

However if you’re spending £9.99 and receiving 5000 links in return, the chances are they’re all going to be incredibly poor quality and will actually damage your search rankings.

If search engines see that thousands of poor quality websites are linking to yours, they will assume that your website is low quality itself and won’t provide a reader with useful information, and they will therefore decrease your search rankings.

What to do instead

Work hard to create great, useful and shareable content that people will want to link to. You could also write guest blog posts for similar and relevant websites which would provide you with a link to your website.

 

Comment Spamming

Commenting on blog posts or news stories which allow you to link back to your website is one of the quickest and easiest ways to gain backlinks.

Some website owners abuse this and leave poor comments on any and every blog post or news story which will allow them to link back to their website.

This is called ‘comment spamming’, and the chances are that if you have a website or a blog with a comment section you’ve been a victim of this. You know those really vague comments with a link back to a completely unrelated website? Yeah that’s the stuff.

What to do instead

Leave useful and helpful comments on blog posts or news stories which are related to your area. It really is that simple.

 

Directory Listings

There are very few directories which are high quality and are worth listing your website in nowadays. Search engines really don’t award much to being listing in directories, however being listed in some can be useful.

There is no punishment to being listed in directories, unless perhaps you pay to submit your website to thousands of low quality directories in one go. As we mentioned above, having thousands of low quality incoming links can harm your SEO.

What to do instead

Go for human edited listings which are often much harder to get into and require more information, for example, Yahoo Directories or DMoz.

 

Mass Article Submissions

If you write a brilliant piece of content it make sense that you’d want as many people as possible to see it. However submitting it to as many article directories as possible isn’t the right way to do it.

You’ll be creating duplicate content which will all be linking back to your website. Search engines don’t like duplicate content, as it could infringe copyrights and is a poor way to try and improve your search rankings.

What to do instead

Get your content in front of as many eyes as possible by promoting your content through social media or email marketing.

If you really want to submit your content to directories, submit it to a couple of the highest quality ones that give you the most traffic, instead of the low quality ones which probably don’t send any traffic your way.

 

Content Scraping

For an honest website owner abiding by white hat SEO techniques, this has to be the most frustrating black hat SEO technique. It involves copying content from one website and posting it on another website without attributing anything to the original creator of the content.

Sometimes scraping websites may link back to the website where the content came from, which could actually have a negative affect on the original websites search rankings as they are a poor quality website.

Not only is content scraping a black hat SEO technique, it’s also illegal as it infringes copyright laws.

If you find that your website has become a victim of content scraping, Google allows you to report scraper pages.

What to do instead

Nothing good will come of content scraping, at all. Research what kind of content your target audience want and create useful, high quality content which people will want to share.

 

Cloaking

Cloaking involves displaying different content to the website users and search engines. If your website is found to be using cloaking you be removed from a search engines index altogether as they are unable to do their job properly if you are showing them one thing and users another.

What to do instead

Instead, focus on building a great website which offers users a great user experience and contains useful and informative information that will help you to generate leads and hopefully sales.

 

Are you a business based in the Burntwood, Lichfield, Cannock, Staffordshire or the Midlands? Is your website not performing as well as you’d like in search engines? If so get in touch with us to find out more about our SEO services and how we can help improve your websites search rankings. Or you can check out more from our SEO blogs here