As a website owner you want to make sure your website visitors are happy. Happy visitors stay on your website longer, come back for repeat visits, and of course buy from your website. When it comes to a website’s structure, there are two elements that can make or break your user experience.
1. Quick load times
There is nothing that squashes a visitor’s happiness faster than not being able to load a website page. If the page doesn’t come up quickly, your visitor is gone. We’ve grown accustomed to instant gratification online, so if your web page takes longer than a few seconds to load, you may miss out on valuable prospects and visitors.
So what can you do to ensure quick load times?
- Reduce and minimize your graphics. Make sure a graphic takes up no more than 10k on any given page.
- Don’t use flash. Many website designers still turn to flash to add interest, but it takes too long to load. If you do use it, make sure you give your visitors the opportunity to click through and skip the show.
- Use plug-ins sparingly. There are a number of really useful plug-ins, however, they’re bulky and can slow down your load time. Also, they can distract from your web page’s purpose and make it look cluttered. If you’re going to use a plug-in, make sure it supports your goals for that page and enhances the visitor experience.
2. Easy navigation
Another factor that makes happy website visitors is that they can easily navigate. Straightforward and intuitive website navigation can be difficult to accomplish, but the following tips can help you get the job done.
- Eliminate clutter – Many times a web page has so much going on that the visitor isn’t sure what the purpose of the page is. Are they supposed to look at ads? Fill out a form? Read an article? Make sure your web pages have a PURPOSE. Then, make sure that page is designed to support that purpose with its formatting and add-ons.
- Intuitive buttons – The buttons on your page are there to guide your reader deeper into your website. Therefore, they must make sense to the visitor. One of the best ways to ensure your buttons are easy to understand is to make them keywords. Keywords are likely what drew your visitor to your website in the first place. They’re what the person is using to search for and find information. Create categories and subcategories with your keywords that allow users to easily find the information they’re looking for.
When your visitors are able to navigate your website with ease, they’ll stay longer. If they’re able to find the information they’re looking for without struggle and frustration, they’ll return again and again.
When you combine a straightforward layout with quick loading times, you’re well on your way to giving visitors a very pleasant experience. We all know that happy visitors turn into happy customers, so take a look at your website today and ask yourself, “Does it make my visitors happy?”