How Web Site Usability is a Key Factor

Site Profitability Depends on Its Visitor - Friendliness

How Website “Usability” Is a Key Factor in Your Site Profitability

By Cindy Zaglinski, Certified Copywriter and Site Audit Consultant
Customized Copywriting

Website usability rules found in the industry-standard guidelines suggest that if you don’t follow these rules, your site might be underwater before it even goes live on the internet. Why? Because the fact is: your website is an important business component, much like a storefront window where your best is on display. The quality and reputation of your products, services, and brand are under the microscope.

Consider for a moment that you own a retail shop and you work hard to make sure it’s attractive with clearly marked prices and several arrangements to help the shopper put your products together. Your friendly staff answers questions and is always available to assist with quick, smooth checkout. Finally, you thank the customer and offer a savings coupon toward a return visit.

It all makes for a very pleasant customer experience. This means they’ll likely return to buy more, and they’ll tell all their friends. This is essentially what site copywriting usability means. It’s the delightful experience a customer has when they go on your site…so they’ll continue to buy from you and tell others.

A great website design contains the following usability considerations:

  •  A simple, clean design that focuses on customer needs versus overblown designs, overly wordy text, or overbearing visual gimmicks.
  • Easy navigation or access to the main features without being too busy or confusing.
  • Detailed information (other pages or links) within just one or two clicks, any more would be frustrating for the customer.
  • Appropriate and helpful graphics that balance with descriptive text.
  • A logical information hierarchy with menus that guide customers with what they need.

The book Homepage Usability, the web industry’s usability “bible,” written by gurus Jakob Nielsen and Marie Tahir is a wonderful resource that includes 113 usability guidelines.

Here, we offer our own version with 10 essential requirements.

  • 1 Your site’s home page loads instantly (within 10 seconds).
  • 2 Your home page clearly identifies who you are and reflects your company’s brand: the logo in the left corner, including a tagline, etc.
  • 3 Your primary navigation runs along the top of the page or down the left-hand side, NEVER on the right.
  • 4 Prospects and customers immediately see what our business does for them in a way that’s different from/better than your competition.
  • 5 Your home page is well organized with a clear starting point and navigation/structure that prospects and customers can easily follow; it includes expected standard sections such as ‘About Us,’ ‘Contact Us,’ ‘Help,’ and ‘FAQs’.
  • 6 The most critical elements of your page appear “above the fold” (the area visitors see on their screen first when they land on your site).
  • 7 Your site is clean and easy to read, uses subheads, bullets, photos, captions, charts, etc. for quick scanning
  • 8 Your content is crisp and streamlined, with no long paragraphs or redundant messages.
  • 9 Your site provides detailed product or service information with just one to three clicks from the home page.
  • 10 Your layout is focused on readership and selling messages, not fancy design (your color scheme is easy to read with dark text against a white or light background). A dark background with light-colored font creates eye fatigue.

These are just some of the ways you can boost your success on the internet.
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