Anyone with a lick of sense knows the answer to that one: Your prospective customers! Period. It’s not for you. It’s not for your mamma. It’s not for your IT Department or Sales Department. And it’s not for your CEO or your stockholders. It’s to attract new business to your business and/or to support customers you already have. But how many people have those goals at the forefront of their mind when they design or redesign a website? From what we see here at seOverflow, certainly not enough!
We know SEO and we’ve seen and analyzed the technical aspects of hundreds of websites. We have also seen enough strange things that we’ve learned a little about usability, too. Website usability is a professional specialty all its own, and we certainly don’t claim to be the experts, here are a few very basic usability suggestions we’d like to share:
- Make it easy for people to contact you and make it totally obvious how they can do so. Making contact is the first step to making a sale, so you must remove any obstacles from the process.
- Put your contact form on all pages of your site. The side bar is a good place for a short contact form.
- Put your phone number on all pages of your website and put it in a prominent place. Don’t make people look around for your phone number.
- Don’t let your website forms discourage people. Instead, trust your sales folk to deepen relationships, nurture prospects and close sales.
- Make your web forms absolutely simple. A first name and either a phone number or an email address are really all you need to establish contact with a prospect, send them a newsletter or deliver sales materials. Yes, it’s often useful to have more info, but consider whether it’s worth the cost of losing a prospective customer before you require it.
- The usability experts at Marketing Experiments tell us that requiring a captcha in order to submit a form often causes abandonment, so avoid that feature on your forms pages.
- Make your font readable. It doesn’t matter what your pages say if they are unreadable to your customers or prospective customers.
- Not everyone knows how to increase the font size in their browser, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to buy diamond rings or schedule plastic surgery or get an estimate for a new roof.
- Almost 13% of the US is already over age 65. Another 11% are in the 55-64 age group. You may have eagle eyes, but they definitely do not. If you want your web pages to appeal to this 24% of the population, use fonts of at least 12 pixels.
If you can follow the 3 simple guidelines above, you’ll be off to a good start. And if you’d like to delve more deeply into website usability and testing, give seOverflow a call at (303) 905 1504. We can recommend some experts that we’ve been working with who can really help you out.