Website Usability: Advantages, Characteristics and Tips To Have a User-Friendly Website

The 2020 pandemic accelerated the digital transformation, encouraging reliance on e-commerce and video conferencing apps. As we move into a post-pandemic normal, we can expect even more rapid digitalization and technology adoption.

Case in point; there were 210 million websites in 2010. Eleven years later, that number has gone up to 1.8 billion.

If you’re relying on your business website to propel you into the future, you’ve got to stand out in this crowded space.

Understanding customer behaviors and expectations and brushing up on web design trends to keep customers on your website are crucial – and so is creating a user-friendly website.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

What a User-Friendly Website Is and Why It’s Important

Characteristics of a User-Friendly Website

How To Make a Website User-Friendly

Final Thoughts: Do You Have a User-Friendly Website?

What a User-Friendly Website Is and Why It’s Important

A user-friendly website makes it easy for users to look for information using any device. Because your website is easy to use, users spend more time interacting with your website, eventually resulting in conversions.

There are multiple benefits to improving website usability, including:

Boosts SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic. While there are a lot of SEO factors, search engines emphasize the importance of website user-friendliness by rolling out updates such as Google’s new Page Experience update.

According to Google Search Central, for webpages similar in relevance, Page Experience can be much more important for visibility in search, which means that creating a positive user experience contributes to SEO.

Increases Time Spent on Website

A slow-loading website causes users to leave quickly, increasing bounce rates. When search engines detect that users aren’t finding what they need on your website, they push your website further down on the search engine results pages.

Credibility

According to a Stanford report, 75% of people judge a company’s credibility by its web design. Web design isn’t the end-all, be-all of a user-friendly website, but it does play a part in it.

Reputation and Customer Loyalty

Website visitors form an opinion of your website in 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds), and 94% of those first impressions are design-related.

57% of customers say that they won’t recommend a poorly designed website and that having a bad website experience would make them less likely to interact with that website.

Improves Sales

If you can get more customers to spend more time on your website, they will likely convert. Here’s the rundown:

  • A 2021 study showed that slow-loading websites cost retailers £59.6 billion (equivalent to $81 billion) in lost sales each year. Improving website speed can lead to increased sales.
  • Mobile e-commerce (M-commerce) is estimated to make up 72% of e-commerce sales in 2021. You can get more sales by optimizing your website for desktop, tablets and mobile devices.
Mobile e-commerce makes up 72.9% of total e-commerce sales. Create a user-friendly website to capture a market share
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  • Persons with disabilities (PWDs) spend $500 billion annually, and according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, businesses lose $6.9 billion to competitors with accessible websites. By having a user-friendly website, you’ll be able to tap into a new market.

Characteristics of a User-Friendly Website

User-friendly websites often have the following features:

  • Quick page load time. A slow-loading website is one of the top reasons why visitors leave a website without engaging. Users are accustomed to getting information quickly. A slow-loading website would drive them towards competitors.
  • Easy to navigate. Users and search engines should be able to find information quickly. The layout of the page should be intuitive and not hide information.
  • Accessible to all people and devices. More than half of the global population accesses the internet through their mobile phones. Additionally, one in four people in the United States has some form of disability. A user-friendly website can reach all audiences using different kinds of devices and follows accessibility guidelines.

How To Make a Website User-Friendly

  1. Ask for customer feedback
  2. Prioritize accessibility
  3. Choose a responsive design
  4. Fix website structure
  5. Optimize for speed
  6. Design a visually appealing website
  7. Test your website

These are seven ways to ensure you have a user-friendly website. Let’s look at each in more detail.

1. Ask for Customer Feedback

Collecting feedback from customers helps with creating a user-friendly website. If you have an e-commerce website, send customers a follow-up email asking about their ability to navigate and interact with the website.

Ask specific questions that ask them to detail their experience. You can also try the UserTest.io tool, which asks users for feedback regarding website design, content and functionality, among others.

2. Prioritize Accessibility

One billion people in the world have some form of disability. If you haven’t optimized your website for accessibility, you’re missing out on many potential visitors, sales and SEO benefits.

Improve website accessibility and create an inclusive website by following the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0).

3. Choose a Responsive Design

A responsive WordPress website is a must-have in today’s market because it can adapt to all screen sizes. There are many benefits to responsive websites, including improved website loading speeds and increased SEO.

It only takes seconds to choose and install one of the many responsive WordPress themes available today.

4. Fix Website Structure

Website structure (or website architecture) is an aspect of web design that refers to how website information is organized. 

One of the results of a proper website structure is good navigation. The easier it is for both users and the search engines crawling your website to find information, the better it is for SEO.

The homepage is often the first thing visitors see when they visit your website. It should have all the essentials, such as your ‘About’ page, contact information and links to your social media profiles.

The homepage should also point to all important pages and vice versa, allowing your visitors to end up on the pages you want them to, showing Google these pages are important.

5. Optimize for Speed

One in two visitors expects a website to load in two seconds or less. Such is the impact of page loading speed that Google also made it an SEO ranking factor.

Besides removing large files that can slow your website down, did you know that your web hosting plan plays a part in website speed? Choose a reliable hosting provider and check out these slow website fixes to see how you can improve website usability.

6. Design a Visually Appealing Website

Website design is subjective; what works in one industry may not be suitable for another. However, there are some web design practices that you can incorporate, such as:

  • Breaking up content with catchy visuals.
  • Using high-quality photos.
  • Picking out a coordinating color scheme.
  • Ensuring there’s ample white space.
  • Choosing readable fonts.

7. Test Your Website.

One of the most important aspects of website usability is testing. Just because you and your network can use your website, it does not mean your target audience will know how to.

Test your website before and after implementing these tips to see whether there have been improvements. Make tweaks when necessary.

Final Thoughts: Do You Have a User-Friendly Website?

Stand out from other websites on the internet by creating a user-friendly website based on the internet’s best practices. A positive user experience boosts SEO, credibility, loyalty and sales.

Keep potential customers in mind when designing your websites – remember, you are creating websites that they can use and enjoy.

Start your user-friendly website by signing up for a Bluehost plan today.

Devin Sears
Devin Sears | Field Marketing Manager

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