Cole Battles

How to tell if your website is frustrating to use

Have you ever visited a website and couldn’t find what you were looking for? Maybe you just needed a phone number or address, but you couldn’t even locate the contact page. Whatever the issue was, the website you visited had low-usability.

How annoying!

A website is meant to connect organizations with their audience. When that communication breaks down—whether from poor design, insufficient content, or a change in best practices—it is essential to start working on a solution.

How can you tell if your website is one of those annoying sites?

Usability problems?

The first thing to check would be usability. Usability refers to how easily a user can navigate and find what they are looking for on your website.

Here are a few tips to make a website usable:

  • Make it mobile friendly – Internet users will probably view your website on their phone at some point. A modern website uses responsive technology.
  • Simple navigation – A single menu and clear calls-to-action are key here.
  • No interruptions – Placing ads, pop-ups, and other intrusive elements on your site that disrupt the user’s experience is an issue. This can even include a video that autoplays if it has audio or when the page has multiple audio or video sources on it.
  • Make things obvious – If you want your audience to do something, then give them the option to do so! Make a contact page if you need one. Provide a form if necessary. List what you do and don’t do if you get a lot of people making the wrong assumption.
  • Reduce load time – Page taking too long to load? Remove unnecessary animation, save your images for web before uploading, and use fewer plugins. You may also need hosting that’s more than a couple bucks a month.

Content problems?

The other main issue your website may be facing is one of content. What information are you giving people? Is it easy to understand?

Here are some tips for your content:

  • Use clear headlines – Let people know what they’re about to read.
  • Get to the point – Your website is not a novel. Your text should fill a comfortable amount of space without droning on and on.
  • Avoid unexpected results – If your call-to-action is to download an ebook, don’t also throw in a newsletter subscription without the user’s knowledge.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing – Being overly repetitive is not only annoying, but cramming SEO keywords into content will actually hurt your Google ranking.

What do I do now?

If your website has one or more of those issues, it’s not too late to fix things! Depending on which issue it is, it may not even take much time.

Some things you can probably fix yourself while others will take a professional. Make a list of everything you see on your website that needs to be fixed. Consider how you want your audience to react. View your own website as if you were a first time visitor trying to find out more about your organization. You can also get a second opinion from someone with a different perspective.

Once you have your list, decide if you want to take care of it yourself or if it makes more sense to bring in a professional. But don’t put it off! You’re losing potential customers and clients when you delay.

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