Brad Hurlock

Web Design & Marketing Sales for Addison Technologies.

An Engaging Experience: 4 Ways to Improve Website Usability

Brad Hurlock

Web Design & Marketing Sales for Addison Technologies.

Small business websites must overcome a truly staggering amount of competition online. After all, there are approximately 200 million active websites out there. That includes social media giants and streaming media platforms.

That means that once you get people on your site, you must keep them there and interacting. If your engagement rate -- Google's replacement for bounce rate -- is poor, it won't matter how well the rest of your marketing performs.

Website usability is a critical element in preserving your engagement rate. Keep reading for four ways you can improve your website usability.

Website Speed

One key aspect of web usability is your website speed. Internet users today have no patience for buggy websites that load slowly. They're used to mobile apps that launch or load almost instantly.

A slow load on your website isn't 100 percent guaranteed to drive visitors somewhere else, but you lose a lot of people. Spend some time getting rid of things that slow down load times, like excessive JavaScript and huge images on the home page of your site.

Mobile-First Design

Speaking of phones, you should also ensure that your site uses a mobile-first design or something similar. These design approaches prioritize website presentation based on screen size.

The idea is to keep the essential pieces of your website structure. It's just that when someone opens your site on a mobile device, the elements arrange themselves to cope with the screen size.

Don't Try to Reinvent Website Navigation

There are places in people's lives where they like trying new and inventive things. For example, many people like trying new food or cooking methods.

When it comes to navigation on a website, though, people don't want to try new things. They want to find what they went to the site to find as easily as possible.

That means you want a navigation approach visitors have seen a thousand times, such as drop-down or hamburger menus.

Employ White Space

Many businesses want to pack the maximum amount of information onto every page of their website. It's an understandable impulse but contrary to a good website user experience.

A lot of densely packed text is tough for people to process on a desktop computer. It's even harder on a phone screen. White space helps break up your content into pieces that visitors can mentally digest a little easier.

Website Usability and Your Website

The quest to get people onto your website is just the first step. Once they're on the site, it becomes about maintaining engagement rates. Solid website usability helps you do that.

Focus on fixing or improving critical elements first, such as your site loading speeds. You either need a site with a mobile-first design or, likely, a new website.

Use familiar navigation options. Employ white space to make content on your site easier to understand.

Addison Tech offers website development services to businesses of all sizes. For more information, contact the website design team at Addison Tech.