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The top website usability mistakes to avoid

Posted on 18th October, 2017 by Richard Hassall

Web Design

So you’ve done all the hard work of optimising, promoting and marketing your website and are seeing some great organic search listings as well as a steady flow of traffic to your website. But if the orders aren’t flowing or your phone isn’t ringing then the usability of your website might be putting customers off. Not sure what we mean by usability, don’t worry in the article below we’ll take you through some of the common usability mistakes and how to spot them.

Lack of social media

Most businesses these days are on social media and using it to start conversations with new customers, engage with existing customers and to build awareness of their brand. However, a lot of companies fail to integrate their social media accounts with their website. Just by simply adding links to your social media platforms on your website you can help reassure your website visitors and let them know that you’re an active business that cares about its customers.

Adding social links to your website is incredibly easy and offers visitors a simple way to engage, start a conversation and find out more about your business.

Mobile-unfriendliness

In case you haven’t noticed having a mobile-friendly website is kind of a big deal these days. More and more customers are using their mobiles and tablet devices to browse the internet with many users never using a computer outside of work. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly then you’ll be losing out on over 50% of potential traffic. Gone are the days when users would be happy to pinch and zoom and scroll to find the information they wanted. If your website isn’t easy to use on a mobile device then you’ll be losing out.

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Confusing layout

Is your website layout consistent? Is your text the same size with headings, body text and calls to action all using the same fonts, colours and sizes? If your design and layouts change and aren’t consistent then visitors will quickly lose confidence. It can be confusing if you use too many different fonts and have calls to action that are different colours. Keeping things consistent can deliver a much better user experience and help keep your customers engaged.

Poorly structured navigation

Can your visitors get where they want to go easily? Can all your web pages be accessed with 3 clicks from any page on your site? Simplifying your navigation can really help visitors to navigate your website and find what they want quickly, especially on mobile devices.

Another essential for large websites and ecommerce sites, in particular, is having an intuitive search function. Whether you use drop-down menus, accordions or other design styles for styling your menus, make sure they use common web standards that everyone understands.

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Slow website speed

Another key factor that affects usability is the speed and performance of your website. This also covers uptime and server availability. If your website is incredibly slow to load and you have frequent downtime then that points to hosting issues. Your website hosting should be optimised for your website to provide the best performance possible; this is where dedicated hosting comes into its own. As well as using fast dedicated hosting you also need to make sure your website is optimised for different devices. While home and office users may have fast broadband connections, for the most part, mobile users may not.

Using tools such as Google’s Test My Site website you’ll be able to see how your website performs for mobile visitors. Pingdom’s website speed test is also great for checking your website speed from different locations around the world.

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