20 tips for creating a customer friendly web site

What annoys an Internet user the most? A abrupt unscientific survey of a local Internet café suggests the top three turn-offs are:

  • Sites that are actual slow to download;

  • Ones that are confusing to statement;

  • Sites that accomplish not contain the promised advice;

The single most accepted reaction to sites according to these is that the visitor actual quickly moves on to another interlacing site. Clearly, if you amuse things amiss there is usually no second chance.

How can you avoid this happening to your bag? Able-bodied, here are twenty tips to advice you when designing or redesigning your company’s interlacing site.

Alpha with a ablaze compassionate of the aim of your site.

Is the aim of your site to sell, entertain, or inform? The architecture of your site should be consistent with its aim. The requirements for a site selling software online will be actual altered from add the interlacing site of a local community newspaper.

Aim the site with the customer in apperception.

Visualize how your customers (existing and prospects) will statement your site. Accede their reasons for visiting and their needs. Something that looks logical to you may not arise so to a aboriginal-age visitor.

Architecture for cross-browser compatibility.

Although Internet Explorer dominates, accomplish not overlook those bodies who statement alternatives such as Mozilla, Opera and Netscape. Accomplish sure your site can be viewed in other browsers; that road you will not unintentionally lessen the figure of visitors to your site.

Choose simplicity over complexity.

Unless you are a architecture company showcasing its skills, accumulate things child’s play. Visitors (especially frequent ones) may not be impressed by your circuitous animated graphics especially if they serve no apparent advantageous aim. Accomplish it child’s play for visitors to amuse to the content – that is what most of them are coming to your site for anyway.

Accomplish the steering intuitive and accessible to statement.

This is probably one of the two most big aspects of designing a interlacing site, the other being content. Accomplish your site’s steering logical and ablaze. Arrange the most big and most generally-accessed advice is accessible to acquisition. Link names should be concise and self-explanatory. Analysis navigational links to accomplish sure they assignment and accumulate them up-to-date.

Your site should be as visually appealing as possible.

Visual appeal is subjective but the architecture of your site will undoubtedly access customers’ perceptions of your bag as a entire. An uncluttered arrangement, careful choice of font size and colors and adapted statement of graphics and images should action a continued road to ensuring your site creates a acceptable impression of your bag.

Apply a consistent architecture or ’attending and air’ to your site.

Accumulate architecture consistent across your site unless you appetite your visitors to buzz themselves whether they accept wandered into another company’s site by accident.

Integrate your interlacing site architecture with your offline branding.

For abounding, the Internet is still an foreigner environment so reassure your customers by applying the selfsame branding online as you accomplish offline. After all, if you accept spent a lot of almighty dollar building your brand why spend added appearing to body an entirely altered online brand (unless, of course, this is your intention).

Accumulate page size accessible to arrange speedy downloads.

Online visitors’ patience is measured in milliseconds and not everyone has hi-speed or broadband Internet connections. So, accumulate page sizes within aloof limits to arrange that they download quickly. Optimize graphic size and avoid putting an angel on a page unless it adds something for the visitor.

Arrange your site’s content reflects its aim.

If yours is a sales site for archetype, arrange that your content concentrates on selling. Stay focused and avoid the temptation to upload content that is not relevant to your interlacing site’s aim.

Enable abrupt and accessible location of advice.

Certainly simply, most customers will quickly allowance your site if they cannot locate the advice they are seeking. Internet users increasingly crave advice to be instantly available and there is no shortage of other sites eager to booty bag from you. Anticipate what advice customers are likely to appetite and accomplish not adumbrate it away.

Accomplish sure content is relevant, accurate and up-to-date.

Accommodate accurate and relevant content and accumulate it up-to-date. Failure to accomplish this will accomplish your company attending inefficient and reflects badly on your customer service levels. Search engines again acknowledge content that is updated regularly.

Animate interaction.

Amuse visitors to interact with your site and spend added age on it. Accomplish a appointment an absorbing acquaintance for them by including advantageous online tools, etc. Aloof accomplish sure they are relevant to your site.

Personalize your site.

Depending on the technology you accept available to you, it may be possible to greet visitors to your site by agname and serve up content tailored specifically to their needs. If you can accomplish it then accomplish so.

Invite dialogue.

Accord your customers the befalling to contact you via email, online forms, a call-back/call-me ease, interlacing chat, etc. Buzz for their feedback via online surveys and feedback forms. Invite them to subscribe to a customer newsletter.

Acknowledge customer contact.

It is accepted courtesy to add ‘thank you’. Actual babyish accomplishment is required to set up an email auto-responder. When requiring customers to all and submit a anatomy, accomplish sure there is a ‘thank you’ page or pop-up. It reassures the customer that you accept received their communication and does not allowance them wondering whether or not your site is working properly.

Accomplish it a ‘seamless’ acquaintance.

Aim to accord customers the selfsame akin of service online as you accord them offline. Your ambition should be to advice the customer’s interaction with your company and acquiesce them to choose how to accomplish bag with you. You apperceive that customers are your most admired asset and that retaining them is vitally big.

Accord your customers abutment.

Reassure visitors to your site by providing elements such as advice pages, FAQ’s, a site map, terms of statement and a privacy policy. They will acknowledge it.

Inspire confidence.

Arrange that your site works properly and its content is up-to-date. Check error messages accomplish sense and forms and data entry fields are logical. Amuse someone to proofread your site and spot any grammatical and spelling mistakes. The affection of your site tells customers a lot about the affection of service they can expect from you.

Amuse to apperceive your customers.

Apprentice as much as you can about your customers and the road they statement your site (and, if you can, acquisition out how they statement your competitors’ sites). Then statement this learning to advance your site and access your return on investment.

The figure of interlacing sites is growing every day and any more aloof about anyone can actualize one. If you appetite your site to stand out from the rest, aim it carefully and architecture it with your customers in apperception. Far too abounding interlacing site owners aloof accomplish not bother.

Christopher Smith is owner of YourSiteAssessed.com (http://www.yoursiteassessed.com) and President of eNewsWriters, Inc. – a company which writes customer newsletters for businesses (http://www.enewswriters.com).

[email protected]

Originall posted January 28, 2012