At the top of Google’s core principles is this statement: “Focus on the user and all else will follow.” To understand that sentence is to understand how Google wants websites to be made: with the user in mind. That’s why we wanted to outline 8 secrets for making your website more user friendly.
1. Proper meta-descriptions and title tags
Meta descriptions and title tags are a very important part of your user experience. Yes, Google uses these to present your pages in search results. But more importantly, these are the first words your prospects will see. Having a good description of the page will help people understand the page better and in turn help them decide to click your link in the search results.
2. Page speed & website up-time
How many of us have hit the back button when a page takes too long to load or doesn’t show up at all? That’s why it’s important to understand your page speed and website up-time. Making sure these factors are optimized will keep users happy and digging into your site.
3. Responsive design
With the growing number of mobile users out there, responsive design – defined as having a site that adjusts and fits to the viewer’s screen – is essential. According to Pew, 34% of cell internet users go online mostly using their phones. That’s a huge segment to miss if you don’t build a responsive site.
4. Text above the fold
Just like in a newspaper, text above the fold is important for search engines and visitors to gain information about your website or page. If search engines or users can’t learn about you quickly, they will move on to a competitor’s page.
5. Site flow
When a visitor is on your website, you must make sure they don’t get lost. Having a good flow to your site keeps people on it longer and feeds them information about your product or services. Think: “Where would I go from this page?”
6. Search box
While search engines provide the best information possible in their results, you still need to allow people to search on your site when visiting. Having a search box gives the user that one extra step to find the information they are looking for.
7. “Contact us” information
Make sure people can easily contact you. Having an accessible phone number and easy-to-find email click-through near the top of your website gives people trust in your company €¦ and makes sure they don’t have to dig for this information. Also: Create an About Us and a Contact Us page so that Google can present that information in search results.
8. Social shares
Social media is an important signal for Google when displaying good content in search results. Allowing visitors on your site to share that content will give the content a boost in rankings.
Focus on the user experience to gain return visitors and reduce that dreaded bounce rate number in your analytics. A website with good user experience allows your visitors to learn about your business, trust your business, and in the end give you their business… which is why you have a website to begin with.