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When you work from home, whether as a blogger, freelancer, or running a creative business owner, your website is crucial!
For many of us (including me), our websites are our business. We sell online, we advertise our services or products, or we make money from our blogs, via sponsored posts, affiliate marketing and advertising. So, it’s no wonder that we put so much time, effort and even money into our websites.
But, running a website can be tough.
Designing, creating, and maintaining a solid website is hard. The “online world” changes all of the time. There are new updates and trends. From my experience, it seems like practically every week there is always another plugin or strategy I could be implementing. New plugins that allow you to do more. New themes and designs to look at. Upgrades and improvements for online technology means more strategies can be applied to give your readers greater access to your business.
But, it’s all too easy to make things far more complicated than they need to be.
Most websites don’t convert sales for one single reason – your website may make perfect sense to you, but it’s confusing the heck out of your visitors and potential customers!
Many new business owners and bloggers (yes, I did this too!) rush out and try to add absolutely everything to their sites. Which can leave them cluttered, confusing, slow, and difficult to use.
There’s a lot to be said for keeping things simple.
Running a blog is not just a passive income as you might think, I am always committing time to create content, taking photographs, work on designs, promoting posts, tweaking back-end updates and working on SEO – but all of this hard-work means nothing without a reliable, well running, easy to navigate website.
I’m going to share some of the benefits of an easy to navigate website that both you and your clients will appreciate.
The Benefits of an Easy to Navigate Website
Better User Experience
Easy navigation is essential to user experience.
The best reason to have a simple layout that is easy to navigate and understand is that it offers your users a better experience. Whether they are looking to read an article, invest in a service, or purchase a product they should be able to come to your site and find exactly what they are looking within seconds.
Visitors should be able to contact you, explore your website easily, and follow social links to find out more. They shouldn’t have to dig around for what they need.
Reduced Bounce Rates
A site that is easy to navigate will often have a reduced bounce rate. If users find the site easy to use and understand, they are more likely to view more than one page instead of clicking away as soon as they’ve got what they need.
Some will even have a good look around, exploring different areas and products or reading old blog posts and your about me page. They might even buy more, and this reduced bounce rate will increase page views and boost any income from advertising and affiliate marketing.
An easy to navigate site has a better organization. Yes, your users will be able to find what they need more easily. But, you’ll also have a greater understanding of your analytics and a chance at keeping your admin area simple and easy to use. An over-complicated website or blog often has countless plugins, unused images, and unpublished posts. Keep things simple and your admin areas will be neat and tidy.
Have you ever gotten annoyed by a confusing website? One that doesn’t make sense, is hard to read, or doesn’t offer clear guidance. In today’s world, where a website is so important to brands and business, and we expect so much from the pages that we visit, a confusing website can be all it takes to put us off a brand.
A confusing site also means that you have to waste time answering questions and explaining things. If your site is easy to navigate, you’ll have fewer emails and communications asking for help.
A complicated site can also lead to costly misunderstandings. Say someone is looking for returns or delivery information but can’t find it, or manages to find conflicting information.
But your confusing site also means that they’ve got no way of easily contacting you. They make a purchase anyway and are then disappointed when it doesn’t arrive when they need it. Your site should offer clear information on your services, products, or even privacy information and disclaimers, to avoid any misunderstandings going forward.
Chatbots are continuing to become more and more common to help with customer questions and concerns. For e-commerce or product based sites, chat bots are becoming a standard part of a website’s design. As users interact with chatbots and our technology continues to develop, they are becoming far smarter and more advanced than ever. I cannot wait to see what the future looks like for implementing AI into our online experience.
Faster Load Time
If your website is filled with unnecessary pages, clunky plugins, and over sized media (images & videos) it will quickly become slow. Slow loading time means that people will click away. We’re used to the internet being fast and we expect pages to load instantly and we’re not willing to wait. Simplify things, delete anything that you don’t need and your site will run a lot faster.
According to Kissmetrics, 47 percent of visitors expect a website to load in less than 2 seconds, and 40 percent of visitors will leave the website if the loading process takes more than 3 seconds.
Easier to Maintain
A complicated website isn’t just hard for your users to view. It can also be much harder for you to maintain. You’ll always be updating and removing broken links and fixing problems with code or internal conflicts with plugins.
Keep it simple, and it won’t just be easier to navigate, it will also be easier to update and develop.
For a small business, customer loyalty is tremendously important. An easy to use site can be all it takes to keep people coming back. Give them a great user experience, and they’ll stick with you.
If you are a blogger, loyalty is still important. Returning visitors and consistent readers are crucial to growth.
I hope these tips are helpful for you and perhaps will be the deciding factor for you to give you website a facelift!
If you are worried about your website’s navigation, tree testing can be a fantastic way to get a clearer idea of how things work, and indeed, if things work. Tree testing basically means testing the structure of your site. The homepage might be the trunk, and then the hierarchy of categories and subcategories coming from it are the branches.
Another way to learn more about how well the navigation of your website works is to as your family, friends, and clients for feedback. Ask your online community if they find your website easy to use and what you could do to make their experience easier and more enjoyable. Honest feedback is so important for growth and up-leveling in your business.
Are you struggling with improving the SEO on your website? I know it can be overwhelming & difficult.
Here are a few blog posts to help you move past that:
- Improve Your SEO, Right Now!
- 7 SEO Tips to Increase Traffic to Your Website
- Tips for Improving Your Google Ranking