Making looks and usability of your site compatible with search engine visibility PDF Print E-mail
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Pretty sites do not rank pretty well in search engines

It is a great idea to wish to make your web site pleasing to look at. After all, a thing of beauty is joy for all. Unfortunately this holds good only till the beauty is not the cause of woes and worries. This is especially true when it comes to designing a web site, and more so when your web site is meant to be a facilitating means to your business.

Here the idea of looks or beauty of a site is not to be discarded out rightly.  Generally it has been seen that new comers or relatively less experienced web designers tend to place excessive emphasis on the appearance of the site knowing little about its ramifications. The wholesale use of images, graphics, animation, often mindless and hardly required, hampers the usability of a site, sometimes severely, albeit the site appears to be fairly good to look at.

It is prudent to look beyond looks of your site

The salvation of a web site lies in all those features that support and enhance its usability. Only then one can look forward to get more traffic, and can give a boost to one’s business prospects. The online behavior of users suggests that your site should be designed in such a way that users are able to fulfill their needs with ease and convenience.

Amongst the features that add to the usability of your site are plain looks with user enabling characteristics, a good navigation system, fresh and informative content, search engine friendly design that enhances the visibility of your site on the web.

Here are a few considerations on the usability of a web site.

Usability is nothing but user friendly features on your site

The less a visitor seems to face hiccups on your site while browsing for a particular purpose, the more your site is said to be usable. Essentially, a web site caters to two needs, broadly, of users: either it helps them get certain information or ideas, or helps them to buy a specific product or avail a particular service. What ever be your objectives, your site must facilitate a smooth completion of such users’ tasks at hand without any annoying hassles.

By annoying hassles I precisely assume all those features which are not well received by the users. Rather such features turn them off and scare them away to another site causing you considerable losses. Say for instance, when you use lots of animations and graphics on your site, the load time of the site increases and users prefer to switch over to another site.

Other hassle could be the lack of information which the users expect the site to contain. Take for example, if the site intends to sell products or services, it must display all the relevant and sufficient information which a buyer might need to make a well informed decision.

Yet another hassle could be in terms of finding the desired information. The information which can not be found with ease on the site tantamount to conspicuous absence of the same altogether. Hence the usability of the site not only lies in the availability of certain information but also in its easy accessibility.

Moreover, users find it difficult to handle the hassle of mobility within a particular web site if it is not logically and conveniently structured. If the visitor of your site gets confused and disappointingly lost in search of what he or she is looking for, it does not auger well for you as well.

A site can never be high on usability scores unless due consideration is given to its navigation system, and it is made user friendly in the process.

Enhancing the usability of the site through an easy navigation system

A good navigation system helps users to go from one section of the site to another with direction and ease. Even if one has invested tremendous amount of money and efforts on optimizing one’s site in the search engine, it is not going to do any good so far as the site lacks easy navigability. Hence the traffic gained the hard way does not translate into tangible benefits due to a thing which is so easy to manage.

Here are some tips for a sound navigation system.

Use a navigation bar or panel on all the pages of your site in a similar or corresponding place.

Think of a navigation plan from a user perspective. This will make you feel the need to provide short cuts from one significant page to its most logical sequence. Clearly, these short cuts are over and above the navigation bar or panel you employ. Remember that these short cuts will save the users from going necessarily to home page or site map to move around.

If your site happens to be large enough, what you require is a site search engine for enhanced usability.

A site map is what you need for sure if your site exceeds a few pages. The crucial advantage of using a site map is that it help search engine to access all the pages of the site. Thus, it goes well with the search engine listing.

It is not advisable that your navigation menu is dependent on a particular browser. In case you prefer to zero in on a specific browser, make it sure that you include alternate facility that is compatible with other browsers too.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 20 January 2015 12:06 )

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