Make your website easy to use for visitors

Increase traffic to your website with this 7 day course

Good website design increases website visitors and encourages them to view more pages. A bad design does not. You should therefore take a hard look at your site and ask yourself, is it easy to use?

A few tweaks to the design of a site can make a significant difference to the number of visitors it gets and how long they stay. Improve it and you will get more traffic and views.

This increase in website traffic is valuable on its own, but it is also a signal to Google that you should appear higher in search results. This results in even more traffic.

A good website design that is easy to navigate is a key factor when you apply to advertising networks like Google AdSense. Sites with bad designs are less likely to be rejected and great designs are more likely to be accepted.

Website design is a huge and complex subject and it is not possible to cover everything, but here are a few things to think about.

Make it mobile

People are using mobile phones for browsing the web more than ever and it is important that you test your site on a phone. If you use an Apple Mac, read See your site on any device with a secret Safari feature. Mac or Windows PC users, read How to view your site on any device using Blisk browser.

Use Safari on the Apple Mac to emulate the iPhone or iPad
See your site as it would appear on mobile

The way your site looks and works on a phone is completely under the control of the theme. If there are problems, look for a new theme that specifically says it works great on mobile. If there is a demo, try it on your phone.

Make your homepage outstanding

Some websites have full blog posts on the homepage and while this can increase the views of this one page, it can make the home page huge, slow and awkward to navigate. You might get big page view numbers for the home page because you have 5, 10 or more blog posts in full, but it slows down the site and people won’t scroll down to the bottom to read the older posts.

The homepage should have post extracts – a photo, title and sentence or two encouraging people to click and read the article. In the WordPress editor, position the cursor after the first paragraph and click the More button in the toolbar. Add a featured image near the bottom of the panel on the right.

Encourage browsing with navigation and menus

Can people find the content on your site? There are sites where About is the first menu item. Is your About page really the most important on the site? Is it the page people want to visit first?

People need a way to find the content, so make sure the menu helps them. For example, you can create menus from categories. If you have a food site you might have categories for vegetarian and meat recipes, or categories for meals like breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

These categories can be turned into menus and when people click them they list all the posts in that category. It helps people to discover content on your site.

Other ways to help people find stuff on your site include widgets in the sidebar that show the latest posts, the most popular posts, latest posts comments and so on. Check the widgets in WordPress > Appearance and see if there are any you can use. There re many plugins and themes that add useful widgets that do this.

Choose a great theme for your site

The theme controls the look of the site, the way the content is presented, and the menus. It must work on a phone as well as a desktop or laptop computer. Get your phone out and browse your website and check that it is OK.

The font used should be easy to read and large enough so that people who don’t have perfect eyesight can read it. Do not assume that because you can read the text on your site that everyone can. Some computer screens are not as good as others, and what looks good on yours may not not good on others. Choose a large font with sufficient contrast – black or very dark gray. Avoid small fonts and light gray.

Choose a WordPress theme for your website
Go to Admin > Appearance > Themes to browse themes

The design of the home page is controlled by the theme. Choose a theme that presents your content in the best possible way. What’s best depends on the content and if your site sells products or services then the home page will be very different to one that has the latest blog posts.

Make above the fold content count

This phrase comes from newspapers and they are often folded, especially the large ones called broadsheets. When a newspaper is folded, you only see the top half, so it has to be good or people won’t pick it up.

The same applies to websites. When you visit the homepage or a post on your site, what can you see without scrolling? This is the above-the-fold content and it is vitally important that it contains sufficient content to make people want to read on. If it is packed with adverts, pop-ups for your email subscription, or other items, people may click away and disappear.

Action points

  • Choose a great theme that works on mobile as well as the desktop
  • Test your site on one or more phones and tablets
  • Choose fonts that are easy to read and large enough for people that don’t have perfect eyesight
  • Create menus to display all the posts in your most popular categories
  • Put the most important menu items first
  • Put widgets in the sidebar to show popular or recent posts
  • Make sure sufficient content appears on the screen without scrolling
  • Make it easy to find and browse all posts Some themes have an Archive page for example

 


Course Contents: Boost Website Visitors In 7 Days

Go to Part 2: Provide useful information in your posts

Go to Courses Home Page

 

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