Creating a Site That is Easy to Navigate
Why is it important for a site layout to be optimized?
Both the search engines and your site visitors want to find a site that is easy to navigate and so they can find the information being sought. When sites are difficult to get around, Google can penalize you in the SERPs, reducing your visibility. Google knows that when sites are confusing, the user experience is negatively impacted, and they do not want to highly rank sites that do not make customers happy.
For customers themselves, most will not waste time trying to find the information they had wanted. Most instead will just click off and try another site. Not only does this detract from your bottom line itself, but when you have people regularly click off your site, you will have a bad bounce rate, which can also negatively impact you in the SERPs.
What do I need to consider when determining site layout?
Your site layout should be primarily built around the user. This means the following:
- Name pages logically so users know what they contain
- Make folders and navigational systems sensible
- Make it easy for visitors to see where they are in your site
- Include a search box to streamline the ability of customers to find what they seek
- Make contact information easy for visitors to find
How do I know if my site is user-friendly?
The best way to know if your site is user-friendly is to look at your metrics. In particularly, ask yourself these questions:
- How do people move around my site? Are they clicking quickly from page to page-- which indicates they are looking for something they cannot find?
- What is my bounce rate?
- How many return visitors compared to new visitors do I get?
- What percent of my visitors become leads? How many leads become customers?
Site usability is an important factor in creating a positive user experience. Failure to keep these ideas in mind can easily result in search engine penalties and unhappy customers. Always put the customer first when designing a website and you will be on the right track.