No matter how much traffic your website is generating, it can always generate more. Many business owners believe that the best way to generate more traffic to their website is to have a slick design with compelling graphics and images. While no one would argue that those are great ways to improve your website’s appearance, the best way to increase traffic to your website is to improve its usability.
Jacob Nielsen is the author of “How Users Read on the Web.” According to Nielsen’s research, the more usable a website, the more traffic it will generate. That’s because when a website is usable, people are more likely to revisit that site and encourage others to do the same. In other words, usability helps to create a buzz around your website.
Now that we know what website usability does, let’s define it. To put it in the simplest terms, usable websites contain content that is objective, concise, and easy for readers to scan. Many people are surprised to learn that people read articles and content on the internet differently than they do newspapers or magazines.
So how can you improve the usability of your website content? Remember that people quickly scan a website before they take the time to read it. If a quick scan turns up something they think may be of interest, then, and only then, will they take the time to read the content.
Here are some other tips to increase your website’s usability:
- Get to the point. Quickly. Long descriptions and explanations turn readers off.
- Start with your conclusion. Many people only read a paragraph or two so this may be the only shot you have to connect with them.
- One concept per paragraph, please.
- Headlines Matter!
- Bullet points, numbered lists, and infographics are always a hit.
- Include a brief summary of the content. If it is appealing, it will entice people to read the entire article. If it isn’t, at least they get the main idea.
- Shorter is better. Edit, edit, and edit again to keep word counts to a minimum.
- Know who your audience is before you write anything.
- Write like you are talking to the person reading the article – and only that person.
- Quote the experts. By doing so, you sound like an expert.
Once you have incorporated these tips into your content, it’s time to write more content. Remember, if your content is interesting and engaging, people will come back for more. It’s your job to make sure it’s there for them!