A number of web sites unintentionally bury their best content. In some cases users might completely miss the most important content a web site has to offer. This usability challenge can also have a significant impact on e-commerce web sites. Companies and web site owners need to ask themselves: “Is the content on my web site easy for users to access?” Less clicks can also help you with your search engine optimization efforts.
Below are some simple suggestions for making sure you best content is getting to the user:
The Two Click Suggestion
One usability suggestion is making sure important content is no more than two clicks away. Users should be able to access most of your pages without having to click more than two times. The ‘two click’ suggestion is also applicable for search engine optimization purposes. Most spiders will only crawl web sites so deep before they stop.
Let the User Decide
Another helpful way to determine what content is most important to the user is by looking at your log files. Think of your log files as an informal voting system. In many cases the users choose pages or article that a web site owner wouldn’t have considered important. Use the log files to your advantage.
Questions to Ask:
- Are there individual pages or article that get a comparatively large proportion of requests?
- Are there pages or article you believe to be important that are being missed by users?
Using Anchor Links in Each Page
You can use HTML anchor links within each page to point related pages on your web site. If a user is interested in the related information they might be apt to click on the link. Keyword targeted HTML anchor links also help search engines to better index your web site. If you can't integrate HTML anchor links into your body content, consider placing them at the bottom of each page.
Getting Big With Blogs
One web site format that offers a surprising amount of versatility and usability is a Blog. A Blog's hierarchy is a great way of organizing web sites that have a large number of individual pages. Blogs are usually categorize by topic area and in most cases archived by date. A Blog format isn’t for every web site, but that doesn’t mean you can adopt some of the information architecture related to categorizing content.
Blogs also have Search Engine spiders have a much easier time crawling Blogs because HTML links. If you choose the right keywords and topic areas, you stand to get better indexing in the search engines.
It is in the best interest of almost every web site to keep content as easy to access as possible. When good content becomes difficult to reach it makes it tremendously difficult to create a sticky web site. It is not only good for the usability of your web site, but it is also good for your bottom line.
Want to get more great info? Check out the articles below:
- What is Web Usability? And Why You Should Care . . .
- Web Usability: The Importance of Balancing Content and Graphic Design
- Hitting a HOME RUN with Your Web Site
- Don’t Pollute Your Web Site
- Do You Make These Usability Mistakes?
- Objectivity Paves the Way to Online Success
- LCU (Least Competent User) Usability Testing
- Web Usability - ALERT! Dominant Users and Focus Groups
- The Event Promotion System
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