Most users of the internet choose to browse online because they can find what they need within in minutes. However, those that surf the web for no other reason than curiosity, boredom or to enhance their understanding, still want the experience to be fruitful.
As soon as a user clicks on the internet browser icon, regardless of what that may be, it is your duty as a website provider to provide an efficient, honest and enjoyable service.
Nothing frustrates a user more than finding dead links, 404 pages and redirected URL’s. That said, it is only annoying when it’s not expected, so as long as a user is aware where their click will take them, there is nothing more you can do.
Here are 5 top tips, to ensure that all links associated to your website only provide positive feelings;
1. Make sure your website delivers what it promises.
There is nothing more infuriating that finding a website that is useful from the outside and looks the business but doesn’t take you where you want to go. Functionality is always the fundamental aspect of any website, therefore if you expect people to stay or even go through to make an enquiry a design needs to be flawless.
It is always worth having someone fresh play around with your website as a new user to see any flaws in what could hinder potential enquiries or highlight areas that could improve usability.
2. What are external links saying about you?
Any worthwhile website will be promoting itself in honest and high profile places, so ensure that you deserve to be there. Regardless of what form of link building you’ve undertaken, make sure that where you want people to go to actually takes them to their destination.
Links can easily go awry just with one too many .’s or not enough w’s. With this in mind, always double check your links before leaving a page. It’s important not only for your SEO, but to ensure that users don’t associate your website as another sloppy, unprofessional wannabe success.
Content is often used to generate links because not only can they be highly valued but believe it or not, often people do believe what they read. Therefore, make sure that what your content says, reflect you honestly and correctly.
It can be too easy to embellish your true values or what you offer, but links back to your website will only bring out the truth and not only make your users angry, but more often than not, stain your reputation.
3. Provide alternative contact methods.
Again, in relation to content, we often tell people about our services and provide a method of contact. However, a user may not entirely trust contact forms and may prefer to call, or visa versa and not have access to a phone and want to contact there and then online.
Providing your user with just one way of contacting you is not managing their expectations and most certainly not exceeding them. Whether you are providing a call to action via a Press Release, article or even on a blog, make sure alternative methods for contacting you are provided i.e. phone number, contact form, e-mail address, fax number.
4. Keep click-throughs clear
In addition to usability it’s important that any click through on your website takes a user where they want to go. The biggest frustration for any web user is that a website does not direct them where they were expecting to go therefore resulting in them giving up and finding somewhere else; possibly a competitor.
It can be easy, especially when you’ve designed a website yourself, to know how it works and where each click goes. But can this be said for a new user? Not always, so make sure you manage every expectation by keeping things clear and simple.
5. Finally, don’t let them forget you!
The point of a website is to attract attention; but for all the right reasons. Don’t let users forget your website once they’ve visited by making their experience one to remember and earning a place in their ‘Recently Bookmarked’ folder.
No-one has a perfect website, but then again, perfect is boring. Bring life into your own website but keep in mind whom the website is for.
Jenny Pilley is the Senior Content Writer at Creare; specialists in SEO, web design, ecommerce, internet marketing, email marketing and video production.
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