Where most website owners fail is understanding what happens when a visitor lands on a web page on their site. In other words, what is it that you want visitors to do once they land on any page of your site? What I am getting at is that to optimize your website means more than performing SEO on it. To fully optimize your website means to find the optimal ways to influence visitor behavior on your site. And this leads us to a quick discussion on website ergonomics which we also refer to as human factors optimization.
Lancer Media, a Los Angeles SEO and internet marketing company, defines website ergonomics as such: In relation to web design, website ergonomics is basically the study of the functional influences on visitors. In proper website design, we always make sure the following questions can be answered:
- Can the visitor know what your site is about in 3 seconds or less
- Can the visitor navigate to a web page in one click or less
- Can the visitor efficiently perform a desired action on each web page?
Website ergonomics is aimed at answering the 2nd and 3rd bullets. When engaged in the preliminary stages of website design, make sure the website design allows the visitor to navigate to any page on the website in one click or less. Make sure there is clear navigation horizontally or vertically and make sure the visitor knows where he/she is on your site at all times. Website breadcrumbs can help you out here in case horizontal or vertical navigation falls short. Also ask yourself before you being designing what it is that you’d like your visitors to do once they land on any page of your website:
- Email you
- Call you
- Complete a contact form
- Purchase products
- Review content
Whatever it is that you deem most necessary for a visitor to do or perform on your website, make sure he/she is able to do it without having to click to another page. Email addresses and phone numbers can be placed in the header of each web page, and contact forms can be “included” in the right margin (column) of each web page. If you’re selling products in a shopping cart, ensure that the products are easily accessible visually and categorized appropriately. Also prioritize those actions. The high priority things that you want your visitor to do should be above the fold and should be apparent so that they can be located in seconds.
As we have stated many times to website owners and clients when describing our Los Angeles website design services:
“We approach your custom website design project as a mall store-owner approaches window merchandising: attract them to the website through SEO and social media marketing, keep them on the website with smart and advanced design aesthetics and a navigation and call-to-action schema. Increasing the time spent by visitors on your site will increase the conversion rate. In other words, you can’t just build it and expect them to come. Deploy advanced SEO techniques and social marketing strategies to attract visitors then capture and convert them to customers with a creatively merchandised website that is optimized for human factors, just like Mall stores do.”