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User friendliness affects the bottom line sales and profitability of a website in ways you may not have considered. Many people, site owners included, think that having a user-friendly website is no more than a “nice-to-have.”
In this discussion I deal only with user friendly web pages with regard to human visitors, but there are also user-friendly web pages with regard to search engines. But for now let’s just consider human visitors.
However, before I explain the profitable advantages of a web site being user friendly I should at least list what aspects comprise a user friendly web page and website for human visitors and some of these are:
You can find more details about the above aspects at How User Friendly is Your Website ?
A user friendly web page and website is likely to make more sale and be more profitable than a site that's not user friendly because of the impact it has in 3 main areas; competitive advantage, website cost and conversion.
Perhaps the most obvious way user-friendliness adds to profitability is in terms of developing a competitive advantage. For two websites offering the same or similar products and similar prices, the one that’s easier to use is likely to get more visitors and more business.
Amazon and Facebook are two good examples of this, although being user-friendly is not the only reason for their success, it’s a significant factor in giving them an edge over competitors.
Website owners frequently fall into the trap of thinking the cost of a website is simply what they pay to have it first designed. They tend to forget about the on-going development costs for additions, changes and rework and maintenance over the lifetime of the site.
It’s the development cost over the lifetime of site that is reduced by designing a user-friendly website from the outset, because there is less likely to be rework after the site is launched. It’s also less expensive to design in user friendly features during the initial design and more expensive to add them later on.
Once something is programmed in, it becomes more expensive to fix !
All too often we see website owners who could have saved themselves a lot of long-term website development costs by having an independent audit of their website before its launch.
However, most site owners are looking at the short-term and not the long-term so although something like a website audit will save money in the medium to longer term, it’s seen as a short-term expense they think they can do without.
If through being more user-friendly your website is able to retain more visitors on the site for longer, have them coming back, have them able to easily find what they want and easily make a purchase you will make more sales than a site that is not user friendly.
I hope it’s a “no-brainer” for you to see how the various elements that make up a user friendly web page and user-friendly website mean the site is also going to be more conversion friendly.
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