Before going any further, it’s important that we make one point very clear. Regardless of industry, niche or interest, the internet is a competitive place to advertise services or attempt to do business. With a potential daily audience numbering in the hundreds of millions, the potential rewards for savvy internet entrepreneurs are staggering.
Due to the fierce competition for web traffic that has emerged over the last decade, website owners have begun investing considerable time into perfecting the design and usability of their online presence, ensuring that customers are provided a unique, engaging and rewarding experience right from the moment they arrive on a landing page. Although web developers have adopted several different approaches when it comes to luring potential audiences, one significant question remains on the mind of all aspiring business owners: “How do I maximize the usability of my web presence?”
Due to the increasing importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO, for short), which, like it or not, is here to stay, and page rankings, the quality (and quantity) of your content is one of the deciding factors when predicting the future success of your website. However, as we have written before, quality content-writing is more important than simply writing for search engines. Luckily for us there is an overlap between writing content that is both usable and SEO-friendly. Although flashy animations and media may wow audiences, your content will ultimately determine whether or not your efforts sink or swim.
We’ve compiled a few strategies that may help you realize the full potential of your website’s content. Although none of these ideas present a “complete” fix for your website, they can serve as an excellent launching point for your future success.
Strategy #1 : Observe Your Demographics
When we think of “usability,” in many ways, we are defining a level of ease or “comfort” for our audience. Because of this, a keen understanding of your targeted market and potential website patrons will allow you to adjust the overall sophistication of your written content to match the experience level of your preferred group. Is this really such a big deal? The answer is wholeheartedly “yes.” If you can’t understand the lifestyle and expectations of your audience, you certainly won’t be able to interest them in your content.
Strategy #2 : Make Your Content Error-Free
In this era of internet anonymity, many audiences are inherently weary of getting scammed or taken advantage of by internet provocateurs with malicious intents. Because of this, establishing trust through your content should be a top priority. Not only will this increase the integrity and usability of your website, but it will also generate increased traffic over time through interpersonal communication inside and outside of the internet. One of the easiest ways to help reinforce the credibility of your website is to make the content as professional as possible, i.e. devoid of spelling and grammatical errors. Not only will this make your material easier to read, but it will ensure that readers view you as “legitimate.” For e-commerce purposes, this is an absolute “must.” Even if your website is not used to sell items, clean, thoroughly revised content will help keep your readers engaged.
Strategy #3 : Be Concise
Are you familiar with the meaning of the term “bounce rate”? If not, now’s the time to get acquainted. Firmly embedded within SEO and analytics jargon, a bounce rate is defined as the percentage of viewers who, upon visiting your website, leave without viewing any additional pages before an analytics-based timeout occurs. For the majority of websites, a bounce rate between 50% – 60% is expected. If this number increases, however, it could be a sign that your website is deterring visitors from prolonging their stay.
In order to keep your audiences interested in your content, you must find a way to keep your printed text concise and significant. With an increase in mobile browsing, brevity becomes even more essential. Although you may have the luxury of fleshing out your web content in other pages within the website, your landing page needs to make a simple and effective statement.
Strategy #4 : Be Unique
Because of the sheer volume of websites flooding the internet, it’s nearly impossible to produce material that is truly unique. Even at your most creative moment, the slogan, tagline or heading you’ve dedicated the past several hours to creating has, unfortunately, probably been used before. That being said, there remain many opportunities to produce a ‘one-of-a-kind’ experience for your audience using potent combinations of text and other media.
Whatever your web platform, be it a WordPress blog, Wix website or self-designed publishing platform, you have at your fingertips the ability to embed a diverse range of material, including videos from sharing websites such as YouTube and Vimeo as well as interactive and user experience-enhancing plug-ins from nearly every social media website on the internet.
Think of your available web resources as individual colors within a larger paint palette. Using a balanced, consummate approach, you can engage your audiences with a ‘curated’ content platform, featuring high quality material that they may not have experienced. If you can surprise your audiences with enriching, pertinent media items, you can help establish your presence as an “authority” (however loose an association that may be) and, as stated previously, increase the trustworthiness of your efforts. Whichever way you choose to look at it, this can only prove to be beneficial for your website.
It’s important to remember that, as with any business that involves competition for audiences’ “attention,” positive changes typically won’t occur in one day. By diligently monitoring and refining your web content, however, you can ensure that your online presence will stand out amongst the crowd and provide a rewarding experience for the user.