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What are 5 keys to improve website usability?

A usable website is a two way relationship between you and your customer: your website must have enough information to keep youhappy, and must be one where the customer can easily understand what they are looking at and find what they want quickly. Are you receiving a heavy flow of traffic to your website, but finding that traffic is exciting rather quickly? If so than your relationship probably needs a little work (and unfortunately a dozen roses and a box of chocolates probably won't do the trick). Following are five ways to improve your business, customer, website relationship.

Step 1: Use simple language. Whether you are informational or product based - don't talk above anyone (except maybe those young ones who aren't reading yet). Use common and daily words and phrases that everyone can understand. Do you have a health or other product that requires the use of some "big:" words? Then use those words, but explain them in simpler terms afterward so that you don't ward off potential customers because they can't understand what you're talking about.Remembering to use simple language is much like learning to communicate in any relationship, to really have success you have to focus on the other person.

Step 3: Don't be afraid to use too many pages. Use as many pages as you need to, to keep your information organized, quick to find, and easily understandable. This may seem like a waste of time, but it will actually save the consumer a lot of time (which means they're more likely to return to you in the future). Using more pages and breaking your site up to keep information organized, is going to make your site more navigatable. In my case it probably would have been best to save the baby names until second or third date, you may want to tell them everything right up front, but hold back for their benefit.

Step 4: Use a clear, "click path". Meaning don't make them go from the first page through ten other pages before they finally find what they are looking for (most people will stop and look for another site before wasting more time on yours). Label your clicks correctly and make them easily identifiable on each page so your consumers can go back and forth without having to search for where they're going or where they have been.

Step 5: Make sure and have a personal page. Some of your customers will want to know who you are, make that information available. If you have a design team, a creative team, or just simply the team of people who keep your company running, post a picture or two and help your customer to feel they know who they are working with. In the world of dating and relationships, this is simply being yourself. Don't hide because you don't think your customers care who your are, because some of them will - even though you're right and some of them won't. This personal page is also a great page to put your contact information on. Whether people are contacting you with positive or negative feedback, let them know who's being the site and who they're contacting. This way, when you do listen and do respond, they're more likely to come back in the future.

Follow these five simple steps to improve upon a current site or help in building your up and coming one - and you're sure to relate bring in more customers.

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