- Put a search box on every page. If you have a lot of content on your website that you want users to browse, make it easy for them to find it! Interactive Tools offers an inexpensive search tool, and their customer support is top-rate.
- Make your navigation consistent across your website. I’ve seen a lot of web pages where the order of the menu items changes, or some disappear and others sprout in their place randomly. This is easy to implement and update by creating one menu and inserting it on each page using server-side includes. Your web designer should know how to do this for you.
- Use simple, familiar titles for the pages/areas of your site. It’s fun to get creative, but your reader often has no idea what you are talking about, and ^click^ they’re gone! Peruse websites similar to yours and you’ll start to see the patterns of common naming conventions.
- Put your newsletter signup box on every page. You want people to sign up, right? Make it as easy as possible and they might.
- Cut 50% of the words on the utility pages of your site. Utility pages are the ones that introduce you, your service, your prices, how to contact you, etc. In other words, anything other than the intellectual-property type of content. Get concise. Use bullets instead of complete sentences. Help the reader pick out the important stuff by using font color, bold, italics, highlighting, etc. — just don’t go overboard!
For more information on improving your website, I recommend Don’t Make Me Think — A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, by Steve Krug.By Terri Zwierzynski