On the subject of creating a well-liked (and worthwhile) web site, your main focus ought to at all times be on the consumer expertise.
That ought to go with out saying, and but so many site owners appear to disregard what I think about to be the golden rule of web site creation. With the best of respect, when you’re not placing your customers first, you’re loopy.
And that leads me to the subject of this submit: the myriad methods in which you’ll be able to enhance the consumer expertise in your WordPress web site. I’m going to handle some particular widespread errors made by many site owners (and WordPress customers specifically) and present you what you ought to be doing with a purpose to encourage individuals to return to your web site many times.
To start with, let’s speak concerning the three issues you could get proper with a purpose to create lovely consumer expertise:
- Content material
When you have a beautiful-looking web site that’s straightforward to navigate and options nice content material, you’re golden. All you have to do then is deal with a stellar advertising marketing campaign (however that’s an entire different matter for one more time). Whereas itemizing the above three necessities is easy sufficient, executing them in observe is one other story altogether.
The next actionable suggestions all focus upon design, usability and content material. When you take nothing else from this submit, acknowledge that your focus ought to at all times be on these three issues relating to designing, sustaining, optimizing and updating your WordPress web site.
Alright — let’s get right down to it!
1. Make Your Design Clear and Easy
Dangerous net designers are sometimes extra involved with creating one thing that’s fairly somewhat than purposeful. The fallacy of this method is profound — a customer nearly at all times prefers operate over kind. When designing a web site, the principle query it is best to at all times return to is, “Will my web site confuse guests?”
Distinctive and intriguing designs might win awards, however by their very nature are usually a usability nightmare. Why? As a result of individuals like predictability. They count on to see sure parts in sure locations, and once they don’t, they get confused and annoyed. Then they depart.
There may be completely nothing incorrect with a typical weblog format (a header, adopted by the principle content material and a sidebar, adopted by the footer). And in actuality there’s a lot you are able to do with commonplace layouts to make them placing. Suppose Visitors is one in all my favourite instance:
A full-width design with daring colours and exquisite typography. Clear and easy, but placing and exquisite. It represents nice stability between kind and performance. It’s precisely what you ought to be in search of.
2. Make Navigation Simple and Apparent
Navigating by way of your web site needs to be completely easy for the tip consumer. They need to be introduced with a number of navigational parts that makes it straightforward to seek out what they’re in search of. I like to recommend a number of of the next:
- A navigation bar (virtually important)
- A classes listing in your sidebar
- A search field within the sidebar
- An Archives web page
Use WordPress’ highly effective Customized Menus characteristic (Look > Menus in your sidebar) to rearrange and identify key pages, similar to Pat does over at Good Passive Earnings:
I like to recommend the free Relevanssi plugin for search. As for an Archives web page, I recommend that you simply comply with the format I’ve on my weblog, Leaving Work Behind:
I give the consumer the chance to browse my web site by way of date, class and tag. In fact, presenting choices like that is solely useful to the tip consumer when you categorize and tag your content material successfully.
Lastly, breadcrumbs are an effective way for guests to see the place they’re in your web site and instantly discover their bearings. I take advantage of breadcrumbs in my P90X Journal weblog:
Integrating breadcrumbs inside your web site is simple — simply use the Inside Hyperlinks characteristic included in WordPress search engine marketing by Yoast (my favourite search engine marketing plugin by a distance).
The widespread theme operating all through the above examples is ease of navigation. Lots of people will depart a web site after seeing only one web page. Your job is to offer them a simple choice to proceed exploring. Efficient navigation helps you to try this.
3. Give Them a Place to Begin
Until you could have a submit that goes massively viral (and even then), you’re prone to discover that your homepage is by far probably the most visited web page in your web site. The explanation for that’s twofold:
- It’s an apparent entry level and will likely be linked to from different websites extra usually than some other web page.
- It’s the apparent subsequent step for individuals to click on on once they first go to your web site by way of any web page.
Subsequently, you’ll be able to enhance the consumer expertise drastically by giving new guests a serving to hand when it comes to demonstrating how your web site can profit them. I like to recommend that you simply do that in two methods.
The primary is a characteristic field. This needs to be displayed prominently on the prime of your web site and provides the customer an on the spot concept of what you must provide. It could additionally function a high-converting opt-in kind, like Derek Halpern’s does over at Social Triggers:
With an nicely put collectively characteristic field in place no customer will likely be left confused as to what your web site has to supply. When in comparison with a linear residence web page that simply options the latest weblog posts and comparable parts, it’s a big enchancment when it comes to the consumer expertise.
The second factor I’d advocate is a Begin Right here web page. The aim of this web page is easy — to obviously define the advantages of your web site and provides individuals actionable subsequent steps with a purpose to progress. I take advantage of a Begin Right here web page on Leaving Work Behind:
Just like the characteristic field, you need to use a Begin Right here web page to realize a double whammy impact: get individuals extra engaged along with your weblog and ship them to the pages in your web site which can be more than likely to lead to a conversion and/or sale.
4. Make Your Content material Look Good
Us net folks are a fairly fickle bunch — we’ll usually worth content material extra extremely when it made to look higher. I personally realized the results of this only in the near past when an previous article of mine was syndicated in an iOS journal. It went from wanting like this:
I felt compelled to re-read the article that I had written purely on the premise that it regarded extra attention-grabbing.
There are two methods through which you may make your content material extra partaking for the consumer (past truly writing higher content material):
- Design, typography, and so on.
WPSaviour is a superb instance of how typography can be utilized to supply selection and curiosity to plain textual content, with its orange headers and easy-to-read sans serif font. When it comes to formatting, that’s as much as you on a post-by-post foundation. Take into account the next:
- Quick Phrases, Quick Sentences and Quick Paragraphs: make it straightforward on the reader.
- Sub Headers: use liberally and make them descriptive.
- Daring: spotlight key passages.
- Italics: emphasise sure phrases.
- Pictures: use liberally so as to add colour and selection.
- Different Graphical Parts: use lists, tables, blockquotes, and the rest that can add a bit spice to your content material.
Creating compelling content material isn’t just concerning the content material itself — it’s about the way you current that content material and make it appear extra compelling.
When you nail the above ideas then you definately’ll be nicely in your solution to having a completely partaking web site. However though I’ve included above what I think about to be an important issues for a constructive consumer expertise, there are an enormous variety of issues I’ve not coated.