The Internet is supposed to make life easier. Using a website should never be a trying experience. And yet, sometimes it can be downright frustrating.
Good usability is a key component to your nonprofit website’s success. If users grow exhausted trying to find your donate button or lose patience zooming in and out while reading your blog on their phone, they’re not going to stick around for long.
Simply put, poor usability is bad for business.
What is Usability?
Simply put, usability is the ease of use and learnability of something. So, it makes sense that a website’s usability is determined by how easy it is for visitors to use. Development, design and content all play a role in determining if you have a user-friendly website.
Here are some easy ways to quickly improve your website’s usability and provide visitors with a more pleasant experience.
Find and Fix Broken Links
Broken links and error messages are annoying to come across as a reader. They also work against your website’s credibility. If visitors can’t find the information they’re searching for, they’re going to go looking elsewhere.
If your site is on the smaller side, you can probably get away with checking all of your links yourself. It shouldn’t be too big of an undertaking. If your site’s a bit larger or you don’t have the time to do it yourself, there are some great tools that will do it for you.
Use Clear Calls to Action
Imagine that you’ve inspired a visitor to donate, but they can’t figure out where to do so. This isn’t a problem you want. Calls to action (CTAs) need to be strategically placed and designed to stand out.
Donate buttons, newsletter sign ups, volunteer forms, etc.—all of these are incredibly important to your nonprofit. Include calls to action in blog posts. Pick the most important CTA and consider including it in your navigation.
Make Your Site Searchable
As a society, we’re big on instant gratification. You can have the greatest navigation out there, but some people just want to go straight to the source. Search bars go a long way in pleasing people who know exactly what they’re looking for on your site.
Search bars should appear on every page and be wide enough for visitors to read what they’ve typed.
Write Copy Readers Can Scan
Visitors come to your website for information. Typically, they fall into one of two groups: they are either looking to see what your nonprofit is about or they are searching for a specific piece of information. In either case, content that readers can easily scan is going to work to your benefit.
Including headings, subheadings and bolded out keywords are all great ways to break up content. Implementing these tactics will allow scanners to quickly pick up the gist of your copy.
Format Your Images to Speed Up Load Time
We’re an impatient bunch. A website that takes 4 seconds to load is too slow for 75% us. If your site isn’t loading at lightning speed, you’re going to lose potential visitors, fast.
One of the easiest ways to speed up your site’s load time is compressing and scaling all of your images. You should compress all of your images for web-based quality, and resize them to be the exact dimensions they’ll be displayed in on your website. By shrinking your picture file sizes and scaling them to the proper dimensions before uploading them to your site, you’re creating less work for your server when it loads each page.
There’s a lot that goes into creating a user-friendly website. Hopefully these tips help you make some quick fixes that will have a big impact.
Do you know of any important tips we missed? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.
Image courtesy of Picography