Making An Accessible, Effective Website

usability businesstastic

When it comes to your business on the internet, the question isn’t so much “Does my business need a website?” The question is, “How do I make a impactful effective website that works for my business and customers?”

Simply having a “web presence” is no longer enough. For many people, your website may be the initial – or sometimes even their only – impression of what your company can do for them. The goal is taking the totality of information you want to deliver and presenting it in a way that is easy to understand, simple to use, and crystal clear in the actions you want your customers to take.

So how is this accomplished? “Usability” and “Accessibility” are words that are used often in web marketing, but, like many buzzwords, can often lack specific meaning and purpose when directly applied to planning your site. To make these terms and ideas work, you need to give them practical, workable meanings that can be applied at every step of planning.

“Accessibility” is simply a term used to describe how simple, clear, and easy to use your website is. Can your customers find the information on your site without being directed? Is your site visually cluttered, hard to follow, or have page/subpage titles that aren’t direct and clear? Are your products and services laid out in a simple, straightforward manner? Did you take the time to edit down the amount of words you use? All of these little pieces add up to a hugely important goal – giving your customers the information and direction they need in a focused, concise way.

A few practical tips:

1. Simplicity is Key

One of the harder aspects businesses face in creating an effective business website is to know which information to not include. After all, they’re very proud of their company, and want to show off everything about every aspect of their work. But keep in mind your customers and their needs, and structure your content for those specific needs, and those needs only. If it falls outside the “need to know,” then it can probably be omitted.

2. Organization

Now that you have the reduced essentials of what you want to communicate, it’s time to organize, and reorganize. Where does all this information you’ve compiled fit? Where does it make sense? Product information, company values, history, shopping cart, FAQs – all this information needs to be packaged and organized in a way that doesn’t overwhelm or put off your customers. Having walls of text or impenetrable menus-upon-menus will steer your potential customers right off your page and into the hands of a competitor.

There are dozens upon dozens of other ways to streamline your business’s website in order to create an effective and accessible site that benefits both you and your customers. Considering professional input and care into every aspect of your website – from design, to writing, to programming, to marketing – is a value that will elevate your site from simply being a “web presence” to being a professional tool that delivers to your bottom line.