Is your content user-friendly?

Keep your customers happy with our advice on writing user-centred content

We are guided by instructions every day. Traffic lights tell us when to cross the road, recipes show us how to prepare our meals, signs help us navigate supermarket aisles. These little things make it simple for us to reach our goals - and when they’re taken away, things can get confusing.

Bad online experiences alienate customers

It's the same for online experiences. With browsing the web so engrained in our lives, we're used to intuitive user journeys. In the same way customers may leave a shop if they can't easily find what they need, users often bounce from websites with clunky navigation, content and information architecture.

To keep them engaged, you need to make it easy for them to find what they need. That means getting to know their requirements and thinking from their point of view when building your services to keep them intuitive.

To find out if you can improve your online experience - or UX, as it’s called in web design circles - check out this blog. For a guide on how to ensure your content retains their interest, read on.

Solid content will keep their attention

Navigation plays a crucial role in guiding your web visitors towards their destination. The best kind is well-placed and based on real user journeys. But a clear structure isn’t enough - even the simplest navigation needs user-led content that’s strategically placed.

To ensure yours is up to scratch, get to know who your archetypal site visitors are and how they want to interact with your website. You may want to carry out some persona-based research, through carrying out surveys and interviews, and look at your Google Analytics data, to understand their journeys and goals.

You’ll probably find the majority of your visitors have a few simple destinations in mind which you can clearly signpost. Remember that your goal isn’t to keep them on your site indefinitely: usually it’s to give them what they need quickly and efficiently so they can carry on with their day.

When you’ve figured out who they are and what they need, think from their point of view when phrasing your navigation, calls to action and body copy. You may be tempted to write content that gets quick sign-off within your business, but in the long-run this isn’t what’s best for your customers. It can even lead to expensive development costs retrospectively.

Your users should dictate your terminology, as this will help it serve as a clear navigational tool. Ask yourself if the language you’re using makes sense to an outsider with no prior knowledge of your business or services. If it doesn’t, you’re overcomplicating things.

When you've addressed this issue, it’s a good idea to carry out some market research to see what your competitors are doing and if you’re on the same page as your customers. If you don't have budget for full-blown usability panel feedback, carry out some A/B tests to figure out what works.

When you know who your site users are, what they’re looking for and the type of language they like, build your navigation and content using your insight. Keeping things user-centred will improve how people interact with you in the digital space... and reduce those pesky bounce rates.

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