Ask people to define website quality, and you’ll likely get different answers from everyone who responds. That’s because website visitors have various priorities when interacting with sites. That said, there are still some practical things you can do to enhance your website’s quality by following some best practices.
Make the Site Easy to Navigate
People should ideally have seamless and enjoyable experiences whenever they visit websites. Achieving those things starts with paying attention to the navigation.
Place the navigation bars in places users expect. That usually means putting them vertically aligned on the left or right of the site or horizontally across the top.
Another simple thing you can do to boost site quality and usability is to keep the navigation consistent across all parts of your website. That means making sure it’s always in the same place and has the same color and style, no matter where people go on your site.
The wording you use for the navigation bar matters too. You’ll want to make it as relevant and specific as possible to what people will find there. For example, using an overly broad navigation bar category, such as Resources, may confuse people. It’s better to create categories such as Case Studies, Press Releases, and User Stories to set expectations for your users.
However, be careful not to create too many links on your navigation bar. Otherwise, people could get overwhelmed deciding which part of your site to visit first or feel unsure where they can find what they need.
Offer Users Valuable Descriptions When Applicable
When people come to a site, they want to know what makes the associated company, service, or product better than the rest. It’s not enough to know that a company sells candles or offers pet-sitting services. Why should potential customers choose that business over other options?
One study asked people which website features they value most. The results showed that 91% chose product and service descriptions and visuals. That was second only to easy navigation, which got mentioned in 94% of responses.
That’s a strong indicator that people evaluate website quality based on whether the content they see is informative and helpful. Try to make website descriptions and visuals reflect people’s needs. For example, if a baby stroller folds down to a small size, show a picture of someone putting it into their car trunk. If a company sells foundation in a wide assortment of shades, provide color swatches to give people inspiration.
Here are some other things that are often useful to put in product descriptions:
- Images from multiple angles
- Feature lists
- Color choices
- Feedback from buyers
- Information about materials
In general, the best approach is for company representatives to put themselves in the position of potential buyers. What information could help them feel confident enough to purchase right now instead of waiting or getting another item altogether?
Create a Hassle-Free Login Process
Many websites let users sign up to create accounts. It’s then often possible for registered individuals to do things like track shipped orders, see details of past activities at the site, and get access to exclusive perks.
As we’ve already seen, a significant indicator of website quality is whether the online destination is easy to use. User-friendliness extends to the login process since that’s often such an integral part of someone’s experience at the site. Think about how you could make logging in as seamless and efficient as possible.
A good start is to make the login area easy to find on your website. Doing that is an easy way to prevent frustration. Relatedly, help people distinguish between logging in and signing up. You might have separate sections people use for doing those things or have different buttons visitors press from the homepage to go to a login screen or a sign-up page.
Another possibility is to use social login options. Those let people access a site with their credentials from other places, such as Google or Facebook.
It’s also wise to help people who forget their passwords. Place an easy-to-see Forgot Password button directly below the password field. Then, allow people to proceed by entering a piece of information they can remember, such as their email or username into a field to start the process of resetting their passwords.
Add High-Quality Content
No matter what kind of organization runs it, a website is primarily a place people go to get online content. The goal is to provide material that’s so valuable and relevant to the audience that they want to come back regularly and maybe even recommend that people they know visit too.
A 2022 business-to-consumer (B2C) content marketing report revealed some useful findings. One of them was that companies often use many types of content to appeal to their visitors. More specifically, a survey question asked which kinds of content respondents had used over the past year. The results showed 83% published articles of less than 3,000 words. Then, 61% used videos, and 51% gave visitors infographics and charts.
Respondents also weighed in about which content assets had provided the best results over the past year. Short articles were the most successful for 60% of those polled. Next were videos, chosen by 53% of those answering. Finally, 51% said virtual events, webinars, and online courses paid off the most for them.
Understanding how content fits into website quality means knowing what people will most want to see if they arrive at the site. That makes the difference between visitors concluding, “That was a waste of my time,” and “That was just what I needed.” Besides having high-quality content overall, it’s important to publish new things regularly. That helps keep people interested. Consider using a scheduling tool to manage this step.
Keep in mind, too, that people tend to have individual content preferences. Some might rather read an e-book than watch a video. Many website users also like how infographics make it easier for them to digest statistics or understand information in the correct context.
Improve Website Quality By Checking For Errors
Some people don’t immediately realize that even the smallest mistake can give others a negative impression of overall website quality. But it’s easy to understand why they might make that connection. If business representatives don’t care enough to screen their sites for errors, they might have a similarly careless attitude about other parts of operating the company.
Evidence also suggests that spelling and grammar are search engine ranking factors. Google’s priority is to serve high-quality content to users. However, spelling and grammar mistakes signal that the material on a site is not as high-quality as it could be.
Another way to perform quality control is to search for and fix broken links. If used strategically and relevantly, links can encourage people to stay on a website longer. However, they can have the opposite effect if visitors try to click on a link and discover it doesn’t go anywhere.
If business owners find their sites have a high number of errors, they should try to pinpoint why that’s the case. Often, it’s because people care more about pushing site updates out regularly and frequently than making sure they’re ready to publish. Sometimes, the best option is to reduce the number of site updates and take more time doing quality control.
Start Focusing on Website Quality Today
As these tips indicate, there are many things to pay attention to in the quest to improve website quality. Besides implementing these suggestions, it’s always a good idea to listen to user feedback. Their comments will often uncover factors of website quality you hadn’t previously considered.