Create user friendly websites

Show your visitors that you appreciate them and respect their valuable time. Provide beneficial information while making it easy to find what they need.

Provide beneficial information
Build trust by actually providing solid information.  Free information is good, but high quality free info can set you apart from the crowd.  Extensive FAQ or self-help sections of websites can start a priceless domino effect of word of mouth publicity.  Of course this works best for informational websites that draw revenue from advertisers, but it can improve the reputation and recognition of any organization and help you build a list of warm leads.

Make it easy to contact you
Place contact info, or a link to it, on the top and/or bottom of each page.  Make your first choice of contact most conspicuous, such as easy-to-read phone number, possibly with smaller cell, fax, physical mailing address if they are secondary avenues.   

Easy navigation keeps visitors happy

Easy navigation keeps visitors happy

Explain what makes you special
Why should visitors stay at your site for more than 5 seconds?  What separates you from the competition? What is your niche?  What valuable items or information are you offering at no or low cost?  Answer all of these on your home page and other main pages. 
Use the magic words:  Best, Free, Leader, Lowest prices, Most experienced, etc., then back it up on secondary pages with lists of features, testimonials from happy customers, statistics, side by side comparisons, product reviews from respected sources and instructions for best results.

Say “Thank you”
Thank your visitors for purchasing, completing a questionnaire or just visiting!  Look for opportunities to show your appreciation and they will remember your friendliness.
Set this page up as confirmation of submitting a contact form.

Keep information current
Consider a “Last Modified” date on time-sensitive material, particularly if there is any question as to if this could be relevant only to a previous date or version of the topic being discussed.  Caution:  Only use this if your content is clearly valid.  If the only date on a page is “copyright 1998”, visitors may assume that this page (and possibly others) is old and untrustworthy.

Avoid distractions
Keep blinking text, scrolling text, animated GIF images, and sound files to a minimum.  Use these only if they highlight important sections of text and blend well with the look of the site.  Do not place too many of these moving features too close to each other, to avoid a nice page from seeming tacky.

Better code can speed up the website

Better code can speed up the website

Remind visitors where they stand
Don’t rely on the memory of users.  If an article extends to a second page, repeat its title, possibly with the word “continued.”  During each stage of an online purchase, display the key transaction details on each page.  Include a “Back” button if they don’t wish to continue moving deeper into a particular area.  Guide them throughout your website, prompting them to take action when appropriate.  Clean navigation keeps visitors happy.