When it comes to building websites, organization is key. No one wants to spend half an hour searching for a contact page or wading through banner ads to uncover relevant content. An easy-to-navigate website not only looks more professional, but it will also yield a much higher ROI than one with minimal ease of use. Consider the following tips for organizing and improving website usability:

Using the alphabet

Research has shown that website users typically read content in an F-shaped pattern. Placing the most important content in the upper left-hand side of each page will help make sure that readers view what you really want them to right away, instead of losing interest halfway down the page before they make it to the good stuff.

Page load time

Waiting a long time for a page to load is no fun. Sometimes an unreliable internet connection is the only thing to blame, but if your website is slow to load no matter where you are or what computer you are using, a more likely culprit is the content of your site. Getting rid of unnecessary music, videos, or banner ads can help decrease load time as well as visitor agitation.

Search bars

While they can be useful on websites with a lot of backlog, search bars shouldn’t be the go-to means of navigation on a brand new website. Organizing content in a clear, logical way will have more visitors clicking their way through your site rather than depending on the search bar, a process that can ultimately boost your page ranking and visibility.

Three click rule

If it takes more than three clicks for a user to find what they are looking for on your website, you haven’t made the information easy enough to find. But what if I have too much content to narrow navigation down to three clicks? No worries. The three click rule is actually more of a guideline meant to encourage a simple path to uncovering content. As long as visitors can recognize that they are on the right path within three clicks, you’re good to go.

Branch out

It’s normal to spend a lot of time tweaking your homepage. The assumption is that the homepage is what visitors will see first, so it needs to be the best page on your website. Not necessarily. If someone stumbles across your site by inputting a few keywords into a popular search engine, chances are the keywords are going to lead them to something other than your homepage to begin with. This is why it is important to branch out and spend more time creating good content for all of the pages on your website. That way, visitors will be impressed no matter where they are coming from or what page they land on.

Keeping your website organized is an incredibly useful tool in establishing and maintaining your business. Try incorporating all or some of these tips into your website plan to see how much a few small changes can help.

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Maressa is the head content strategist for Green Machine, Inc. She has written for multiple web and app design companies around Atlanta and tends to gravitate toward those that promote environmental sustainability and health and wellness initiatives. In her free time, she enjoys running to stay fit and keeping up-to-date on the local restaurant scene.