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    Posted June 23, 2014 by
    Chandigarh, India
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Tech talk

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    Critical Success Factors – What Does a User Look for on a Website?


    Websites are different, so are their objectives. Each website has its own set of success factors and high end goals aligned with strategy. But if we look at the bigger picture, there are success factors which are common for every website. Every day lots of websites are coming online and webmasters are investing their time on its marketing activities. But if the websites are analysed critically, half the job is done. At the end of the day, website is created for users and not for search engines.


    Therefore, in other words - What does a user look for on a website?


    This is the question webmasters should ask themselves before launch. Most of the times what happens is webmasters quickly launch the websites and start marketing initiatives without analyzing the core areas and function of their website. Here are the critical success factors for a website:


    Easy to understand design and layout - As the name suggests, the design and layout should be easy to understand for the users. It doesn't matter whether the design and layout is simple or complex. What matters is the user friendliness of the design and layout. If a website layout is full of ads and structure is totally mismanaged then it really frustrates the users. This decreases the engagement factor of the website and user will leave the website on the same page without moving on any other page. Everything on a webpage must be in the order of the priority like navigational links, marquees, etc.


    Engaging content - Content is not only the text written in descriptions, but also headings, links, image alt, etc. Every website has its own theme of content but engagement is the common factor. If content lacks engagement then nothing can be achieved. Content is one of the most important factor which should be devoted maximum time. But in reality it is not the case. You can find millions of websites which lack punch in their content and written for just the sake of writing. To write an engaging content, you must build a content strategy and align it with website objectives.

    Highly visible products and services - To help users stay on the website and achieve the objectives, products and services should be easily accessible. While going through different websites you can find that it is difficult to reach products and services section or page. There are various implications to find the products on a website like bad linking, low quality content, bad design, unstructured layout, etc. For a user, products and services are priority and should be easily accessible from the home page.


    Clear and highlighted headings - This is a very important point for any website. Headings and subheadings if clearly visible and highlighted or placed properly can lead to better ROI. Yes, it sounds a bit odd that how come headings play such a big role. If you are looking for a specific product and reach a page related to that product and cannot find the product in first look in a hurry then the lead is wasted for the website. If the product you are looking for has a heading which is quite visible and placed properly on the webpage from where it is clearly visible, lead can be captured.
    Easy Navigation - Sometimes navigation makes users so frustrated that the leave the website. Always create navigation for users to help them and just not to navigate them. Easy navigation helps users to find the right information in less time.


    Easily accessible information in less clicks - If users get all the required information in less number of clicks on the website then this will cause happiness among them and they would definitely visit again. Always try to provide the right information in the less number of clicks for the users. A happy and satisfied user would visit again.
    Small and highly visible query forms - Query form are the most sensitive area of a website’s lead generation capability. A website is in a problem if there is a query form which is non functional, lacks visibility, high number of fields to input, no thank you page, etc. A query form should be easily accessible and must have few input fields only. Long forms frustrate users and they would eventually leave the website without even filling up the form.


    Easily accessible contact information - You can easily find websites with their contact phone number and emails on the home page header. Contact information on the home page can be very helpful. If contact information is not easily available to the users, the disgruntled ones will then remove their frustration on official social media channels which can further hurt the brand. So always make sure that users can easily find the contact information of the website and business.

    So these are the few points out of many and are the critical success factors and at the same time major areas of concerns for the webmasters. So what does a user look for on your website?

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