Have you ever stumbled across a website that was so complicated, cluttered, or chaotic you hit the back button before you read a single word? The last thing you want is to generate that response in visitors to your website. A clean website design is essential to develop high conversion rates and brand loyalty, so here are a few tips to help you achieve those goals.
➊ Sanitize the Sidebar
WordPress uses widgets to organize content for sidebars, advertising space, footers, and other specific areas of your site. Over time, widgets can spiral out of control unless you prune them based on the content you want users to see.
In terms of website real estate, sidebars are just as valuable as the posts and pages you create. Each widget should serve a particular function, such as:
• Helping users find content
• Connecting types of content, including specific categories or tags
• Issuing a call to action
• Encouraging communication (such as through comments from readers)
Whether you use WordPress as a blog, content management system, e-commerce platform, or some other purpose, decide what content is most important for your visitors to see. This is the content you should serve up in your sidebar. Eliminate unnecessary content, especially if it’s redundant, such as two archive widgets.
➋ Verify Link Viability
Dead links (links that lead to non-existent pages) not only frustrate readers, but damage your credibility in search engines. A search-and-destroy mission for dead links will make your WordPress website design far more usable.
WordPress plugins, such as dead link checkers, automate this process so you don’t have to do it manually. Signing up for Google Webmaster Tools also helps because crawl errors (reports of dead or broken links) appear on your dashboard.