When a client comes to us for a brand-new business website design, you can bet they’ll pay a lot of close attention to the visual aspects of the site, specifically things like layout, font choice, and color schemes.

If they are particularly experienced and savvy, they may even take a close look at the details of the corresponding Internet marketing plan to ensure that potential customers will be able to find their way to the new site.

One part of a new website that typically doesn’t get the attention it should, however, is user experience.

That is, clients don’t always think about how buyers actually interact with their website. That’s too bad because user experience has a big effect on the return on investment you get from your web presence.

Keep these in mind when it comes to optimizing user experience on your business website:

Pay attention to the navigation and scan for obvious problems in layout.

Sometimes the layout of a website just makes it look hard to use, navigate, or understand. If something seems confusing, trust your instincts and look for ways to resolve the problem. A site visitor will look for your navigation either horizontally across the top of the page or down the left side in a vertical format. Keep the navigation of your site visible and accessible at all times. As a good rule of thumb, it should never take more than two or three clicks to get from one part of your website to any other page.

Think about smartphone and tablet users.

Sites that look best on big desktop computers aren’t always as user-friendly on smaller screens. You want a business website that works well for everyone. Keep in mind image file sizes as well as available PDFs for download to keep site loading time to a minimum. Sites that load slowly, especially for your wireless audience on smartphones and tablets, will cause frustration in your visitor and may push folks away from you inadvertently.

Add content that is useful to your audience.

While appearance is oftentimes the first impression, if your site content doesn’t provide helpful information to your visitor, you won’t hold their attention. Provide information about your business and your services so prospective buyers walk away with the tools to make a buying decision. Trying to promote a particular service? Rather than relying on navigation as the only way to get around your website, why not provide links within site copy to get visitors there more quickly?

Remember, no matter how your website looks, if customers don’t think it is easy to use, they’ll look around for another resource that is. Do everything you can to keep them on your pages by putting site visitors ahead of website aesthetics.