When it comes to ensuring that your business website does its job in converting visitors to customers, one surefire way of doing so is to improve its user experience or UX. This means designing your website in such a way that its main purpose is clear and easy to understand, and also that it is fast, intuitive, and pleasant to the eyes. By doing this, you avoid the risk of your visitors leaving your website prematurely due to confusion or irritation.
That being said, how do you know if your website’s UX needs improving? For starters, you can examine your website’s user statistics, starting with its visitor count. Has it been on a gradual increase, or is it consistently dropping off? Also check the bounce rate, which will tell you how many visitors see just one page of your website before simply navigating away from your site without visiting any other pages. Another way to do this—albeit less scientifically—is by checking if you’re getting complaints from prospective customers about your website. People will usually tell you about problems in your company’s official social media channels, or they can also bring them to your attention by calling your customer service team.
Whichever the case, if you find out that your website is doing badly, then it’s imperative that you get the issues resolved ASAP. To help you with that, here are some tips to help you give your website a new lease on life by improving its UX.
Hire a website design agency
If your company website was made from a free template, or it’s only something that your one-man marketing team whipped up in just a week, then there’s a very good chance that it’s not performing very well. As such, we advise hiring a professional website design agency to go over your website and do the necessary improvements to its design and UX.
By having a qualified team of design professionals handle your website for you, you can rest assured that it will look and perform in the best possible way. This is because a website design agency will have the experience and expertise needed to update your website’s physical appearance and user interface to the very exacting standards of today’s users. These professionals may even be able to exceed such standards by coming up with special tricks of their own to drive visitor engagement and conversion for your site.
What’s more, hiring an agency could be much cheaper than hiring your own in-house website design team, as the former will require very little training and will likely be able to deliver what you want more efficiently, again thanks to their years of experience working with many other companies across different industries. You can also scale their involvement with your company up or down as you see fit.
Allow for white or negative spaces in your website design
As simple and counter-intuitive as it sounds, allowing blank spaces to exist in your website actually improves its user experience rather than make it worse. Blank or negative spaces allow specific types of content— such as a block of text or an image—to stand out more from a webpage. The negative space naturally draws people’s attention to these elements without the content itself being too overbearing or confrontational. It even helps to increase user comprehension by up to 20 percent, according to at least one study. Finally, it also forms a sort of “breathing space” for your visitor’s eyes, making your website feel lighter and more appealing to read.
Eliminate jargon, stock images, and other clutter
Give your website’s content a thorough inspection, and check for the following: long and complicated animations; an excessive amount of images; auto-playing videos or sounds; and overly verbose content.
If you find any of these on your website, remove them right away, especially if they are above the fold. Some of these elements can not only slow down your website’s loading times, they can also distract visitors from easily comprehending the value of your website and what it’s trying to convey. Remember that first impressions last, so you need your website to deliver its main message in the most effective and punchy way.
First of all, minimize your use of videos, animations, and very large photos and other images. They’re supposed to serve as visual highlights, and not as the entire content in and of itself (unless you’re running something like a photography website). Remove as many of them as possible, leaving only the most important ones behind. Less is more in many case, and it should also help your website load much faster.
Secondly, instead of longwinded paragraphs laden with buzzwords and jargons, opt instead for brief, direct-to-the point, and relatable content. This will make your content easier to appreciate and remember. Longer articles should be reserved for your website’ blog or news sections.
Finally, if you use stock images in your website, consider replacing them with more appropriate images, especially if they’re for a webpage containing your company profile. While there’s nothing wrong with using stock images, having an excessive amount of them can make your website appear fake or contrived. This could severely affect how your message is received by your visitor. On the other hand, using real pictures of yourself and your staff, for example, will help your site to come across as more human and more genuine to your visitors.
Ensure that your website loads quickly
Does your website take more than three seconds to load? If so, then it’s definitely time to give it an overhaul, as it may be slow enough to drive away many of your visitors. A study made by research firm Akamai discovered that 40% of online visitors will abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load. They also discovered that 52% of online shoppers consider quick page loading as a key deciding factor when looking for online shopping websites they can be loyal to.
While this study was published as far back as 2009, we can only assume that the speed demands of online visitors and shoppers have only increased since then, what with high-speed internet becoming more accessible worldwide and the trend of mobile online shopping becoming the norm.
As such, you should seek to make your website load as fast as it possibly can. Start by cutting out any and all clutter from your website, as well as optimizing any heavy content such as videos, photos, and other media for faster loading times. If you have to host high-resolution or large-sized content, host an optimized version of it on your site, and then have the full-resolution version available through a download link. You can also consult Google’s free services to assess your website’s loading speed.
Easy navigation is mandatory
Your website must also be easy to navigate. Nothing puts off an online visitor more than being confused about where to go to get what they want on your website. Ideally, your website should be able to direct them to whatever they need quickly and easily.
One way of doing this is to implement a lean navbar on your website. This should have clickable links to all the major sections of your website, such as your website blog, the FAQ section, the contact page, and so on. It should also be a constant presence on every page on your website, and in the same position so that your visitors don’t have to constantly guess or click “back” on their browser. Also, it should be responsive, meaning that the navbar shouldn’t change too drastically when the website is viewed on a mobile device.
If your website is confusing to navigate and your visitors keep getting lost in it, they will be more likely to leave your site and do business with others instead.
Improve your website’s UX now
Don’t make the mistake of underestimating just how important website UX is to your customers. In today’s world where competition is fierce and customer satisfaction is king, having your website offer a great customer experience can really improve your business’s profitability and popularity. Take the tips we listed above to heart and help your website—and business—reach its true potential.