Your website is one of your most valuable tools for reaching a wider audience, getting new leads, and engaging with customers. However, not all websites are equally helpful. That’s why we hear so much today about UX (User Experience). While you may have built your website to further your own goals, what really counts is the experience your visitors have when they land there.
What is UX?
UX includes many issues. Broadly speaking, it has to do with anything that affects visitors’ reactions, behaviors, and ability to get around your website. This includes:
- Page-loading speed. Research indicates that many visitors will abandon your website if pages take more than a few seconds to load. Google also uses speed as a ranking factor.
- Avoid clutter. Too many elements on a page, whether it’s large blocks of text, images, videos, or ads make it hard to concentrate. A cluttered website is the digital equivalent of a cluttered room, creating a claustrophobic effect. Make sure there’s enough white space so that people can absorb the information you’re presenting.
- Easy navigation. You want visitors to be able to quickly find what they came for. It’s important to have a clear navigation menu with accurately-named pages. A search box also makes it easier for people to locate the right page.
- Mobile-friendliness. With more than half of internet users on mobile devices, it’s more important than ever to use responsive design so that everyone can access your content.
- Repair broken links. Broken links leading to 404 Error pages cause you to lose visitors and detract from your site’s professionalism.
- Clear CTA and contact information. You don’t want people to simply visit your website and leave without taking any further action. Make sure your contact info is clearly visible. At the very least, that means an email address. Depending on the type of business you have you may also want to include a phone number and physical address. Opt-in forms to capture email addresses should also be prominently displayed.
Benefits of Improving UX
Enhancing your website’s UX has many benefits and can improve your ROI. Here are four advantages to giving your users a better experience on your site along with tips on how to accomplish this.
Lower Bounce Rates
Whatever you want out of your website, whether leads, sales, or greater brand awareness, you need visitors to spend a certain amount of time looking around. When visitors have a positive experience, they’re likely to stay longer. One of the most important metrics for a website is your bounce rate, which measures visitors who land on your site and immediately leave. A high bounce rate is usually related to UX. As you make improvements, you’ll be able to retain your visitors longer.
UX has a large impact on conversion rates. If people can’t find the information they’re seeing or your opt-in page is hard to find, you’ll tend to see visitors leaving without taking any action. All UX issues, from site speed to mobile responsiveness have an impact on conversions. If you’re capturing email addresses you should test different formats and styles for your opt-in forms.
- Simplify opt-in forms. You can often increase response rates with fewer fields for your forms. For example, if your form currently asks for first and last name, email address, and phone number you could ask for only the first name and email and see how that affects opt-ins.
- Be aware of the fold. Where you place your CTA button can make a big difference. As a rule, it’s best to put it “above the fold,” or on the top half of the page. The fact is, no matter how well your site is designed more people will tend to see what’s above the fold than below. In fact, a study by the NN Group found that content above the fold is seen 84% more than what’s below it!
- Send visitors to product pages. If you sell products directly from your site, UX has a big impact on sales. You want to make sure visitors can quickly find the product they’re looking for. UX factors for e-commerce sites include having a user-friendly shopping cart, intuitive and informative menus, and an efficient search box.
Better For Brand Awareness
When visitors have a good experience on your site and can get around it easily, they absorb more information and come away with a better impression of your brand. Just as poor navigation and clutter distract from your message, a well-designed site lets you tell your story and communicate more effectively.
- Make sure content is scannable. Many readers today skim rather than read every word. Keeping paragraphs short, having sufficient white space, and using lists and headings can all make your content more friendly to skimmers.
- Use appealing visuals. The web is getting ever more visually oriented. Compelling photos, memes, and infographics make your site more interesting. The more customized your visuals are, the more they reinforce your brand. Don’t populate your site with generic stock photos. Using custom images makes a much more powerful statement and leaves a stronger impression.
- Stay consistent. While you want to use eye-catching visuals and other elements you also want to maintain consistency so visitors get accustomed to your tone and style. Display your logo on every page. Use familiar colors, layouts, and fonts. Use a consistent style for your posts.
Lets You Engage More Effectively
Enhancing UX makes it easier to communicate with your visitors, prospects, and customers. As noted, it’s essential to prominently display contact info and your CTA. There are other ways to encourage people to engage with you.
- Install a chatbot. A chatbot can guide your visitors to the right pages, answer questions, and improve engagement. It’s important to make sure your chatbot is truly helpful, though. Research your customers’ most urgent concerns so your chatbot addresses them. You should also test chatbot features such as appearance and position on the page.
- Social media integration. Posting social media buttons will encourage people to visit your pages and follow you. This gives you another way to connect with your audience. Even people who seldom visit your site may follow you on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Another way to integrate your website and social media is to let people log into your site with Facebook. This only applies, of course, if your site requires a login.
- Encourage feedback on your blog. Posting content regularly on your blog gives you a way to connect with your readers. Easy navigation will encourage people to visit your blog (in some cases it might even be your homepage). Don’t just preach to your readers. Ask questions, poll them and invite them to respond. Always monitor comments and reply.
Improving UX helps turn your website into a more powerful tool for your entire business. When people visit your website, they’re looking for answers and solutions. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to meet their needs.