Your website is the most important component of your company’s online presence. It’s often the initial point of contact between a potential customer and your brand — your one and only chance of making a great first impression.
Slow loading websites, confusing navigation and poor mobile experiences act as customer repellant daily. To make sure you aren’t pushing away potential leads, sales and revenue, here are eight ways to help your website visitors have a pleasant user experience.
Today’s most popular website design trend is a flat, minimalistic design, and rightfully so, as they are extremely easy on the eyes. When your website elements are spaced out nicely they allow you to deliver your message in a much easier-to-understand way.
“When your visitors clearly know what you want them to do, in terms of a conversion, you will see that your results improve greatly. If your goal is to collect email addresses, then make your call-to-actions impossible to miss,” suggests Keith Bridges, owner of Safford Trading Company.
If you want an example of what NOT to do, take a look at this website.
When it comes to your website navigation menu, less is more. There is no need to put every single page on the menu. Your main website pages (those that provide the most value and offer solutions to the problems your target customers have) should be the main focus of your navigation menu.
You can then direct traffic to other pages via your main menu pages, using readily available data to help with this. “Your Google Analytics data is a great information source when evaluating your navigation. See what pages receive the most traffic and what pages make up the conversion path. Then, restructure to help direct more traffic to these pages,” advises Joe Baldwin, CEO of EssayLook.
One of the benefits of a clean website is improved speed. When you remove clunky features and large files, it allows your code to be much lighter. Your website’s load time is more important than you might realize, as 47 percent of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less.
Your website’s load time is more important than you might realize, as 47 percent of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less.
“Avoid features and functionalities that your visitors don’t need, as they can drastically reduce your website speed. If you are using WordPress, avoid installing plugins that you don’t need. Disabling and deleting unused plugins is an easy way to speed up your website. A caching solution and a CDN (Content Delivery Network) are also great options to consider,” adds Kenneth Wagner, founder of Social Shop.
Two great fee resources to help improve your speed are GTmetrix and Google’s PageSpeed Tools. Simply enter the URL you want to analyze and you will receive a grade and list of changes to make that will help improve your page speed.
You have to remember that your website needs to appeal to a wide range of people. Just because you like a certain font, that doesn’t mean your visitors will share your same taste in style.
Herbert Wright, CEO of GreatPaper understands the importance of font selection, advising to, “Pick a font that is bold and matches your brand, while also ensuring that it will render correctly on all screen sizes, devices and browsers. If someone has a hard time reading your font they will not stick around and try to decode it.”
If you see a font that you like and aren’t quite sure what it is, you can use a tool like this to help you identify it.
There is absolutely no reason to have a non-responsive website these days. Not only do they provide seamless user experience on every device and screen size imaginable, Google now includes mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.
“The majority of website traffic, especially for local businesses, comes from mobile devices these days. If you are trying to drive phone calls you want to make it easy for a potential customer to call your business with one click, submit a form effortlessly or make a purchase using his or her index fingers and thumbs on the smallest of screens,” says James T. Hutta, DDS.
The easiest way to see if your website is up to par is to run it through Google’s mobile-friendly test. Also, ask friends and family to run through your website and test its pages and functions. Real user feedback is extremely valuable and can help you fine tune the mobile experience.
There are plenty of website designs to pick from, so make sure you offer exceptional value to your visitors. If all your website does is sell or promote, you are doing it wrong.
“Focus on educating your potential customer, rather than just presenting them with purchase options. When you provide value by educating and informing, you build a strong relationship and high level of trust. Once that trust is established, the visitor is more likely to convert,” explains Kevin Wendelburg, CEO of Relax on the Beach, Inc.
In-depth blog posts, downloadable content assets and videos are just some ways to provide value to your visitors.
Most website visitors will not return after the initial visit. If fact, according to Bounce Exchange, 70 to 96 percent will never come back. In-depth blog posts, downloadable content assets and videos are just some ways to provide value to your visitors.
You want to keep your website theme focused around what it is that you provide, whether it’s a product or service. This allows you to create content and copy around the common questions your potential customers have.
Onyabo Monagoe, CTO of Amazing Condos For Sale understands the importance of this, explaining, “When you are able to answer questions that a potential customer has while they are on your website, it greatly increases the odds of them converting. If they leave with unanswered questions it is very unlikely that they will return or take the time to contact you in search of answers.”
A focused theme also eliminates possible distractions. When you stick to the same theme, your visitors are more likely to convert because there are no other potential options to pull them away form that desired action.
It’s important that you have a website with a nice design, but don’t forget who your core audience is when you are coming up with a design.
“Our website design appeals to our audience, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right design for another business in a completely different industry. Someone looking for flooring is going to have different design expectations than someone looking to purchase a luxury watch. Create an eye-appealing design that your particular audience will love,” suggests Johnny Carpet of Dallas Flooring Warehouse.
Put an emphasis on providing a pleasant experience on your website. Sometimes just some simple tweaks and changes, like those mentioned above, can help increase your conversion rates. More leads, sales and revenue are great for business, and it starts with a pleasant initial website user experience.