You’ve worked hard on your website. The design is just right, that header looks great and everything is user-friendly. But really, how good is the user experience?
Can a visitor to your site find everything they need in an instant? Is your website clutter-free and quick to load? There are almost two billion websites that exist on the web and internet surfers are always on the lookout for the ones that offer the best user experience.
Keep reading to step up your website’s user experience and guarantee that visitors keep coming back.
1. Improve Speed
Five seconds is the maximum time that most people will wait for a site to load. But up to 20% of web users won’t even wait for three seconds. This means that the difference of one or two seconds could mean losing a whole lot of visitors to your site.
Speed trumps funky website design, it even trumps functionality. In this attention-span economy, you lose the attention of your user in an instance with a ‘slow’ load time. The first and most important step of improving user experience is testing your website speed and figuring out ways that you can make it faster.
You’re not only losing your visitor’s interest with a slow loading time, but Google’s too! The powerhouse search engine gives priority to fast-loading sites. You’ll never make it to the top of Google pages if you don’t speed things up.
2. Your Logo Should be Clickable
The most basic aspect of a good user experience is having a logo that always brings your visitor back to the home page. This is the easiest way for a visitor to return home when they get lost on your site or want to access another page.
The last thing you want is someone hitting the back button multiple times to get back to your home page. Most users expect the logo in your header to link to your home page, that’s what they’re familiar with – give that feature to them.
3. Remove Broken Links
It’s a bad sign of a lazy site when a user clicks a link that leads them to a ‘404 Not Found’ error page. This is not only extremely frustrating for the user, but it’s also a loss for your site. It comes across as careless and untrustworthy.
Frequently go through your site checking internal links, affiliate links, and external links to ensure that they’re all sparkly and working. Remove and replace broken links to ensure the best user experience for visitors to your site.
4. Keep it Simple
If you’re focusing on improving user experience through website functionality, do your best to avoid the temptation of adding so many features that it becomes complex.
Visitors want to be able to navigate and understand your pages immediately. They don’t want to spend time searching for something or deciphering a hundred complex elements. Begin by checking how user-friendly your pages are with tools like Decibel or CMJ.
Remove clutter and all unnecessary elements. You want to aim for a clean and minimalist appearance that is both visually aesthetic and easy for users to navigate and find what they want. Simplifying your pages will also help to improve your website speed.
5. Add CTA Buttons
If you’re hoping to persuade your visitor into taking action on your page, whether that’s buying something, signing up, or simply dropping a comment, make use of big, shiny ‘call to action’ buttons.
These buttons should be high on the page so it’s one of the first things your visitor sees, and they don’t need to scroll down the page. You may have users that are eager to sign up to something, for example, and if it’s difficult for them to navigate there they will lose interest quickly.
Large, visually attractive CTA buttons help users to find something quickly and entice hesitant visitors into getting involved.
6. Give Your Navigation Bar a Makeover
Your navigation bar is of utmost importance. This is where visitors will find what they’re looking for and explore your site. It sends them from one page to the next, keeping them on your site for longer. Navigation is arguably the most important aspect of a good UX user experience.
Put your drop-down menu in a familiar location where users are used to seeing them. Ensure that the bar isn’t hidden or tiny. The menu links should be interactive, using colors that light up or animations – even if the link isn’t clickable.
Your menu should stand out visually, especially if you have a busy website design. Use link text colors that contrast to the background colors to make them stand out even more.
The links should be easy to understand and easy to scan so that visitors can quickly find and identify what they are looking for.
7. Content is King
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if your site loads in two seconds, has the most creative design, and is incredibly easy to use. Visitors come to your site for one main reason: To find valuable content.
Whether your medium is written, audio, or visual, high-quality and original content is the backbone of your user experience. Everything else just works to support the content so that your user can search for it, find it, engage with it and enjoy it.
8. Pay Attention to Feedback
Ultimately, you’re improving your website for your users. So, the best way to do that is to find out what they want, the things that they like and don’t like.
By getting frequent feedback from your audience you don’t run the risk of making changes based on your own assumptions, which your users may dislike. You want to give people the features they are asking for, not the ones that you think are best.
You can get feedback through surveys and when you have the data it’s important to be receptive and ready to change. Don’t get married to a certain idea or feature, adaptability and listening to your audience is what’s going to set your site apart from the rest
Does Your Site Offer a Good User Experience?
How do you feel your site matches up compared to these user experience tips? Have you noticed obvious room for improvement? Working to improve and polish your site’s user experience is what turns visitors into customers and users into a loyal audience.
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