Your website is the face of your business. Similar to a brick and mortar storefront, it can be the determining factor when it comes to your users converting into customers. Having a strong online presence has become crucial for the success of any business and audiences have come to expect a certain level of sophistication. Because of this, taking time to improve UX is vital to the success of any product or service and websites are no exception.
What is UX?
UX stands for User Experience and is predominantly used in the digital world to define the experience that a person has as they interact with a company’s product or service. It is a vital consideration when designing and maintaining any website. UX design is the process of enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty by improving the usability of your website in order to increase conversions and audience satisfaction.
Optimising User experience on your website can result in a significant reduction in user errors and complications. Meaning an easier path for users to navigate through the buyer’s journey and convert. But what are some of the best ways to optimise your website’s UX? Let us talk you through our top five…
Directional Signage and Visual Cues
Visual and directional cues are a UX design tool used to quite literally point your visitors in the direction of the elements that are integral to converting them. Such as a CTA button. These cues help visitors navigate your page easily and improve usability.
Visual cues can come in several forms. They can be obvious symbols such as arrows pointing toward a desired action, specifically designed photography or even specific colour selections for CTA buttons that stand out from the rest of the page.
As humans we are naturally drawn toward other people’s faces, meaning that portraits are a great natural visual cue. Portraits can draw a reader’s focus towards a desired element of your website – a photograph of a subject gazing towards a block of text on the page can help direct a reader’s attention to that text. The portrait subject’s gaze is also a great way to reinforce the text’s importance.
Cues such as these ensure your visitors flow through your website as you desire. They will generate a strong understanding of what your services have to offer and are more likely to convert.
Include a Search Bar
We all live extremely busy lives and any amount of time we can save is a win. Your audience may not have time to manually browse your entire website, especially if you have a vast amount of content. Including a search bar at the top of your page is a simple way to help usability and save your users time.
According to research, if a website offers a search feature, 59% of visitors will take advantage of it. In fact, they prefer it over a typical hierarchical navigation menu. If you are aiming to enhance your website’s performance and attain more conversions, you’ll find that a search bar can allow you to accomplish both objectives.
On-site search is a powerful tool. Not only is it a quick tool for potential customers to find exactly what they’re looking for, by knowing what your customers are searching for on your site, you can help to identify missing content, optimise your navigation and generate new marketing campaigns and content.
Key Details Above the Fold
When you are talking about above-the-fold in website design, it is simply the content that fills your screen upon initial loading. The “fold” is at the bottom of the user’s screen. This is why it’s crucial to hook your audience from the second they initially land on your site.
There are some crucial ways to optimise your above the fold content:
- Adding a powerful H1 tag and strong keywords in the first paragraph are the simplest ways to draw users in with amazing copy.
- Add at least one visible call to action buttons
- Include strong visuals
- Ensure your above the fold content is the first component to load in its entirety before the rest of the page loads.
- Keep navigation easily visible
Users will scroll, but only if what’s above the fold is promising enough. It is a way for them to judge your entire brand in a matter of seconds – so above the fold matters!
Maintain Consistency Throughout Pages
Your page structure may be more important than you think! If all of your common website elements (such as navigation, text content, and imagery) are in the same place on every page it means your visitors will spend less time trying to figure out how to use your website and more time engaging with your content.
Users should feel comfortable when visiting your business’s website. They should feel that your site is designed specifically with them in mind. When you are consistent with your design, you ensure your users are happy, compelling them to convert and even return.
There’s also a time and cost saving benefit to consistent website design. If your website uses a consistent layout it means that your developers only need to create a small number of templates for your pages. This will both keep your website simple and easy to use, whilst cutting down on the development time of your website – save your company money.
Optimise Your Loading Speed
Performance plays a major role in the success of any online venture and can be the determining factor between a conversion and a loss. Fast loading sites engage and retain users better than slow and low-performing ones. A recent Kissmetrics infographic found that if a page takes longer than 3 seconds to load, over a quarter of users will click away.
When you get to a website that takes forever to load, how do you reactr? If you’re like most people then you probably begin to get frustrated. And when you’re on a website that makes you feel frustrated, are you going to stay on that website? More than likely not. Instead, you’re going to exit and head to another website, right? That is exactly what your audience will do if your website load speed isn’t up to scratch.
There are many factors that can slow down your website, it can get weighed down by a lot of unnecessary features that your potential customers may never have a use for. Although you may not have taken this into account when developing your website, it can be a simple fix.
These factors can include:
- Large image files
- A poor web host
- Unnecessary coding
- Not preloading your fonts
- Caching issues
- Plugins are weighing your site down
Technology and the internet are constantly weaving themselves into our lives, meaning we can expect to see UX evolve further. This will bring to light the need for even more specialised skills in the development field.
In order to keep up with your competitors you must ensure your UX is fully optimised. Although it may seem overwhelming at first, improving user experience is not as tough as it may seem. Even a small effort can turn into a huge advantage for your business.
Looking for a new website that is fully optimised with your target audience in mind? Get in touch today!