Is your website leaving an impression?
By Chelsea Berler
I remember when you could put practically anything up on your website and call it a day, but not anymore! Now, if you want to keep people stuck on your site, stay in business, and prosper, you have to create a beautiful, informative, and trouble-free user experience (UX).
When it comes to websites in 2016, UX has become the new black, in that it works with anything. Almost all web-related problems can be soothed or solved by making sure the UX is solid; yet even so, many sites bumble forward with user experience issues that turn people off. Are you one of them? If you’re not sure, take a look at your analytics. If you have a high bounce rate (above 50 percent), it means people are visiting your site home page and bouncing back to the referral or search site, rather than digging deeper into your other content. This can be one major sign of a UX problem.
Even if your analytics are smooth, it’s worth reevaluating your UX regularly in order to keep up with emerging user habits. Once you’re used to thinking about it, you can easily learn how to accentuate the positive and (hopefully) eliminate the negative aspects of your UX design.
Ready to get your UX on?
1. Speed it up.
Slow load times are annoying and frustrating. People just aren’t going to wait for your slow-loading pages, especially if they’re browsing on a mobile device. Have a developer evaluate your site for potential ways to increase load-speed (like compressing images and removing resource-hogging scripts and plugins).
2. Keep navigation and organization user-friendly.
If users can’t find what they’re looking for, they’re going to leave, even if you have great content. Your site navigation menu has to be readily visible, logical, and easy to use. In addition, you need a single, unified site structure where there is a natural progression to the pages and your story.
3. Employ exciting, engaging, up-to-date content and graphics.
Your site is a living, breathing entity that must be kept fresh and up-to-date. You can regularly add blogs, company news, sales, offers, and announcements, as well as product and service updates. These timely additions will improve your SEO power, too, because Google just loves fresh content and will rank you higher for it.
4. Deliver powerful headlines.
Headlines steer the readers and compel them to become involved with your product of service. The first thing people will do when they reach your site is scan it, and you have to grab their attention in seconds while they do.
5. Keep it uber professional.
Make sure your site looks reputable, trustworthy, current, and not spammy. That means using good copywriters, tapping into great photography and design, employing legible type, keeping your site typo-free, using correct grammar, staying away from too much jargon, and not looking like a do-it-yourself failure.
6. Turn down the sound.
Personally, I hate when I visit a website (especially if I’m in a public place on my smartphone), and I am bombarded with a cacophony of sounds when I load up a new page. Please don’t do this to your users.
7. Include a clear call to action.
Visitors are like sheep—you have to herd them in the right direction. Do you want them to sign up to your newsletter or get your free gift? Say so with a clear call-to-action button. And be sure to clearly display your telephone number so they can call with questions or concerns. Otherwise they will quickly wander to the greener pastures of other sites.
8. Be clear about what your organization does.
When a user visits your site, make it immediately clear on the home page what you do. If they can’t figure it out, they’ll click the back button. And be sure to include an “About” page that reinforces your reason for being and why people should deal with you.
Keeping visitors on your site means keeping them engaged. And the easiest way to do that is to work on your—say it with me now—UX!