Improve Your Website’s User Experience with These Tips
Improve Your Website’s User Experience with These Tips
As we all know, your company’s website is the billboard for your brand - and often the first shot you have at making a good impression on prospective customers. That is why it is vital to design your website with the user in mind, and make the user experience a top priority. Yes, this can mean a website redesign is necessary, as digital trends rapidly change and what looked great ten years ago suddenly looks outdated. The best way to combat this is by consistently and thoroughly evaluating and optimizing your website’s user experience. This gives you an opportunity to see what’s working and put some time into researching current trends and best practices. Read on for seven ways to improve your website’s user experience and cater to the very visitors who may be your next customers!
1. Optimize your page speed
How many times have you navigated off a website because it took too long to load? Chances are if you’ve done it, your potential customers have, too. If your pages take too long to load, you run the risk of losing your prospect to the competition, thus bouncing from your page and onto the next. In fact, Section.io reports that just five extra seconds of page load time can increase your website’s bounce rate by over 20%! That should be reason enough to put addressing page speed at the top of your user experience project’s task list.
A good place to start is with Google’s free PageSpeed Insights tool, where you can figure out your score and snag some suggestions for improving loading times on both mobile and desktop devices. Usually, most websites could use an image compression exercise to start, but there are loads of other factors involved in making a speedy site.
2. Keep a mobile-first mentality and use responsive design
Given the rise of mobile device usage, it should come as no surprise that more people are browsing websites on their smartphones or tablets. Additionally, Google recently started penalizing websites that are not optimized for mobile. Make sure your website is responsive (does the content adjust accordingly when you view it on different screen sizes?) and that mobile page speed is just as good as desktop page speed.
3. Make use of white space
While it may seem like a good idea to cram as much as you can into every open space on a page, doing so makes your content illegible and confusing. If there’s too much going on, this creates the possibility that the website visitor will be less likely to find what they’re looking for and navigate away from the page.
This is why white space should be used and used wisely. In fact, according to Crazy Egg white space around text and titles increases user attention by 20%. White space creates an open, modern feel for your website, and often a less stressful user experience that is more streamlined and easy-to-navigate.4. Utilize bullet points to segment and highlight information
Bullet points are a great way to summarize information quickly and succinctly. In a matter of a few lines, you can call attention to key product/service features, benefits, pain points, etc. This makes your content pop off the page and draws the website visitor’s eyes directly where you (and they) want them. You also don’t need to be boring and use traditional bullets or numbers – with a plethora of icons available (usually for free), you can find something that relates to the content you’re communicating or matches your brand identity.
5. Make your hyperlinks pop
In order to make sure a website visitor takes the desired action on your links (clicking them), you need to be sure that they stand out on the page and are easily identifiable. This is usually easily accomplished with underlined text in a different color than the surrounding text. You don’t need to go crazy with this concept – sometimes simpler is better and will still have a profound effect on your website’s user experience.
6. Spend time writing great headings
Since your headings are often the first thing a potential customer sees when they visit your website, you want to be sure that it tells them they are in the right place. Make sure you do extensive keyword research and include those target keywords in your titles and subheadings to draw attention to the right things and attract the right audience.
This is also important for SEO, as search engines usually give more weight to headings than they do regular page body content. Including the correct keywords in headings sends signals to search engines indicating what your website is all about and make it more likely to appear relevant to a user’s specific search query.
7. Stay consistent across pages
No matter what you do with your website, remaining consistent is key to a seamless user experience. Just as with any other aspect of your branding, your website should have the same voice, look and feel no matter where your visitors are navigating. We’re not just talking about colors and fonts, either – heading sizes, button styles, spacing, design elements, illustration styles, photo choices and more should all be on your radar when analyzing your website for consistency.
If your website drastically changes between pages, you run the risk of confusing the visitor and driving them away because they think they’re suddenly in the wrong place. Inconsistencies lead to confusion, and confusion leads to bounces. If you cannot stay consistent on your website, who should someone trust the consistency of your products or services?
If you implement some of these tips, we can guarantee your website’s user experience will improve exponentially. Have questions or want us to help with more UX needs? Let us know in the comments!