It’s no secret that if you want to succeed in running a business, you need to provide your customers and clients with an amazing experience.
But what you may not realize is that it’s not enough to simply provide great customer service in person or over the phone. For many of your customers, their experience actually starts with your website.
If this topic sounds familiar, that’s because we also wrote about it a couple of years ago in a post titled, “5 Easy Ways to Improve User Experience on Your Website.” It’s a great starting point for making your website more customer-friendly, and if you haven’t read it yet, we recommend starting there.
But things have changed since then. It’s 2019 now, and things that your customers didn’t even think about 2 years ago are now everyday concerns. As technology adapts, so must the way you care for your customers.
So today we’re sharing 5 more ways to improve user experience on your website. Which fixes will you implement?
When was the last time you sat down and read a web page? Like seriously focused and read all of the details?
If we had to guess, we’d say it’s probably been a while. That’s because the average website visitor only has time to read 28% of any given webpage, although in practice, only about 20% of your content makes it through.
Your audience is in a hurry, so if you want them to have a great user experience on your site, you need to make sure they can find what they’re looking for fast.
Start with your layout. Visitors tend to view websites in an F-shaped pattern, with more attention given to the top left corner of the page. The farther to the right and the farther down the page their eyes move, the less time they spend reading. You can see that F-shaped pattern clearly in this heatmap, which measures where visitors’ eyes land most often on a page:
You can design your way around this by making sure that your most important and helpful information is always toward the top of the page and toward the lefthand side, like on the homepage we designed for Oasis Hydration here in Atlanta:
You can also make your website more skimmable by leaving plenty of white space between elements. This allows each piece of your site to stand out more and gives your visitors’ eyes room to rest while they read.
Another way to improve your users’ experience on your site is to simplify your message. According to a recent Web Usability Report, the lack of a clear message is the Number 1 reason most visitors leave a website:
Take a look at your website’s current page copy. Is it clear to an outsider who you are as a company, what you do, and why you do it? Can visitors easily tell what type of customers you serve? Do you explain all of this in plain English, or do you use a lot of industry buzzwords and jargon?
Heres's a good example of clear brand messaging from the website we designed for software company New Knowledge:
Better yet, ask a trusted friend or colleague from outside your industry to take a look at your brand messaging and point out which areas they find confusing or unclear. Refine your message until it’s clear and compelling to keep visitors from leaving your site annoyed.
If you’re looking for an ultra-modern way to up the user experience on your site, you need to start experimenting with personalization.
Whether you realized it or not, you’ve probably seen hundreds of personalized websites already. The most commonly cited example is the online retail giant Amazon, which shows members a personalized homepage based on their past activity:
But you don’t have to be Amazon to start using personalization to your advantage. Use your visitors’ device locations to show them the closest branch of your company. Add a chatbot to help site visitors if they have a question while browsing. If your site has an e-commerce section, take a page from Amazon’s playbook and recommend items to shoppers based on their browsing history.
Each of these may not seem like a huge deal now, but they all contribute to your visitors’ overall feeling of being cared for and appreciated. The more often they feel that way on your website, the more they trust your company … and the more likely they are to buy from you.
Part of improving user experience on your website means understanding what the hot-button issues are for your customers. Right now, one of those issues is site security.
The concern around this topic had been quietly brewing for years before it reached a boiling point last year. Between the European Union passing new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), and large-scale privacy breaches at major companies like Facebook and Ticketfly making national (and in some cases international) headlines, your customers have never been more concerned about how brands are using their data.
This means now is a great time to tighten security on your own website. If you haven’t already, upgrade to an SSL-encrypted URL (HTTPS instead of HTTP). You may also want to rethink what data you collect from your customers and how it’s stored.
We bring up calls to action (CTAs) a lot on this blog because they are such a vital part of your customer journey. So we would be remiss if we didn’t mention them here, too.
Even the most carefully crafted user experience can fall apart at the hands of a sloppy or poorly strategized CTA. Think of your CTA as a roadsign along your customer journey: If you’re not careful about placement, wording, and even color choice, your visitors could take a wrong turn and end up lost.
One way to avoid confusion around your CTA is to limit how many you include throughout your site. A CTA’s strength comes partly from repetition — the more times your visitors see your instruction to sign up for something, the better it sticks in their minds until they finally click that button.
Keep their focus on just one or two high-level actions, like contacting you for an estimate or signing up for your email list, to get them to their destination OK.
If you've made it this far, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed at the prospect of making all of these changes yourself. That’s why we’re here. Our team of web design and copywriting experts can help you give your customers a great experience from start to finish. Ready to learn how? Contact us to learn more.
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