In today’s digital age, the need for an online presence is more than just a trend. For many years, it has been an essential component of any digital marketing campaign, and it has even become associated with credible businesses. Businesses that have a website are more likely to be perceived as legitimate than businesses that don’t, and if you count among the latter, you might want to start a website as soon as possible. Since most businesses already have a website, and because the eCommerce industry is as saturated as it is competitive, there is now an urgent need to stand out.
Most business websites worth visiting all have an excellent user experience. Websites that don’t stick out like a sore thumb, that while users don’t usually have a set of metrics to base what is and what isn’t a good website, a poor user experience is bound to cause a visitor to click away. This contributes to a website’s bounce rate, which adversely affects a website’s ranking on search engines. Here are a few ways that web developers can improve a website’s user experience.
Optimize Page Load Times
A website’s page load times and user experience are linked closer than most people know. A great pitch and design are only effective if they are displayed quickly enough. When a website takes too long to load, visitors are likely to click away to find a website that loads faster. Even something seemingly inconsequential like a five-second delay can cause your bounce rates to spike by as high as 20%.
Fortunately, there are many resources that illustrate in detail the steps to optimize web page load times. The internet is replete with resources like this guide from SpinupWP, which shows you how to install WordPress on Ubuntu 20.04 and speed up your sites.
Create a Strong Call-to-Action
A call-to-action (CTA) is a powerful tool that helps websites leverage user behavior. The average website visitor relies heavily on visual cues as they navigate a website. A call-to-action contains action words that help direct the path of a user. The choice of words as well as the strategic placement of a CTA helps motivate a user to take a desired or suggested action.
Many brands have experimented with various colors and shapes, each yielding different results. This is because of how color psychology affects how a perceiver feels. Depending on the call-to-action and on the context of the touchpoint, some colors are going to be much more effective than others. Bright colors tend to excite people while dark and sombre colors imply a serious tone.
Use High-Quality Visuals
Whether it’s in the form of high-quality videos, pictures, or even microinteractions, visual cues communicate a message to website visitors. Images are more than just an aesthetic addition to your website. They can be used to direct users throughout your website, and video can even be used as a means to deliver a lengthy message in a condensed, quick-to-view format.
However, the effect that visual cues have on user experience is only as good as the quality of these visuals themselves. Stock images, choppy animations, or any videos with a resolution of less than 720p will speak poorly of your website and your brand. Consult a design agency (check out some of the best in this UX Planet article) to ensure that your website’s visuals are up to user standards that your website’s visuals are up to user standards.
Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
It’s been several years since we’ve started putting an emphasis on the importance of mobile-friendly websites. In recent studies, Google found that the majority of search queries were made on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Even when people have access to desktop computers and laptops, people tend to use their mobile devices to browse the internet.
It makes only perfect sense to tailor the web viewing experience to cater to users who are viewing the website through a mobile device. Not only does a mobile-friendly website load better and look better on a mobile device, but it also keeps Google from penalizing your website. They are serious about tailoring the web-viewing experience for mobile devices. Websites that aren’t mobile-friendly are penalized heavily, such that they may not only fall in terms of rank, but they may even get de-indexed.
Fix Broken Links
Nobody likes broken links. Not only are they a major inconvenience to visitors, but they also speak volumes regarding a business’ lack of concern for user experience, or worse, a web developer’s incompetence. This also harms the credibility of a website, that it cannot fulfill its most basic functions.
Google Analytics is a great tool to help web developers track down and get rid of broken links. Remember that the internet is a dynamic setting, and information changes often, either through further study or through a new discovery. With this in mind, it’s important to check your links regularly to ensure that your website reflects what it should.
Tweak Your Website’s Headings
Finally, it’s important to pay attention to minute details. Your website’s headings need to be specific and purposeful. While this is primarily a matter of style, this helps create structure on your website. Headings need to contain strategically selected keywords that are relevant to your niche. Most users may not know the finer details of web content structure, but they’re going to feel the difference right away, especially when they’ve seen websites that make use of headings properly.
The Bottom Line
The need for a good website during these times cannot be emphasized enough, especially when the vast majority of people are heavily reliant on the internet for their needs because of the restrictions forced upon us by the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s good to remember the basics. A website is the representation of a brand online, and it is worth more than what it costs to build. The quality of your website, and the user experience it yields, is a reflection of your brand. Not only does it drive traffic to your brand, but it also helps retain old customers. Never disregard the importance of user experience.