A website is the most powerful marketing, branding, and sales tool but its only as good as you can make it. Many businesses fail to fully utilize the power of their website despite having spent hundreds of dollars on professional design, content and even advertising. The main reason being that people coming on to their website don’t seem too impressed. If anything, the user experience is dull, which is why the website does not have the intended impact. Below we look at a few things that can be done to improve the experience of visitors.
Fine tune page speed
Perhaps one of the most frustrating experiences is waiting for a website to load. If it takes too long, most people will just opt out of visiting it all together. Since people are accessing the internet from across the world, not everyone has broadband especially if they are sharing the internet with a few dozen others at Starbucks. The best way to find out if your web pages are good enough is to use Google’s free service which provides information on load speed. You’ll also get a few suggestions on improving it further.
When a link is added any web page, it’s like a signal to the user asking them to click there. However, links should be easily identifiable with recognizable visual cues. You can improve the user experience by using different colored or underlined text which draws the visitor’s attention. A study conducted by Karyn Graves showed that regular web users will see underlined blue text as being links. So, exploiting what users already expect can result in success. Plus, there is no need to reinvent the wheel, just stick with convention, and you’ll succeed. A good way to test how effective the links are is to blur or even remove them from the design to see what else is attracting attention. Plus, longer link titles are easier to identify.
Use unique, helpful and exciting headlines
Always keep in mind that your content has to be driven by what customers are looking for which includes the keywords in the title. User experience is all about getting the right message across effectively. Search Engines still give your headlines more juice compared to other bits of content so choose the headlines wisely. Also, headings will guide users through the site which makes it easier for them to quickly scan through the content to find what they are looking for.
Consistency is the key to online success
A consistent website where everything matches, everything else offers the best user experience. All the headings, coloring, fonts, button styles, illustration styles, choice of pictures, etc. should be consistent. Thankfully, if you’re using a content management system like WordPress, it’s something that the theme engine will manage. But you still need to be mindful of things like the heading sizes, fonts, and text colors.
Iron out all those 404s
Nothing hurts user experience more than when someone clicks on your link from search engine results or another page and is faced with a 404 error. 404s can be annoying, and so you always need to be on the lookout and fix them right away. Use Google Webmaster tools to check for 404s for free. Also, use a resource which guides users to another page when they encounter a 404 so that their experience is not ruined.