88% of online shoppers say that they wouldn’t return to a website that had a bad user experience (UX). Customers are constantly evaluating your company and its value as they research for the best product or service for their needs. That means that having a bad experience when a customer is evaluating their options could turn them off EVEN if you have the best product or service in your market. Luckily, there are some simple ways to improve business website UX.
UX is About More than Being Pretty
When many people think about user experience, they just think about pretty colors and cool design features. While those are important aspects of quality UX, they aren’t everything. User experience is also about efficient and effective usability for the user and business alike.
This means that calls to action are in the optimal location for a customer to click on it and paths to gaining customer information such as contact forms are easy to see and fill out. You may want to design different user journeys for different products, services or purposes. All of these are ways to improve the user experience for your customers.
1. Optimize Your Website for Mobile
According to Google, 68.1% of all website visits in 2020 came from mobile devices. If you want to simply compete with your industry rivals, your website needs to be mobile-friendly, or responsive. In fact, Google has been penalizing websites that aren’t responsive since 2015, leaving them lower in SERP rankings. If you haven’t made your website responsive by now, you are likely deterring a significant amount of traffic from your business.
2. Utilize a Simple Navigation
A lot of business owners are obsessed with having all of their company information above the fold on their home page. This typically leads to cluttered navigation that can turn off website visitors and increase your bounce rate. Ideally, you don’t want to have more than seven items in your navigation, making it easy for users to choose their user journey and stay on your website longer.
3. Use Calls to Action (CTAs)
According to Uxeria, more than 70% of small business websites don’t use CTA buttons. Calls to action are one of the most important ingredients to a well-developed user experience and vital to helping a prospect choose you over a competitor. CTAs give the user some direction as to what the next step will be in the user journey. Otherwise, a prospect may leave your site because they aren’t sure what to do next or may not be motivated enough to figure it out on their own.
4. Make the Most of Your Images
We live in a visual world. Customers don’t want to go to a website with long paragraphs of text. They want to see videos and images that explain processes and products. Lean into that by utilizing high-definition images, videos and GIFs to keep your audience engaged. If possible, try to take pictures of your actual products, people and spaces. Stock photography can be high quality and beautiful, it can also lack the connection between a user and your brand.
5. Use Motion and Animations to Catch the Eye
Motion graphics and animations can bring a modern, fun, and engaging presence to your website. They can take a dull page and liven it up. Try adding simple items like hover animations that cause icons or text to grow when your cursor hovers over it. Develop a loading time animation to keep users entertained while they wait for a page, video, or demo to load. These are just a couple of simple and inexpensive ways to keep a user on your website. Check out a few more here.
6. Embrace White Space
As noted earlier, the need for business owners to inundate users with ALL their business information on every page can lead to a cluttered site that turns off users. One of the ways to increase readership and reinforce a clean look is to use white space wisely. Keeping a little bit of space on the left and right margins and in between paragraphs can increase reader comprehension by 20%. Just like CTAs, the use of white space can help guide users to places where they have the best chance to convert.
7. Optimize Your Page Speed
Over half of mobile site visitors will leave a page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Read that again. That sentence doesn’t just talk about your home page loading. It also means that at any step in the user journey, if a page takes too long to load, you could lose them forever. There are multiple websites out there to help you check if your speed is sufficient for prolonged web traffic including Google’s PageSpeedInsights. Use those tools regularly and keep prospects on your site longer.
8. Consistency is Key
A website with inconsistent font, headings, coloring, and design choices can be confusing to the reader and take them out of their user journey to question the competency of the business. Much like a dirty or unorganized storefront, an inconsistent website can turn off a prospect by giving off the impression of incompetence or lack of care toward that user’s experience on the website.
Do the 10-Foot Test
The 10-foot test is a little exercise that can give you a good idea as to whether or not your website is on the right track. Pull up your website. Stand 10 feet from your monitor. Do have a good idea of what the company does simply by looking above the fold? If not, you may need to improve your business website user experience. Talk to the UX experts at Next Horizon to get your website ready for prospects.
Next Horizon provides holistic technology solutions for businesses looking to improve sales, increase agility and optimize productivity. From digital marketing to building bespoke business applications, Next Horizon uses its 40+ years of experience and award-winning talent to provide technical business solutions for its clients.