If you find that parts of your website are frustrating and ineffective, chances are your customers will too. User experience (or UX) can make or break your business, and refers to how people feel when they’re using your site, how easy it is to navigate and interact with, and the role visual design plays in making the experience more enjoyable.
The website you build depends on your brand’s personality and what your business is trying to achieve. But whatever you decide to do, it’s important that your site looks authoritative and knowledgeable. Here are some key components to keep in mind.
Navigation is one of the most important factors in UX. Basically, you want your menu to be clean and concise, so that visitors won’t have any trouble finding what they’re looking for. Start off by figuring out what kind of features your website offers and the order in which information is displayed.
Remember there’s no one-size-fits-all style here. If you don’t have much content, you can go for a simple, single line menu. Got mountains of content? Then you might be better off with an expandable mega menu. You can see an example of this style here. Either way, keep the wording simple and make sure the most important items are at the beginning of the menu. Quick tip: design your site with the three-click rule in mind. That is, users should be able to navigate to any page on your website in three clicks or fewer.
When it comes to search engine rankings, converting sales, and customer satisfaction, the speed of your website is crucial. You might want to add more content to your web pages or include some flashy functionality, but if this slows down your site, your visitors won’t like it.
The truth is, every second counts online. People simply don’t have the time or patience to wait around while your content loads. That’s why it’s important to optimise every part of your website for speed – no matter what device is being used. Speak to your developer and ask them about this if you’re unsure.
More and more people are using their mobile phones to visit websites. And with faster Internet speeds and better devices, this trend isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. In fact, in the next two years, Google will be introducing mobile-first indexing. This means if your website is available on mobile, Google will use this version of your site as a preference for indexing.
The thing is, people expect to access great websites on the go. To keep up, it’s important to invest in a responsive and well designed website that works across all devices.
It goes without saying, your content is the main reason people land on your website. Whether they’re looking for your operation hours or popular blog posts, your website should be designed to highlight the content – not how amazing the visual design is.
To optimise your content, you’ll obviously need to understand your target audience. This will determine the kind of information you decide to include, as well as the wording and tone that will resonate best. You should also create content that is valuable and useful, clean and concise, error-free, follows SEO best practices, and is formatted in a way that is easy and quick to read.
We can’t stress enough how important calls to action are. Put simply, they’re one of the easiest ways to drive action on your website. But to make your CTAs shine, you need to make sure they’re relevant and visible. If you want someone to make an enquiry, have this option available on every product and service page. Use verbs like “Join” or “Register”, be clear on the benefits for the user, and consider using coloured buttons instead of plain text.
If you sell any of your products online, the most important part of your site is to optimise for conversions. There are so many different conversion tactics to try, and you need to be testing what works for your business all the time.
Ready to build?
As technology evolves, user experience is only going to become more important to attracting and converting customers. When building or refreshing your website, remember that there are so many factors that come into play for ensuring the best user experience for those who land on your site.
The more you get right, the more your business will grow, so keep testing and you’ll notice incremental gains in your conversion rates that add up to a huge impact.
Jessica Grassick is an SEO and content marketing professional with 5 years of growth marketing experience. Jess has worked in the materials handling industry before moving across to Web Profits, a premier Google Partner agency and recently awarded Rising Agency of the Year in 2017 by Bing. Jess has first-hand knowledge about the unique challenges for industrial and manufacturing businesses in the digital world. Feel free to connect with Jess on LinkedIn.