Bad web design comes at a cost. Users have millions of options when it comes to making a purchase online.
The minute they land on your web page they expect a top-notch experience. If you can’t deliver, they’re on to the next option within seconds.
Here are 8 ways to improve your website’s user experience.
1. Catch 404s
You can get by with 404 errors on your website. Google won’t penalize you too severely for this common mistake, but website users will.
Web users are purpose-driven creatures. Your site is either the friend or the foe in helping them accomplish a specific goal.
If your site is in the way of that goal, they leave. Though 404 errors do happen, they’re an annoyance that users don’t expect to deal with.
Expect high bounce rates if your website has a high number of 404 errors. To check 404 errors, use Google Webmaster tools to check for crawl errors.
There are also free 404 checkers available online to help you optimize your pages.
2. Keep it Short
As a business owner, you think the world of your products. You want the chance to impress visitors by telling users every major benefit the product or service has to offer.
But visitors won’t read long, hard to understand the content. The best way to attract and keep their attention is to keep the information short and sweet.
If you can’t shorten the amount of text on a page overall, opt for short paragraphs instead. Short paragraphs give users the option of skimming content instead of committing to reading the full page.
This means helping them get to the point of visiting your website faster and on their terms. Two to three sentences should be the max for any paragraphs on your website.
3. Use Simple Navigation
It’s very tempting to use cute page names that show your creativity as a business owner. But these titles won’t mean the same thing to you as they do to customers who are researching in a hurry.
There are standard titles that might sound boring but they help users act quickly while on your site. Make your website less frustrating by relying on conventional page titles like ‘Home,’ ‘About Us,’ and ‘Contact Us.’
Make sure each page uses relevant titles and subtitles to guide visitors through information once they reach the page.
4. Be Mobile Friendly
People use their mobile phones like computers. They expect the same, or similar, experiences when accessing your company web page from their mobile device.
Help your users have the best mobile experience by optimizing the pages on your site for tablets and phones. Audit common tasks performed on your website and test the usability of these tasks on mobile devices.
This is also great for SEO since Google penalizes sites that aren’t mobile-friendly.
5. Use White Space
Website clutter distracts users from your brand message. Use negative space to create an attractive website that draws the user’s eye to the areas that important to branding your business.
Images, video, and text make more of an impact when spaced out in a way that’s pleasing to the eye. Grab the attention of your visitors with white space and well-placed titles that reveal what your site is about.
6. Remove Bad Links
Affiliate links are a great way to spread the word about your business. But when you place partner links on your site, make sure they work properly.
High bounce rates are commonly associated with bad affiliate links where promotions have expired or pages deleted. Check your affiliate links throughout the campaign to make sure they point to appropriate content.
7. Don’t Repeat Yourself
Repetition can be used to help customers remember your brand message and personality. But it shouldn’t be used on your website as a form of content marketing.
Fresh, conversational content flows from one conversation to the next without sounding like a broken record. Combine content that sounds the same or achieves the same goal.
Never rely on keyword stuffing as a method of improving your search engine rankings. This is the practice of overusing keywords in an effort to get better placement in Google.
Offenders have articles that look nearly identical parading as separate blog posts. Google is aware of this SEO abuse and it can lead to search engine penalties if you are caught.
Sometimes duplicate content is a sign your website needs to be updated. Create a regular content creation calendar to keep blog articles up to date.
8. Faster Performance
Users want it fast and they want it fast now. There’s no slowing down internet speeds.
Your web pages must be able to adjust to the latest speeds to meet user expectations. Slow load times will affect whether customers make a purchase or bounce.
Perform a quick audit of pages on your site with slow load times. These are often pages with media-rich content that can be simplified by removing the number of pictures and videos.
Keep in mind that even if bounce rates aren’t high on slow-loading pages, you are hurting your SEO rankings with poor site speed. Google prioritizes the fastest websites because they are more likely to offer a good user experience.
Work with your webmaster to fix any pages that take more than a few seconds to load.
How to Improve Your Website’s User Experience
Improve your website’s user experience if you want the best chances of boosting your traffic month after month. Repeat customers boost your brand’s credibility to Google which means better SEO for your business.
Website usability keeps users around longer so you can earn the brand trust needed to keep your customers over the long term. For more information and marketing tips, visit our blog for updates.