We’ve all been frustrated by websites before. Whether it’s distracting, bright colors, slow page loads, disorganized content or any number of other factors, businesses need to design their website with UX (user experience) in mind first and foremost. The reality is that, as you can probably personally attest, people don’t have a lot of patience for a bad site. If it doesn’t immediately address a user’s needs, then he’ll leave and search for a competitor within seconds.
Here are a few ways in which you can improve the user experience on your site, which can reduce bounce rates and increase leads and customers.
Establish hierarchy of information
If you simply dump a bunch of text on your homepage, people won’t read it. The nature of info on the Internet is concise and fast-paced. Clarify your business’ mission in a few words on the homepage, and pair it with an enticing image. Ideally, it should be compelling enough to encourage the user to scroll down below the fold to read on. You can also increase font size of your headers, and even use different colors to emphasize them; just don’t over-do it. Make the distinction between header and body text clear without being distracting.
Make navigation intuitive
Have you ever visited a website, but not known where to find relevant info, products or services? This is an example of poor UX. Users should always understand where to look on a particular page, or which page title to click on. You want to make the experience of searching your site as easy as possible. To increase navigation, you can also include internal links to other content, as well as outbound links, as long as their URLs open in a separate tab or window. If the new website loads in the same window, the user will probably get annoyed for being directed away from the previous page.
Use variety of media
People have come to expect a multi-media experience when searching for information. Increasingly, Google has included video in its search results, and images on websites are proven to attract more visitors than text alone. Give people what they want and provide a healthy dose of visual content. Helpful, how-to videos, for example, can explain a product or service to someone who may be interested but not quite ready to commit.
To further increase UX, you should also offer video subtitling. Speechpad can transcribe your video content into text, providing more ways for users to engage with your website. If they prefer reading to watching, or just want to corroborate information from the video, transcription is key. Additionally, using extra text is an opportunity to boost SEO, especially when it contains relevant key words and phrases.
Make text readable
With people scanning content more and more, and with the smaller screen demands and increased usage of mobile devices, you should use large font throughout your website. Headers, in particular, should be big and bold. You can also consider using wide design, which takes a minimalist approach to websites, emphasizing simple, small chunks of text and big images. The exception to all of this is your blog. Statistics shows that blog posts ranging from 500 – 1,000 words improve organic SEO rankings.
Even if you have the most amazing products and services advertised on your website, people probably won’t buy them without context. How do you establish context? Effective web copy. That’s right, writing plays a huge role in increasing conversions (i.e., actions you want your users to take) on your site. Whether it’s a limited-time offer, a sign-up form, a download, or even a sale, conversions are the most meaningful metric for tracking the successes and failures of your site, and they rely heavily on text.
To boost the effectiveness of your web copy, check out some of these tips:
Write bold, clear CTAs
A call to action is simply a statement that directs the user. “Subscribe”, “See How”, “Get Started”; these are all guiding statements. It’s important to be clear and concise with your CTA. Leave no questions in the user’s mind about what you want him to do with your offer. If he has to pause to figure it out, you’ve already lost him. If you’re not sure which CTA is more effective, run an A/B test. Try one version with certain users, and another with others. See what’s more effective and edit.
A big part of getting users interested in your services is trust. If they don’t feel they can safely check out your website and buy from you, you’ve undercut the entire, long sales process. Websites uses a variety of ways to establish trust. From videos to visuals to the ease with which someone can navigate – all of these things, when done successfully, signal to the user that your site is legit. However, among certain audiences, copy can be the most effective method. Make sure your page copy is written in a voice with what your audience can relate.
Website copy includes all of the obvious things such as page text and blog posts, but another powerful way to incorporate it into your site is through video transcription. By transcribing your visual content into readable text, you not only improve your SEO (the search engines have more content to crawl), but you dramatically empower the user. He now has the option to watch or read your content, depending on preferences.
If you just don’t have the time or resources to transcribe all of your videos, captioning companies like Speechpad offer this service at an affordable rate. It’s a worthwhile investment that’ll build trust among your audience and ultimately drive clicks, downloads, or other desired conversion.
We’ve saved this one for last because it ties together all of the concepts mentioned above. A blog can
Think of it as customer outreach. Writing blog posts allow you to establish yourself as an authority in your industry, or express the voice of the brand. It signals to your customers that you want to engage with them, and gives them a chance to interact with you in comments. If you can write effectively, planting a newsletter subscription form, for example, at the end of the blog post will dramatically improve your conversion rate.
Let’s start with one undeniable truth: your website is doomed without SEO. Sure, you’ve probably heard this before, but have you really done anything about it? The truth is that every site could use a little more search engine love, even if you have been diligent about your strategies. For new tips or to brush up on old ideas you may’ve forgotten, let’s look at some reasons why your website isn’t attracting as much traffic as it should.
These days website design trends tend to favor clean layouts, and for good reason. In addition to aesthetic appeal, simple appearances with an intuitive flow of content helps your UX (user experience). This is critical to keep people clicking on your site, thereby reducing your bounce rate (or the percentage of people who visit your site but leave without clicking on any other pages). Google puts more value on sites with lower bounce rates, so make sure you design your site with the intent of keeping users on board.
Most websites feature video content of some kind. Whether it’s a product description, a customer testimonial, or it’s just content that’s relevant to your audience, video is a great way to drive engagement. However, if you fail to transcribe the video, you’re missing a golden opportunity. Transcribing speech to text provides more content for search engine spiders to crawl. It’s a tried and true tactic, and yet many brands fail to do it.
No title tags
Of all the ways you can optimize your site for better SEO, writing title tags is perhaps the most important. Title tags refer to the title of a document, and are used in search engine results as a preview of a snippet of an article. Search engine spiders are programmed to use the title of a page to determine the theme of the content. If you don’t have a title, or if you provide it incorrectly, you’re losing out on sweet search engine mojo! (To see a title, hover your cursor over any page’s tab). Make sure your titles are between 50-60 characters in length, and if possible, include one of your keywords.
No site map
If you haven’t guessed, search engine spiders like organization. If your website is poorly organized, or if content just doesn’t follow a logical flow, those pesky spiders won’t know what to make of it. To combat this problem, create a site map for your website. Site maps outline the pages and content of the site in a very easy-to-read-and-click way.
No new content
A lack of new content can kill a website. To fight this, many companies create a blog so they can continually update the site with valuable information. This is a great idea as long as you actually follow through with it. Rather than seeing this as a burden, think of it as an opportunity. Providing value to your users will improve UX, and it’ll signal to the search engines that your site is updated and relevant (and don’t forget to optimize that blog content with keywords and internal links!).