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The modern shopper expects a seamless online experience and typically won’t settle for anything less than a fully optimized and user-friendly website. Whether this includes fast loading speed, a responsive design or simply the website’s aesthetics – a positive user experience is so important that analysts expect the metric to be valued in the same way as price, or even the product itself, by next year.

Moving your business online is standard practice nowadays, and the mass migration gives customers more options than ever before; giving rise to intense competition across every industry. In this article, we’ll discuss methods of improving user experience and conversions with your website.

Prioritise Mobile-friendliness

Over half of all website traffic is accessed through a mobile device. In the digital age, creating a fantastic website for desktop use only is redundant, as over half of all website traffic is accessed through a mobile phone.

Cross-platform optimization is essential to conducting business online. Nowadays, the functionality of your website on ALL platforms is the key to business longevity and customer retention. You can access this data in Google Analytics to check how your site is performing on an average user’s mobile, tablet or desktop.

Make it Readable

The font you choose is another big contributor to the overall user experience. With regards to your font selection, you should explain why you have chosen it and how it relates to your brand. As well as how you prefer the written content to be aligned and spaced. This could be centre, left or right and the spacing related to a more consistent style when the size changes. The readability of your website comprises the following:

  • Size
  • Colour
  • Font type
  • White space
  • Language
  • Writing style

Speed Matters

Three seconds is all it takes for a customer to leave your page. This may seem like a trivial number – how could such a small amount of time have such a big impact on your business? A study by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Akami finds that 47% of customers expect a webpage to load in two seconds or less. 40% of customers will simply abandon the site if loading time reaches the dreaded three-second mark.

Slow loading times trigger a domino effect of unhappy customers – even those who are yet to even visit your site! The study also finds that 44% of online customers will tell their friends about a bad online experience.

Akami’s research shows a pattern of impatience from customers looking for the smoothest possible experience. However, with increasing download speeds it’s reasonable to understand why. For more information about page loading speed, read our dedicated article: ‘Examining the Negative Impact of Slow Loading Time’.

Seamless Navigation

A complicated navigation system can be a conversion killer. In 2015, KoMarketing issued a web usability report in which half of the survey participants described making use of a new website’s navigation menu to better familiarise themselves with the design. A particularly damning statistic and one to keep in mind was that 37% of report participants blamed website abandonment on a poor navigation system.

If your analytics are telling you that the majority of people are visiting your website with the intention to shop – don’t overcomplicate things! Display your highest converting pages first and remove anything that could be deemed surplus to requirements.

Complete Transparency

Customer confidence in your product or service directly correlates to the level of transparency on your website. Being deliberately elusive regarding pricing, delivery options or product details will raise validity and quality concerns. People won’t make a purchase if they feel the seller is being disingenuous – whether it’s intentional or not.

Shares, registrants and downloads – these are all quantifiable figure that can give the appearance of real-time activity. Seeing these numbers change suggests that other like-minded customers are currently on the website making purchases. Other website improvement ideas include customer testimonials and reviews – studies suggest that publicly available product reviews, even those that are negative, can increase conversion rate.

Improve Website Design

We’re always told not to judge a book by its cover, and although this is a morally sound principle to live by, the opposite is true in the cutthroat world of web design. The majority of online browsers are superficial and will leave a website without a second’s hesitation.

Imagine this: you’ve done the hard part by formulating an attractive description and title for your links in SERPs, only for the link to bring potential customers to a website that’s unattractive or unresponsive to their device. All it takes is a glimpse for the visitor to decide it’s not worth their time and back out in a matter of seconds – negatively affecting your bounce rate and ranking potential. Disaster.

People are innately attracted to high-quality visual designs that are exciting or interesting. Remember this when it comes to the design stage of your website.

Wrap-Up

Fortunately, the best practices to improve website user experience aren’t too complicated or expensive. Hopefully, you’ve learned that making small changes to the readability, transparency and navigation of your website cost nothing at all, but will have a lasting impact on the user experience. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when we think about web design, but in reality, simple problems often require simple solutions.

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