Your website is the core anchor for your digital marketing efforts. Designing a great website user experience requires understanding the problems different visitors have to solve.
However, rapidly changing digital trends can make your website feel old and outdated. While sometimes a redesign might be ideal, you may not have the time or money to invest in such a large project. To help you overcome this challenge, we’ve put together a list of 6 simple ways you can improve your website to make it more helpful and useful.
Optimize your page speed.
One of the most frustrating experiences for users of the web is waiting for a page to load for too long. With the rise of the mobile devices, people are accessing content all over the world on many different platforms. While browsing online at Starbucks or while watching TV on their laptop, they expect a fast result for the content that they want.
When they don’t get it, they usually bounce. Slow page load is an interrupting experience for the user and it can be a source of frustration and often users simply don’t have the time to wait.
According to Section.io, an extra five seconds of page load time can increase your website’s “bounce rate” by more than 20%. Whoa.
So, where do you go from here? Get your score. Google offers a free service where you can get information on your page speed. Google will also offer you some suggestions for improving your load time on Mobile and Desktop.
To improve your page speed, start by compressing all your images before loading them onto your website. Image file size is one of the leading causes of a slow page speed — using websites like compressor.io can help you dramatically speed up each webpage you own.
Use hyperlink differentiation.
When you add a link to any page, you’re saying you want the user to click there. Make sure links are easily identifiable by visual cues. Underlined text and differently colored text draws the attention of the reader and lets him or her know this is a link to be clicked on.
In a study done by Karyn Graves, she shows that the regular web user sees blue and underlined text as links and knows to click on them. Exploiting user expectations and what they already know about using the web is tantamount to success.
When it comes to hyperlink differentiation, you do not need to reinvent the wheel. Sticking to convention can be your best ally here. A simple way to test how effective your links are is to blur and remove the color from the design and see what stands out.
Segment key information with bullet points.
Bullet points will enable the user to quickly get all the information they want: benefits, ways you solve their problem, and key features of a product/service — all in a short amount of time. This will make your propositions more attractive and enable your user to get all the information they need. Additionally, you do not have to go the traditional route with a simple circle.
With tons of cool icons out there, you can also get creative with your bullet and help the reader further with images that represent your point. Why do this? Because it forces you to isolate the most important points you’re trying to make without getting caught up in terminology or specifics.
Use images (wisely).
People across the Internet are getting smarter and faster at judging company websites before deciding if they want to browse the site further. When they first visit your site, they can easily pick out a generic stock photo they’ve already seen elsewhere or that resembles the non-personal style of stock photography. Using stock photography can decrease trust and also stand out as generic and non-unique. Unfortunately, these associations carry over to your business as well.
Ultimately, no stock photography will be as capable of conveying your brand, services, and products the way that you want to. Only your own actual images can do that while also speaking clearly to your potential customer. Use images strategically and place them in your website to support the content and allow the users a visual break from text, but make sure they are relevant and non-generic.
Include well-designed and written headings.
Your headings and content should be driven by what your potential customers are looking for. Including keywords in your title is also very important for targeting your message and attracting the right audience.
Search engines typically give headings more weight over other content, so choosing the right heading and making it stand out can significantly improve your search ability. But more importantly, headings guide your user through the site, making it easy to scan through and find content that speaks to them directly.
Be responsive & mobile-friendly.
Technologies have advanced to meet our needs to be mobile. Websites are also a significant part of this evolution. It’s imperative that your website is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate no matter what type of device they use to access it.
Recently, Google started penalizing sites that aren’t optimized for mobile devices, making the need for responsiveness even more crucial. This is probably the single-most valuable way in which you can improve your website’s usability.