Sunday, 15 April 2018

10 Ways to improve your website's user experience.


A great user experience benefits your customers and your profits.

Your website's user experience is instrumental in building customer confidence and trust. The better a customer's experience, the more likely they are to buy from you and recommend your site to others.

Here are ten ways you can improve your website's user experience and reap the rewards.


1. Make sure your site is responsive.

Your site should provide a great user experience on desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile phones.

Google is giving preference to mobile-friendly websites and has already started rolling out mobile-first indexing. This means Google's bots will only crawl and index the mobile version of your page.


2. Use a logical, flexible structure.

Make it easy for users to find and access the information they need.
  • If you have a sizeable site, consider including a search box before the fold
  • Group like sections/products/questions together
  • Think about the future of the website and how it might develop over time e.g. new products, new services, new regions
  • Keep a flexible format so you can easily add to it when necessary

3. Make it easy to navigate.

Think about the user's path through the site. Ideally, they should be able to access any page within three clicks.

Most websites include a main navigation bar at the top of each page. Some websites keep this visible on screen at all times, but this can be intrusive on mobiles and tablets.

Instead, add further buttons and links as your customer scrolls down the page. These will provide easy access to other, relevant parts of your site without the user having to scroll back up to the main navigation bar each time.

Also, keep in mind what your users might want to look at next and use your existing pages to link to similar sections/products/questions.



4. Make sure your definition is on-point.

Your definition should make it easy for your customers to see what you do, who you do it for and how you do it differently.

These three points help users to quickly determine if your site is for them.

Your definition should be at the top of your landing page, so it's one of the first things visitors see.

Keep it simple and succinct — one or two sentences at most.



5. Use plain English.


All businesses want to sound professional. But overuse of jargon or pompous, pretentious language can alienate some users, leaving them feeling bored, confused or — worse still — stupid. 

Before you know it, they're retreating from your site, back to the search results to seek out one of your competitors.

All users appreciate engaging, straightforward copy that reads well and makes good sense. And with the right copywriter, it can still sound professional and creative too.


6. Give enough information.

You need to strike a balance with the information you provide.

Too much content can be overwhelming — especially for mobile phone users.

Too little content can leave users undecided.

To get the balance right, make sure the essential information is available on your website and that your sales message and call to action are targeted correctly to deliver your desired outcome. 

Finally, make sure your contact information is readily available, so users know where to find out more.


7. Make sure your links work.

Users can be frustrated by links that go to the wrong pages or pages that no longer exist.

If you're making changes to your website and are removing pages, make sure you find and remove the links to them too.

Similarly, if you are adding pages, make sure there are active links to those pages on your site. Pages that have no links to them are known as 'orphan pages' and they can't be indexed or accessed.

If your site features external links, it's advisable to check those regularly to make sure the pages they link to still exist.



8. Use pop-ups wisely.


During a recent Facebook chat, copywriters were discussing the merits and evils of pop-ups.

The general consensus was that, although they are proven to work well, they can also be irritating to users — especially when they:
  • Don't offer anything of value
  • Appear before the user has had a chance to see your website properly
  • Ask users to sign up to something before they have seen what you have to offer
To provide the best user experience, consider:
  • Only using a pop-up if you have something truly amazing and unmissable to offer
  • Using the pop-up on the home page only
  • Activating the pop-up when the user is leaving the page rather than when they arrive

9. Have a clear, GDPR-compliant privacy policy.

Your privacy policy should be clear on what data your website will be collecting from your users and how you intend to use that data.

A clear privacy policy helps users build trust and confidence in you, knowing that their personal data is in safe hands and will not be abused.

Guidelines suggest your privacy policy should not be hidden away and a link to it should be clearly visible on every page of your website. 


10. Make your call to action obvious.


The call to action button is one of the most important features on your page, so make sure you give it some prominence. Make it stand out by using a contrasting colour and surrounding it with plenty of white space.

And make it clear what will happen when users click the button.

If your call to action is a phone number, make sure that stands out too. And make it clickable for users on mobile phones, so it's a straightforward, one-touch process.

A clear call to action shows users exactly what to do next, which is also key to your conversions.


Does your website need a copy overhaul?

As I've mentioned several times in this article, the quality of your website copy can dramatically improve the user experience. From effective SEO copy that helps users find your site online, to a clear opening definition and plain English copy that reads well.

If your website isn't working as well as you hoped it would, maybe I can help.

I am an accomplished copywriter with more than seven years' experience of writing search-engine-optimised websites. You can find out more about me and see examples of my work on my website.

If you would like a FREE, objective critique of your current website and some advice on how it could be improved to boost sales and engagement, please get in touch with me.


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