In today’s day and age, when your website is quite literally your window to the world, you have to make sure that you provide an unparalleled and enriching experience to your users. You will be interested to know that you can achieve this master marketing feat without spending a bomb, or completely redesigning your website.
Here are a few tips to provide a great user experience without burning a hole in your pocket. And yes in case you are wondering, they do enhance your traffic and conversion rates.
Provide Smooth and Easy Navigation
Don’t underestimate the power of a clutter free website and easy navigation. Users like it when there is white space in and around the text, and images in focus. This actually imprints the message much better on the minds of users and also increases the recall and retention value. Websites that have easier navigation allows the user to find exactly what they are looking for. You don’t need to redesign the whole website. Just keep the navigation simple, keep your users engaged, and watch your conversion rates soar.
Offer Freebies, Host Contests and Help Decide
Now who doesn’t like a freebie? Incorporate this simple psychological tool into your website and see the results for yourself. Offer the users something in return for their time and engagement on your site. To nudge them to take action, offer free gifts with sign-up processes, include neutral and useful product reviews, host contests and have interesting rewards for your users. Basically, make them feel that you value them and care for them. You will have a loyal and involved set of users who keep coming back to your site, and this can only spell good news for you.
Speed Up Your Load Time
Patience is a rare virtue today, and one of the biggest tests of patience is waiting for the page to load. A two-second delay in load time can lead to abandonment rates up to 87% according to some sources.
Users are most restless and frustrated when a page takes too long to load. Fast content is the need of the hour across all platforms. People are now accessing content from their mobile phones most of the time. They expect fast content always whether videos, articles, podcasts, audio files or images. When that is not there, they usually bounce.
Google offers a free service which enables you to get information on your page speed. There are also useful suggestions to improve load time on various devices. Page speed is a major determinant in making the website user-friendly, and acquiring and retaining users.
Use Appealing and Compelling Calls to Action
Your call-to-action must have strong verbs that urge the user to take the definitive action that you want him to. The usage of the right words is very important here. The right word acts like a psychological trigger. Therefore use words on the website that will establish an emotional connect with your user. Once that is established, the users are much likely to act as you want. Remember your choice of action-words should be bold, exciting, appropriate to your target audience and must prompt and guide them at the same time. Action calls must also be strategically placed and visually appealing to influences users.
Use Colors and Images Wisely
Different colors have different effects. You can use certain color combinations that will definitely attract more users (visitors) and help you retain them as well. A Kissmetrics survey revealed that blue was the favorite color among women, and orange was visually least stimulating.
What this points to is the significance of color. Find out the color connections, tastes and preferences of the users you want as potential customers. Do your research and apply those findings, to your website. Perform user tests and accordingly determine the right colors for maximum conversions. Identify and be clear about the message you want to convey to your users, and what emotion do you want to evoke whether trust, reliability, knowledge, enthusiasm, authority or concern. Pick and choose colors accordingly. Combine data analytics with color choices and improve your user experience dramatically.
Next, let’s talk images. Visual stimulation is a big part of the human experience and this automatically translates into user experience as well. To refine and shape the user experience, use relevant, industry-related images that personalize the user-website interaction, and add meaning and coherence to it. Think of putting images of happy, satisfied customers on your website. This may be a cliché but it works even today. Do seek permission, however.
Case in point can be 37Signals. They conducted an A/B testing between a white background and a background of a customer on Highrise. The personalized image led to increase in Highrise sign ups by 102.5 percent.
Hyperlink and Bullets
Use hyperlinks to draw the attention of the user to the specific page, elements that you want him to notice or go to. Underlined text draws the attention of the reader and sends the message that you want the user to click here. In-site hyperlinks are a smart way to keep the user engaged and the traffic flowing. Different colored text automatically draws more attention. Also remember the longer the hyperlink the greater the chances to click. Besides hyperlinking external sources is a hassle free way of SEO as well.
Bullets make a website extremely user-friendly and enrich the experience for the reader. It provides the most important information in a line and imparts value to reader time. It provides the key features of a product or service in a nugget and also makes you an authority on information. Do some thinking and research and get innovative with your bullets and headers.
So here are few pocket-friendly ways to improve your user experience. Apply these, watch your conversion rates rise and don’t forget the golden rule- keep your website responsive and mobile-friendly.
Ryan Camomile is a co-founder and the CEO of Infogenix, a web design, programming, and marketing company based in Orem, Utah. The company began in 1998 with Ryan as the sole web and graphic designer, but he also became interested in AdWords and Search Engine Optimization when he realized that there was more to developing a site for success on the internet than having an excellent design. He has now been an expert in the Design, SEO and PPC fields for over 12 years. He uses his diverse experience and unique perspective to help his clients’ projects and ideas to flourish.