Already have a website? Is it performing as you hoped or are you disappointed with the number of sales or enquiries you are receiving?
Improving the way your visitors interact with your website delivers a positive user experience and positive experiences are more likely to convert those visitors into customers. If people aren’t interacting with your website, this signifies that your site is not providing any perceived value. A website with positive user interaction not only converts, but will also allow you the opportunity to collect data about your customers; this data can help you make strategic business decisions, make improvements to your website and help to identify potential new customers.
Here are some tips on how we increase user experience on our clients websites.
Clear and simple user interface design
It stands to reason that if someone visits your website, they are looking for something. Making it easy to find what they’re looking for promotes a positive experience and will engage that customer. If your website is cluttered and has a complex navigation, a visitor may struggle to find the information they require – in this instance, the visitor may give up quickly and move on elsewhere.
Studies suggest you have only 3-5 seconds to engage a visitor to your website; it is suggested this is lower still, perhaps up to 2 seconds, for younger visitors (18-24).
Your website may be super swanky and look appealing, but if you can’t provide the user with what they’re looking for in a simple, straightforward manner, they will become frustrated and leave. A positive user experience is one where the user feels in control and the process of navigating is unconscious – if they have to think about it too much, the interface isn’t working.
A positive user experience is inextricably linked to good user interface design. It’s vitally important to get this right because no matter what else you do, however many bells and whistles you add to your site, if the fundamentals of an engaging website aren’t there, it won’t work.
Content (we can’t emphasise this enough) is King!
To paraphrase Jeffrey Zeldman, ‘Design without content is merely decoration.’ Whilst we are highly visual beings (we process images 60,000 times faster than text), it is the written content that truly engages with a visitor to your website.
If you understand who your visitors are, you will know how to talk to them. Well-written content engages with your visitors and speaks to them on a deeper, unconscious level, promoting positive thoughts about your business.
Well-written content is also extremely important for organic search engine optimisation (SEO). A visitor who has clicked through to your website from a search engine is hoping your website provides the answer to their search. Natural rankings based on organic SEO methods are more likely to provide a positive outcome because you have been ranked based on your page content.
Keeping your content updated and fresh is also important. The search engines like fresh content and if a visitor notices you have haven’t updated your website for several years, it won’t promote a positive view of your business.
Blogs – allowing comments?
Blogs are a great way of keeping your website updated with fresh content. They’re also a great method for encouraging engagement with your visitors. However, blogs can be targeted by spammers looking to build back links to their own website, so they can take time to manage, which is why we offer this service to all of our clients, ensuring their websites don’t become overrun by spam through moderation. Comments can also slow down your page loading time so we would advise limiting the number of comments displayed per page, ensuring your site remains fast.
Social sharing – word of mouth works!
Providing your users with the facility to share one of your products or a blog post is an invaluable way of increasing user interaction and increasing your website traffic. Allowing your visitors to promote your content to their social circles is not only free marketing, but helps re-enforce positive associations with your brand or product.
Strategically placed Call to Actions (CTAs)
Using strong, relevant and focused call to actions on your website will help grab the attention of your website visitors; when used correctly these will be located at the right stage of the buy-in cycle. Plastering your website with big, vibrant ‘buy now’ or ‘sign up’ buttons won’t work. A visitor to your website is on a journey of discovery, placing the call to action at the right stage of this journey is key to increasing engagement.
Providing a perceived value is also important to encouraging engagement though CTAs – what you offer in exchange for a visitors contact details is important.
Chat now – we’re online!
If you, or an employee, are available to answer any questions from visitors to your website during work hours, the provision of a live chat system can help improve interaction. They are cost effective, can help generate sales, whilst also providing you with data about your website; if you have numerous people asking you about a specific product for example, you know you need to improve your website interface to make that product easier to find.
Great customer service is an important factor in the success of any business; providing your visitors with the facility to speak with you whilst they are on your website can be a powerful tool.
Providing a subscription option
Your relationship with your customers shouldn’t just end when they leave your website or have purchased one of your products. Providing the facility for your customers to opt-in to a subscription or some sort (a newsletter for example) is an excellent method of strengthening and continuing a relationship with them.
At Defthaus, we can set-up, maintain and operate newsletter systems on your behalf, leaving you to get on with the tasks of running your business.
Your website is at the heart of your online business eco-system, but it’s your visitors that will dictate the needs for your website. A website is not simply part of your marketing arsenal; you don’t tick it off as job done when it’s finished. To get the most from your website you should continuously strive to improve user interaction. User data will provide you with new opportunities to improve your website and help it to achieve its objective as a vehicle for company growth.