Improving User Experience For More Conversions
Most businesses focus the majority of their marketing efforts on trying to drive more traffic to their website. Which makes sense, because it’s arguably your most important online asset.
But driving traffic alone, although an important strategy, will all be in vain if your website user experience isn’t optimised. You want to increase the chances of your website visitors converting for your desired action for each page they land on.
Factors that contribute to website user experience
Improving website user experience involves optimising your website to ensure that the experience of your visitors is as meaningful and valuable as possible.
Elements that show you offer a good user experience include:
- Usefulness — Does your website satisfy visitor’s requirements and is the content/product/service of sufficient value to make their time spent on your website worthwhile?
- Interest — Does your website capture visitor’s interest sufficiently?
- Navigation — Is your website easy to navigate and find things with the minimum number of clicks?
- Credibility — Does your brand, identity, content, and/or service build trust and belief of the user?
- Optimisation — Is your website fast, reliable and efficient?
- Accessibility — Can people with disabilities access your website?
Website User Experience – Good vs Bad
To give your website visitors a meaningful and valuable experience on your website, you need to have a deep understanding of your website’s users. You need to know what they need, what they value, their abilities, and also their limitations
Once you understand this, you can then design an experience that provides them with what they are looking for, with the minimum amount of friction.
The aim is to have more of the good and none of the bad from this list:
How To Improve Website User Experience
So by now, you’ve realised you have some room for improvement, and want to provide a better user experience on your website. Below are five clear tips to start with that we implement on clients’ websites to result in more conversions and give visitors a much better experience.
1. Purposefully Design Your Website User Experience
Your website design is super important. It plays a big role in capturing and holding your visitor’s interest, as well as building credibility and trust in your business.
The look and feel of your website should be designed with your ideal customer in mind. Your branding, colour scheme, content and images should speak to your ideal customer in a way that it becomes clearly evident that the website is talking directly to them.
There are also some important factors that need to be incorporated into your design to help improve user experience no matter who your ideal customer is. They include designing for mobile first, having the website scanners in mind, and designing with accessibility in mind.
Design for the mobile first
Website mobile usage outstrips desktop usage for most businesses these days, so it makes sense to ensure that you are providing an optimal mobile website user experience. The easiest way to achieve this is to ensure that you are using a mobile responsive theme.
Simple, clean designs are best, with a good balance of visual and textual content, incorporating the use of sufficient white space for visual appeal and user comfort.
Have the scanners in mind
Your website, and especially your home page, should be designed to attract the attention of scanners. That means providing one idea per section (or screen) and incorporating a ‘screen stopper’ into each section.
This can be achieved by incorporating:
- Plenty of headings
- Keeping paragraphs short
- Using bulleted lists (like this one)
- Highlighting key terms
- Bolding important text
- Being consistent with your styling of links, buttons, borders and backgrounds (set up global styles to assist with this)
- Using relevant images to attract attention
You also want to ensure that your website provides barrier-free access to people with disabilities. You can make the website user experience for people with a disability significantly better by designing your site with accessibility in mind.
This includes making sure that all elements of your website can be read using assistive technologies (such as screen readers that vocalise the text on each page), as well as viewed and navigated via a keyboard as well as a mouse. You can use website accessibility tools to test how accessible your website is and to find out what you need to do to be able to make your site more accessible.
Optimise for Conversions
As part of your website design, you should also ensure that your website is set up in a way that is optimised to attract, retain and convert more of your ideal customers. See Website Optimisation Tips for Small Business for more advice on how to achieve this.
2. Consistent Typography
Maintain consistent visual and typographic hierarchies to increase readability, including:
- Title (H1)
- Headings (H2)
- Sub-headings (H3)
- Paragraph/body text
Use 2-3 fonts maximum. If this feels restrictive, vary your font weights, cases and letter spacing before adding extra fonts and you should find that you have plenty of variations to choose from without having to add more.
Use sans serif fonts for paragraph and longer text sections and serif fonts for headings. These can be supplemented with decorative script fonts for effect. Just use those sparingly!
3. Simple Navigation
It’s important that you craft a thoughtful, guided experience throughout your website. This starts with setting up simple to use navigation. One of the ways you can achieve this is by limiting the number of levels in your menus.
Don’t bury the good stuff too many clicks away!
And when multiple levels of navigation are necessary, as can sometimes be necessary with blogs and product pages, use breadcrumbs to assist your visitors in finding their way back when they have navigated through multiple levels to dig into the details.
The easiest way to create a simple navigation system is to use common conventions. People are more likely to act if they are familiar with the terms.
Examples of common website navigation conventions are:
- Logo in the top-left corner (make it clickable back to the home page)
- Main navigation menu at the top of the page
- Contact and About in main navigation menu
- Search feature in the header, if applicable
- Main CTA at the top of page (above the fold)
- Opt-in and social media icons links in the footer
- Sticky social sharing buttons on the side of the page
Also try not to get too clever on how you name things. For example, people will look for your ‘Contact’ and ‘About’ pages, so replacing them with ‘Get In Touch’ or ‘Our Story’ may result in them being overlooked. Even making your visitors have to take a second glance, which could be the case with this example, can significantly decrease user experience, resulting in your visitors bouncing from your website at much higher rates.
4. Clear Calls-to-action
As well as needing to guide your visitors through your website with ease, you also need to make it super clear as to what you want them to do each step of the way.
It was mentioned above that you should be providing one idea per section (or screen) on your home page and category pages. This should be accompanied by one clear call-to-action per section.
On all other pages on your website there should be one main call-to-action per page. That means designing your landing pages, sales pages, blog pages and other key pages with a clear idea about what the next step is that you would like visitors to that page to take, and then making it super clear throughout that page what that next step should be.
This includes repeating your call-to-action multiple times throughout the page.
If it should be clicked, make it obvious!
- Keeping consistent colours and styles for buttons and links
- Changing the colour for buttons and links on hover
- Links should be underlined and coloured
- Buttons should have text that stands out and is easily read
- Use appropriate descriptive wording for links and button (e.g. download now, book appointment, click to call) and make sure that wording is consistent with what will happen when they click through
Internal link call-to-actions between pages can also be used to get visitors to dig deeper into your website and keep them on your site longer. This is a great strategy, particularly on blog posts, for positioning your authority, getting your visitors to know, like and trust you further, and assisting with SEO.
Whilst it is great to link internally and keep people on your website, sometimes it is also appropriate to link external to your website. Any external links should open in a new window so that your website visitors still have access to your site after clicking on an external link, in case they want to find their way back to your site.
And most importantly, make sure that all of your links work! One of the easiest ways to provide a negative website user experience is to have broken links throughout your website.
5. Effective Security
An important part of website user experience is their security.
If your visitors don’t feel their personal data is being protected when visiting your website, then they are unlikely to provide you with the information required to become a lead or customer.
The most important way you can protect your visitors is through SSL Certification. Make sure you have a valid SSL certificate (which gives you the padlock alongside your URL, rather than a glaring security warning). This will give your users the peace of mind that any data they provide on your website is safe.
Next Steps To Improving Website User Experience
It’s important that you (and ideally also some of your ideal customers) regularly go through the process of travelling through your website as a visitor, and deeply consider the experience with a critical eye.
- Are the key pages, most visited pages, and your website in general, designed in a way that will attract your ideal customers and guide them towards your desired call-to-actions?
- Are you using consistent visual and typographic hierarchies to increase readability?
- Is it simple to navigate your website and are your visitors provided with a guided experience that makes it easy for them to find important information?
- Are you using call-to-actions in a way that makes it super clear as to what the next step should be on every page within your website?
- Is the personal data of your website visitor being protected and is this clearly communicated?
And make sure you check your links!
As part of your website user experience review, click on all your call-to-actions to make sure that they work! Links, buttons, sign up boxes – everything.
Improving website user experience is a key component of optimising your website. We teach website optimisation as one of the pillars within the Click Engage Convert Academy. If you would like to learn more about how you can optimise your website and gain more leads and sales using the power of digital marketing, then we invite you to check out the Click Engage Convert Academy.