This is the last blog post in the series: "Inbound Marketing Website Essential Ingredients"- What components your website needs to be a growth asset for your business.
If you've been keeping up with our recipe for successful inbound marketing website you now know that there is more to modern website design than mobile ready and Facebook sharing. User Experience or UX is how pleasing of an experience a visitor has with your website and how easy it is for them to navigate. Don't think this is important? Check out these stats.
Stats That Make The Case For Better Design
General Web Design Stats
1) Given 15 minutes to consume content, two-thirds of people would rather read something beautifully designed than something plain. (Source: Adobe)
2) 39% of people will stop engaging with a website if images won’t load or take too long to load. (Source: Adobe)
3) 51% of people think "thorough contact information" is the most important element missing from many company websites. (Source: KoMarketing)
4) 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content/layout is unattractive. (Source: Adobe)
Usability and User Experience Design Stats
1) 47% of website visitors check out a company's products/services page before looking at any other sections of the site. (Source: KoMarketing)
2) Once on a company's homepage, 86% of visitors want to see information about that company's products/services. (Source: KoMarketing)
3) Once on a company's homepage, 64% of visitors want to see the company's contact information. (Source: KoMarketing)
4) Once on a company's homepage, 52% of visitors want to see "about us" information. (Source: KoMarketing)
5) After reaching a company's website via a referral site, 50% of visitors will use the navigation menu to orient themselves. (Source: KoMarketing)
6) After reaching a company's website via a referral site, 36% of visitors will click on the company's logo to reach the homepage. (Source: KoMarketing)
These statistics make for a compelling argument. So how do you get started improving your site? Here are a few user experience tips for improving your website.
User Experience Tips For Improving Your Website
1) Use White Space
White space is essential to good design. White space makes your content more legible while also enabling the user to focus on the elements surrounding the text.
According to Crazy Egg, white space around text and titles increases user attention by 20%. White space can also make your website feel open, fresh and modern and if your branding is consistent with these then it can help you communicate that feeling to the user. One downside of white space to keep in mind, however, is that it does indeed take up space.
If you’re trying to get a lot of content above the fold (above the part that is immediately visible without scrolling) having too much white space might be replacing some valuable information. The key is to find the balance between what is most important to communicate at the top and surround that with some space to highlight the image and/or text.
2) Page Speed
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. Need some proof? A 2-second delay in load time during a visit results in abandonment rates of up to 87%.
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.
3) Use Attractive Calls To Action
Your customers are already accustomed to following visual cues to determine which content is important to them. Calls to actions that are clearly marked with an action word enable your user to more easily navigate your site and get to where they want.
In creating buttons for your website you should think about color and the psychology of color. In a study done by Maxymiser, researchers are shocked to find that hey achieved an increase of 11% in clicks to the checkout area of the Laura Ashley website, by testing color variations and action messaging. Different colors evoke different messages. Think about the message that you want to evoke for a user (trust, experience, intelligence) and choose your colors wisely.
A second thing to consider is the actual words you use for your buttons. The words should include a verb or an action word that excite the user to do SOMETHING. Choosing the right words or psychological triggers is highly determined by the level of emotional identification that word prompts. No emotional connection means no action. So make your words bold, time sensitive and action-oriented.
4) Use Bullets, Bullets, Bullets
Bullets 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 will enable the 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. This is also useful because it will force you to isolate the most important points you are trying to make without getting caught up in terminology or specifics.
5) 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.
6) Catch Your 404s
While search engines don’t punish you severely for soft 404 errors (page not found), a user will! When a user approaches a link or an image they are expecting this link will take them to the next place they want to go.
Encountering a 404 will make your user annoyed and have them re-think spending their time on your website (when they probably could go elsewhere for a faster solution). Next to slow page load time, running into 404s another highly frustrating event for a user and it completely disrupts their journey throughout your website.
7) Be Responsive & Mobile-Friendly
Our technologies have advanced to meet our needs to be mobile. Websites are also a significant part of this evolution. It is imperative that your website is mobile-friendly and easy-to-navigate no matter the screen type through which it is being accessed.
Recently, Google started penalizing sites that aren't mobile optimized, 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. If you are not sure whether your website is mobile, you can use this free tool.
I hope these tips have given you some ideas on how you can revamp your website to be more user-friendly without shelling out the dollars on a complete redesign. You may read more tips on the source article, 10 Tips That Can Drastically Improve Your Website's User Experience.