How effective is your web design? Does it encourage visitors to stay and interact, or do they leave before seeing what you have to offer?
If your website’s user experience isn’t quite up to snuff, you might start to notice high bounce rates.
High bounce rates are considered marketing fails because it means a missed opportunity to convert a lead into a customer. When customers have a good experience on your website, however, bounce rates reduce.
Check out these 9 ways to improve the user experience on your website.
1. Use Negative Space
Getting your website up and running can be an exciting process. It’s your opportunity to present your brand to an online community of billions of users.
Even so, a website isn’t the place to try and tell your entire story in one large block of text.
White space, also called negative space, is helpful to web design because it provides a clean surface for the most relevant copy to stand out. Customers can quickly skim your content to understand your value proposition.
Decluttering your website makes the content you do choose to present seem more important than if you told your entire life story on the home page. Less is more with web design, which forces you to prioritize the story you want to tell your customers about your business.
2. Faster Load Times
There’s nothing that leads to a faster bounce from one of your web pages than slow load times. Consumer expectations continue to rise as internet speeds increase over time.
Visitors want the content to load within seconds to keep their attention. If the slow load is because you have too much on one page, consider spreading it out over a few subpages instead of cramming too many videos and ads onto one page.
3. Strong Titles and Metatags
Clickbait isn’t just annoying—it can hurt your company revenue.
Use good titles for your web pages that provide users with the content they expect. Review the content of any page on your site with a high bounce rate. Adjust title tags and meta descriptions to match the content on the page to help create a good experience.
Search engine traffic might go down at first, but as users begin spending more time on your website the stats will improve.
4. Fix Bad Links
Every link on your website should have a purpose that helps users in some way. Links that are broken or lead to outdated content equally hurt your ability to provide a good experience.
Your website should have the appearance of being professionally maintained and up to date. Bad links easily make a site appear abandoned or run by amateurs.
Check your site’s configuration from the most common browsers your audience uses to test their experiences. Common browser types include Safari, Internet Explorer, and Google Chrome.
5. Improve Content Relevance
Web users expect to leave with more than they came in with when they visit your website. Avoid building a website that is all show and no information.
Answer common customer questions or allow customers to handle tasks faster by visiting your website. According to the Content Marketing Institute, here are the three most common types of user intent when visiting a web page:
- Do Something: this includes users who want to take action by buying or downloading something
- Know Something: people looking for information to help them solve a problem fall into this category
- Go Somewhere: a user might be looking for a specific type of destination online that includes more than one website
Review your web pages to make sure each of them is an appropriate response to these three common types of user intent.
6. Be Mobile Friendly
Gone are the days when the desktop view of your website ruled supreme. Nowadays, more people use the internet on their mobile phones than on a desktop computer.
This means your website must be responsive and mobile-friendly to meet the growing population of smartphone users. Be sure the mobile browser provides the same functionality as the desktop version of your website.
Customers should be able to make purchases, fill out contact forms, and download content from a mobile device just like they would on a computer.
7. Clear Navigation Menu
A website menu isn’t the place to use your creative copywriting instincts. If you want users to have a good experience, the page names should represent the content on those pages.
Use standardized titles for your pages unless you’ve done the appropriate tree testing to measure user response to new titles. Bounce rates will increase if visitors spend too much time searching around to find information.
Maintain standard hierarchies when it comes to typography with page headers. There are usually 3 to 4 levels, including:
- Paragraph/body text
This makes the page more readable for visitors who want to quickly confirm the menu title matches up with the content on the page.
8. Well-Placed Ads
If you’re lucky enough to generate ad revenue from your website, you’ll want to take special care to ensure your visitors have a good experience. Your ability to generate future revenue will depend on the number of visitors you continue to attract each month.
Make sure the placement of your ads isn’t intrusive. Poorly placed ads can lead to accidental clicks that navigate visitors away from your content.
9. Don’t Show Off
Good web design isn’t about having the most artistic website. Think practical, not pretentious when choosing a web design.
Pretentious websites are more harmful than simply having an irrelevant website because they can upset visitors. Avoid negative reviews about your business by making sure your content makes an honest attempt to meet consumer needs.
Good User Experience vs. User Great Experience
Users expect to have a good experience on the websites they visit. With so many options available online, they can quickly find a superior option to your website if you don’t meet their expectations.
Partnering with an experienced web designer can help you improve your website user experience from good to great. For more information and digital marketing tips, check our blog for updates or contact us for help upgrading your site’s design.