What you think doesn’t matter. What your users think matters. These days you get new buzz words and trends coming out every week so it’s tough to decide what web users actually want.
Below you will find seven secret tips to providing a better web user experience, they are secret because clearly the majority of websites today seem to ignore them.
1. Design – is it Hot or Not?
The second a user lands on your site they make a first impression of your business based solely on the design alone. It is important to invest in a clean, modern design that suits your brand and gets the correct message across.
Tools to help you test different designs: https://usabilityhub.com/ – test different designs on real people and get feedback within the hour.
2. Mobile Experience – how responsive can you go?
You have to provide a good mobile user experience, Google wants it and so do your users. This is where responsive web design rocks, you create one website and it scales perfectly to fit any screen size and width. Ensure that you test your website on various mobile phones to see if you are providing the same user experience across all devices.
Tools to help you test your websites mobile-readiness: http://mattkersley.com/responsive/ – type in your URL and see what your website looks like on various devices.
3. Navigation – is your site a maze?
We can’t fit all our information on the homepage, so users are going to have to navigate from page to page eventually. This is why it is important that you make sure the navigation of your website is as simple and straight forward as possible. Give your navigation links very descriptive labels so that users know exactly what they can expect if they were to click there and group pages that are related together in one section.
4. Speed – On your marks, get set, LOAD PAGE!
It doesn’t matter if you have the best website in the world, if it takes too long to load you are providing a bad user experience to your website visitors, and to Google (ouch). A fast loading website means pages load faster which means users will be more inclined to view more pages. A speedy website isn’t just great for user experience it is great for SEO too.
Tools for testing page load time: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/ – type in your URL
5. Content – the reason you even have website users
This is the meat of your website. Your content needs to be unique and engaging. Make sure you include only what is necessary, don’t go write 1000 words if 500 will do. Also be sure to experiment using different content types such as think text, images and video. Make sure your content is offering something better than what is out there already.
6. Simple – Don’t over complicate the uncomplicated
Keep it simple, very simple. Not everything on your website needs to be overly complex and detailed. Not everything on your website needs to be over analysed. Find out what it is your users need and provide a simple solution.
7. Test – is your website perfect?
Here is the sad news, your website will never be perfect. This is why you have to continually test and test everything. Test different layouts, designs, content, navigation, call to actions, headlines and everything in between. Always strive to improve on all aspects of your website.
- To test different pages against each other you can make use of content experiments in Google Analytics.
By providing a good user experience for your users, you are going to see an increase in your conversions. By providing a great experience for the search engines, you will surely gain improved search rankings!
We’d be happy to answer your usability questions, or run some usability tests on your website to ensure that you are on the road to improved rankings and increased conversions. Give us a shout if you need help.
Steven Jonker SEO & Usability Analyst Blue Magnet Digital.