Have you ever opened a website that looks terrible and is impossible to navigate? Everyone has. In the modern digital world, if a website layout doesn’t make sense or isn’t aesthetically pleasing, users aren’t likely to stick around very long. User experience, or UX, is about the emotions and attitudes a user experiences while interacting with a website or software. Building a website with good UX in mind is essential for keeping users on your site and can even help with SEO ranking. Here are some tips on how to achieve a good user experience on your own site.
- Improve site speed
This is one of the first things a user will notice, especially if the load time is slow. With how fast our devices and connections are today, there is an inherent expectation that we won’t have to wait for our online content to load. One of the easiest ways to drive users off of your site is to make them wait for the page to load.
There are a few ways to improve your site speed and the ideal load time is between 2-4 seconds, but the faster the better. There are a number of ways to check site speed. If you are running Google Analytics on your site (which you should be), there is a page load speed metric there. If you don’t have Analytics or the function doesn’t work, try PageSpeed Insights by Google. Not only will it give you a score and speed for both desktop and mobile versions of your site, but it will also give detailed recommendations on ways to improve your site speed.
- Optimize for mobile
We use our phones for everything. Whether it’s to Google the lyrics to a song that you just can’t get out of your head or to visit a business’s website, we do everything on our phones. There is nothing more frustrating than a site that doesn’t load well on a phone. If your site is not optimized for mobile, you’re likely to turn away many users.
If you aren’t sure that your users are accessing your site on mobile devices, check out your Google Analytics data, where you can see what kind of devices are being used to interact with your site; you can even see the exact device branding, info, and providers. Even if your users are primarily on desktop, you need to optimize for mobile so that you don’t turn users away for something you can fix. If the majority of your visitors are on mobile and your site isn’t optimized, what are you waiting for?
- Try Starbucks testing
Starbucks testing is one of the cheapest and quickest ways to get real feedback about the UX of your site and find the issues that need to be addressed. Here’s how you do it: Gather 5 people, buy their coffees, and have them click around your site as they normally would and ask for feedback about what they do and don’t like, as well as what does and doesn’t work. When selecting people for this test, choose people who will ultimately be objective with their feedback. Your mom will probably tell you she loves it no matter how terrible the website really is. Once you receive the feedback, decide what needs to be fixed and repeat the test if needed. Tip: Don’t get stuck in a testing loop, especially if you are waiting to launch your site until testing is done. Set a launch date and test appropriately prior, but don’t delay the launch because of a likely minor UX issue.
Not sure where to begin on improving your site experience? Do you need a total site redesign? At Smarter Searches, we have the tools and knowledge to either improve current sites or completely redesign a new site from bottom to top. Contact us today so that we can make sure that your site keeps people on the page instead of turning them away with poor UX.