First impressions are important, and that's just as true with websites as it is with people.
If you want users to keep coming back to your website, then you need to give them both a functional as well as an attractive experience. Here are 10 Easy Ways You Can Improve your Website User Experience.
Even if you're not a website building guru, there are some simply ways you can make sure your users have the best possible experience when they come to your site. These are brought to you courtesy of Inboundio, Digital Gov, and Hub Spot.
Method #1: Check Your Loading Times
Nothing is more frustrating than waiting for a website to load, particularly in a world where users expect instant access. If you have a lot of dense images, motion .gifs, or videos on your site, though, that can turn your hare into a tortoise. Visit your site, and if it isn't loading quickly enough, get rid of some of the bigger drags on speed. Your users will thank you.
Method #2: Track What Your Users Do
There are programs out there, like Crazy Egg, which view what your users do when they come to your site. These programs record, and tell you what happens, so that you know which parts of your site are the most popular. If 80 percent of your traffic is showing up to watch your videos, then it's important to make sure that page is regularly updated and user-friendly.
Method #3: Use Fewer, More Targeted Ads
Nothing is more irritating than having to close two pop-up windows and find that loud audio commercial before being able to read an article. If you're going to host ads on your website (which you may need to do in order to maintain site earnings), then you will be better off using fewer, more targeted ads. Create a balance so your site isn't cluttered and it will run faster, while being more appealing.
Method #4: Use Images
A picture is worth a thousand words, and images and video will always attract eyeballs to the page. While this doesn't mean you should neglect text, it does mean that you might want to include topical images to go with any events you're reporting on.
Method #5: Make It Easy To Connect With Social Media
If a user is on your website and wants to tell his or her friends about your page, it's a lot easier to push one button instead of copying a link, pasting it, writing a blurb, and sharing it. If you connect your site to popular social media networks, users will notice and reward you for that effort.
Method #6: A Navigable Menu
A website exists to engage traffic, and provide information. An easy way to make sure you're giving as many visitors what they want as possible is to break that information up into different pages, which are linked on an easy-to-navigate menu. If you have a physical address, then a "Directions" page is a quick way to funnel those users to what they want. Same for a "Frequently Asked Questions" or a "Contact Us" page.
Method #7: Respond Quickly To Users
Users who email, or leave comments on social media, are providing you with feedback. Let those users know you've seen their comments by responding, and then make changes to fit with what users want. This will create a relationship, and help you alter your site to provide a more enjoyable experience.
Method #8: Watch Your Metrics
Every website these days has some kind of metrics program attached to it. These programs will watch your pages, and give you numbers you can use to track your progress. They'll tell you where your traffic is coming from, and help you get an idea of which additions to your page are being viewed the most, how long people browse, and even what your bounce-back rate it.
Method #9: Use Interactive Content
Even something as simple as being able to vote up or down on something will engage viewers more than a simple reading. Never be afraid to add a new way for viewers to interact and give their opinion about something they're seeing.
Method #10: Be Mobile-Friendly
As more people use smart phones and other mobile devices as their primary method of web browsing, websites that properly display on those devices are going to engender more loyalty. That's a really easy way to win points with users who may first encounter you on a coffee break, but who will never come back if they don't get a good first impression on their phones. Some tips for how to do this can be found right here!
More reading: Do you have a Mobile Friendly Website Design?
For more helpful methods for improving users' experiences on your website, simply contact us today!
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