Website user experience, or UX, has always been an important consideration for marketers and developers. Reflecting the ease with which website visitors can navigate your content and find the information they’re after, UX is a core metric for user engagement. And over the past couple of years, it’s taken on new significance as a central SEO concern, being adopted by Google into its ranking algorithms.
In short, there are a myriad of benefits to ensuring your website offers a satisfying experience to the end user. In this post, we’ll highlight just four simple ways in which you can enhance your UX for the new year.
How to Improve Website UX
1) Boost your site speed.
Very few search engine users have the patience to sit and wait for several seconds, let alone multiple minutes, while your website loads. If the content you’re promising doesn’t materialize within, say, three or four seconds, you’re likely to lose a lot of visitors in frustration. And, you may also see your Google search ratings crater.
So what can you do to make sure your site is loading at an optimal speed? There are actually some free tools available, including two of our favorites, PageSpeed Insights, and GTMetrix. These resources will let you test your site speed and make sure that everything is running smoothly across all device and browser types; and, if your speed is suboptimal, they will also offer specific suggestions for helping your site load more expediently.
There are a lot of other technical fixes that may boost your site speed, too, like minimizing page redirects, minimizing the use of bulky image files, and employing browser caching.
The bottom line: Every second that it takes your site to load could be costing you visitors. You can improve UX dramatically just by making certain the site runs efficiently and without any undue lag.
2) Make sure your site is mobile-friendly.
There are plenty of statistics that tell us a majority of users access the Web via smartphones, not through desktop computers. Unsurprisingly, then, Google’s algorithms view the mobile version of your website as the benchmark for how it should be indexed and ranked on mobile searches. In other words, ensuring a smooth mobile experience should be the first priority.
A few tips:
- Optimize for one-handed users. Make sure any crucial interactions are located at the center of the screen, with more secondary ones at the edges.
- Minimize the need for typing. Don’t make your mobile users do any more touch screen typing than is necessary.
- Get rid of popups. Popup screens can be a detriment to the mobile experience. Disabling them is a critical way to support positive UX.
- Avoid Flash content. Flash video content is going to be unplayable on many mobile devices, so it’s best to avoid it altogether.
- Steer clear of other common mobile UX mistakes. Make sure your font is readable, clickable website elements are not too close together, etc.
3) Ensure ease of navigation.
How is the content on your website organized? How easy is it for website visitors to locate the specific pages they’re looking for?
One of the most critical aspects of UX is ensuring that it’s easy for any newcomer to your site to find what they’re after, ideally with as few clicks as possible.
There are plenty of tools at your disposal to make your website easily navigable, including recognizable icons, clickable links, and menu bars. Good website navigation is simple, clean, and intuitive, guiding the user through a seamless and logical journey.
4) Get good content.
Finally, note that one of the most important ways to promote a positive user experience (and to get the kind of engagement you’re after) is to fill your site with high-quality content.
What exactly does this entail? There are actually several factors to keep in mind:
- Content layout. Nobody wants to read block after block of long, unbroken text; instead, insert plenty of white space into your content layout by using bulleted lists, different headings and subheadings, varying font sizes, etc.
- Scannability. Again, content subheadings (H1 tags, H2, H3, etc.) create a natural flow, and make it easy for someone to scan your site and quickly find the specific information they need.
- Links. You can improve the credibility of your site by including outbound links to authoritative, relevant information. Internal links, meanwhile, can be useful for improving your navigation.
- Variety. While written content is useful, you may also benefit from the use of video content, infographics, and beyond.
Take the Next Step Toward Improved UX
There are plenty of ways to improve the experience people have when they visit your website. If you have any questions about these strategies, or wonder if your own site needs an overhaul, we’d love to chat. Reach out to work with our award winning website development team at enCOMPASS Agency whenever you’re ready.
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