User experience is a major component of whether your site delivers what your visitors want. How they feel when they interact with your site impacts how knowledgeable they’ll be after seeking out information, and how willing they are to convert. In this blog, we are going to cover easy things to audit and update in order to improve how your potential customer interacts with a website.
Step 1: Research
Determine your audience
Who are you talking to? Your audience should match your current and potential customers. Reviewing your website’s Google Analytics data will help you understand who is currently utilizing your website and where there are opportunities to grow segments of the population you may currently be missing. Learn how to audit your Analytics account and review your data here.
Focus on the purpose
What is your website trying to accomplish? Thinking through questions like that help you craft relevant content for your website. There are many different types of sites, however, we most often see people looking for an online brochure or a lead -generating website.
An online brochure is a website set to validate a company’s presence and inform potential customers of the company’s services or offerings. Just because the website is informative does not mean that you can skip setting goals, though. These goals should be based around what content you would like the website visitor to find and the key takeaways they should glean while viewing your site.
Step 2: Review your content
Add calls to action
All web pages should have a clear call to action in line with your website goals. Users should not have to search for a way to contact you or complete an action.
Simplify your content
No one likes friction when trying to find information. Make your message clear, concise and engaging. Users look to avoid walls of text, which can appear intimidating or time-consuming. Information should be grouped into small chunks to enable the user to easily skim-read.
Some of the most commonly used methods of chunking text content are:
- Bullet points or numbered lists
- Short paragraphs, with white space to separate them
- Short text lines of text (around 50–75 characters)
- Clear visual hierarchies with related items grouped together
- Distinct groupings in strings of letters or numbers such as passwords, license keys, credit-card or account numbers, phone numbers, and dates (for example, 1 (448) 732 4534 instead of 14487324534 )
Step 3: Review user paths
Your website layout should be consistent with a clear hierarchy of content. A hierarchy is a system of organization in which content is ranked according to status or authority. On websites, this priority is often shown through size, color and order on the page. Without a clear hierarchy, the user does not know which parts of the website are most important. Assigning different weights to content helps users skim the content more easily to find what is important, faster. Review Google Analytics to see what your users are finding most important by looking at page visits, paths to conversions, time on page, and more.
Include multiple paths
Not every user will travel through the website in the same way. Some users seek information through the main navigation to find the answers they need, while others scroll down looking for information and follow a path through buttons to get them where they need to go. Having multiple ways for users to experience the website allows for each person to experience it in a way that is most beneficial to him or her.
Step 4: Optimize your site
A slow-loading website frustrates users and is the #1 reason why people bounce from a website. Optimizing images, reducing plugins and having a faster hosting provider all assist in making your website load quickly.
Step 5: Devices
Make sure you are accounting for the different ways people will visit your website. On average, websites accumulate more than 50% of their traffic from mobile devices. Take a look at your Google Analytics to see what percentage of your website’s traffic is coming from mobile devices.
Important information should be prioritized towards the top of the page to reduce scrolling for mobile users. Mobile users are used to scrolling, but it is important to facilitate their on-page experience to smooth their path to conversion.
Make sure all items are clickable and accessible on mobile. Look for ways to orient your content around mobile users by ensuring phone numbers and relevant text are clickable.
When optimizing your website, it is important to work through it with the mindset that your users may never have heard of your company before. Try and work your way through the site with common customer questions in mind to see how easily they could find the information they are likely to be looking for. Most importantly, test the site with fresh eyes. Ask other people to look at your website or utilize user testing software such as usertesting.com to gain a clearer picture of how others navigate and approach your website.
Download our handy user experience audit checklist to find where there are opportunities to improve your website.
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