Improving user experience of your online business
Launching a business website shouldn’t be the end of your involvement with your online audience. Offering prospective customers a website to learn more about your business and your offerings can be a great way to boost sales and generate leads, but you also need to think about creating a good user experience for those visitors.
People end up choosing to do business with the website that helps them to achieve their desired results. Regardless of what they’re looking for, those people within your target audience expect a positive user experience. Think about whether your own website offers visitors the following:
Easy Navigation: can visitors navigate around to various pages within your site easily to find what they’re searching for?
Visually Appealing: do the colours and graphics you’ve chosen repel people or do they help create a positive experience?
Interactivity: does your site encourage interactivity for users, either with contact information, social media links or the ability for them to leave comments?
Information Architecture: can visitors to your site find the information they’re looking for with ease?
Call to Action: depending what your website’s objective goals are, you may need to include some type of call to action to let users know what to do next. This might be adding shopping cart software so they can purchase products, or an opt-in form for them to join your mailing list, or clearly labelled ‘Buy Now’ buttons on pertinent products.
Benefits of a User Friendly Website
Tweaking or even redesigning your website can help you to improve your overall site performance. When we went through this process at Finder.com.au we noticed:
- Increased conversion rates
- Higher customer satisfaction levels
- Increased returning/repeat customers
- More referrals from happy customers
No matter what business you operate, each of these things can spell boosted profits and higher sales.
Improving User Experience
There are several things you can incorporate into your website to help improve the user experience for visitors. These include:
Focus: there’s nothing worse for users than landing on a website that is trying to promote everything at once. This is not only confusing, but it repels most people. Identify your target audience and then focus on what their objectives are so you’re in a better position to meet them. Remove any unnecessary clutter from your site. Keep important information above the fold, where it can be seen clearly without having to scroll down the page.
Redesign: if your current website doesn’t offer user-friendly navigation or if visitors can’t find any of your site’s internal pages, it’s time to redesign. Rework your site architecture so that movement between pages flows more easily. Make your links to other sections of your site obvious in your navigation bars and remember to include footer navigation links at the bottom of each page as well.
Understand Your Audience: if you’ve taken the time to research your target audience, you should already be aware of exactly what they’re seeking. This enables to you tweak your site to provide the information, products, services or whatever else they expect.
Interactivity: your website design should encourage visitor interactivity wherever possible. This might mean adding the ability for them to leave comments. It might mean adding buttons to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other social media platforms. Make it easy for them to interact with you if they wish.
Lead Them to Your Desired Outcome: if you want people to read information about products or services, lead them to those pages with clear links. If you want them to buy a product, make this obvious to them with clear ‘Buy Now’ buttons or shopping cart graphics. If you want them to opt-in to your mailing list, provide a clear opt-in form for them to fill in.
Include Analytics: your site should incorporate a way to monitor the analytics of what’s going on. Your analytics program should tell you how people are finding your site, what keywords they use to find you, what pages they’re on when they click away from your site, how long each average visit is, what your conversion rates are, and much more.
By incorporating these elements into your business website design, you should find that visitors find it much easier to access the information they’re searching for. Make it easy for them at every opportunity. Your business should see positive increases in the number of happy customers on your site.