First impressions are critically important—especially in online marketing. Your website only has a few seconds to grab and hold someone’s attention. If it can do that, it brings you that much closer to a conversion. If it can’t, though, you’ve likely lost a prospective customer for good. What’s more, you’ve increased your bounce rate—impairing your SEO rankings.
All that’s just to say that, when designing your website—whether on your own, or with a Web design and development company— it’s important to do everything you can to ensure a smooth, positive user experience from minute one, making your site welcoming, user-friendly, and worthy of engagement. The question is how.
The Importance of User Experience
Before we get to that question, a quick definition is in order. When we talk about the user experience, what exactly are we talking about?
It’s really all about perception—does the user perceive your website to be positive, or negative? Is it easy for users to find their way around your site? To read your content? To locate the information they seek? Or is your site cumbersome and opaque? A site designed with user experience in mind will always be perceived as a helpful resource, something that encompasses everything from your layout to your navigational choices, font choices and color schemes.
Factors that Influence User Experience and Engagement
Some specific factors to consider include:
Mobile Friendliness and Responsiveness
One thing that’s vital for user experience is making sure your site can be accessed from any device, including a phone or a tablet. Make sure your site loads quickly and doesn’t require your users to do a lot of scrolling or zooming in, even if they’re on their phone.
Another key component in user experience is functionalities—which is basically how Web developers talk about your site’s relative complexity. The rule of thumb is that even a 10-year-old should be able to navigate through your page without any trouble.
Content Length and Readability
The way you lay out your written content is also important. Remember that mobile users, in particular, will have limited attention spans, and it’s best to avoid long words, to break up big paragraphs into more digestible ones, and to make your sentences simple and to the point.
Most users won’t wait more than three or four seconds for your site to load. Make performance a top priority. Optimize images, decrease file sizes, and verify loading speed across many devices and browsers.
Calls to Action
Make it clear which action you want your website visitors to take next—whether that’s emailing you, calling you, or visiting your brick-and-mortar store. Provide an action-oriented invitation in a prominent location, on every page of your site.
Does Your Site Offer a Positive Experience?
As you reflect on these points, just ask yourself: Does your website offer users a positive experience? And if not, what can you do to improve it? You only have one chance to appeal to your website visitors, so make user experience your foremost goal. To learn more, reach out to Pulse Marketing and ask us more about Web design and digital marketing solutions!