How many websites have you visited? You’ve likely visited thousands.
Every time you search Google, you see a link that looks promising and click it in hopes of finding what you need, when you need it.
How you interpret the information on the site is, in part, based on how credible you perceive the site to be.
How you perceive the site is, in part, based on its design and functionality.
It doesn’t matter if the information on the site is written by one of the foremost experts on the subject matter, you still judge the site based on its design and functionality.
As web surfers, we’ve become accustomed to high-quality websites with rich functionalities.
Most of the time, our only limitations are the ones we impose on ourselves.
What makes your web surfing experiences different from those of your customers?
We’ve all become accustomed to high-quality websites with rich functionalities and judge the sites we visit based on a baseline of what we consider to be a high-quality site.
If your site looks like it’s from the 1990s, you’re likely to come off as unsophisticated. This can lead to the inaccurate conclusion that you’re unable to assist your customers with their business’ needs.
It’s not good for your reputation or sales.
Your website is everything, especially in an age where everything is moving to the internet.
If you don’t have a website, you better create one.
If you have a website, it better be good.
So, exactly what do customers look for in a website? What is it about the user experience that can add that much value to your customers when searching for information?
First, you need to consider what people are used to seeing. As I’ve mentioned above, your customers are used to visiting high-quality websites just like you are. They’ve become accustomed to what is ‘normal’ for the times and anything that falls below this norm shocks them.
Second, consider why your customers are visiting your website. Are they trying to better understand your business and how it can help them or are they searching for information on a specific service that you offer?
Third, you need to understand the purpose of your website and each of its pages. What function does your website serve and how does it add value to your business? Knowing the answer to this question is the only way that you can accurately determine whether your website adds value to your customers.
Fourth, what actions do you want people to take on your website? Do you want them to complete a form or click on a call-to-action button for a free guide? What is it that you want your visitors to do?
And fifth, considering your answers to each of the four preceding questions, how will your customers interact with your website and what impression are you looking to leave on them?
Why is this all important?
As I’ve said, your user experience is everything.
Did you know that, according to Toptal, 88% of users are less likely to return to a website after a bad user experience?
Think about that for a second. You only get one chance, one opportunity to provide a good user experience or you’ve pretty much lost that customer forever.
That’s insane, but that’s the internet.
As I’ve said, user experience is everything.
It gets even worse…
Bluespace states that “13% of customers will tell 15 or more people about their bad experiences.”
But, the good news is that “72% will tell 6 or more people about good experiences.”
Although it’s not proportional, it’s safe to conclude that good user experiences have exponentially positive impacts on your business while bad user experiences have the complete opposite.
By now you might have determined that it’s time to give your site a makeover. If so, don’t worry. Your site is one of many that needs a few tweaks.
Thankfully, it’s easier to spruce up your site than you might think.
First, take a less is more approach and focus on adding white space. “White space makes your content more legible while also enabling the user to focus on the elements surrounding the text.”
Second, separate your CTAs. Placing your CTAs side-by-side or stacked on top of each other can be confusing and reduce your conversion rates, according to Crazy Egg.
Third, make your site interactive, says SEMRush. “Making your site interactive makes your users more likely to browse your site for additional articles and to keep coming back.”
Fourth, optimize your site for mobile browsing. According to Oberlo, 63% of U.S. organic searches occur on mobile devices.
With these four changes, you can seriously transform your site. However, there’s one more HUGE change that you should consistently work toward improving: your page speed.
The speed at which your website loads is critical to your user experience. Users are accustomed to websites loading instantly. Every second your customers sit around waiting for your website to load results in a huge decline in your user experience.
It also costs you a ton of money as well.
According to Google, “the probability of bounce increases 32% as page load time goes from 1 second to 3 seconds.”
That last statistic comes directly from Google, the search engine that averages 40,000 searches per second.
And check this out…
According to Gigaspaces, “10 years ago, Amazon found that every 100ms of latency cost them 1% in sales. Google found an extra .5 seconds in search page generation time dropped traffic by 20%.”
Those numbers are staggering.
So, what is one to do?
The answer, of course, is work on your page speed.
How do you work on your page speed?
Second, compress any PDF files attached to your site. We like ShrinkPDF, which is a part of the CompressJPG and CompressPNG family.
Once you’ve optimized the speed of your site along with each of the optimization areas above, you’ll begin to notice a huge difference in the traffic on your site.
You can check your page speeds by using Google’s page speed testing tool.
If you’d like to learn more about how to optimize your website and make the most of your digital real estate, request a free business evaluation report and one of our experts will send you some suggestions. This service is 100% obligation-free.