It should come as no surprise in the new era (especially since COVID-19) of smartphone browsing, eCommerce, and digital research that consumers are more demanding and impatient than ever before. Consumers leverage the power of smartphones and the internet to learn more about products and services - making them independent shoppers. On the rise of branded searches, users are looking for information about what your company's services or products. This however, could mean lost business for companies with a lackluster digital presence.
The Demanding Consumer: People want to experience digital touchpoint that are tailored specifically for them, even if their requests are not known.
The Impatient Consumer: The rise of smartphones and internet has lead to very very impatient buyers. Many shoppers do research and make purchases while on the go.
The Curious Consumer: Research-obsessd. They want to make every single purchase well informed, without a second of hesitation to avoid regrets.
These traits tend to influence how your website visitors interact with your brand. As such, it's your responsibility to provide a smooth, seamless customer experience, starting with your website.
Below are 4 website design tips to improve on your business website's performance - improving overall function, while improving your user experience (UX).
I cannot emphasize this enough (hint why it's #1). Your website's navigation should allow users to move freely throughout your website, regardless the page they started. A majority of the time - but not always if you have an effective SEO strategy in place - visitors like to gain an overall feeling of your products or services and proceed to navigate to other pages. They should be able to locate a specific service or product immediately upon coming onto your site. Make what you do known.
Keep visitors from feeling overwhelmed by breaking your website's navigation into a handful of options (4 to 6). The smaller number of options keeps your visitors focused on their end goal - whether that is booking a service, contacting you, making a reservation or purchasing a product.
Hick's Law, a popular web design principle, says that the more choices you present to a user, the longer time it will take for a decision to be ultimately made. This could lead to a disgruntled visitor clicking out of your website all together. There are times when Hick's Law does not apply to every page of your website through. If you are selling many products on your page, there are many directions that a visitor could take. Emphasize the products you'd like to sell most by highlighting, offering promo codes and more.
OIfering a search function (especially on an eCommerce website) is a must. A search bar follows the three-click rule, a design principle saying that users quit your website if it requires to many clicks to find what they need. In my 8 years working in digital marketing, I can say with 100% certainty, another website feature that is critical in maintaining the needs of an impatient customer is website loading speed.
Page speed is not only an important metric for search engine optimization, it also directly impacts how visitors interact with your website. Did you know that decreasing your page loading speed by as little as 1% can help improve conversions by as much as 32%? Twenty two percent of mobile.users admit that they leave slow-loading websites which forces them to visit another competitor - bye bye $$.
As mentioned in the last paragraph, page speed plays a vital role in SEO ranking. Having a fast loading website boosts your website's visibility in search engines. This helps you gain a better position for generating website traffic, converting them into leads, then customers.
Apart from loading speed and navigation, it should come as no surprise that the general layout of your website also impacts your conversion rate. At first glance, a website should clean, simple and intuitive. This provides a comfortable feeling and reading experience for users, keeping them on your site longer.
A nice layout keeps your content readable. Entice your website's visitor by keeping a clean and simple site. Research has found that website visitors skim content rather than read word for word - you might be actually doing this with this exact blog article - which is why it is important to create a user-friendly layout.
The "F-Pattern" is a common eye-scanning patter among speed readers. Starting at the top left and moving right, then moving down and continuing down the page. The F-pattern helps you create a layout with good visual hierarchy resulting in easily scannable content. The key to nailing the F-pattern is by immediately establishing the purpose of the page at the very top, and provide easy to read information after. Break heavy text pages with relevant images (make sure you add alt-text), and a good amount of negative or white space.
Lastly, an easily spotted call-to-action button is critical in making conversions happen. This prompts a response from the user that will lead them down the buyer's journey path.
Your call-to-action (CTA) button isn't always transactional. You have to anticipate the needs of the reader to recommend relevant content. Is your call to action to schedule a free estimate, purchase a product, download a PDF or make dinner reservations? Let your visitors know exactly what they're supposed to do. It's true that placement along with color of the button are critical. Place it in a highly visible part of your layout. Our Orlando web design team follows the rule of thirds.
Simply put, the rule of thirds is a method of dividing your page into three parts and placing a standout colored call to action button in each third (you can checkout our homepage to see the rule of thirds here). Above all, prioritize clarity and ease of use when designing your website.
At Dark Matter Digital, we've designed and developed thousands of business websites, eCommerce websites and more worldwide, and the main conclusion is that a user-friendly website always generates more leads and converts customers to increase your bottom-line revenue.
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