Today's Internet users are very picky and they will leave your website in a jiffy when dissatisfied, one of the major reasons being poor user experience (UX).
See Also: 9 Proven UX Tips To Skyrocket Website Conversions
There are several strategies that will improve user experience on your site:
1. Improve Page Speed:
Slow loading speed is one of the main reasons surfers leave webpages. Research shows that a two-second delay in loading time leads to 87% abandonment rates.
Use Google's free service 'PageSpeed Insights' to determine your site's page speed and find what factors are affecting the loading speed. Consider minifying the code as this reduces loading time.
Minifying is a web design technique which compresses and combines site code into small chunks.
2. Use White Space:
The use of white space is a good website design strategy. This is because white spaces make the content more legible. It also enables users to focus on the elements that surround the text.
According to a recent Crazy Egg survey, white space around titles and text leads to up to 20% increase in user attention.
Other ways to improve readability are doing proper paragraph formatting, using bulleted or numbered points, and using such design elements as banners, sidebars, and text boxes. Visit sessionm.com for an example of great white space use.
3. Ensure Calls to Action are Attractive:
Visitors to your site oftentimes want to go straight to the point and they are already accustomed to getting visual cues to know what is important.
The CTA should have action words (such as "click here for free downloads") and it should be clearly marked. Different colors evoke different messages and you should therefore choose the color carefully.
4. Responsive Web Design:
More and more people are accessing websites from mobile devices. Responsive web design involves the creation of a website that adapts to the screen one is using to view it.
An alternative to this is creating a website specifically for mobile devices, but responsive web design is the better option since you do not have to optimize two sites for SEO.
See Also: What is Responsive Design and Why Do You Need It?
5. Proper Image Selection and Placement:
You should only use relevant, high-quality images on your website because people will associate them with your brand. The images should be unique and they should be optimized for search engines.
In a recent Spectrum Inc. case study, the company found that New Jersey and New York-based moving company Harrington Movers increased conversion on their landing page by using a photo of the actual team working in place of a stock photo.
6. Easy Navigation:
When designing navigation, remember that some users will be accessing them from mobile devices and, in that case, traditional navigation menus will not do.
You should particularly avoid horizontal scrolling - users are really irritated by this.
See Also: A Hard-To-Miss Guideline on Building Responsive Drop-Down Menu in WordPress
7. Effective Color, Texture, and Pattern Use:
Color affects the psychology of the user. As an example, if your site is meant for ecologies, go for such colors as brown, blue, and green. Make the same considerations for texture and patterns.
8. Use 404 Redirects:
Web users usually get very frustrated when they get 404 error ("Page not found"). Ensure your SEO company creates custom pages to help visitors land somewhere they can find something more useful, even if it is not exactly what they are looking for.
Note whereas users can go easy on you after the initial 404 error, they will not forgive you if they are not redirected somewhere they can find useful information. You should consider having a site search on your 404 page.
9. Create HTML Sitemap:
Sitemaps help guide visitors through your website since they can get exactly where they want to go in one click.
Sitemap creation is also an effective SEO tactic since search engine bots use sitemaps to find their way around a website.
Tool: XML, HTML Sitemap Generator
10. Make Use of Hyperlink Differentiation:
Hyperlinks are important in web design because they show users where to click and you can incorporate them in your content organically. The hyperlinks used should have visual cues for easy identification.
You can achieve this by using different colored text or by underlining the text. According to a study conducted by Karyn Graves, the average web user automatically assumes that a blue-and-underlined text is a hyperlink.
11. Ensure there is Consistency Throughout the Website:
Everything on the website should match. This includes heading sizes, coloring, spacing, font choice, illustration styles, photos, and design elements.
This way, web users will not feel like they are on different websites when they move across your webpages.
12. XML Version of Sitemaps:
The website should also have XML format of the sitemap. Consider uploading the sitemap to Search Console, but note WordPress and indeed most CMSs will build the sitemap automatically.
13. Use Google Analytics to Measure Traffic Trends:
Google Analytics is a free tool that measures and analyzes traffic to a website. Understanding traffic trends is important because it will help you detect problems before they exacerbate.
14. Use Structured Markup:
When doing web design, ensure all the structured data such as Schema markup is rendering correctly in search engine results pages.
The search console's structured markup section allows you to check for errors and to fix them.
15. Integrate Social Media in the Website:
You should link your social media profiles to your website. The social media icons should be directed to the right pages and you should install the right social plugins.
You should also consider what you want to achieve (such as, do you want people to Like or Share a Facebook post?). Most web users today have social media accounts and social media integration gives them an avenue to leave reviews and comments.
See Also: Learn How Social Media Activity Promotes Your Business SEO Activities
16. Do Not Overdo PPC:
You should not have too many PPC campaigns running on your site as this will dissuade visitors. All PPC campaigns should be set up before the launch of the website to avoid service lapse.
With poor UX, visitors will not stay long on your site. This would mean all your SEO efforts will be in vain and it will do a disservice to your brand since people will associate such things as poor loading speed with poor service.
See Also: UX and SEO Tips That Will Make Your Website Google Friendly