You type in a request on your browser. The results show the website you can get the information you want. You click on a link, and the search icon starts to rotate. You get up to fetch some drinking water. When you come back, it is still spinning.
You try to be a little patient because the website seems to have valuable content. However, once it opens, you can still not get the pages to load faster. What is the likelihood of you staying on that particular site? Quite honestly, almost nil, right? So, why would you want to take your website visitors through the same experience?
Research has established that an average adult has an 8-second attention span. Less than a goldfish, actually. On average, a visitor will not spend more than 15 seconds on a site. It doesn't mean you have those 15 seconds to grab their attention. You have less than half that time to get them interested in your content.
On mobile, it gets worse because you only have 3 seconds. Now let's get into the real statistics. Up to 88% of online shoppers will not return to a website if the user experience is terrible. Up to 70% of online businesses fail due to poor website usability. Yet only 55% of companies will conduct any testing on performance.
From the stats, it is clear that you need to invest more time on your website. We will show you ten sure ways to improve the user experience on your site below.
1. Install A Proxy Server A proxy server serves many purposes. It acts as a gateway between you and remote servers. Any information coming to or leaving your website has to pass through the proxy. It sieves out harmful content and seals any areas of vulnerability. Hackers will not be able to access your site and steal your information.
Proxy servers also add anonymity and privacy. For example, SOCKS proxies hide your IP address by covering it with their own. Proxies also allow you to access content that has geographical restrictions.
By filtering content, you keep out hackers and can assure users of the security of their data.
With so many benefits to you as the user, how can it help improve the site experience? Here is how.
2. Have An In-Depth Understanding Of Your Audience Your website is supposed to provide functionality to the end-users. But, how can you design or have a website without understanding your target audience? They will determine every aspect of the website.
The younger generation, for example, is very visual. You must concentrate on page loading speeds. Remember, these people are always on the move. They do not have time for slow websites.
Present the information in a visually impactful manner. Use images, videos, and animations to attract their attention. They like 'cool' stuff, so give them that when designing. They most probably spend more time on mobile than anything else. You must therefore optimize your site for mobile.
If you are targeting the older generation, you may need to temper your creativity slightly. Don't go crazy on colors, shapes, and flashing animation. Simple designs, white space, and easy-to-read fonts will work well. The information must be relevant to an identified need.
Develop an audience profile and then have them in mind when designing a website. Whatever features you incorporate must come from a place of understanding.
3. Ensure Quick Loading Pages Several factors contribute to page loading speeds.
4. Think About Your Design You have probably come across your share of poorly designed websites. They have specific characteristics.
There are tons of web builders you can use to set up a website. Most have themes and templates that you can easily customize to what you want. Such builders include Woocommerce, Shopify, WordPress, Weebly, and Wix.
Platforms like WordPress are open source. The community of developers always ensures the availability of plug-ins.
Such integrations improve the functionality of the website, leading to a better user experience. BUT, and this is a big BUT, allow us to qualify for our position. Not everyone can set up a good website! There we have dared to say it.
That is why you should consider it an investment to hire a web designer. You benefit from their expertise to get an attractive, functional website.
5. Ensure Your Website Is Mobile Responsive Statistics show that within the last seven years, mobile traffic has risen by 222%. People are moving away from desktop computers for the convenience of mobile. It does not restrict you to a physical location.
As of 2019, 52.2% of Internet traffic comes from mobile and other smart devices like tablets. Without a doubt, you will lose a lot of traffic if you do not optimize your website. Big Brother Google is also watching from the sidelines. The search engines will penalize you if your website is not mobile-friendly.
Your search engine rankings will suffer. How then can you hope to build an online community if you are nowhere on the search engines? One good tip when designing a website is to plan for mobile and optimize it for desktop.
The standard practices to do it the other way round. If you do not optimize it well, it will impact how the website looks on mobile.
6. Do Not Ignore New Trends Pay close attention to what is happening, especially on the online platform. Different design elements can increase engagement. Virtual assistants and chatbots provide faster response to issues.
Virtual reality makes audiences feel like they're engaging with real content. 3D elements and animation are more interactive. Many people are adapting dark mode for aesthetic value. It is also more gentle on the eyes and will save energy.
Minimalism continues to be a popular design. But, now, there is less rigidity with design aspects. There is more creativity, and audiences are engaging more with such websites.
Remember, grabbing attention is just the first step. You must also find a way to keep them on your site. When the user enjoys being on a platform, it significantly reduces bounce rates. They also feel like you understand them and will reward you with loyalty.
7. Maintain Consistency and Relevance Improve the user experience by maintaining consistency and relevance. Optimize your website for search engines with the right SEO tactics. Long and short tail keywords are critical for building traffic. You want to be the first Choice anytime a user types a query specific to your industry.
Consistency means that you continuously post. You cannot have one post per year and hope to have audiences. There are so many tools available that can help with scheduling.
Consistency also applies to the design aspects. Do the colors or fonts you use reflect your brand? What type of tone do you use to communicate? What kind of content do you post? Lack of consistency leads to confusion and disengagement.
Your content must be relevant in response to a pain point. Do your research to know exactly what your audiences need. Blogs provide an excellent avenue for rolling out content. You have flexibility with what you can post.
Once you become an authority, audiences will actively look for you. They will enjoy the experience of being on your site because you are answering their questions.
8. Engage With Audiences The best way to keep audiences and give them a good user experience is to consistently engage with them. Here are some things you can do.
9. Take Advantage Of Contact Forms One of the functionalities of a website is to collect audience information. It helps with targeting in marketing activities. Contact forms are an ideal way to create an email list. You must, however, optimize it for it to add value. Some things you need to have in mind include:
Once you have the information, be careful how you use it. Continually sending out emails without targeting, for example, can end up being a nuisance. You should also assure your audience is that you will keep the information safe.
10. Use Visual Cues Images and videos work very well in increasing engagement. They break up text and are usually more appealing. When choosing images, focus on the following
Final ThoughtsInvesting in a website is just the first step. You must find a way to keep the audience on it. Improving the user experience will keep them hooked. We have looked at ten things you can do on the website.
Understand your audiences so that your website responds to them directly. Have an attractive, easy-to-use website. Make sure it is easy to navigate. Pay attention to the loading speed, and do not forget to engage with the audience. Finally, continue to carry out tests on your website to determine usability. Keep on improving and making changes depending on the performance of the website.