Providing an exceptional website user experience is the perfect way to increase conversions. It doesn’t have to be a difficult process as long as you follow a few important steps. If you don’t know where to begin, we’ve got you completely covered. The following 31 tips to improve website user experience and conversions are guarantee to put your website well ahead of the competition. It all boils down to putting your best foot forward.
1. Keep your website light and responsive
One of the most important steps to keep in mind when it comes to your website’s user experience is loading speed. A good web design company in Vancouver knows how to do this easily. If your site takes too long to load, your visitors will quickly lose interest and move on before they even get started. This isn’t preferable and you will want to tackle any loading issues right off the bat. Keeping your overall theme light will ensure that your website loads quickly and remains responsive for all of your users. It also makes easy navigation between pages a cinch.
Keeping things light and responsive means that your website will also have less distracting clutter, which will always have a positive impact on website user experience. This practice has the added benefit of helping you easily direct visitors to your call-to-action buttons and important pages. Responsive web design is a crucial step and shouldn’t be overlooked. If you’d like to know more about how to make your website more responsive, check out our guide detailing why your business should use responsive web design in Vancouver.
2. Include a preloader image
Including a preloader image can make a huge difference when it comes to improving website user experience. It also helps to make any potential wait times feel much less tedious for your users. A preloader is an image that displays on-screen while your website loads. It ensures that visitors have a visual representation to keep them engaged until your website loads in its entirety, especially if they have a slower connection.
Preloader images also add a professional feel to your website and show off your attention to detail. This is important when it comes to increasing conversions. A solid graphic design agency can help put together a great preloader image for you, too. If you still need a little help or are unsure whether or not a preloader is right for your website, we’ve put together a handy guide that covers everything you need to know about how to add a preloader to WordPress.
3. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly
Nowadays, around 80% of internet users own a smartphone and they generally spend an average of 2.8 hours a day online. Many of those users will end up browsing your website on their mobile devices. Mobile users, therefore, will make up a decent chunk of your user base. Mobile user penetration (the number of smartphone users who browse the internet with their devices) was 48.8% in 2014 and increased to 61.2% in 2018, according to Statista.com. This number is continuing to trend rapidly upwards.
That being so, tailoring your website to be mobile-friendly is extremely important and will open you up to a lot more visitors. This, in turn, will help ensure you don’t miss out on any potential conversions and also decrease your bounce rate. If your website focuses on providing a streamlined mobile user experience, you will put yourself well ahead of many of your competitors. A mobile-friendly website can increase your reach in a big way. If you neglect to keep mobile devices in mind, you will miss out on a lot of traffic and your conversions will suffer as a result.
We have a full article that covers just how important a mobile-friendly website can be and cover the ins and outs of how responsive mobile design increases conversion rates. BragDeal is a leading web design agency in Vancouver and we know all about how to make your website more mobile-friendly.
4. Increase font size and line spacing
Having a clear message that’s easy for your visitors to read and absorb can dramatically improve the user experience of your website. It will also make it easier for users to navigate, especially those with accessibility issues. If your users have to struggle to read your text or find it difficult to differentiate each line of text, they will get frustrated more easily. This inevitably leads to them simply going elsewhere to find what they need.
A simple way to make your site easier for your users to navigate is to ensure that your text is large enough for everyone to read. This has the added advantage of allowing you to clearly state your overall message. It is important to find the right balance here; you don’t want your text to be too large, which will similarly have a negative impact on the overall user experience.
5. Build a custom homepage (and/or landing page)
Making your website stand out in a positive way is a big factor to consider if you hope to eke ahead of the competition. Building a custom homepage is an easy way to achieve this goal. Your landing page and/or homepage are the first pages visitors see when they navigate to your website. We suggest paying extra attention to both of them. Doing so will help you stand out from your competition and lets you show off your unique style.
Finding a professional web design company isn’t overly complicated, but can be daunting if you don’t know what to look for. We’ve put together a list of 13 tips to hire the best web design agency for your business to help you make your choice and invite you to check it out.
6. Improve site navigation
When it comes to making your website simple and easy for your visitors to use, website navigation is immensely important. Your navigation menus should not be overly complicated. Streamlining them can make for a massive improvement. Using too many drop down menus is one issue you should try to avoid. If users have to struggle to make sense of your navigation aids you will negatively impact the user experience and miss out on a lot of conversions. Both of these are issues that should be avoided at all costs.
7. Help visitors reach your conversion goal simply and efficiently by focusing on the website user experience
On top of cleaning up navigation clutter, you should also make a point of directing visitors from your homepage to your conversion goal in a few, simple clicks. The name of the game here is efficiency. If users spend too much time bouncing around on your website they can easily lose interest. This makes them less likely to reach your conversion goal in a reasonable time frame.
While youwant to keep your website interesting and attention-grabbing, you also want to minimize the amount of wandering your users do. There is nothing worse than missing out on a conversion due to your visitors moving on before reaching your conversion goal. Keeping things simple is always a good practice to keep in mind. Doing this will work wonders when it comes to increasing conversions and improving the user experience.
8. Clean up your sidebar (or remove it entirely)
A sidebar can be a useful tool, especially when it comes to driving conversions and making navigation easier. Even so, if it seems forced (or is too busy) it can detract from your website’s overall aesthetic. If you do include a sidebar, it should be minimalist in design and function to avoid it drawing attention away from the rest of your site.
Additionally, you should definitely consider including click-tracking scripts for each element included in your sidebar. This helps you determine just how effective each one really is. A poorly-designed sidebar can also seriously offset the overall feel of your website and page design. If a sidebar is too bulky it can make the rest of your website look lopsided and uneven. Most web design companies in Canada will tell you that a sidebar isn’t necessary, but it’s all up to personal preference. If you want to include one, try to make it feel both streamlined and professional.
9. Add more white space (but not too much) to decrease site ‘density’
An effective use of white space can drastically improve the look and feel of your website. Too much white space can negatively impact your site and diminish user experience. On the other hand, too little white space will increase the density of your website. This will make it harder to distinguish between separate page elements.
Consider using more white space if things seem like they’re packed together too tightly. If you do this your users will thank you for it. When you pay attention to proper spacing your users will better appreciate the way your website looks. This, in turn, will make them more apt to follow through to your conversion goal.
10. Select a colour palette and don’t overdo your colour scheme
Most designers suggest using two to three main colours when choosing your colour palette. If you opt to use more colours for highlights, a good rule of thumb is to use two main colours and only a few secondary colours toned to fit your primary colours.
Anything more than this will usually end up being far too distracting to your visitors. On the other hand, a single colour will make your website seem too bland or boring. Furthermore, your text doesn’t have to be flat black. Many website designers opt to use dark gray tones for paragraph text. Graphic design companies in Canada know how to put together the perfect colour palette for your website. A clean colour scheme will achieve maximum impact and provide a sleek, professional look.
The psychology of colour is a great way to attract customers. It can, however, involve a lot of planning to ensure that it’s properly executed. To help simplify things for you, we have a handy guide that helps you better understand how to use web design to attract customers through the psychology of colour.
11. Use a consistent design and layout for all site pages
When it comes to designing your pages, try to make sure all of your pages fit the same aesthetic as the one you use for your homepage. Consistency between pages is important; it will help make navigation feel more natural as visitors navigate your website. This will improve user experience in a big way. It also leads to a less distracting and more streamlined experience for your users.
12. Tweak your call-to-action messages and images
When it comes to sales, the first sixty seconds is crucial. If you take any longer than that to reach your main point, you’ve probably already lost the interest of your target audience. This isn’t preferable if you’re hoping to improve your conversion rate. Furthermore, when it comes to website users and conversions, most people end up making a decision within a few seconds of arriving at your website. This means you end up having much less than the traditional sixty seconds to make a meaningful impact.
That being so, any call-to-action messages you user are amazingly important. They should include a few key elements at the very least – The first one is a picture of your face. Featuring an image that also shows off your smile will end up leading to more conversions in the long run. People always respond more positively to a smiling face long before they focus their attention towards your call-to-action message.
Secondly, your headlines should be kept simple, short, and to-the-point. This is easier said than done in many cases, but will work wonders as far as driving conversions is concerned. Using a ‘feature box’ is another awesome pro tip, as is utilizing contrasting colours to highlight your call-to-action messages. Additionally, using power words and action verbs will have an impressive impact.
13. Ensure your primary call-to-action button stands out
Following up with the idea of using contrasting colours for your call-to-action button, you should pay close attention to making the entire element stand out. A feature box helps achieve this goal, as does implementing a pop-up box. Pop-ups can be set to appear after a certain amount of time has elapsed. They can also be set to show up after a user performs a specific action, such as navigating to or from a given page on your website.
This is one of the few times when you may want to utilize a different set of colours that really stand out. Doing this will ensure that the user’s eye is drawn right to your call-to-action element. It also makes sure it doesn’t blend in with the rest of your site. Colours that are attention-grabbing, like green or red, are perfect choices when it comes to your call-to-action button.
14. Go easy on pop-ups and other distracting page elements
Another way to make your call-to-action button stand out is to avoid adding too many other pop-ups on your website. This practice has the added effect of not distracting your visitors with unnecessary pop-ups. We all know just how annoying pop-ups can be if they’re used too often. Overusing them makes people less likely to take your message or offers seriously and be more likely avoid your site entirely in the future.
15. Include an ‘About’ page with a picture of yourself or your product
Adding an ‘about’ page that also includes a photo of yourself is more likely to make your users feel like they know you a little better. This is vital as far as making your visitors feel a more personal connection to you is concerned. Your ‘about’ page is also the perfect opportunity to show yourself off and highlight your positive qualities.
An ‘about’ page allows your visitors to get to know a little more about you, what you do, and what you have to offer. Including an ‘about’ page will always increase overall website user experience. It also makes your site appear more trustworthy. When your visitors are able to get a better sense of who you are and what you’re all about, you will end up with more conversions in the long run.
16. Avoid using irrelevant or unnecessary links and banners
The best user experience is one that your website visitors don’t notice. Cognitive overload is a big issue that needs to be kept in mind. Clearing any unnecessary obstacles that distract users from your conversion goal is important. That includes avoiding the use of flashy banners. Making sure that banners don’t take up too much space on your website’s pages can have an overwhelmingly positive impact on your conversion rate.
Irrelevant links can also pose a problem, especially those that lead to external sites. Internal links are great if they are used properly, but external links only serve to direct your users away from your own website. This isn’t preferable at all. It all comes down to ensuring that your users aren’t overwhelmed or confused when navigating through your site.
You want to make a point of keeping users on your site and directing them towards your conversion goal – not away from it. If users need to stop to think about too many options available to them, they will become easily distracted. This makes them feel less of a connection to your website and your business. Immersion is important, as is avoiding cognitive overload. When you avoid using unnecessary and distracting elements it will undoubtedly have a positive impact on website user experience and conversion rates.
17. Make your content engaging and speak directly to your users
One of the best ways to increase user engagement and make them feel like you’re taking directly to them is to use the words ‘you’ and ‘your’, while avoiding the use of ‘I’. The latter can lead to them tuning out and feel like they’re being ‘talked at’ instead of being a part of a conversation. Talking to your audience instead of straight up telling them what you do is an amazingly powerful linguistic tool. It also takes very little work to apply in a meaningful way. Speaking directly to your users helps make them feel like you care about them.
Another solid way of increasing both website user experience and conversions is to use power words and action verbs. If you don’t include these, people tend to simply skim through your content instead of taking the time to carefully read through it. Power words seem to jump off the page more readily, which is key. They also let readers know you have the right skills and qualifications for the job at hand.
Power words, especially action verbs like ‘accomplished’, ‘initiated, or ‘designed’, help liven your content. Using terminology that is less repetitive will also set you apart from the competition. Keeping this in mind, making a point of choosing words that come across as more thoughtful and appropriate will increase engagement. Types of power words also include keywords, industry buzzwords, and ‘skill’ words that show you have the qualities your users are looking for.
18. Improve your ‘above the fold’ sections on each page
‘Above the fold’ sections are those that are located in the top half of a given page. The term was coined by newspapers and tabloids; it refers to the top half of their front pages, where their most meaningful content is placed. This gives above the fold content a greater chance of being noticed and read by passersby, thereby engaging their immediate attention. This, in turn, leads to increased sales.
The same practice helps to drive conversions online by ensuring that your site prioritizes its most meaningful content. When you pay extra attention to above the fold content, your website visitors will be more inclined to continue scrolling down. This helps you keep their attention longer and increases conversions. It has the added benefit of improving website user experience by making them care more deeply about your content as they continue to scroll down.
19. Simplify and streamline your initial opt-in process
Your website opt-in covers the process that asks your users to give you their information, usually in the form of an email address. This allows them to sign up to receive a newsletter, mailing list, or future advertising content. An effective opt-in strategy is to keep your process simple. When users are presented with long, drawn-out forms they are less likely to engage with your opt-in than they are if you only require an email address up-front.
Once a user has signed up for the initial opt-in process you will have an easier time getting them to follow through with a double opt-in at a later stage. This is usually accomplished by sending them an email to thank them for their time and attention and including a link to confirm that they did, in fact, agree to opt-in.
Making your opt-in simple lets users start the process even if they’re short on time. They can then refer back to your confirmation email at a later date to continue the process in a more relaxed manner. If users are able to easily start the process without having to fill out a more complicated form right off the bat you will find that it results in more conversions in the long run.
If you’d like to know more about email marketing, we have a handy guide that covers best practices for your email marketing strategies, along with how to go about collecting emails for better SEO on your website.
20. Relate your offers directly to your business
Nothing can seem more disingenuous than offering products or services that don’t actually relate to what your business is all about. When you make a point of ensuring that your offers are in alignment with your business and its overall purpose, you’re much more likely to increase conversion rates. In addition to this, you should try to highlight exactly why you’re the best choice for your users.
21. Include quality, relevant website content
One of the cornerstones of basic SEO and providing a solid website user experience for your visitors is to offer quality, relevant content. This relates to every piece of written content featured on your website, along with your blog posts or articles. When you show that you’re able to take the time to ensure your content is top-notch, you show that you know what you’re doing. Additionally, you prove to them that you’re able to provide the same quality when it comes to what you have to offer them. This makes users more apt to opt-in and leads to increased conversions for your business.
22. Use split-testing on pages and elements
Also referred to as A/B testing (or multivariate testing), split-testing is all about using controlled ‘experiments’ to improve click rates and reduce bounce rates. When applied in a meaningful way it will increase conversions. It also gives you a better sense of what elements work, as well as those that don’t work or require additional tweaking. When applied correctly, split-testing mixes incoming traffic between your original website and alternate variations without users being any the wiser.
Monitoring differences in website user engagement between these variations gives you a useful way to gauge what version works best for your intended goals. You can then properly optimize your website user experience. Removing elements that don’t work and focusing on those that work best makes your site more enjoyable for your website visitors. This will also increase your conversion rate in a big way.
23. Use relevant images. Avoid using overly generic stock photos
This one should be a given, but it’s still worth mentioning. Overly generic stock photos are fairly easy for people to spot. When you use them, people will be less likely to trust what you have to offer. That’s not good for any online business. Instead of stock photos, consider spending a little more time to take your own photos or create custom graphics. Any images that you include should have a clear function and purpose.
Likewise, using purely decorative photos can be detrimental as far as website user experience and conversions are concerned. Most people will simply ignore them. Decorative photos can also end up overwhelming or distracting users from the actual message you’re trying to convey. As with all UI elements, you should test all photos ahead of time to ensure that they help to clearly support your website’s message.
Furthermore, you should try to use high-resolution images that don’t appear blurry or pixelated. Optimizing all photos on your website is a good habit to get into. Images should also be free of any distortion, with an aspect ratio that fits their final sizing. If you do choose to use stock photos, they should be representative of the point you’re trying to convey. Including captions for people with visual impairments can also go a long way toward making them more user-friendly.
24. Add videos or infographics instead of static images or text
A recent study conducted by Eyeviewdigital.com found that using videos can increase conversions by up to 80%. This makes videos an immensely useful tool when it comes to improving website user experience. To begin with, videos excel at increasing the length of time that your users stay on your page.
This helps give you extra time to allow your message to sink in properly. Additionally, if you include yourself in your videos the level of trust that users put in you is raised significantly. People are overwhelmingly used to ingesting information via videos. Users also prefer to watch videos as opposed to taking the time to read written content.
25. Diversify how content is presented with a variety of elements
Continuing along the same vein as our previous tip, including a variety of elements when it comes to displaying content is really important as far as increasing website user engagement is concerned. This includes breaking up text with images, graphs, charts, infographics, slideshows, and videos. When you do this you will see immediate and positive results. An added benefit is that including a mix of elements helps you engage with a much broader audience.
Infographics are a great way to include all of the above elements in one place. Sticking with just infographics, however, still limits the number of users you will appeal to. Care should be taken to use each of these elements in a way that makes sense and fits your message. If you can find a relevant way to fit them in, it’s well worth doing so. Breaking up content also keeps things interesting, thus maintaining user engagement longer. This lets you get your message across in a unique and more inviting way.
26. Make getting in touch with you a simple and easy process
Your website visitors will always appreciate having an easy way to contact you if they have any questions. While a FAQ section is always useful, being able to contact you personally will make your users trust you more readily. A clear contact section, therefore, is a crucial addition to any website.
Your contact section should also include multiple ways for users to get in touch, including your address, phone number, and email address. Having a well-rounded selection of contact methods is one of the easiest ways to drive engagement. It will also vastly improve your website user experience. You should include links to your contact page in your main navigation menu at the very least.
A pro tip that every web design agency worth their salt will tell you to consider is including a link to your contact page in your footer. This allows users to find out how to contact you easily without having to struggle to find your contact information at any point.
27. Include testimonials and reviews
When it comes to backing up your claims, testimonials and reviews from previous customers is vital. When visitors to your website are able to read about the positive experience you offered others in their position, they are much more willing to take a chance on you. It doesn’t take much to feature these on your website and a little goes a long way.
Proudly displaying your testimonials and reviews is important. You should make a point of including them in a place that’s easy for users to find organically. They shouldn’t take up a lot of space on your page and it’s not difficult to fit them in without distracting users from other important content. People can find it hard to trust a business if they don’t have a proven track record of helping people in a meaningful way. Testimonials show users that you’re able to impress others when it comes right down to it.
28. Use relevant numbers
Nothing helps boost your conversions like showing off just how many people you’ve managed to impress so far. Showing off relevant numbers, like the number of successful projects you’ve completed or the number of subscribers you currently have under your belt, is the perfect way to prove that you have what it takes to do the job at hand. Showing off relevant numbers also gives your visitors a better sense of being part of a larger community.
People always want to feel like they’re a part of something bigger than just themselves. The best way to include your users in something that they can be proud of is boasting how many successful conversions you’ve achieved. This also makes people who are already on board feel like they actually matter, which will help maintain interest while keeping current customers coming back for more.
29. Include descriptions of where you have been featured/published
Another amazing way to showcase your website and your exceptional services is to include a section that highlights places where you and your work have been featured or published. This is a great way to highlight what you do and increases the trust your users have in you. When users are able to see exactly how successful you are, you can increase your conversions in a big way. This also keeps people more interested in everything you have to offer.
30. Proudly display your featured posts
Featured posts are important and you should always try to show off your best work. Posts or articles that have received a lot of attention in the past are perfect to display. When you showcase your accomplishments and are proud of the work you have done, your website visitors will also be proud to be a part of something that’s bigger than them.
This gives you the perfect avenue to increase engagement for all of your posts. Featured posts also increase the visual presence of your website. Featured posts have the added benefit of allowing your users to easily share your work with others who can likewise benefit from what you have to offer.
31. Add a ‘live chat’ feature
In addition to making sure your users are able to quickly and easily get in touch with you, a live chat feature will absolutely increase engagement. Live chat improves your customer service. It will also make your website look and feel more professional. Live chat offers real-time convenience for your users and increases your efficiency. Having that type of competitive advantage is crucial to your overall success.
Many businesses have found that a live chat feature also increases conversions and sales, especially when it comes to e-commerce websites. There are plenty of studies that prove just how effective live chat can be, showing that it has an overwhelmingly positive effect with regard to conversion rates. They give users a positive experience by allowing you to guide your them through any questions or concerns they have in real time. This will increase user confidence. Live chat, therefore, will leads to your users spending more time and money investing in you and the services you have to offer.
For more tips to increase user engagement for your e-commerce business, make sure to check out our article that covers the top 7 tips and tricks for a successful e-commerce website. This will help you avoid missing out on conversions and ensures you’re properly equipped to provide a better overall experience for your users.
When it comes right down to it, providing the best website user experience for your customers is all about putting your website visitors first. Making sure they have everything they need to get to know all about what you can do for them is crucial. This also proves that you have what it takes to provide them with a professional and personalized experience.
BragDeal is a leading web design agency in Vancouver and we are one of the top web design companies in Canada. We have a wealth of experience and look forward to putting our professional web development skills to work for you. Following the steps outlined above, you can make sure that your website is the best that it can be.