Building a website with the user’s experience (UX) in mind is key. You can have the best content in the world, but if your site is hard to navigate, hard to find, slow to load and not mobile-friendly then you’re doing an incredible disservice to your business. Thankfully, there are just a few things that can be done to drastically improve website performance and user experience.
1. Speed Up Your Site
It is seriously crazy to think that we used to sit there and patiently (or not so patiently) wait for minutes on end for our dial-up internet connection so we could get online and get to an AOL chatroom. Today, we expect to be instantly connected to any page on any website, anywhere, at any time. Just how impatient are your customers? Well, according to Hubspot, a mere 2-second delay in load time results in abandonment rates of up to 87%.
You can use this free tool from Google to analyze your page speed and get some suggestions for improvement. Optimizing images, enabling browser caching, optimizing your CSS and enabling compression on your site can all dramatically help increase speed.
2. Use Professional Images and Graphics
First impressions are everything. It’s important to grab your potential customer’s attention immediately, and there is no better way than with a powerful image that accurately conveys your brand. If possible, always use actual photography of your business, team and products over stock photography. Either way, high-resolution, professional, quality images and graphics are a must.
Visitors are over 90% more likely to read and engage with your site when there are images to draw them in.
3. Keep Your Website Consistent
If you don’t already have a brand guidelines document, we definitely recommend having one created. It is important for your branding to be consistent across everything you do, and that includes on every page of your website.
Make sure that you are using the same fonts, logo, colors, style of images and tone of voice throughout your site, as well as consistent design and navigation on each page.
4. Check your 404’s
While Google might not punish you for 404 error messages (page not found) a visitor to your site won’t be very happy. Running across a 404 is discouraging and typically causes someone to just leave your site then continue searching for what they need. To check if you have any 404’s set up Google Webmaster tools and check for crawl errors. This tool also checks for broken links for free.
If your visitor does land on a 404 page, at least make sure it is easy for them to navigate back to where they came from or search for something else. You can also turn the 404 page into something witty, funny, fun, engaging and related to your brand. Check out these awesome examples of well-designed 404 pages.
5. Be Mobile-Friendly and Responsive
This one should go without saying, given that more than half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices: your website MUST be optimized for mobile and be responsive. In fact, Google recently even started penalizing sites that are not optimized for mobile. Use this free tool to see what your site looks across different mobile platforms and tablets.
We hope these tips have helped you assess your website’s user experience. For a more in-depth look at your site’s performance, schedule a free 30 minute, no-strings-attached marketing consultation with our team.