It doesn’t matter how great your product performs or how well your content is written if people can’t find it. When users enter your website, they should be able to locate what they’re looking for easily. Users have high expectations, and if you aren’t meeting those expectations, never mind exceeding them, you run the chance of losing their business. When it comes to your website, areas as simple as navigation and searchability can make a huge difference to the user.
Seven areas of UX improvement
How do you make certain that your users are happy when visiting your website? Here are seven areas of your website that you can concentrate on to substantially improve the UX.
- Information Architecture (IA) and navigation improvements
- Content hierarchy
- Layout updates
- Form length and layout
- Callouts and Calls-To-Action (CTAs)
- Update heroes and banner images
Information Architecture (IA) and navigation improvements
Have you ever visited a website that doesn’t have any kind of navigation at the top? You have to click through various links in the hopes of stumbling upon what you’re looking for. By updating the organization and structure of your website, you clearly communicate to the user what information they can find while browsing the site. It also supports the buyer’s journey by delivering them quickly to the information they want, which ultimately creates conversions.
Here’s what you can do:
Be succinct and clear in the navigation about what the user can expect if they use any particular link. If you have a label that just says “Products,” that may be too generic. Instead, use words and phrases that your users are searching for.
If you already have great navigation labels, consider the order they are in. Having too many labels can cause users to gloss over important information, not to mention the possibility of losing users that you may have otherwise converted. Keep it concise.
Support the buyer’s journey by using axioms: established and commonly accepted designs that most users are accustomed to seeing. For example, users expect to look to the top of the page for the navigation bar, a link to their account, or their shopping cart. When you move these elements around on a page to an unexpected place for a more “unique” design layout, you risk frustrating the user, or worse, you’ll prevent conversions entirely.
Keep your user in mind as you make riskier design decisions for your site: will they be able to find what they need?
Much like the main navigation, the content also gives users an idea of the path they should take to find the information they are looking for. A user may also need more content to make an informed decision on a particular product or to be made aware of products or services you have available.
- Use proper headings with supporting copy and visuals helps create a clear hierarchy that’s easy for users to follow.
- Be aware of the way you are placing your content on the page. If you are trying to drive users to a particular page, don’t distract them with multiple unnecessary call-to-action (CTAs) buttons next to each other, nor should you bury the link to the page they’re searching for at the bottom of the page. Inform the user to help them find what they are searching for, and then make it simple for them to get there.
- Inform users of additional services by adding sections like “Related Resources” or “You might also like…” Be sure that these other paths don’t obfuscate the primary purpose of your site. Keep your messaging clear.
Layout updates go hand-in-hand with the content hierarchy we discussed previously.
Display content in different layouts and use visuals to grab the user’s attention and help drive page views.
Use images to support copy and give users a break from large blocks of text.
Include cards or tiles to give short snippets about a variety of topics, and help the user find exactly what they’re looking for.
Use icons to punch up lists and keep users engaged.
Form length and layout
There are many best practices on form length, organization, and layout that help lead users towards conversions.
Keep your forms simple. For each field the user has to complete, there’s an increased chance that they will abandon the form. Only include input fields that are necessary. Shorter forms lead to higher conversions.
Mark required fields in a form. If all fields are required, note that at the top of the form. If a field isn’t truly required, then perhaps ask yourself why it exists on the form.
Consider the way the form appears to the user. The length of a form’s input field should match the approximate length of the expected answers. Place labels clearly at the top of each field, and use a single column with each field on its own row.
Update callouts and Calls-To-Action (CTAs)
We use CTAs to drive users to landing pages, forms, and other pages to get conversions. The goal is to make sure the messaging around these is clear and actionable for the user.
Keep the look of your CTAs consistent across your website. The color of the CTA matters; choose the brightest of your brand colors, but don’t pick a color that blends into the rest of the page.
Consider using A/B testing tools like Optimizely or Google, or built-in tools with HubSpot. This will allow you to experiment with different callouts and CTAs until you find out what leads to the most optimal conversions.
Update heroes and banner images
Your hero and banner images are the perfect places to excite the user and encourage them to learn more about your product or brand. These images and headings can contain your unique selling point while informing the user of the next step in the buyer’s journey.
Be aware of the size of your hero image. It can affect page loading times, particularly on mobile devices.
Make sure your imagery is eye-catching and straight to the point. This will drive users down the page and to CTAs.
Speaking of matters such as load times, keeping an eye on your site’s performance metrics is key for usability. If a site is taking too long to load, your bounce rate will go up, and conversions will go down.
Perform a performance audit of your site to identify key issues. Tools like Google Page Speed or Lighthouse can be a great resource to start, and then you can tackle each issue in turn.
Look into initiatives like Google Core Web Vitals to identify other ways to improve the performance of your site and consequently, your user’s experience. Small improvements add up.
All in all
When someone visits your website, whether on purpose or by accident, you want it to be a great experience for them. At Imarc, that’s our top priority for our clients, and we stand by it. We hope these quick wins will help you convert more leads into customers. Still struggling? Our team is here to help. Let’s talk!
This post was originally published on the Imarc blog.