Improving Your Website & User Experience
Written by Courtney Raguso, Social Media Content Creator
It’s pretty typical for any business to have a website these days, and just because you have one doesn’t make you automatically noticeable and at competition with the rest. Having a website is the first step to giving your business a virtual storefront and building your online brand image. The key thing to remember here is that although there are many factors that make up a site, no one factor can make it, but it can only take one to break it. What do we mean by that? Well, there’s a lot that goes into building a website and there are many elements that determine its quality. However, the number one thing that you need to focus on is the user experience. Make it about them. Before you even think about your website, make sure you know who you are targeting. Research your target audience and learn their behavior. Once you have a foundation backed by data, you can then start building your website. The point of a website is to not just exploit your product, it’s to meet the needs of your customers and build a relationship online. The point of doing this is to not only find loyal customers, but also discover new ones and increase brand awareness. There is a lot of value to having a site, but if your user experience isn’t great, then having one is pointless and can have a bad impression on your brand.
So what makes up a good website? A good website will have a fast load speed, be easy to navigate, stay updated, and be mobile friendly. You can measure user experience by looking at your online search rankings, user retention and bounce rates. If your website has high search rankings and user retention rates with a low bounce rate, then you are in good shape. However, if your numbers are not up to par, there are a few ways you can improve the user experience. The way you should look at this is from a user’s point of view. Make sure that both the front and back-end of your site have all their bases covered for a seamless experience since they work hand in hand. When looking at the front-end of your site you will want to make sure it is cohesive and attractive. Including white space is one way you can modernize your site and make it easier on the eyes. In fact, studies show that using white space around text increases user retention by 20%! This leads to why it’s useful to segment key info with bullet points so it is more concise for the reader. So try to add some white space around your text and make it easy to read and to the point, otherwise you can lose your reader. The use of graphics also is a great way to add some personalization to your site and offer an interesting way to engage the user. Just keep in mind that using stock photos isn’t’ ideal and that it’s much better to use high quality content of your own. It will offer some social proof and help gain trust. The use of color, fonts and headlines also affect a person’s behavior when visiting your website. You want to make sure your brand image and voice stay consistent throughout each landing page because you don’t want your visitor to be wondering if they’re in the right place. Doing this will make the customer lose trust and feel that it’s easier to find the answer elsewhere. Keeping your brand image in mind, you will want to have good color contrast, and use larger fonts with good headings. Just keep it concise and simple. You want your site to be readable and not visually overwhelm the visitor. Also, search engines typically give headings more weight, so including well designed and written headings can really improve your search ability.
Going beyond the look of your site, it’s functionality plays a crucial role as well. A lot of this includes using relevant links and keywords within your content so it can be discovered more easily. Also, using hyperlink differentiation when inserting links draws attention to the reader and helps further reinforce your content. However, if these links don’t lead to the right place or lead to a 404 error, it can cause the user to ditch your site altogether. When putting together the back-end of your site, it’s important to realize that some mistakes can really hurt your rankings and search engines like Google will penalize you. By having an unresponsive site that’s not mobile friendly you are risking your site’s listing all together. Having a responsive site is one of the biggest factors that will affect your user experience. A well organized and responsive layout will allow quick and easy navigation on all platforms and browsers, making your site available to more people. Remember, people are growing more impatient and expect more from brands, so you need to make sure everything is in working order before you introduce your brand to the world. Think about it: what’s the point of having quality content if your site has slow load times, or having a pretty site that doesn’t attract the right visitors? You need to have all your bases covered if you want to make the most of your site. Your site isn’t there to just look pretty, or just make you sales. It’s there to also provide information about your brand in an engaging way, and connect with people on a more personal level. The outcome of your site is something you can control, it’s just a matter of the decisions you make. If you’re unsure, that’s ok. We’re here to help!
At MSM DesignZ, we put in the time and energy needed for success, so you can ensure you are using every dollar for maximum return. With over 20 years in the business, we have seen the internet grow and websites evolve. We know everything from code to SEO, and design to copywriting. As a brand, we want to help others achieve a stellar online presence with a website that works for them. Whether your website needs a few tweaks or a total restart, we’re here to put in the leg work for you! We will always continue to place our clients’ needs at the heart of our operations. From web development to social media management, we’ll work directly with you to build a personalized strategy to not only retain but also gain business. We are assisting in all areas for our clients. Visit our contact page at https://www.msmdesignz.com/contact/, and we’ll work with you to devise a custom plan that will keep your brand alive and well. We look forward to working with you!