Here’s some tips on how to make a great first impression and win the hearts of your website users to keep them coming back and wanting more.

Speed dating?

The speed of your website makes a huge impact on the amount of users that stay on your site. On average, users are willing to wait 2 seconds or less for a web page to load. If load time exceeds 3 seconds, 50% of users will abandon the page.

Here are a few ways you can reduce load time of your website:

  • Compress images and use web optimize file formats such as JPEG, GIF, and PNG
  •  Enable browser caching to storage loaded elements on the user’s hard drive and avoid sending more HTTP requests
  • Minify resources and remove unnecessary code
  • Reduce the amount of redirects used

Amazon found that 1 extra second of page load could cost them $1.6 billion in sales. An extreme case indeed, but very relevant as any extra load time can negatively affect conversions. The simple fact is that faster web pages get more conversions.

Good with devices

Users aren’t visiting your website on just desktop computers anymore. Browsing on devices such as mobile and tablet is becoming the norm with 20% of Google searches being performed on a mobile device. By designing and developing a website for mobile and tablet devices, you are ensuring that users browsing the site have the best experience possible.

Your website is often the first point of contact with a new customer, so it’s extremely important that they have the best user experience possible. If they view your website on a mobile device or tablet, and cannot find what they’re looking for they may leave your site frustrated and go to a competitor instead. No one wants to have to pinch and zoom to read your website, so it’s important to cater to users using mobile and tablet devices.

Be an open book

Ultimately, people come to your website for more information. Ensuring that users can find the relevant content quickly is crucial for providing a good user experience. Each page must have a clear title that informs users of the pages’ purpose. Using headings, breakout quotes, bullet points, and images are a great way to break walls of text up and make them digestible, and easy to read.

Keeping you content up-to-date is very important as it gives users the most accurate information for their needs. It also conveys that your company is present, active, and cares about user’s experience. Updating your content regularly also has the added bonus of being good for SEO (search engine optimization).

You can use content to help build a relationship with the user. For instance, a well-written “About Us” page along with images of staff members can help users relate to your company and build trust. It also helps your company to have a consistent brand personality or voice.

Easy on the eyes

People are very visual creatures, and make many different assumptions based on what they see. As your website is most likely to be the first point of contact with potential customers, if your website design is lacking, that can reflect poorly on your brand. Websites that lack clear direction, consistency, and hierarchy, may make users think that your company is disorganized, illegitimate, or amateur.

On average, the user will decide within 10 seconds if they like your website and want to continue using it. That’s why website design is extremely important, as it can be the deciding factor of whether a user will stay on your site or not. Messy or cluttered design will have a negative effect on your websites’ ability to retain users. Simple and eye catching design that is consistent and stylish will encourage users to stay on your site longer.

Not afraid to ask for directions

Don’t let users get lost in your website. It’s a good idea to avoid having too many levels below the top level pages and to use breadcrumbs to help users find their way. Users should be able to browse intuitively, so it’s best to keep it simple. You want to direct users to where you’d like them to go to best achieve your websites goals.

Well-defined call to actions helps users to decide where to go next. There are a few different types of call to actions, such as:

  • Lead generation
  • Form submission
  • Read more
  • Product or service discovery
  • Event promotion
  • Social sharing

Want users to see your latest product, share your article to their social media, or make an enquiry using your contact form? Give them prompts that will encourage them to do so.

Open to change

The best way to see what users love is to test to see what works and what doesn’t. Split testing is a great way to gather data that helps make inform decisions about changes to the website.

You can test many aspects of your website, such as:

  • Visual elements like pictures, videos, and colours
  • Text elements like headings, call to actions, and descriptions
  • Layout like button sizes, menus, forms, and arrangement
  • Visitor flow such as the ways visitors use to get from point A to point B

Split testing allows you to see what users actually respond to, improve your website, and potentially your conversions too.

Summary

Websites are incredibly powerful tools for your company, but in order for them to be successful you have to consider your users first. User needs and experience must always come above all else. There’s no one way to win the hearts and trust of your users, but with the above tips above you can help develop the love affair with your brand.