How To Make Any Website More User-Friendly
For some time now, websites have ceased to be an auxiliary tool for sharing information and promoting products. These days, business websites make up a huge part of the overall customer experience, and have more or less taken the place of physical storefronts. With this in mind, you need to make sure that your website is conducive to the best possible experience you can offer your target market. If you’ve been noticing a slump in your conversion rates, there’s a fair chance that it’s all tied up in your user experience. Here are just a few ways to make any website more user-friendly…
Keep the Design Simple and Functional
Compress your Code for Speed
One of the major things at the root of high bounce rates is slow loading times. The modern generation of consumers are extremely impatient! We’ve all been so spoiled by superfast broadband and the progress of technology in general that having to wait even a few more seconds for a page to load can define the way we think about a brand. Don’t forget SEO and how loading speed influences your rankings. One of the best ways to speed your website up is compressing your codes through zipping software such as Gzip. This will fuse all your files together, and lessen the amount of HTTP responses that your coding would need to perform otherwise. The more HTTP responses that are tied to the server, the more full of traffic it will be, and the slower the website will respond to a user’s actions. By limiting the traffic through HTTP responses, you’ll be able to speed up the whole website.
Enable Content Caching With a CDN
If you’ve never heard of a CDN before, let alone used one, then you’re limiting the potential quality of your website’s user experience. Content Delivery Networks are tools that can be used to store your website data, and shoot it to different servers scattered all over the world. Let’s say, for example, that your website is based in New York, and some of your target market happen to be based in Europe and Asia. When these visitors try to access your site, the CDN will be able to cache all of your site’s data, and distribute it to these overseas servers in a flash, thereby making your visitors’ user experience faster and more convenient. Therefore, any prospects who are based in Europe and Asia won’t have to request access from a central US-based server in order to get onto the site, and stretch out their loading times. Using a Content Delivery Network can double a site speed, and reduce bandwidth by 70 percent in some cases, so obviously, this isn’t something you can afford to overlook. While you’re getting caught up in drafting new content and adding gimmicky features to your site, remember that one of the biggest staples of user experience is the speed at which your website loads.
Cover the Basics
While paying attention to your coding and similar technical elements is certainly important, you don’t want to slip up by failing to cover the basics, and making things unnecessarily hard on the people who visit your website. Try to cut down the number of mandatory fields you include in forms, no matter how thin your customer personas are. Make sure all your PPC ads are consistent with the content on the actual site. Put visitors’ minds at ease with fine print that’s tied to your main copy. For example, after a big shiny button saying “subscribe now”, you can have some microcopy explaining that you keep subscriber’s details private. It can be surprisingly easy to overlook these smaller features of crafting a user-friendly website. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by spending all your resources on the technical, and not enough on the practical.