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by Gemma Holloway on 6th March 2013
Hi, my name’s Gemma, and I’m a Digital Marketing Executive here at Koozai. Today, I’m going to cover some basic tips for improving the user experience of your website.
So we all know that SEO has moved away from simply ticking boxes and has moved towards providing a quality user experience for visitors to your website. By following these five basic tips that I’m going to cover today, you should be able to ensure that your website works towards providing that quality experience.
Number one: Appearance. So we all know that first impressions count. This is no different online than it would be in everyday life. You need to ensure that your website appears trustworthy to your users. This is so that they feel comfortable being on your site and comfortable interacting with it.
Next of all, you need to ensure that your website is attractive and pleasing to the user’s eye. If this isn’t the case, they won’t be willing to spend time on the site. Finally, you need to ensure that the appearance of your website is consistent with your brand. Users will have a relationship with your brand. This consistency will also draw upon that relationship and make them feel more comfortable to be on your website.
Next of all, navigation. Now, I’ve split this down into two separate parts. First of all, browsing. When a user is browsing through your products, your key categories and money making pages should be accessible from every page of your website. This is to allow users to easily navigate between them.
Next of all, the checkout process. Now it’s important that you portray a clear path so that the user knows exactly what they should be performing at each stage and then where they should be progressing on to. Users want their journey through the checkout process to be as uncomplicated as possible.
Next of all, personalisation. Now this is something we’re seeing more of within the online industry. So when you sign into a website, it comes up across the top, “Hello Gemma” or “Welcome back, Gemma.” This is this kind of thing. By making users feel welcome to your site and drawing upon their previous experiences, they feel more welcome and comfortable being there. So this can be in the form of a welcome message, as I demonstrated earlier, or it could be in the form of recently viewed products. So this is quite common on e-commerce sites, where you have a list of products that you previously viewed or a list of recommendations which are based upon previous purchases that you may have made.
Next of all, I’m going to cover layout. This is one of the areas that being more creative online isn’t necessarily the biggest perk. Users become familiar with certain templates. So it’s kind of industry standard to have the logo in the top left, the call to action in the top right, and the main key categories across the top of the page. Now if you mess all of that around and change the template, users no longer know where to look for certain buttons and things that they’re looking for. This makes their experience more difficult for them, and it means that they have to put a lot more effort in. Therefore, sticking with this familiar template could actually work in your benefit.
Next of all, scrolling. It’s important to make sure that your website only needs to be scrolled vertically or horizontally, not both. This makes it easier for the user to navigate around your web page and also gives them a clear directional path in which way they should be moving around the page.
Finally, responsive design. Ensure that your website is enabled to be able to appear on a multitude of different devices. This increases the convenience for the user to be able to access your website on whichever device they may be using at a particular time.
Finally, I’m going to cover language. Now, again, this is another area where creativity may not work in your favour. For example, if you want users to contact you about a free session, then put in the text that you want them to contact you about a free session. If you try and use fancy language, they may not realise what it is that you’re asking them to do. Again, it requires effort from the user to interpret what it is you want them to do, and that extra effort may mean that their experience isn’t as high quality.
So by following these few tips, it should help you towards providing a better quality experience for your users.