Creating a new website for your business is a big undertaking. It can take months to design, code, write and launch a professional site. And, that’s not to mention the maintenance of your website once it’s launched and the ongoing SEO, or search engine optimization, that must be in play to make your website discoverable online.
After working hard to bring your website to life, the last thing your business can afford to do is frustrate your visitors and drive them away due to a poor user experience.
“Good design, usability, and user experience are more important than ever in website development,” says SCORE mentor and technology professional, Matthew Krieger. “It’s a constant fight for visitors’ attention—any delay, complexity, or friction whatsoever could prompt users to leave your site. I often see companies put too many barriers in front of customers — overly complex signup processes, excessively strict forms, surveys with too many questions, etc. These things hurt the engagement process and can result in a lost sale.”
There are two simple steps you can take to provide your website visitors with a positive user experience.
Pay attention to the loading speed of your pages
Today, consumers expect an instantaneous response when navigating through a website. As a result, Google wants to see fast load times and takes page load speed into account when determining a website’s rank in a search result.
As of late 2019, Google considered a page load speed up to two seconds as acceptable, though prefers speeds under a half-second. You can check the page load speed of your website by using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.
According to a May 2020 article published by Nielsen Norman Group, page load delays of just one second are enough to interrupt a person’s consciousness and delays of just a few seconds are enough to seriously hurt the user experience of a website.
By working with a web developer to improve your website’s page load speed, you’ll create a better user experience and, over time, increase your site’s ranking in organic search results.
Create quality content that’s clear and direct
Once you get your visitors to your website and, thanks to a fast page load speed, they don’t bounce right off of your site, a new challenge emerges – keeping the visitor on your website.
The average time spent on a website by a visitor typically ranges from a few seconds to a couple of minutes. That means you have a very limited window of time to capture a visitor’s attention and provide them with information about your company, product and services.
Create content that gets right to the point of what you do and why you do it. Visitors won’t spend time sifting through lots of content to find what they need. Make it easy for people to find your site, get the information they need and get in touch with you to learn more.
Learn more about how to create clear, direct and effective web content by reading this SCORE article, How to Create Great Web Content. And here is a quote from its author, Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBiz Media.
Use your website to enhance your web content
“Your website supports your content, like the frame to a picture. Make sure your website is mobile friendly and easy to navigate. Mobile phones now account for almost half the time people spend online, so chances are good customers are viewing your web content on a tiny screen. Simple text with lots of breaks will help make it readable. Use mobile-first design to create a site that’s easy to use on any device. Finally, since users won’t stick around for a slow website to load, make sure your site is optimized for speed.”
A positive user experience is critical to the performance of your website. Employ an experienced web designer and developer with a strong grasp on the latest best practices for web design, page load speed and optimized content.
Finding the right digital marketing partner is easier when you have an experienced professional mentor, like a SCORE mentor, by your side. A SCORE mentor will help you select the best digital marketing firm or consultant out there to support your business. With your mentor’s help, you will put your website in a position to be successful as you compete for the attention of online customers.
Ken Sethney is a volunteer business mentor with Kitsap SCORE. He is a former ad agency creative director and marketing coach who worked with the owners of midsize companies throughout the U.S. You can contact him at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Kitsap Sun: Ask SCORE: How can I improve my website visitor’s experience?