Your website is critical to your brand, and it's often the first chance you get to make an impression with potential customers. Building an excellent web experience is an easy way for customers to find information about you, your company, and your products.
Unfortunately, many websites suffer from the same common problems and end up frustrating visitors. Even massive media or news outlets sometimes make these mistakes. To help, here are 3 easy ways to improve your web experience that can be done right away.
1)Don’t try to do too much
When creating or evaluating your website, take the time to really understand what your goals are. What do people who visit absolutely need to know when they arrive on your home page? From there, you can determine how much detail you need to go into on the rest of the site.
Ideally, people should be able to understand what you offer and how it helps them within the first 15 seconds of landing on your home page. That’s how long 55% of visitors spend before bouncing. Adding complicated technical information or filling up the page with business cliches is not going to get them to stick around longer than that. Search engines also try to understand what you do, and confusing them will have a negative impact on your rankings. Keep it simple, make it clear where visitors are supposed to go next, and offer just enough information to entice them into contacting you to learn more.
2)Update your site regularly
This one is challenging for small businesses that often don’t have the time to spend updating their webpage. Once it’s up and running, it’s thought of as more of a passive tool than a dynamic one. But ignoring your site hurts your web experience and is probably driving people away.
Make it a routine to update your web content on a regular basis. Having a news page or blog is a simple way to post new content without changing any of the main pages. Create a content schedule and follow it! And put the dates on each post so people can see it is fresh and timely.
Why is this extra effort important? For one, you’ll lose credibility fast if you have posts from last year at the top of your site. Moreover, visitors will never have a reason to return if they’ve seen all to be seen the first time. And possibly most importantly, search engines are always looking for new content. Updating your pages regularly is an easy way to improve your search engine results and add new keywords to your site.
3)Make your site work the way users expect
It sounds obvious right? But this one is possibly the most frustrating. Let’s start with an example.
Recently I was reading a news article on a major website. I got to the bottom and wanted to comment but was asked to sign up for an account. To make it easier, they had the option to log in with Facebook. That's a good feature. The problem occurred once I had finished the sign up process. I WAS REDIRECTED TO THE HOME PAGE with the article nowhere in sight. Why did I end up on the homepage? Why couldn’t I find that article again? This is simply poor design but happens on nearly every site.
Bonus points for sites that do this then explain that you’ve used up your free preview articles and need to pay for a subscription.
The moral of the story is to take a step back and actually use your website as though you were visiting for the first time. Some tools, such as UserTesting let you watch people browse your site, but you can do the same thing in house with colleagues or friends and family. Make sure everything on the site does what they expect it to do, not what you know it will do because you’ve become so familiar with the navigation.
The end game
Remember, creating an easy to use website benefits both visitors and search engines. Search engines in particular are becoming more sophisticated every day, and they are looking at how visitors interact with your page, how long they remain on your site, and how useful the content itself is. Providing a great web experience is a must to stand out on the web