Only 50 milliseconds.
That’s how long it takes for consumers to form an opinion about your website.
The stakes are higher than ever to ensure your site positively reflects your brand and provides a seamless user experience.
Despite this, consumers have flagged navigation difficulties, unhelpful search functionality, slow load times and unindexed sites as some of their most popular web complaints.
Poorly designed websites can be costly. More than $1.4 trillion in potential revenue was projected lost due to bad UX.
You need to do everything you can to make your site simple, engaging and user-friendly.
In this article, we’ll outline five tactics you can implement to improve your website and increase sales.
Establish Hierarchy with Headings
It is possible that users may be getting overwhelmed when they visit your site.
Banner ads, email capture forms, pop-ups, long blocks of text, multiple call-to-actions—there are plenty of ways for users to be distracted. Where should they look first?
You need to establish hierarchy with headings and guide the user to a singular call-to-action.
Headings help draw attention to important content. Your H1 will be your page title followed by your subheaders ranging from H2 through H6.
Adding hierarchy to your site helps because structured information is easier to recall. Each section will stand out prominently and can be helpful if someone is skimming the site.
To test your own site’s content and usability, deploy what is called a “five-second test” with a small group of consumers. This, according to website setup, “enables you to understand whether users see the essential elements on the page.”
If the users don’t recall key page components, continue to test variations of your headings and simply other content on your site!
Increase Your Site Speed
We live in an on-demand economy, and consumers want their information just like they want their Uber Eats order—fast and at their fingertips.
That’s why your site speed is critical. Slow site speeds reduce the chance a consumer will purchase while on your site. In some instances, it will scare customers away.
If your page load time reaches 5 seconds, the likelihood that the user bounces increases by 90%.
But site speed isn’t just useful for users already on your site. It also is a key factor in determining your search ranking, which will bring new users to your site.
Too many plugins, large image files, faulty servers and multiple redirects are a few of the reasons why sites become bogged down with slow speeds. Run a test and diagnose your issues, so you can improve your page load times and SEO rank.
Add Reviews from Past Customers
Sometimes shoppers need a second opinion.
Let’s face it: your customers are looking for product reviews.
In fact, 55% of consumers search for reviews before they even get to a company’s website. They want to see an unbiased view of the product before they make a decision to buy.
Since this intel is valuable for consumers and they’re already searching for it, why not add it to your website?
Reviews are a powerful marketing asset that can convert passive shoppers as effectively as a personal recommendation. 9 out of 10 millennials believe online reviews are just as impactful as recommendations from family and friends.
In 2020, though, you need to go beyond just a static review feature or plugin on your site.
To make the review section on your site even more worthwhile, have users add headshots and contextual information (name, gender, age) when leaving a review. This can make the review more personal and connect the future customer to the brand in a unique way.
Approximately 30% of consumers agreed that the number one way they can determine if a brand “understands them” is to see if their reviews are written by those similar to them. This will link new potential customers to your brand before they’ve even tried your product.
Use High-Quality, Human Images
A hero image can take up a lot of real estate on your home page. You’ll want to make sure it is nudging your customers towards purchasing. Selecting the wrong type of image—or one that isn’t connected to your brand at all—can have a negative effect on your site’s conversion rates.
Overall, users recall images more effectively, and they’re 60,000 times easier to process than text. The right image can have a strong impact on the consumer—but what type of image works best?
Use images with humans in them that evoke emotion. Medalia Art, a company that sells art online, added images of the artists who painted each piece to their product pages. This simple addition had a profound effect and increased click-throughs by 95%!
When you’re adding images to your site, you need to make sure they are compressed (see tip #2). Just because your images are high-quality, doesn’t mean they have to have large file sizes. Before uploading, compress your images, so they don’t slow your site speed.
Optimize for Mobile Use
Your site can be just a few taps away from your customer at any point in the day.
More than half of all web traffic (52.6%) in 2019 happened on a mobile device. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, that’s one in every two visitors you could lose.
Those who use their mobile devices to browse are avid users, too. Over 86% of Americans use the internet on their smartphone, and 9 out of 10 of those mobile users go online daily.
With such a profound amount of traffic sourced from mobile devices, you need to ensure that your website has a responsive design. Responsive design is a type of web design that enables your website to display correctly on a variety of devices so users can experience full functionality.
Responsive websites ensure pages load correctly on mobile devices, allowing users to browse seamlessly without the frustration of shrunken fonts, broken links and missing navigation bars.
Because these mobile-first sites are so critical in today’s world, Google has prioritized sites with responsive designs to appear more prominently in search engines.
Your website is often your first impression. Consumers will make up their minds quickly about your business after viewing your website, and you need to do everything you can to ensure their experience on the site exceeds expectations.
Establish hierarchy with headings, so the user is guided to the content that is most pertinent and applicable to them.
Increase your site speed by limiting plugins, compressing images, decreasing redirects and enhancing servers to improve your site’s SEO and decrease your bounce rate.
Let your past customers vouch for you and serve as a powerful marketing agent through online reviews hosted directly on your site.
Leverage high-quality, human images to evoke emotion and improve user recall.
Ensure your site is mobile-optimized, so users can access the site’s complete functionality regardless of the platform they use.
Constant improvements are needed for any site, but these five tips will get you started in the right direction and positively enhance your website’s user experience.