There's plenty of evidence for why user experience (UX) is a key factor in your success as an online business.
- 88% of online shoppers say they wouldn't return to a website after having a bad experience
- 70% of web businesses that fail are let down by poor usability
- 53% of mobile users leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load
- 48% of website visitors are annoyed by bad mobile optimization
So what can you do to deliver the best possible user experience?
1. Keep things simple
Most website users are looking for a simple, straightforward browsing experience, with basic provisions like pages that load quickly and provide the information they need with minimum fuss and difficulty.
There are various techniques you can use to boost simplicity, such as including a lot of white space around the text and other key elements that make up your webpages. This makes your site feel clean, clear and streamlined, which fuels positive UX.
Keeping things simple can prove particularly important at key stages of the user journey, such as checkout. It's worth thinking about ways to optimize the checkout experience without sacrificing essentials like strong security.
2. Be mobile-friendly
Mobile browsing now makes up more than half of all global web traffic, so optimizing your website for mobile devices should be seen as an absolute necessity, rather than a 'nice to have'. Nothing is more likely to turn a mobile user away from your site than pages that don't display properly or are difficult to navigate on a handheld device.
Moreover, failure to make your pages mobile-friendly can impact your SEO, so you could have a lot to gain from auditing your site to check that it offers the best possible mobile experience.
3. Optimize your CTAs
Effective calls to action (CTAs) are crucial if you want to turn website visitors into leads and leads into customers. Well-designed, visually appealing CTAs can add to the user experience and help you optimize conversions and engagement.
Something as simple as testing out a range of colors for your CTA buttons could have a big impact, since different shades could prompt varying responses and actions in your audience.
The wording used in your CTAs is also significant. Starting with a verb can create a sense of urgency and activity that encourages users to take action, while words that have particular psychological associations can strengthen emotional connections.
4. Listen to feedback
Your customers are the most valuable source of information you have when it comes to analyzing and improving your online UX. Take every opportunity to collect feedback from your audience and use these insights to guide your efforts in this area.
A report from Career Foundry showed the value of this approach with the example of HubSpot, which relied on user feedback to inform a complete rethink of its website user experience from the ground up. The firm put the user at the center of the entire project by collecting feedback and making relevant changes with every iteration of its site.
5. Study user behavior
Collecting and analyzing direct feedback from your audience is essential, but it's also important to examine how people typically behave and the actions they take when they're navigating your site. Studying user activity across your key pages will help you understand which elements of your site are working the best and attracting the most interest, and which are underperforming.
Conversion rate optimization tools allow you to track user behavior and gain valuable, actionable insights that help you optimize for future visitors. Data on scrolling, clicking and form engagement can prove particularly useful.
6. Emphasize customer service
Factors like webpage loading speed, site usability, and reliability are important aspects of user experience, but to be truly effective on this front you should also be thinking about the quality of your customer service.
After all, the user experience doesn't end when the buyer completes the transaction. Following up on a purchase to see if the customer requires any further support or has more questions can really cement your relationship with them and boost their satisfaction, increasing the likelihood of them becoming an advocate for your brand.
This is a great way to not only keep past buyers happy, but to bring in new business through positive word of mouth.