How to optimise a website for UX

Jan 22nd, 2024

Your website is your business’ crowning glory. It’s how potential customers become purchasing customers, how you interact with them and them with you. It’s a place to establish your brand identity and showcase your products and services. For this reason, you want your website to have a great UX design.

Below, you can find out exactly what UX design is and how to improve the UX of your own site to deliver a seamless experience to potential customers.

UX stands for user experience. It describes how easy (or difficult) it is for a user to interact with your site. A good user experience can increase the number of returning visitors, and therefore improve conversions and sales. Google has expressed the importance of UX too, defining it as a ranking factor.

In order to create a good user experience, you need to consider the design elements that will make the experience a positive one. UX design considers how usability, function and presentation contribute to the user experience, and how they can be improved if necessary.

Your website may be all bells and whistles with a visually stunning homepage, but ultimately you need to ensure it’s usable and accessible. Think simple menus, clear buttons and call-to-actions, readable text and fast page speed.

The user sits at the centre of a website, so it makes sense that sites should be designed for them and not search engines. Google acknowledges this, which is why in 2021, it was announced that pages with a good page experience would be rewarded in the results pages. Ultimately, Google wants to prioritise sites that help the user and put them first.

So when you’re creating an SEO strategy for your site, it’s important to take UX into account. Google explains you should consider the following:

  • Core Web Vitals (available in Google Search Console)
  • Secure pages
  • Mobile display
  • Number of ads
  • Easy/clear navigation
  • Number of pop-ups and interstitials

Looking to improve the UX of your site? Here’s where you should start:

Improve page speed

We live in an environment where things happen quickly – instant messaging, fast smartphones, rapid internet connection thanks to the introduction of 5G. We literally have the world at our fingertips. So when a user lands on your site, they want to make a purchase or read the information in as little time as possible.

Data shows that 28% of users will leave a site that takes longer than five seconds to load and 26% leave after more than five seconds. That’s more than half the users of your site abandoning after just a few seconds, and this is why page speed matters.

If you’re unsure of your existing page speed, you can use a tool to find this information. The tools allow you to enter your URL and will create a report that shows which elements of the page are taking the longest to load.

Generally, page speed issues can be fixed by minifying the code and reducing the size/number of images and other large media files. A content delivery network, or CDN, can help with this.

Ensure simple and seamless navigation

Landing on a website you haven’t used before is similar to driving on a road you’ve never been down before – you know what to do but perhaps not where you’re going. This is why the navigation system is so important, particularly if you want to reduce bounce rate.

Menus should be very clear, ideally split into smaller sections and categories that are easy to understand. Back buttons may be required so a user can navigate back to the previous page. This works particularly well for ecommerce websites with lots of product or category pages.

Users can get lost if there isn’t a solid structure to your site, so make it as easy for them as possible to create a good user experience. If the menus are hard to use, remove any unnecessary steps to make the process effortless. Simplicity is key.

Make sure your site is mobile-friendly

With our phones always in our pockets, it’s rare that we start up our computer or laptop to carry out a quick Google search or buy a product online. Data from Statista actually shows that 69% of online purchases are made with a smartphone, so you want your mobile site to work just as well, if not better than, your desktop site.

When users find a mobile site unresponsive, difficult to navigate or visually hard to see, they will probably leave to find a competitor site that is easier to use, losing you business in the process. There’s also a reduced chance they’ll return in the future.

You can test your site to see if it’s mobile friendly. Browse through the pages, add something to your basket, try to log in to an account. The more you use your site, you increase the chances of finding pages that don’t load properly or have unreadable text.

Use functional and clear CTAs

The user must be able to complete certain actions on your site, and buttons and links are the best way to do this. But in order to use such functions, they have to be able to find them.

For a good UX, your site should include a clear call to action (CTA) so the user knows what is expected of them. When heading to the checkout, ensure the checkout button is obvious and not hidden at the bottom of their shopping cart. After they’ve filled out a newsletter subscription form, check the ‘Submit’ button is in a good place and works when the link is clicked. These things all sound simple, but when programmed incorrectly can cause issues for the user. It may also mean you lose out on conversions or even purchases.

User experience is important not just for the user, but to improve conversions, encourage purchases and boost search performance. As part of our services, Click Consult offers UX design testing, monitoring the general aspects of your site, including layout, functionality and design, to put the user first. Our experienced digital design team works with data analysts to construct the tests and ensure the data is accurate.

Take a look at some of our other digital marketing services too!

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