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The Importance of a User-Friendly Website

by Whitney Trujillo April 25, 2018

For many small businesses, your website is the first opportunity for potential clients to learn about who you are and what you do. If you want for this first interaction to be successful, you need to think of the user experience for new visitors. It is important to consider if they are able to navigate the website efficiently and whether the site is satisfying their requirements. Remember, just because visitors haven’t complained, doesn’t mean that your website is perfect.

Acquiring new customers online is no easy task and you need to understand their needs and experience to retain as many of those website visitors as possible. Visitors rarely provide a reason for leaving a page quickly, and it is difficult to understand their reasons without objective feedback. If you think that your website has a high bounce rate, here are a few ideas to keep in mind:

Common reasons new visitors leave a website quickly are:

  • the pages take too long to download
  • the site requires a plug-in such as Flash Player
  • it is too confusing to navigate
  • the visitor doesn’t find the link to the website promised
  • the content is not what they were looking for
  • negative overall impression (poor grammar, misspellings, appearance, etc)

Some methods that can help retain new visitors are:

  • providing updates on the homepage, so people know what is happening with the business
  • having exit pop-up ads
  • offering free resources from the homepage in exchange for joining your email list
  • make sure any links to additional resources open in a new tab
  • link all of your social media handles to offer additional opportunities to keep in touch

If you sell products from your website, you may not be surprised to hear that somewhere around 70% of all online shopping carts are abandoned. That is a lot of traffic on your website that isn’t converting to sales! Completion rates for “contact us” forms and other similar online forms are similarly bleak, falling somewhere between 1% and 35% depending on the type of form. If you provide a service and need to gather information from your potential clients, these numbers may be frustrating. Fear not, because the good news is that these are problems that can be resolved, as long as you know where the problem lies.

We have all been too close to a project to see it clearly anymore, and this is where user testing comes in. You are likely intimately familiar with the ins-and-outs of your business. Perhaps you built your website yourself, create content, or spend your days working within your profession. It can be easy to lose track of how people unrelated to your business understand and interact with your business.

What is user testing?

User testing (also known as usability testing) is a way to test a product or service with representative users while observers take notes on their interactions. This can be done using heat maps, user reporting, or simple observation.

User testing can improve the brand experience for customers, no matter what services or products you provide. Having a pleasant website is essential to retaining customers and gaining new ones. The first priority is that users get the information they need. The second priority is that they have a positive experience.

User testing can improve your visitor retention rate, decrease the dropout rate, and improve your customer’s brand experience. Most importantly, you will get a better understanding of your customers wants and needs, leading to an increase in sales and profits.

Not sure where to start with testing the usability of your website? Need help making your site user-friendly to attract your ideal clients? Contact us for a free consultation to discuss getting your website where it needs to be for success!

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