Online visibility can help a small business grow in massive ways if selling products or online services. The company website is the first impression that many customers have of a business. A website that not only looks but works like a website designed in the 1990s does not instill confidence in a visitor. Consumers will tend to distrust the company with a poorly designed website due to it looking like a scam. Even if the website is not set up for a scam, a company that cannot invest a little money into a website might not take customer experience as a priority. 38 percent of users say that they will stop visiting a website if it has an awkward layout or content is low quality. The following are reasons user experience is not only crucial for a company’s website but also its overall brand image.
Designing Pages With Goals In Mind
The layout of pages should stay relatively the same for continuity for a user. Designing pages with goals in mind is essential as a contact page is going to have a far different goal than a product page. The copy that is written needs to be clear yet concise as most visitors do not want to read through huge blocks of text. A doctor’s office that wants to set appointments would have contact information at the top of the homepage or an appointment setting platform. In a B2B company website, testimonials from clients that carry weight being included or scrolling on the homepage can help turn a visitor into a client.
How pages being designed with goals in mind impacts brand: Trusting a company via their website means their website should be straightforward in the mind of a consumer. Hidden fees or fine print covering sales pages can make a visitor feel uneasy about purchasing or contacting a particular company. In a world where it seems like a plethora of companies have abandoned customer experience, an easy to navigate site with clear copy can do wonders. A website visitor should never be left guessing what the use of a particular page is. Website testers can allow the website to be user-friendly without modifying the website after launch which is guaranteed to frustrate some daily/weekly visitors.
Page Speed Factors Into SEO
Page speed is one of the most basic components of user experience as a user rarely wants a long loading time for a page. Google has stated that this impacts SEO with faster pages being given better page speed scores. A website is not going to rank well only due to the fact that the website’s page speed is optimal although it will help. Media like videos or animations might be important to your company’s goals of a page. Do not overload this media on the homepage but do make it clear where product videos or a portfolio of past projects are located. 46 percent of people state that waiting for a page to load on a mobile device is what they dislike the most about the mobile browsing experience. Google takes user experience into account so do not think that page speed is not impacting your website’s search engine rankings.
How page speed impacts a brand: A web design company or SEO company that has a slow running website does not instill confidence that they can speed a customer’s website up. Slower websites are seen as clunky with many visitors wondering if the business is functional if it looks abandoned in terms of updates in the last decade. With this being said, YouTube struggles with loading times for slower internet connections but the sheer mass of daily traffic, as well as consistency of searches, keep it high in the search results.
Checkout Being Seamless Will Maximize Conversions
The ease of use is not lost on customers that are using an eCommerce website whether it is on a computer or mobile device. Amazon does an incredible job of both keeping important information safe and making checkout convenient/easy. Maximizing conversions is important but being easy to use for the customer should be the main focus. The brand being seen as a convenient way to shop with an app to match will make it a favorite of shoppers. Less user-friendly websites lose customers even with lower prices due to the superior user experience the site offers. 55 percent of buyers have abandoned a checkout due to unclear shipping fees, taxes or other aspects that increase the price. The following are ways the checkout process can impact brand and overall website performance:
· Autofill with payment/shipping information truly makes the transaction seamless. With all of the purchases done via mobile devices, this is essential as typing in credit card information or shipping addresses can be a nightmare. A grocery store that promises delivery that has a slow checkout process is a great example. A person might opt to stop at another store rather than risk typing in copious amounts of information during a commute home.
Mobile Design Is Not Optional
A company website is sure to alienate users if they do not have a convenient mobile version of their website. Websites that do not have decent mobile design can be a nightmare for users. Not optimizing for mobile is something that Google also takes into account in terms of search engine rankings. For retail websites, a majority of traffic comes from mobile devices so this could mean losing a bulk of a customer base. Finding a professional mobile web designer is essential and make sure the designer understands best practices for designing with SEO in mind. Testing this mobile design to make sure it is free of bugs could save customers for years to come. A few bugs that freeze a phone or shut down an app can lose a customer not wanting to deal with the issues the mobile website presents.
Lack of mobile design impacts a brand in the following ways:
- The brand’s image could suffer looking dated without a website friendly to mobile visitors.
- Losing traffic due to mobile visitors opting for a competitor with a user-friendly mobile site.
- Mobile design is relatively budget-friendly so it could reflect a lack of investment by the management of a business.
A Website Tells A Brand’s Story
Telling the story of a brand through the website while keeping the visitor’s experience superior is important. The discussion of a company or brand’s story can allow a visitor to connect with the brand in a personal sense. The contact page having personal tidbits about college backgrounds or hobbies can help personalize the staff of a company. Humanizing staff can make it more difficult to break a contract, opt for another vendor, or even reprimand a contractor due to personal rapport. A majority of consumers want brands to tell a story which could be the way the future of digital marketing is trending.
User-experience needs to be the top priority when designing a business website. Leave this to professionals that will also design the website with SEO in mind to maximize online leads. Assess where your website can improve for a user then implement these changes.