As important as SEO and PPC campaigns can be in driving new audiences to your website, what happens when those potential customers arrive at your content is even more important.
Unfortunately, far too many companies fail to pay attention to some of the basics of a quality user experience.
This is a costly mistake. Regardless of whether someone is browsing on a desktop computer or their smartphone, visitors expect a smooth, intuitive experience.
A single bad experience can drive them away in droves, with some reports finding that a poor user experience (UX) makes “88% of online customers…less likely to return to a site.”
So how can you deliver your content in an appealing, user-friendly way that will keep visitors engaged on your site?
Start by avoiding these surprisingly common UX mistakes:
1. Slow speed
Page load time has become increasingly important to the overall user experience, which can be either a pro or a con, depending on your website’s load time.
Google’s goal for page load time is under half a second—a little longer than the amount of time it takes for you to blink.
Now, while Google has also noted that load times of up to two seconds are still acceptable for ecommerce businesses, even tiny delays can negatively impact your ability to convert potential customers and generate revenue.
Even a four-second load time can cause 25% of your audience to abandon your content—which could result in major revenue losses.
Whether you need to optimize your images or remove plugins, taking steps to speed up your site load time is an absolute must if you want to improve your UX.
2. Not enough white space
The phrase “Keep it simple, stupid” is well known, and it is especially important when it comes to your web design efforts.
In fact, the “KISS principle,” as it is sometimes called, originated in design—specifically, with the goal of keeping naval designs simple, as this helped the designed systems work more effectively.
This principle is just as valuable in the Web development world, and can have a major impact on your UX.
Far too many websites are cluttered with large blocks of text, an excess number of images, or overwhelming menu options, all of which overwhelm users and drive them away from your content.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with text, images, or a menu. All of these can enhance the user experience.
The problem occurs when designers try to cram too much stuff into a single page. Amazingly, we still see websites that look like these.
Your best bet is to add white space to your site content. Funnel each page down to its most essential elements, and simplify as much as you can.
This could entail deleting some images, reducing menu options, or converting your text into bullet points.
As you reduce the clutter, the most important elements of your website (like a signup form) will be more eye-catching, helping site visitors find what they need.
3. Poor content
As important as the design elements of your website are, you simply can’t afford to overlook the quality of your copy.
It doesn’t matter if you utilize simple landing page forms, high-quality images, and engaging video content—if your writing is subpar, you’ll leave a poor impression with your site visitors.
Quality copy is persuasive. It showcases your brand personality, and offers visitors a clear call to action.
Even more importantly, it does this by providing useful information that actually helps the customer as they try to make a purchasing decision.
Poorly written content gives the impression that you don’t take your digital presence seriously. It confuses your website visitors, and it certainly won’t convert anyone into a paying customer.
Your keys for great content? Proper grammar and spelling are obvious, but can’t be overlooked.
Never resort to keyword stuffing—while inserting the occasional keyword here and there is beneficial, too many obvious keywords will cause your text to read awkwardly and hurt your SEO.
Focus on writing strong headlines that capture visitors’ attention and compel them to dive deeper into your content.
As you answer questions and provide engaging information in your own unique voice, your UX—and site conversion efforts—will dramatically improve.
4. Parting thoughts
As important as these UX elements are, conducting extensive A/B testing is perhaps the most important thing you can do to ensure a quality experience for your customers.
When you’re directly involved in designing your site, everything might seem to flow smoothly—but outside testers could easily discover issues that would trip up your users.
Testing and feedback are everything. ESPN’s revenues increased by 35% simply by redesigning their website while utilizing user feedback.
As you implement top UX practices and conduct tests with your target audience, you’ll be able to deliver a high-quality experience that generates the results your business craves.
Nicholas is a growth marketing consultant and the founder of Earnworthy and Landing Page School. He specializes in landing page design, testing, and optimization.