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How to improve your website for a good user experience

If you take a look around our blog, then you’ll notice that we often focus on SEO. It makes a lot of sense, because if your website isn’t being found by customers, then it isn’t really doing you a whole lot of good!

You can have a beautifully designed site with stunning pictures, but if nobody sees them, they may as well be on your laptop hard drive. On the other hand, though; if you generate lots of traffic but your website visitors run screaming for the hills whenever they land on your home page, then you’re equally likely to lose money. That’s where UI and UX come in.

What is UI?

UI is computing shorthand for User Interface, and it’s basically about “how people interact with computer systems”. The easier it is for someone to use your website, the more likely they are to become a customer. It’s safe to say that the user interface was less than optimal in the video below. Legal note: Trendzer cannot be held responsible for inappropriate YouTube comments!

What is UX?

UX is the digital industry abbreviation for User Experience. This is all about how a visitor feels when they use a website. It is different from UI, which relates mainly to the platform and software. UX is wider and relates to the overall experience of your site visitors, from general satisfaction to ease of understanding.

Improve your website with UX for beginners

Your Trendzer site already has a variety of inbuilt features to help your visitors. It features responsive design, so mobile users can see your content more easily (UI). On top of that, there are various features from free calling and easy social sharing (UX) to help potential customers with their browsing.

But in the online world, there’s always room for improvement somewhere. That’s why we’ve put together four key suggestions that will help you to optimise your site for customer use.

Tip 1: make a simpler user journey

Adverts, pop-ups, Autoplay videos, social media: people get distracted enough while online without your website adding to their confusion. Make sure you don’t have a sprawling site design that has their attention split 17 ways on each page.

Busy Web Page

This is known as a “busy” page – it’s also known as “making my eyes hurt” - source

To keep things nice and easy, make each page a simple journey. Try factoring in the following considerations:

  • Use one column on each page unless you really need side-by-side comparisons
  • Avoid putting dozens of links on your page – they may be a distraction
  • Try not to have too many sidebars or info panels
  • Round up each page with a Call to Action (CTA) button or on-page contact form (see bonus tips, below)

This last point is particularly important – as we mentioned earlier, it’s typically important for people to find your website and then convert into a customer. Not applying appropriate CTAs reduces the chance of traffic turning into clients.

Tip 2: use strong Calls to Action

Don’t be backward about coming forward. The appropriate phrase in Scotland is “quiet bairns get nae sweets” or “shy monkeys, nae bananas!”

Popular mistakes include over-qualifying your CTA with a bewildering array of pleasantries that only serve to weaken your case. A second factor you should consider is urgency. Asking someone to “Call now for emergency help!” is much more powerful than “Send us an email via our contact form and one of our representatives will get back in touch with you at some stage”.

Weak CTA Example

It doesn’t mean that there’s no room for politeness or some tact, but honestly: if someone has clicked through to your website, then a lot of the foreplay has clearly worked. And skipping gaily past that last metaphor, here’s a few more suggestions:

  • Use two or more CTAs on longer pages: either buttons or text are appropriate to help the user avoid scrolling to find out how to give you money!
  • Consider adding benefits to your CTAs: instead of “Contact us now”, consider something like “Start saving money!” or “Start saving – call now!”
  • Look at strong visual contrasts where possible: if your site has a blue theme, an orange button may really stand out – use the colour wheel below as a guide.

Basic Colour Wheel

Basic Colour Wheel by Nicholas Raymond – Own Work. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported via Creative Commons

Trendzer’s simple Call to Action Builder app allows you to create attractive and visually engaging CTAs with our trademark drag-and-drop builder. Just access your content apps as below and then drag the CTA icon onto your page.

Accessing CTA Builder

Follow the step-by-step CTA guide on our helpdesk and you’ll have an attention-grabbing button on your page within minutes. No coding skills necessary!

Tip 3: spell it out for the customer

You’re the expert on what you provide. Help the customer to make the right decision (i.e. give you money!) by spelling out what they need, how to get it, and how it will be delivered.

There are a few ways that you can help them along the journey you’d like them to take. See if you can apply any of the following ideas to your site:

  • Make your content about benefits instead of features: a power washing company shouldn’t be selling their services on the strength of the specs of their hose; they should be selling it on the joy of having a spotless, dirt-free driveway that is the envy of the street!
  • Spell out who should use you: if your services are ideal for landlords because A, B, and C; tell them. If you have an alternative service that may be more suitable for homeowners, point that out and link to the page so they can go and convert there instead.
  • Tell them what to expect: all 99% of people want to know in life is where they stand in a situation. Make that clear from the beginning and you’re off to a good start. If you have a free quotation service, tell the customer when they can expect to get their callback and quote.
  • Talk to the customer like a normal person (this works on two levels): try to address the customer directly in your page content, and use natural language wherever possible as it makes you seem more human.

This last point requires a little common sense: if you are the legal or financial sectors, you may want to avoid sounding overly familiar unless friendliness is part of your company culture. By the same token, tradesmen who specialise in luxury projects and installations may want to maintain an authoritative tone. Just make sure to keep your typical customer in mind.

Tip 4: show social proof and authentication

It’s great to point out your major selling points, but it becomes a bit more powerful if your happy customers are making your case for you. That’s why you should consider a Testimonials page. If you have the time, a Case Study page is a similar but more in-depth alternative.

People also like to see validation from official bodies. So if you are registered with an official standards body like Gas Safe or Certass, don’t keep quiet about it. Provide a logo and a registration number, so your customers can check out your qualifications if they want reassurance!

Finally, it never hurts to highlight your online ratings. If you have a Checkatrade page packed with glowing reviews, don’t keep it a secret! Giving your customers the evidence they need to part with their hard-earned cash will help to convince them.

Until next time…

Hopefully, you’ve found some of our suggestions useful. If you liked the ideas presented and want to learn more, there’s a regularly updated website at Good User Interface that continually posts new suggestions.

And if you’re not sure where to start, you should also consider asking friends and family to take five minutes to look around your website as a customer. Get them to pretend they want to use one of your services and then ask them the following questions:

  • How easily did you find the service?
  • Is it clear what my service provides from information on the site?
  • How can you reach me to use my services?

If the answer to any of those answers is unclear, take a look at the article again and see if you can come up with some new ideas. And remember, any improvements could mean more money, so it’s worth it in the long term. Happy optimising!

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