In a digital age, it is becoming increasingly important to optimise the experience people have on your website. A good experience can have several positive impacts including increased trust, higher conversion rate, increased retention rate, reduced cart abandonment, and more.
To achieve this, you need to put yourself in the shoes of your customer. Ask yourself, how do they use my website? What are they looking for? What is important to them? Have I made it easy to find what they need?
To answer these questions and take the guesswork out of the process, use analytics tools to gather data and gain insights into how people are using your website. To help get you started, here are some common recommendations we give our clients to improve their customer journey.
Identify your website goals
Knowing what your website needs to achieve for your business will be critical to how your website looks and feels, and what content is included. For example, the goals of an ecommerce business would look quite different to that of a consulting firm.
Your goals will feed into the calls to action on your website. “Add to cart” and “sign up for our e-newsletter” on an ecommerce website again looks different to that of a consulting firm’s “enquire now” or “contact our specialist consultants”. These calls to action can help you track metrics such as enquiry form submissions, checkouts, cart abandonment, etc.
Once you are clear on your goals, calls to action, and metrics, you can measure your results so that you can continue to optimise your website for your target audience.
Make information easy to find
Optimising your customer experience online is vital for growth. The goal is to reduce the total number of touchpoints a person makes before finding what they are looking for.
There are several ways to reduce the time and clicks it takes for people to reach their desired destination. You can:
- include a search bar
- ensure your menu categories are straight-forward and reflect exactly what they say they are
- increase the number of headings and sub-headings in your page to help people skim read
- link to other pages on your website in your content
- include easy to find contact information.
By implementing these strategies, you make converting on your website easier because people can find what they need in minimal steps.
Start with mobile-first design
In today’s digital environment, most people will be visiting your site using their mobile phone. This is a challenge for businesses that have not kept their website updated and optimised for the devices that people are using to browse their site.
When first designing your website, you should take a mobile-first approach and work your way up to larger displays, such as laptops and desktops.
This not only affects the functionality and usability of your website but will also have an impact on your organic search rankings. Google’s SEO algorithm now prefers if your website is mobile-friendly and will reward you with higher rankings. Check your website via Google’s mobile friendly testing tool.
Improve page speed
The time it takes for your website to load affects if people will even spend time on it. It can also be a determinant of high bounce rates – that is, the percentage of visitors that leave your site after viewing just one page. Slow websites are an ineffective way to show off your products, services or deliver your message.
According to Google, as the page load time increases to 3 seconds, the probability of bounce also increases to 32%. This means more people leaving your site, leading to less conversions and less revenue generated. It also has ramifications on your Google rankings.
The most common factors that slow down websites are:
- the number of HTTP requests your site makes
- your server response time.
These issues are often found within the code of a website, and you may need a website developer to help you fix these. However, there are other things you can update, such as reducing the size of large images or videos and updating the template you are using.
A useful tool to measure your website speed is PageSpeed Insights. This tool shows you how quickly features on your website are loading and provides recommendations to improve performance.
Reduce checkout abandonment
Reducing checkout abandonment is essential for ecommerce businesses when increasing conversion rates and growing profitability. The most effective way to do this is to reduce the steps for your customer to purchase your product.
Some simple ways to do this include:
- providing multiple payment options – Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, Afterpay, mobile/express payment, etc
- allowing checkout as a guest – offer a sign-up option on the payment confirmation page rather than during the checkout process
- not hiding costs – display shipping, GST and any other associated costs as early as possible
- avoiding irrelevant form fields – combine first and last name fields, use autofill/autodetection fields.
Include trust indicators
When dealing with an unfamiliar brand or website, customers are wary of the legitimacy of the site and the potential for scams. To reduce this concern, you can implement trust indicators to help put your customers’ minds at ease.
Money back guarantees
Money back guarantees are a great way to increase your conversion rate. It provides shoppers with peace of mind when purchasing from a new website.
Security certificates have become the standard for any website. These certificates will encrypt traffic between a person visiting the website and your website hosting provider. It is a trust indicator that people will look for and browsers will warn people if they try to submit any information on a site without a security certificate.
People trust people. Displaying customer reviews on your homepage and on product specific pages is the “proof” that your product and brand are trustworthy. This appeals to new customers as they can see how others found the experience, and sometimes it’s the last push they need to follow through with a purchase.
To mitigate the risk of fake and biased reviews, you can implement a third-party platform to collect reviews and display only the reviews you want to include on your website. But beware! Provide a variety of reviews, from the good to the amazing. Showing only 5-star reviews and no 4-star reviews can also be a red flag to potential customers – it’s easy to tell when reviews have been filtered.
Another option is to include user-generated content within your site. Ask your customers to send videos/photos of your product/service. Just make sure you have permission to use their content.
It is important to optimise your website’s user experience so that people can easily find what they are looking for and convert. Your website is an important tool to drive business growth and online presence.