Aesthetically, your website is what can catch the eye of your audience. This is important as far as bringing attention to your brand, but web design simply is not enough to captivate your audience when a website is slow, cluttered, and confusing. Here are a few tips on how to manage your website for a better user experience.
WEBSITE LOAD TIME
In the age of the Internet, the attention span and patience has severely decreased. The easiest and most effective way to keep your audience’s attention is by operating the speediest website you possibly can. I know I’m guilty of it, and I’m sure a few of you are too, but if a page takes even just a few seconds too long to load, I’m already onto the next steps to search for what I need. Your site could be incredibly pretty and an award winning graphic design, but it won’t matter if it’s slow. Be sure to optimize your website, especially for a cloud environment. Even check out tools that can better how your site looks while speeding up your loading time.
EASY TO NAVIGATE
Step one of building the navigation for your site: Your logo is the North Star of your website. It is a necessity that this logo is clickable and easily guides the user through the site. Your audience can easily get lost on clicking through your website, but always make sure your logo is available to lead the customer back to the home page. Some easy tips are just limiting the color scheme you are operating with and stick to one theme. Provide images with only the necessary content. With that being said, don’t let your audience get lost through a mess of pages. Guide them through the site from page-to-page with relevant and appropriately labeled icons. Your goal should be to get your user where they need to go while properly informing them along the way.
Less is more. Again, less is more. You are creating your site and you want it to stand out, which you should, but that so easily can create clutter and distract your user from the actual purpose of the site. There are plenty of templates and designers to help create a website that is both stunning and clean. And when constructing these pages, definitely do testing to make sure that your site is mobile capable. Remember when I talked about users having less patience? This also speaks to our society’s very mobile nature. Most are on the Internet on their phones more than an actual computer. So make sure you serve your audience appropriately with easy to read pages, even on a cell phone.
ANALYZE AND REACT
It is so crucial to be constantly studying the actions of your audience as they browse through your website. Study the metrics or feedbacks you receive: where were they trying to click, the actions and words used to find your website, and where are your users coming from. Study user behavior and then adjust accordingly. We highly recommend a list of plugins that can assist, like Google Analytics. One of my favorites is using a heatmap on my website. WordPress’ plugin ExtraWatch allows you to watch users in real time, provides a heatmap to see where your audience is clicking, and offers conversion tracking.
For more information on how to maintain a successful website, check out more information on what Cloud Sites by Rackspace can do for you!