Podcast: How to Make Your Website More User-Friendly for Better Conversion
You may be wondering why it seems that so many people visit your website but you see little action being taken. It may seem like they just view like one page on your website and then leave. And you’re wondering if it’s your products, your services, or your prices. Well, here’s the deal. It’s probably not any of those. It may be that your website isn’t easy to navigate or that you built it without keeping the user experience in mind.
When it comes to the experience of using a website, things must be as easy as possible for you to have a high quality design that converts. This is what’s known as user experience (UX design). According to the Interactive Design Foundation, user experience (UX) design is defined as the process of creating products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users. This involves the design of the entire process of acquiring and integrating the product, including aspects of branding, design, usability, and function.
Even though this definition is more focused on use of a product, these principles still apply for a website. Because sometimes, when people are creating websites, they do it from their perspective, instead of their user’s perspective and that’s where things go wrong. You want to consider what the journey of the user will be and how to best navigate them through that journey with your website. Maybe they start on your homepage, and they don’t really know what you do and who you are, so you include an about page excerpt to communicate that quickly. Or maybe they start by reading one of your blog posts that you shared on social media and you’d like them to stick around and view more posts, so you include related posts within the blog post.
Ultimately, here’s why considering the user’s experience is so important: A website that’s easier to use will have more conversions, which means more people taking the action you actually want them to take, like signing up for your email list or purchasing a product. A website that’s easier to use creates a better experience for a website visitor who’s encountering your brand for the very first time, leaving a great impression. And a website that’s easier to use allows your brand to be seen as competent and trustworthy.
When you want people to stop just browsing your website without taking action and when you want to be viewed as a brand with a high quality image and with a high quality product/service to match, there are a few simple tweaks that you can make to your website to make it easier to navigate for a better browsing experience for users. Let’s dive into what those are:
Step 1: Start by considering the overall goal of your website and how you want to be perceived.
What goals do you have in mind for the website? Do you want more blog post readers, more email subscribers, more purchases and booking inquires? By starting with the goals in mind, you can then map out the journey that a user would take to help you reach that goal. Also consider, how do you want to be perceived to a new website visitor? Do you want to look like a high end brand, a mid-tier service provider, a lifestyle blogger? Think about the impression you want to make and really define that. You must know these things before you can design your website so you know what direction to take and what content must be included to support your goals and to help give you the online image you’re going for. Take the time to write this out on paper or type it out in a document on your computer so you have it to reference back to.
Let’s use a personal growth blogger/speaker’s website as an example. That speaker would probably have a goal to be booked for more speaking gigs and to get more email subscribers for digital personal growth products they’d be releasing, like e-books and courses. And they’d probably want to be perceived as a high-end, engaging speaker with lots of wisdom to offer. By being clear on the goals and the brand image from the start, then you’re ready for the next step of putting the actual website content together.
Step 2: Logically map out each page of your website to support the goals.
Every website will have a homepage. That’s a set standard, but the way you lay out the home page will determine how effective it is for your goals. You always want to start with a welcoming banner image, potentially with a call to action. Then, in the section below that, you always want to quickly introduce you and your business. And the next section after that will depend on your goals. If you goal is to book more services, guide your user to the services page after the about section. Or if you’re a blogger and you want more page views, overview your blog post categories with small photos to represent each category after the about page. Take the time to consider all the content you will include on your website and the pages that the content will be placed on. And rank the most important content to the least important and then arrange a little preview of each of those pages in that order on your home page.
When it comes to creating content for the other website pages, think about what information you really need to communicate to users. Think of this from a user perspective. Sometimes, I see people getting too creative with the names of their website pages, and of course, they know what it means. But as a user, there’s no meaning behind it and not many people will take the time to click on something like that to find out what it means. Make page titles straightforward. And present your information in logical categories that are easy to understand. Don’t go overboard with the categories either. Sometimes, when people think they need like 8 or 9 different categories/sub-categories, they really only need about 4 or 5 once they lump them together. Giving users too many options can backfire and make them feel overwhelmed or confused.
And finally, think of everything you’d need to properly sell a solution or product on each page. Do you want to include testimonials on your services page to make you more credible without the user having to click over to a separate page to see testimonials? For your products page, do you have enough photos to show off your products or a description that’s detailed enough? Do you want to include an overview of what it’s like working with you to cast out any doubts of booking you? Do you want to include a FAQs section for your products or services to answer questions and to eliminate doubts? Whatever will make you more credible, while communicating properly with your audience, you must include that information on your website pages.
Step 3: Allow your use of colors and fonts to create sections on your website pages.
We don’t notice it as we’re browsing, but subconsciously, use of background photos and fonts helps guide us down a web page from section to section. Usually to start a section, a heading font is used to show the name of the section. That’s usually H1 or H2 in web design. As you create sections on your web pages, this makes the titles of the sections logical and easy to follow. Then, use the same font for each section title. And for background colors of sections, you could even alternate between two colors, like white and light blue, for example. As a section changes from white to blue, when a user scrolls and they see the same heading font used to title each section, they’ll know when they’re approaching new sections. The same goes if you use background photos in certain sections. Just be sure any background photos or colors that you use don’t make it hard to read your font. If it gets hard to read your font, you’ll want to make the background color darker or lighter. You can see an example of this on my home page.
Step 4: Include call-to-actions…everywhere!
Once you get a user browsing on your website, you must tell them want to do next. And you must do this repetitively. Just saying something once when it comes to marketing isn’t enough. These corporations are running their ads every day, multiple times a day. You want to follow that same notion with your website.
In each section on your home page, for example, there should be a call-to-action. Let’s go back to the speaker/blogger example, for the about section on the speaker’s homepage, there should be a link to help people learn even more about her by clicking over to the about page. Then, on the about page, there should be a link to the booking page to learn more about booking her and a link the blog to check out her content. Then on the booking page, there should be an easy way to book her by filling out a form or emailing her. And on the blog, there should be posts to browse, and then once they click into a post, there should be related posts, and content upgrades to help her audience learn more about the topic, while she’s getting a new email subscriber. There’s an intentional journey to this. Having this many call-to-actions may seem repetitive to you, but to they user, it’s perfect. It’s guiding them though the process of learning more about you and to eventually buying from you.
For the speaker example again, let’s say that the user continued scrolling down the home page, and underneath the about section, there’s a short section talking about her speaking services, then that section should have a link to the booking page, which has the way to book her. You get my drift? It’s a flow and an experience they’re being guided through, all around your goals.
Think about what action you want someone to take with everything you put on your website and be sure those actions are clearly stated. Also, be sure all of your links are working properly! One of the worst impressions is to have broken links that go to that “error 404” page all over your website.
Step 5: Keep clarity in mind when creating your website.
Sometimes people include too much on a website or too little. When you’re creating your website, don’t over-clutter the page with too much unnecessary information or photos. Be sure to keep it simple. On a home page, usually, the individual sections that make up the page will have a photo or video and a paragraph in a section, just a paragraph or two paragraphs side-by-side in a section, or a group of photos representing categories, like 3 or 4 smaller photos side by side in a section. This is a common theme for websites across the board, no matter where they’re hosted and no matter the industry. This is because it works and it’s easy to understand and simple. Simple clean sections are better from a user perspective and they make it faster for them to scroll through to see what you offer.
And also, don’t be too vague in your writing. I sometimes see websites with vague copy and I don’t know exactly what they do right away and those lose my attention the fastest! Use clear language and make it easy to understand. Think to yourself, if I was seeing this website for the first time ever in life, would I understand what I do and what makes me different? If the answer is yes, then you’re on the right trick, and if the answer is no, you need to do some editing to your website copy.
So there you have it, those are five ways to make a website more user friendly to help increase conversion. Overall, you want users to have a smooth effortless experience on your website, because believe it or not, that’s a preview of what it would be like to actually work with you. If your website is unclear and hard to understand, that leaves the impression that the experience of working with you may not be a good one, so to make the best impression and to communicate how amazing it would be to work with you, these little changes will definitely make a difference!
For more on this topic, check out my free guide on how to organize your website below!