Is your organization’s website a boon or a bust?

Are visitors to your website pleased with what the see and experience or do they shriek in horror and close the page in frustration? This is called click-aways or bounce-rate by us in the web design industry and if your bounce rate is very high, and by high we mean anything over 70%, it might be good to consider the following 8 tips to increase your user experience.

Tip #1: Choose the Right Headings

By highlighting searchable keywords, your headings clearly and directly address the questions your readers are looking for, making your website more comfortable and easier to navigate.

They also break up the text and make reading less daunting for your users.

 

Tip #2: Use Authentic Images

This point hits close to home for us, while it is cheap and easy to search through a stock image site and use some stock photos that vaguely relate to your website, it’s best to use as little stock photography as possible.

Even though the stock photography looks professional it is often impersonal and devoid of any real character. Aside from that who knows how many other people have used that same photo. (He said, knowing the irony of the featured image being a stock photo)

 

Tip #3 Mix and Match Text Formats

Tone and style are responsible for engaging written content, so too are the visual elements to your website.

Visual appeal isn’t just about inserting images, it’s also about the look and formatting of the text itself.

Rather than stick to long paragraphs break up your text with bullet points, subheadings or lists. (like this one)

 

Tip #4 Use White Space to your Advantage

Images and text aren’t the only things that make your text visually appealing.  Equally as important is the blank space around your works and between your images, we call this “White Space.”

It’s a revolutionary term we just invented and …uh…my lawyers are telling me I can’t, in fact, make the claim that WE invented the term white space,  so let’s just say it’s called White Space and leave it at that.

White Space© is important because it, as much as your text and images, can draw the reader in and lets them know where they can pause.

 

Tip #5 Make it Interactive

There are many different types of interactive content.

One option is to make website text subtly interact with a users mouse. Or when the user’s mouse hovers over the image, explainer text could fade in over the image.

 

Tip #6 Optimize Your Site for Mobile

If you want to rank well for SEO, and want to keep users on your page as long as possible, then it is critical that you make your website mobile friendly.

Google already sees more mobile searches than desktop searches and Google’s estimated mobile-first index, scheduled to roll out in 2018, with a mobile-friendly site you can rest assured this change won’t negatively affect your SEO.

 

Tip #7 Customize your 404 pages.

A 404 page is an error page on your site, every site has them including yours. You will find 404 pages on your site by following a bad link or typing in a bunch of jibberish at the end of your url.

Here at Downey Design, we like to have a little bit of fun on this page so it’s not completely annoying and frustrating when the site users stumble across it. For example, this is a 404 we made for a local resturant site we did:

Other things you could do with your 404 page is to make it a landing page for a special offer, but whatever you do with your 404 pages customizing it is better than leaving it without a personality.

 

Tip # 8 Speed Up Your Page Load Times

If a page loads too slowly users are likely to give up on going to your website in favor of one that loads faster, including your competitors. In fact, according to recent data if a page load time is more than 3.5 seconds you are likely to lose up to 60% of your audience.

In order to see if your website delivers a speedy user experience across all platforms, there are many free tools you can use, like Google’s Page Speed Insights.

 

Well, that’s it our list of 8 things you can do to improve your website user experience. If you have any questions or have no idea what your websites bounce rate is or you just want to know where to get started improving your website user’s experience. Contact Us, we’d love to help.

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