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Customer satisfaction is an important factor in the success and longevity of any business.
A happy customer is a returning customer! They also become your best form of marketing acting as ‘evangelists’ of your brand. Have you enjoyed a product or service online so much that you went ahead talking about it to everyone you met?
That’s the power of a great user experience (UX) website. It means you care enough about your customers to make the interaction worthwhile. An increased user experience means greater customer satisfaction, reduced cost of ownership, and increased sales.
Improving the user experience keeps customers happy. A happy customer, a happy business life.
The truth is your website is always going to be faced with a challenge to stand out from 10 -100+ websites. If your website fails to stand out, visitors will choose your competitors over you.
That’s why investing in your website’s user experience (UX) is important and valuable to your organization.
Today, I am going to reveal to you the importance of user experience and how it impacts on your sales. But first…
What is Website User Experience?
User experience (UX) includes all aspects of the user’s interaction with the company, its services and its products online. In other words, it refers to how your visitors react to your website, product or service; their emotions and attitudes towards them.
As a Ghanaian business owner, your customers interact with your business online via your website.
It’s thus critical to offer users a seamless, frictionless digital experience. The goal of UX website, therefore, is to create optimized solutions for your users which will also provide business value for your organization.
It’s common to find organizations struggle to tap into the potential of implementing user experience tactics to boost organization value and sales.
Users need to understand your company and product. They need to know what your brand stands for and how you can help solve their pain points. They can’t do that when your website isn’t user-friendly or UX optimized.
Here’s what going to happen if your website’s UX pleases visitors – they’ll keep coming back for more. And in the end, your website traffic will shoot up and sales will skyrocket. Afterall, your ultimate goal is to increase sales?
Did you know that companies with effective UX have increased their revenue by 37%? Failure to optimize your website for user experience will be detrimental to your business. Why? Because you’ll be at a disadvantage to competitors already using it.
Let me reveal some Key stats
- 64% of users move to another site if they aren’t able to find what they’re looking for right away
- Fixing a UX error after development is up to 100x more expensive than it would before
- By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the most important brand differentiator
- 79% of people who don’t like what they find on one site will go back and search for another site
- 48% of users feel frustrated when on sites that are poorly optimized for mobile
- 52% of users said a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company
As a Ghanaian manager looking for a way to save money, it is better you fix a broken UX design early to avoid spending more.
Providing a seamless user experience for visitors helps set your website apart from your competitors. Good website usability means visitors easily and quickly access the information they need. Some benefits of website user experience include:
- Increase sales: When a product or service satisfies its users, sales are likely to increase. Remember, a happy customer is a returning customer. He/she is likely to spread the word about your product or service. Providing a good experience helps build positive word of mouth, and increases sales. If done effectively, UX can increase sales.
- Increased customer satisfaction: Your customers’ happiness hinges on the type of experience you create for them. The better the experience, the happier they’ll become. Want to know the flip side? The worse the experience, the more sad and frustrated they’ll be.
- Cuts down development cost: A proper UX design allows you to stay within your budget.
Characteristics of website user experience
Getting your site up and running is one thing. Optimizing your site for user experience (UX) is a different ball game. Let’s look at some of the key characteristics of user experience websites:
These days, mobile phones are taking over desktop PCs. As more Ghanaians use their mobile to access the Internet, it is thus, important to create a mobile-optimized website. A user-friendly website should be responsive and accessible to all devices.
How does your website appear on a mobile device? If it doesn’t appear well or if it’s not accessible, it’s important you develop a responsive website.
The average Internet user skims through the content on a web page. They’re in a hurry to read your entire content. This is what usually happens when a visitor lands on your website. He or she scans quickly searching to see if there’s anything relevant.
If they’re not resonated or if they feel you don’t meet their needs, they leave. The key is to catch their attention within those few seconds of skimming through your website. An optimized user experience website meets the needs of potential customers.
A question that should always be on your mind as you audit and optimize your website is “Does the content on my page solve their problems?”
Also, pay attention to your headings, sub-headings, paragraphs, bullets and numbers to help break up the text. Scannable content should include short paragraphs, descriptive sub-headings, bold and highlighted formatting, bullets points and number lists.
This makes it easy for your readers to scan your content.
Fast load times
Don’t you hate it when a site takes forever to load? It’s like waiting on the other side of the road for a snail. Now I know you don’t want the speed of your website to be compared to the pace of a snail.
That will scare your visitors away. No one wants to spend an eternity waiting for a page to load.
Remember, a visitor has just a few seconds to either continue or retreat. It’s hard to hold their attention if your website can’t load within seconds.
Slow page load time is one of the main reasons why visitors leave a website.
According to Kissmetrics
, 47 percent of visitors expect a website to load in less than 2 seconds, and 40 percent of visitors will leave the website if the loading process takes more than 3 seconds.
To optimize your website for user experience, make sure it loads within those three seconds. Visitors will keep coming back and, you’ll rank high in search engine optimization.
Is your site consistent across all browsers? Does it appear the same way in Chrome and Opera? This is often an overlooked characteristic of website user experience. But, it’ll surprise you how this goes a long way to give your website a friendly touch.
It’s important you ensure your website remain consistent across all browsers. It’s simple things like this that sets your website apart from the others.
Good navigation is one of the most important aspects of website usability. Think of your navigation system as a roadmap to all other areas containing information on your website.
A clear navigation equals a good website user experience, which leads to more businesses for you.
Little things make a big difference! Let me tell you why effective navigation is important to boost website user experience:
Navigation affects traffic: how high you’ll rank, how much traffic you’ll get from search
Navigation affects conversions: how easy the site is to use, what percentage of visitors convert into leads and customers
Best practices for a website navigation:
- it should be clutter-free; try as much as you can to limit the number of menu items
- be descriptive rather than generic – use terms such as “who we are” and “what we do” than simply saying “products” or “services”.
- Go for a “mega” drop-down menu than a “simple” drop-down menu
- Pay attention to the order of your website navigation – items at the beginning and the end are most effective because this is where attention and retention are highest.
Good error handling
Error handling is the application, detection and resolution of programming, application and communications errors.
Good error handling and description on-screen messages are very important for good usability. But, it is often overlooked. To optimize a website for user experience, ensure that you correctly handle all errors at a code level. This helps your website free from bugs. Displaying the right error message improves the user experience.
Contrasting colour scheme
One thing you should not overlook in creating a UX website is colour. 80% of shoppers place colour as a primary reason for why they buy a particular product.
Did you know? Good contrast between background and text makes your content easy to read. But, lack of contrast makes it very difficult for visitors to read your content.
For Sidekick, it’s red; coca-cola uses red; Dell uses blue, Hubspot makes use of orange. All these colours distinguish one brand from the other.
Also, colour increases brand recognition by 80%.
Forms are integral components of a website. It could be a registration form, order form or feedback form. You should have a form on your website as a business. This way, your users can contact and interact with your site. Also, they help to generate leads for your business.
Examples of user experience websites
In conclusion, the importance of website user experience cannot be overlooked. It isn’t rocket science, although it requires work. If you’re looking to create a profitable website, you should invest in designing a user experience website.
You can increase sales by just designing a more friendly website. Pay attention to your grammar and spelling mistakes; proper use of colour; navigation menu; responsiveness of your website; content and proper handling of errors.
Remember, it starts with your visitors. Get to know what they want and deliver it to them. At the end of the day, it’s about providing a great customer experience.
What website gave you that ‘wow’ feeling? What made it stand out from the rest you have seen? Share your comments below.
This blog was written by the Sidekick Social Media team. Sidekick social media is a full-service digital marketing agency, we use our writing as a light to help businesses come out of the dark and in turn lead their industry. Thank you for reading our blog for more valuable content visit www.sidekickgh.com/blog
Judith is a content marketing manager at Sidekick Social Media and also writes for She Leads Africa. She loves to write and when not writing, she loves to listen to a long playlist of good music.