Your website is often the first digital touchpoint a customer has with your business and statistics show that it takes less than a second for a user to form an opinion about whether they like your site or not.
Many businesses understand the importance of a website, but do not have the resources or knowledge to focus on their site’s user experience (UX), the sum of a user’s thoughts, feelings, and opinions about how a website or application functions, looks, and feels.
While many small businesses use their websites as an extended yellow page advertisement —with an address, phone number, and general information — today’s consumers have come to expect more than just the basics from a website.
Users now expect a targeted and custom experience designed with a specific audience in mind. Your website should provide them with any and all information needed to purchase and use your service or product.
Studies show that as high as 97% of small business websites are ineffective and need an update or complete redesign to the user experience to better serve their customers.
So, what does it take to create an effective small business website with a dynamic user experience? These 7 factors can transform your website from a relic of the past into a sleek, effective marketing tool.
1. Keep It Clean
- Most website visitors will spend fewer than 15 seconds on your website, but that number increases by 20% when whitespace is appropriately used in the design (biz2credit.com, 2017)
- A clean and simple web design makes it easy for the user to find what they are looking for. Free of unnecessary clutter, the true purpose of your business will shine through
- Grab your users attention above the fold – the part of your website that fills the screen without scrolling – impressing your users here is likely to increase the time they spend on your site
2. Speed It Up
- Your website should fully load in a few seconds, even if you’re using a secure website format (HTTPS)
- Optimize your images, the file size of your images will significantly impact the load time of your page
- Implement a content delivery network or CDN for content management and fast delivery globally
- Consider using page level content caching to allow your site to load faster for repeat visitors
3. Make It Fresh
- Your website is often the first impression a customer or client will have of your business, make sure the information they see is current
- Nearly 25% of small business websites are updated less than once a year (Espresso Digital, 2016)
- To keep visitors coming back to your page time and time again, continuously add new content via blogs, photos, videos, and information
4. Keep Your Forms Simple
- Your website is an easy way to build up a customer or client database and email list, find simple ways to engage your target audience
- Increase the conversion rate of forms by eliminating unnecessary fields, only ask for the information that you absolutely need
- Be sure to distinguish optional and required fields
6. Don’t Drop the Call
- Calls to action are fundamental to websites, as businesses want to generate purchases, subscribers, and new leads
- The call to action should catch the user’s attention using size, placement, shape, and color
- Make sure visitors to your website know what you want them to get from each page of your website, be that reading testimonial or case study, requesting more information or a quote, signing up for a newsletter, or directing them to more products or services
- It is best to keep calls to action at one or two per page and not inundate visitors with tasks
7. Make it Repeatable
- An excellent user experience will make customers and clients want to return to your website over and over
- Ensure your website is easy to navigate, provides clear and concise information, and has content relevant to your target audience
User experience design gives your business the ability to increase repeatable traffic with your customers and clients by making the user and their experience a priority, while providing instant feedback about how they interact with your website. Great UX design provides excellent return on investment, as marketing audiences go from locals to international clients and customers; increased digital sales save time and labor; and your business will be able to track and analyze marketing and business effectiveness from the website. Archetype SC’s UX design team can help your business take the next step to optimizing your website and making it into an experience your customers and clients will enjoy.