There are millions of websites on the internet. But, how many of them can you recollect? Ten? Twenty? Maybe some thirty websites if you stretch the limits of your memory. 

Similarly, your website could be getting thousands of sessions per day. But, if you take a closer look at the conversion rate, the majority of the websites (including high-performing eCommerce websites) would be in single digits. And, there is nothing wrong with it.

Source: Invespcro

In fact, from the chart above we can deduce that the website conversion rate has floated in single digits, less than 4% since 2014.

No matter how hard you try, you cannot achieve a 100% conversion rate. It is not possible to convert all your website visitors. You can only convert a small fraction of your visitors. However, there is always room for improvement. You can always strive to improve your conversion rate so that more users purchase from your online store, sign up for your service, take a demo of your product, or do anything that you would want them to do.

There is one dial you can always dial up to improve your website’s conversion rate. And it is an obvious element that even rookie web developers are aware of. It is a user experience.

Definition of User Experience (UX)

User experience is the set of behaviors that users exhibit while they are interacting with your website. It involves the elements they click on, the content they consume, the workflows they initiate, and so on. A positive user experience (UX) will guide the user towards taking the next step.

A positive UX can deliver several benefits:

  1. It will reduce the bounce rate
  2. It will increase time spent on the website
  3. It helps with SEO ranking

Like with anything related to the web user experience can also be improved significantly if efforts are put in the right direction. The easiest way to improve user experience on your website is to hire a reliable UX designer. But as a small business owner,  you should still know how to do it the right way. That said, here are 5 simple ways that can help you improve your website’s user experience.

6 simple ways to improve your website’s user experience

As of now, there are hundreds of ways one can optimize a website for maximizing conversions. Of course, it is not possible to list down all of them and implement them on your website. There are five major (and simple) tactics that can help with improving your website’s user experience that can result in a better conversion rate.

Here they are:

  1. Improve page loading speed
  2. Optimize mobile experience
  3. Simplify navigation
  4. Incorporate videos/GIFs
  5. Make CTAs prominent and actionable
  6. Social Proof

1. Improve page loading speed

Page loading speed refers to the time it takes for the website to load completely so that the user can consume the content and information stored on it.  The page loading speed of a website is a huge influencer of conversions. Studies have proved that a slow–loading website can actually induce users to close the tab or move on to another page quickly. 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.

Whereas a fast loading speed makes a customer stay on the page and engage with it in its entirety. It is not surprising that the world’s top visited websites including online stores have a blazing fast loading speed. In one line, improving your website’s page loading speed is one of the easiest ways to boost traffic without churning out more content.

Now if your website is struggling to load fast and requires a speed boost, there are some steps that can help with it. Two steps in specific are sure to help with the cause.

  1. Use lazy loading images
  2. Remove heavy plug-ins
  • Use lazy loading images

It is natural for websites to use HD images on the website to make them visually appealing. However, the downside of using HD images is that they consume a lot of bandwidth in loading the page. This ultimately slows down the page loading speed. However, the technique of lazy loading of images can help with improving the page loading speed. 

  • Remove heavy plug-ins

More than 64%% of the world’s websites run on the WordPress CMS platform. Now, WordPress is not a self-sufficient CMS platform. It requires integrating third-party plugins to extend the capabilities of the website. Some of these plugins might consume heavy system resources forcing the page loading to suffer. 

It is recommended to do a complete sweep of plug-ins installed on your website from time to time. Uninstall redundant plugins or consider replacing those lighter versions that will not affect the page loading speed.

2. Optimize mobile experience

The report from Hitwise suggests more than 60% of online searches begin with a mobile search. Compared to desktop and tablet devices, mobile devices are used extensively for online searches. Most often, they are also the devices through which users find and land on your website. 

That makes it necessary to optimize your mobile experience. The mobile website must deliver a positive if not stellar user experience. It should make it easy to scroll up and down the content, simplify inter-page navigation, aid effortless information finding, etc. Also, the CTAs should be placed strategically and should be easy to tap with fingertips.

3. Simplify navigation

Leonardo Da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Nothing can better express how websites should be designed for modern times. Simple websites, that is, websites that are easy to navigate can have a positive effect on your website’s conversion. 

Simplifying your website navigation begins by creating an organizational structure wherein the home page, internal pages, and supporting pages are neatly organized within folders and sub-folders. A well-organized website structure will make it easy for the user to find information and also take relevant actions that will support their motives. In fact, simplifying the website navigation itself can help reduce bounce rates which ultimately boosts conversion rate.

4. Incorporate videos/GIFs

One under-rated fact about online content is that users do not read or peruse through content. They scan through it. Compared to textual content, video and imagery content is easy to scan through. Also, users are more likely to interact with imagery, videos, or GIFs. 

 Source: Wistia  

Also, incorporating loop videos and GIFs into web pages heighten the chances of users spending more time with it. According to Wistia, the video marketing software, “People spent on average 2.6x more time on pages with video than without.” 

A high time spent on the website is a cue to search engine bots that the page serves the purpose of serving the user with information and hence it should be ranked above similar pages. In other words, incorporating videos and GIFs can actually not only improve user experience but also help with your SEO efforts.

5. Make CTAs prominent and actionable

A CTA (Call-To-Action) is a website element that nudges the user to take an action. CTAs usually instruct the user to take any action, like:

  1. Sign up
  2. Contact us
  3. Schedule demo
  4. Download eBook
  5. Pre-order
  6. Buy now

Depending on the business model, the CTA could have a different text. However, its underlying purpose is making a call to the user to take an action. 

Take for example this CTA on the Genbook blog. It’s a top-of-the-funnel CTA with a clear call to action i.e ‘download now.’  But what’s interesting is the clever use of copy which lays down how this resource will help the customer problem. This matched with a visually appealing image is a win-win. 

On a website, CTAs should be used with a fine balance. They must be placed in the right junctures where the user might be interested in taking an action. Or they will have the curiosity to know more about the product.  The right use of CTAs can make the website perform better and result in more conversions.

6. Social Proof 

No matter how informative and persuasive your website copy is, your customers will always have some amount of doubt and skepticism running in the back of their minds. They want reassurance (not just assurance) that the buying decision that they are about to make based on the website is a good one and has no room for mistakes. 

In sales and marketing, persuasion is best done with the help of social proof. According to Robert Cialdini, social proof is one of the six principles of persuasion. He describes it as a psychological and social phenomenon wherein people copy the actions of others in an attempt to undertake behavior in a given situation. 

There are several ways how social proof can help boost your website’s profitability. Social proof in your website can be shown with the help of customer testimonials, awards and badges won from review websites, star ratings and reviews, existing customer logos, number of users signed up and so on.  In short, any external data source that can persuade the user to make a buying decision can be considered as social proof.

In 4 lines — all about improving your website’s conversion rate

A website is only as good as its conversion rate. To make your website highly converting, begin with improving the page loading speed. Lazy loading of images and removing heavy plug-ins can give instant results. Next, improve the mobile experience. That is the channel through which a large chunk of your website visitors could be flowing in. 

Once these are done, go on to simplifying the website’s navigation. A simple navigational structure can boost conversions significantly. Of course, you will need to place prominent CTAs to grab user attention and to make them take an action on your website. It holds another key to your website conversion.

Mehdi Hussen is the digital marketing manager at SalesHandy, a cold email outreach tool. He is passionate about driving organic growth and customer acquisition for startups through data-driven content marketing. He spends his spare time musing about startup growth strategies, sales productivity, and remote work. Connect with him through Twitter or LinkedIn.

Website user stock image by GaudiLab/Shutterstock