User Experience or UX tries to identify how a user feels when they visit a site.
How do they respond to the content and structure? What are their goals and ambitions? Does their experience match their expectations? Is it better? Or worse.
UX is difficult to determine because it deals with emotions. But a bad experience is easy to spot as traffic drops, orders decline, and reviews get one star.
Every trick in the book is needed to get users to like a site enough to return and tell their friends. With that in mind, here are 5 hacks that can help to improve a website user experience.
They’ll not only help users enjoy their visit but can also improve search rankings in Google.
1. Mobile First
According to Google, 59% of shoppers think that being able to shop online on their mobile devices is important.
Surely all smartphones can browse websites? What’s that got to do with UX?
The real issue lies with how the phone’s web browser displays the pages.
Ever visit a page on your mobile to find you had to pinch and zoom to use it? The content was laid out for desktop monitors. Text was so tiny you needed a magnifying glass to read it.
A mobile-friendly site offers an alternative design that specifically caters to small screens.
This mobile-first approach is even commended by Google. The search engine giant even gives sites that offer a mobile-friendly experience a higher place in their results.
Mobile users find it easier to navigate and consume content if everything fits within reach of their thumb.
Yet, that doesn’t mean flooding the screen with all the bells and whistles of a desktop experience. The key to a good UX is a balance between whitespace and useful content.
To check if a web page is mobile-friendly, use this free tool by Google.
Google analyzes the content for different screen widths, usability checks, etc. and gives a green light if everything’s okay. If not, the site requires some adjusting to make it work on a smaller device.
2. Longtail Keywords in Headings
When a user Googles something the words or phrases that they enter are called keywords.
The best SEO services use those keywords within the content of each web page. And one of those essential elements is the heading tag.
A heading or header tag gives a brief summary of the content below it, just like in the traditional press.
It should entice viewers to continue reading yet should be accurate and not misleading. Users and search engines hate being lied to. And if Google spots a site trying to spam headings they could bar them from their results!
Unlike short one or two word phrases, longtail keywords include four or five words. And they’re key to getting the right traffic and a better experience for the visitor.
Instead of using a heading like ‘Car Insurance Premiums are Rising’ to tie with the short keywords ‘car insurance’, make it local.
Using the longtail keyword ‘car insurance in Los Angeles’ will produce a more relative heading. Visitors in that region see content that matches their local needs and Google responds by ranking it higher. That’s a win-win for everyone!
3. Make Contact Easy
Most sites include a contact form for users to submit their queries. But modern web browsers offer so much more to enhance the experience.
For example, WhatsApp offers several options for site owners to use their service directly from a web page.
Create a link with https://wa.me/yournumber and replace the last part with a WhatsApp registered phone number. When a mobile user clicks the link, WhatsApp opens with a blank message ready to send.
To link directly to an ordinary phone number, use the HTML anchor tag and add ‘tel:yournumber’ to the href attribute.
<a href=”tel:yournumber”>phone our site</a>
Pressing the link opens the phone app with the number ready to go. Site visitors will love how easy it is!
4. Lazy Loading Images
A common UX gripe is slow-loading websites, especially those with lots of images. A simple hack to speed things up is to incorporate lazy loading into the site design.
Lazy loading only loads images that the user can see. They may never scroll down to see the other 50 pictures so lazy loading excludes them.
Pages will zoom even on slow connections. Content gets cached or stored within the browser so the next time they visit the pages appear instantly.
Google rewards sites that have fast loading times.
You can use their free PageSpeed Insights tool to see if your site meets the mark. If Google thinks your site’s too slow it’s guaranteed that your visitors will too.
WordPress users don’t need to worry, though.
The current version of WordPress includes lazy loading as standard. Just update to release 5.5 and enable the feature and you’re all set.
5. Catch Missing Pages
If a user arrives at a missing page their browser presents them with an ugly ‘Page not found’ error.
Missing or incorrect URLs are an automatic turnoff to most but with a little tweak they can actually become useful.
The hack is to use a custom 404 page. The number relates to a web standard error for a missing page. But the good news is that site owners can create their own content.
For example, the website examines the missing page title then produces related results that do exist off those keywords. Some sites even make a joke of the problem by including witty cartoons saying they’re sorry.
How to improve a website user experience? Include fun and engaging 404 pages and let your mistakes work for you.
Improve User Experience and More at Action Life
Now you now 5 secret hacks to help improve user experience on a website. Combine them with SEO techniques and you’ll also rise up Google’s rankings.
If you’d like to learn more about how to improve website experiences then visit our technology section.
Articles range from integrating social media to photo editing. We also have great information on business and finance to help your eCommerce website improvements.
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