Websites are relatively easy to build in today’s market thanks to the wide number of DIY building tools, freelance webbuilders, and companies specializing in getting a website up and running quickly. It’s a good thing too because consumers want to be able to access information easily and businesses want to be found. One thing that often gets overlooked in the process of building a website is the final user experience once the website is finished from the owner’s perspective. Just slapping a website on the internet is no longer good enough.
It’s important to explore how the content, features, and designs you’ve included will impact a visitor on the page and their user experience. In fact, research led by the Nielsen Norman Group found that a user only stays on your page about 10 seconds, and during that time, you need to capture their attention to keep them on it. The four essential components that need to be evaluated for your new website includes: page speed, reading age, mobile layout, and user journey as each of these have an impact on what the user sees when they click on your site.
Four Essential Components to User Experience
1) Page Speed
Page speed relates to how fast your website is when it comes to loading completely, being usable for the visitor, and how long the page takes to respond to something that the visitor does on your site. Having a poor page speed means that it’s probably not going to keep the interest of someone that’s just clicked on it in a search result because it takes more than 10 seconds to load. They will have moved on to the next website in that their search displayed due to their user experience. This can also be a problem for Google, as they have also said in the past that site speed can impact where your website ends up in the web search rankings.
2) Reading Age
Reading age refers to the written content on your website, and what level of education a person would need to have to easily understand what’s been written. This is typically reflected by a grade level. The reading age is determined by the complexity of your sentences and the words used. Most websites try to gear their reading age based on the audience that they’re trying to reach. Less technical websites aiming for a lower reading age while websites requiring more technical jargon will require a higher reading age.
Your website’s content can be scanned for its reading age, and if you find it’s more complex than intended, change up the phrasing and word choice. Most services that provide you with a reading age will identify areas that need to be fixed to get your reading age where you want it at for your content.
3) Mobile Layout
Mobile layout relates to whether or not your website looks good on a mobile device. People are no longer stuck using only a laptop to check the internet, so your site may be found using a number of devices all with different sized screens. Having a mobile responsive website makes it easier for all visitors to enjoy what your site has to offer. This is another priority for Google, and back in 2015, they released the update to their algorithms called Mobilegeddon. This update improved the rank of websites that were mobile friendly while dropping the position of those that were not.
The solution for your mobile layout issues will depend on the design. Some websites may only require a quick fix to optimize it for all devices while others may require a more extensive redesign to improve the user experience. The best way to check for potential mobile layout issues is to either manually check your website and different web pages on a wide variety of devices or use a service that verifies how mobile ready your site is as it currently stands.
4) User Journey
The user journey is typically the actions that a user will do when on your website. So, for a website like Facebook, the user journey is logging in, posting things to their wall, interacting with other posts, messaging friends, and playing games. A website that has a broken user journey will not be attractive to a visitor and often may cause them to go elsewhere.
The solution for a satisfactory user journey is to perform walkthroughs on your website using a variety of browsers to identify any problems. By going through different browsers, you’ll be exploring what your potential users will be seeing and experiencing on your site.
These are the four essential components that you’ll want to keep in mind for a better user experience. Identifying problems with these elements and fixing them will help to improve how long users stay on your website and explore. I hope these tips help to increase the quality of your website and improve your conversion rate.
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