Over the past 6 months, I have picked up the role of completing our website audits. I work with our UX designer to perform best practice checks, usability reviews and Grunt-tests.
Completing these reviews has been really eye-opening. There are so many things that I’d been subconsciously interacting with on sites without even realizing. Tiny decisions and assumptions that I (and the general public) make in a split second that affect what we do next.
Here are some things I’ve learned.
Slow is bad. Like REALLY bad.
Be honest, how long would you stay on a web page and wait for it to load? Chances are, not very long. We as consumers have become increasingly impatient. We expect what we want to appear in front of our eyes within split seconds, if not immediately.
Research from KISSmetrics reports that load times matter when it comes to website performance. Here are some key stats from their analysis:
- 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less.
- 40% abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load.
- Even a one-second delay (or three seconds of waiting) decreases customer satisfaction by about 16%.
Read those numbers again. If your landing page is slow, almost half of your users will be unhappy right off the bat. And these days, this is often their first ever experience with your company!
There are so many factors that can slow down your site. Sometimes, it can be as simple as the size of your images, making sure your images are optimised for web can make a huge difference!! Whatever the issue – you need to find it and address it asap! The fact is, if your website is too slow, you are losing customers.
A lot of people don’t know WHY or WHO visits their website.
Maybe they know why they want people there, but often they don’t know who their audience actually is. Which means they can’t know why people visit their site.
Your website must talk directly to your (actual) users. If no other reason than to avoid high bounce rates and keep Google happy!
Take a step back and figure out who your buyer personas are and what customer journey they take on your site – what are they thinking and feeling? By starting here you can begin to empathise with your users, picture the actions they take and use this information to drive whatever metrics you are trying to achieve.
When working with Carers SA, we facilitated a workshop to break down their current user flows and data of their website. After the session we concluded, our end goal was to drive more engagement from users to online enquiries. We also want to lower bounce rates overall, a bounce occurs when someone visits your website and leaves without interacting further with your site. Do you know your conversion rate? Conversion rate = Number of conversions divided by the total number of site visits x100. Check out Gecko Board to see a chart of industry standard conversion rates.
If your site isn’t hitting these benchmarks, it’s time to investigate why!! Maybe you are basing your site on internal assumptions, rather than who your actual customers are!
Websites should be simple
Confusion and uncertainty not only leave people unsure of what to do next on your website, but it also makes them already start to lose confidence in your brand. Take this website for example. It is confusing (to say the least) but do you feel confident in this company just by looking at their homepage? Would you enter your credit card details to purchase something? I wouldn’t! This is an extreme example but you can see how a website can very quickly cause people to start questioning your brand.
If you want to read more about this – take a read of Nick’s blog – all about Decision Paralysis on the web.
Another great example is Shine SA. They are a leading not-for-profit provider of primary care services and education for sexual and relationship wellbeing. They came to us needing help simplifying and stripping down their website. They knew that a simple site was key for people to find what they need quickly and easily. See the final site here
Your website tells the world who you are.
According to Profit Works, 93% of business decisions begin with a search engine search. If your business doesn’t have an optimised website, you’re missing out on reaching a huge part of your audience.
But let’s be honest, everyone is time-poor and maybe your website isn’t your highest priority? Maybe you get a lot of your customers through recommendations and you pride yourself on your outstanding Customer Service? Obviously this is extremely important, and will secure you referrals and repeat business, but it is impossible for new customers to know this about you. Unfortunately, the truth is – if your website provides a poor experience for users, this is guaranteed to lose you customers before they even think about making contact. Before you get a chance to wow them over the phone before they see your beautiful work! Your website should guide your viewers on the path you want them to take, THEN is your chance to wow them with your brilliant business.
Have I convinced you yet? Are you ready for me to complete an audit on your site? It’s totally free and will give you an amazing insight into how your site is perceived in the market.
You’ll receive practical info about your website, how it aligns with your goals and some suggested changes! Check it out here .