Have you ever visited a website that created a strong impression and made you want to return again? What is that special formula that makes one site appealing and another boring? A basic website includes some features you'll see over and over again. You can expect a navigation bar, a footer and content. However, you can make a number of simple additions to a business website that enhance the user experience (UX) and help your site stand out from the competition.
Forrester's US Customer Experience Index for 2019 shows that it costs 500% more to gain a new customer than it does to keep one you already have. Focusing on what makes your website usable for your visitors and taking a customer-centered approach is a smart move no matter what industry you're in.
Once you have your basic website in place, consider incorporating these 12 simple but effective add-ons to create better UX. You might just add one or two, but you can also add all 12.
No doubt pop-ups can be an annoyance to users. Some people have overused them, and they can interrupt the flow of someone reading content or browsing a website. Users are likely to click out of a site and go to a competitor site if there are too many pop-ups. However, these tools can also be used effectively to capture leads. Make the pop-up activate when the person hovers over the exit button on their browser or gets to a certain point on the page. Activate the pop-up one time only, then leave the user alone.
There are about 4.5 billion internet users globally, with 50.7% of them based in Asia and only 7.2% in North America. Pay careful attention to your analytics and where your customers hail from. If you have a large portion of site visitors from another country, consider translating your site into the country's primary language. Google offers integrations for translation that you can take advantage of, or you can create a site with different landing pages.
Apple serves people all over the globe, and they reflect this fact in their "Choose Your Country/Region" page. They list geographic areas, such as Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe and the United States. They then offer options within each of those categories, such as Australia or Malaysia in the Asia Pacific region. Users can choose the translation option that works best for them.
3. Voice Search
More and more people have smart speakers in their homes that they use to search for a recipe, listen to a favorite song or even complete shopping. One of the trends of the future will be more voice-activated devices. If your site isn't ready for this shift in the way people search, you may miss out on chunks of potential traffic. Add voice capability to your search now so that you're ready for the coming tide.
If your site runs on WordPress or another content management system (CMS), widgets will give you a lot of flexibility. They can typically appear on every page of your site, so use them to add features that need to be at the user's fingertips. You can include contact information, provide forms or link to social media feeds. Think about the information that's most helpful to your target audience and how you might integrate it into your widgets.
Houck uses a sticky widget on the left side of their landing page that invites visitors to "Request an Estimate." This type of offer also allows businesses to capture leads. As the user scrolls down the page, the widget remains in view at all times. It appears on each page of the site, so the offer is always easy to find.
In Cisco's Visual Networking Index, researchers predict that by the year 2021, 82% of online traffic will be video viewing. There are many types of videos you can add to your website to enhance the user experience. Videos are used to inform, evoke an emotion or just provide entertainment. Think about the overall purpose of your page and how the video enhances the page's goal, and you'll be better able to choose a video that speaks to your site visitors.
6. Coupon Codes
Offering a coupon will allow you to pull in people who might be thinking about trying your product or service but aren't 100% sold on your brand. Coupons should be limited time and enticing enough to encourage a purchase. You can simply offer a code in a box or incorporate it into a button the user clicks so that the code gets automatically added to the shopping cart. That way, it'll be readily available as the person shops.
ASOS features a small box near the top of their page that recognizes it if you're a new visitor and offers you a discount. When you hover over the box, a pop-up appears that explains how you can redeem the discount on the website.
7. Mouse Overs
Adding animated elements, such as navigation buttons that change color when the user hovers over them, will incorporate some interactivity into your site. It doesn't take too much coding to add some simple animations, but it can make your site look much more advanced and professional. Look at your site through the eyes of a typical visitor. What actions are they likely to take, and how can you keep them informed of what might happen if they click on a particular spot on the page?
Including reviews on your e-commerce site will add a level of trust for site visitors. They can see what others think about things such as the quality of the item, if clothing runs true to size and how your customer service handled any issues. Come up with a rating, such as a five-star system, and allow users to rate your product and add comments.
JoJo Maman Bebe offers reviews on every item they sell. Users can freely go in and add their own reviews, but you can also see if anyone else has reviewed the item and learn what the average star rating is at a glance.
9. Social Media Integration
People often use social media to find new brands. Take the time to integrate your site with social media. You can add a plugin that allows users to share a product or content directly from your page to their social media sites. You should also include links to your social media profiles so that people can easily follow you on social media and keep up with new product offerings.
As website speeds increase and connectivity becomes more reliable, it's getting easier to add elements that used to bog down loading times. Animation, for instance, will add an interesting element to your page. You could animate part of your logo, for example, to draw attention to it and help brand your business. You don't have to spend a fortune animating your entire site. Think in terms of animating small portions of your site when you want to draw attention to an item.
11. Live Chat
Live chat has been appearing more and more often on websites. People prefer using live chat, especially younger generations, as a quick alternative to waiting on hold. The platform has grown 87% in the last couple of years and is now seen on the majority of business sites. If you haven't yet integrated live chat, now is the time to do so. Make sure it's usable for both your desktop and mobile visitors.
Want to learn more about the people who visit your site? Add a plugin for online surveys and collect information from those who participate. You could even add an incentive, such as a discount if they complete the survey. The more information you gather about your target audience, the better you can serve their needs.
As you add new features to your website, run split tests to see which ones are appealing to your customers and which ones they could live without. Some features may bog down your site speed and not give you much return for your investment. Don't be afraid to add something and then remove it if it isn't working for your needs. With a little attention to detail and trial and error, your site will soon be the best in your industry and create an excellent customer experience.