Optimizing your website’s user experience (UX) should be one of the most important goals when seeking website design and development services. Creating the most effective UX on both desktop and mobile devices will improve search engine rankings and increase your lead conversions from digital marketing efforts.
Its impact on search engine optimization (SEO) makes it even more critical with Google’s most recent update as of May 2020, which penalizes websites with poor user experience. While search engines have always rewarded websites with positive user experiences, web design trends change each year. Based on these recent changes, Markentum's web team has put together their top recommendations for improving a website’s user experience (UX) design.
Create Intuitive Content and Navigation
Content should be easy to find and organized on clearly labeled pages so that the website visitor can quickly navigate to find the information they are looking for without frustration. One of Markentum's first steps in the website design and development process is to analyze the existing website’s pages and create a new sitemap. Our content marketing team will strategize on where to put information based on the best overall user experience and search engine optimization. A new sitemap will be presented, which may have page content combined, split into different sections, or relabeled with page names that clearly define their purpose.
Depending on the scope of the project, new content may be written to ensure that the messaging is effective with the new design. Fresh, organized content improves search engine rankings and helps convert more leads from digital marketing efforts.
Design for Mobile Devices First
Once upon a time, web designers designed and developed a website for large desktop screens, with responsive design elements for tablet and smartphone screen sizes being an afterthought. With the majority of visitors viewing a website from their smartphone, web design needs to be designed first for mobile devices.
How content flows, stacks, and “responds” to different sized smartphone screens is Markentum's first priority when designing and developing a new website. High-resolution images that look great on retina phone displays and big screens are also important for design. Blurry photos should not be used; Markentum offers services to visit locations and capture all new images and videos to ensure a high-quality website design that will look good on every screen.
Optimize Page Load Speed
Have you ever left a website because it was taking too long to load? You’re not alone. According to Marketing Dive, “53% of mobile website visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load.” This makes optimization, compression, and clean code for website design and development more critical than ever.
Site speed is also an important ranking signal for Google, as it creates the best user experience. Markentum uses a wide range of technical tools to ensure that website speed and performance is as efficient and fast as possible.
Avoid Instant Pop-up Boxes
Have you ever visited a web page but couldn’t scroll down through the content because banner ads kept loading or popping up? This can be an annoying feature from both the desktop and mobile device, and can even make it impossible for users on a smartphone to scroll down and read the web content. Feeling frustrated, they leave, and Google takes notice of this short visitation time.
Many bloggers utilize the annoying pop-up ad trend without realizing how it impacts user experience, focusing instead on gathering newsletter subscribers and earning money from users who click on the banner ads. This is a short-sighted goal that does not take into account the impact it will have on search engine rankings and quality user conversions.
For non-retail websites, users are less likely to subscribe to an email newsletter within the first five seconds of visiting a website. Why? Because they have only just started to view the content. They need to scroll through the page and have time to actually read the content before being presented with the option to subscribe. Otherwise, the most likely user action will be to quickly close the pop-up box so that they can find what the information they were searching for that initially brought them to the web page. This doesn’t mean that pop-up boxes with a call-to-action should be left out of a web design altogether; it just means that the timing and placement of the box are crucial. Before launching a website, Markentum’s entire digital marketing team tests the site on various screens to ensure that there are no issues with the user experience or annoying instant pop-up boxes.
Looking for web design and development services that focus on user experience? Talk to Markentum about improving your online presence.