Perhaps we’re not saying too much that people are spending more and more time online. According to HootSuite analysis, we spent around 6 hours 54 minutes online in 2021. Think about it, that’s roughly 40% of your waking time!
But it also means that there is a lot of content, a lot of noise, a lot of digital stimuli that is very difficult to stand out from. That’s why you need to pay close attention to providing the user with the best possible features, the most convenient solutions.
And not only will you see this in your website traffic, but you’ll also be ranked higher by Google, which rewards user-friendliness. In this article, we’ll show you features that help the user and that you can incorporate into your website to make your UX that much better.
Let’s get started!
#1 I’m blogging, so I exist
Nowadays, there’s no question that content is the way to get closest to users. After all, most people are looking for a solution to a specific problem, and you may have the answer.
But this will not be done in the classic “buy my product or service“ way (I didn’t write marketing on purpose).
Furthermore, it is worth noting that the user is not bound to one or the other. To understand this seemingly complicated, but actually quite simple issue, let’s turn it around.
Think back to the last thing you bought online, or the last service you used to find a solution online.
Let’s give a simple example.
Let’s say you’ve had enough of home haircuts and you’re looking for a good barber.
You don’t really know what hairstyle or style you want yet, you’re just looking. Then you come across a page with details of oils they recommend for beard and hair care, or tricks for getting a mirror-smooth face after shaving, without acne.
You look at their gallery, what haircuts they’ve done so far, the team and their prices, customer reviews, and finally Google reviews.
As you get more into it, you realise that these guys really know what they’re doing. You trust them as professionals because what you’ve seen/read has given them credibility. And that’s the key: you have to be credible in the eyes of your prospective client.
And you simply cannot do that without content.
So the first and most important thing is to have continuous, fresh content that provides a solution to a problem. You don’t always have to write sweaty posts.
It will be much more enjoyable if you go into a problem less often, but enthusiastically and thoroughly.
#2 Safety above all
We’re not just talking about the https:// standard (you know, that little closed padlock in the url bar in the top left corner), it’s now standard for almost most websites.
But not even secure credit card payments (if they are needed at all), as this is also a basic requirement for financial service providers.
More important is what you, as the website owner, do (or don’t do) to protect your users’ privacy. Is your website secure enough? Won’t it be hacked by a brute force (overload) attack? Have you done everything you can to protect your users 100%?
In almost all cases, this requires good professionals, but it is better to be safe than sorry; and if it does happen, it will be much more expensive to repair.
Not to mention your damaged reputation, as people are much less likely to trust a website that has already been hacked. (Which means you’ll indirectly have fewer customers and therefore less revenue.)
#3 Contact CTA
This seems simple and straightforward, yet many websites lack contact details.
Enter your customer service phone number (your own or your colleague’s if you don’t already have one) and the time slots you are available. In addition, give a general, informative email address where they can reach you, as some people don’t like to make phone calls.
You can enter the phone number and mail address in the top header section so that it appears on every page.
It can also be handy to have a contact form where customers can request a quote or book an appointment with a relevant clickable button, such as “Book an appointment” or “Send email”.
It is important that the text of CTAs is always short and clear.
#4 Improved search, category filtering
You wouldn’t believe how much trouble a simple little feature like search can cause.
However, if there is a lot of product/content (for example in a large webshop or aggregator type site) then searching can be a time-consuming process.
In addition, the user may enter the wrong word to search for, which also leads to problems. Fortunately, there are solutions to all these problems, which can be solved by a professional.
When searching, it’s useful to have a search bar (similar to Google) after the first three letters, which throws up suggestions, and the user can select the one that best suits them from the drop-down menu.
Filtering by category is most important for online shops. You wouldn’t believe how much it matters for a website if the customer can filter and search for products by colour/size/shape/brand/material.
Of course, we should not exaggerate here either.
Filtering by function can be extended or optimised ad infinitum, but the principle of less is sometimes more.
An endless number of options can confuse the user, so it is not recommended to use more than 6-7 filtering functions on a website.
#5 Personalized content
If you have a subscription to Netflix, Spotify or HBO Max, you’ve probably come across “recommended for you” content.
Personalized content will become increasingly important as the years go by, so if you incorporate it into your website now, you’re actually getting ahead of the game.
No need to think big: if your customer has already ordered XY beard oil from you (just to use the example above), offer them the same or an improved version of the same brand. You can cross-sell, offer related products and services, and it’s a win-win situation.
Because the user will feel the care, which will make them spend more with you, their engagement will be higher, which will also generate more purchases.
#6 Live chat
Let’s face it: most people are lazy. They are lazy to click and read your FAQ page (by the way, it’s very important to have one) lazy to search and lazy to gather information.
Instead, you much prefer to chat with a man in the flesh who can give you immediate answers to your questions. Fortunately, there are now advanced chatbots that can answer simple questions as if you were talking to a human.
By the way, Kissmetrics has made an interesting survey about this, and one of the first things you should do after reading it is to integrate the service into your site.
- 44% of online shoppers say one of the most important services is having a live person answer their questions online
- 63% said they were more likely to return to a site with live chat
- 38% said they bought the product or service because of the chat itself
- 62% reported that they would be more likely to shop on the site again.
So in the light of the above figures, it is definitely worth trying the service.
#7 Social media
Last but not least, it is also worth devoting a few paragraphs to social media.
Although organic reach, especially on Facebook and Instagram, which are part of the Meta, is getting lower and lower, it is still an inescapable platform for an entrepreneur or company. On the one hand, you can reach a lot of potential customers and on the other hand, you can communicate with them in a much more interactive way and increase engagement.
That’s why we decided to include social media management in our services. So if you want us to be your voice in the digital ether, feel free to contact us. And if the above services appeal to you, get in touch and let’s talk – we can certainly help.