Whatever name you wish to call them – end-user, visitor, customer – these are people who visit your website to engage with your brand, product, or service. These are the folks who are going to make or break your business. By the looks of your website they will determine if you have something that’s worth their time and money. Therefore, doesn’t it make sense to do everything you can to make these people happy? Wouldn’t you want to make sure they find what they’re looking for and give them an unforgettable customer experience? Of course you do, or you wouldn’t be in business in the first place! But the bigger $64,000 question is how to make this happen in an era of fast-paced, cutting-edge technological innovation where market competition has never been higher.
If you were the owner of a brick-and-mortar business you wouldn’t have a dirty store, poorly stocked shelves, or grumpy assistants, and then expect customers to stick around. The same goes for your online business. It’s incumbent to know if there’s a problem with your site as soon as possible to avoid downtime and lost revenue. Your customers are your revenue source, plain and simple! If you want to stay in business then you’ll need to give them a rich and engaging user experience. Your ultimate aim is to turn visitors into faithful, repeat end-users of your product, brand, and service.
So enough talk, in what follows we provide 7 practical tips, or best practices, that you can adopt today to enhance your end-user experience!
1. Keep things fast!
Research shows a clear relationship between web load speed and customer conversions. The faster a page loads the more likely customers will be to visit and do business on your site. The inverse is also true. The slower a page the less likely customers will be willing to wait around and engage with your brand. While this seems fairly straightforward, it’s surprising how few business owners really get the importance of website performance and the role it plays in their business strategy. It might be nice to have a trendy looking website, but if it takes 10 seconds to load visitors won’t hang around long enough to appreciate all the bells and whistles anyway.
2. Make your central message crystal clear
From the moment end-users hit your page you want to give them a clear reason for why they should stick around. To do this you need to deliver your central message as quickly, clearly, and convincingly as possible. Don’t make your home page so convoluted that folks don’t know what action to take. Use large font, go generous on the content, and create clear pathways to the channels they need to purchase your product . . . period, end of story.
3. Give visitors a reason to return
So you’ve gotten some visitors, now what? Well, that’s only half the battle. Studies show that most will not purchase on the first visit. So you need to give visitors a solid reason to return to your website. Do this by providing them with something useful, something they can’t refuse. Provide practical articles, a regularly updated blog, a newsfeed, or other user-generated content . . . anything that will engage your visitors and provide them with something of value.
4. Design your website for Mobile First quality and speed
Forrester reported last year that it expected mobile commerce transactions in the United States to total $114 billion in 2014. $76 billion will be from tablets, while the remainder will be from smartphones. Given the prominence (and dominance!) of M-commerce, it’s critical to ensure that your website is mobile first. The paradigm of making desktop sites responsive for mobile devices must now be switched. The strategy should be to code for mobile users first and then progressively enhance the experience for tablets and desktops. Doing so will help reduce the number of unnecessary dependencies.
5. Use web analytics and gather metrics
To some this sounds like a well-worn cliché by now, but it needs to be drilled in more and more. If you’re not tracking the behavior of your customers or end-users with metrics then you’re leaving money on the table. Use the many available web analytics on the market to learn as much as you can about your customer’s online behaviors. The ability to track a single customer across your site and across multiple devices will ensure that you can tailor your brand to their needs. For instance, you want to learn more about when and where they’re visiting from, what devices they’re using, what are their online activities, and other key demographics such as age. Gaining these insights will help your organization better understand what’s important to your visitors and how to personalize their experience.
6. Take it easy on design ‘best practices’
Increasing the size of your website’s size, images, third-party scripts, and style sheets come with a heavy price and can adversely affect performance. This is especially true in the world of mobile. Over 50% of all time consumers spend on retails site is on mobile devices, and more than 50% of consumers multiscreen during the purchasing. According to this piece, some of the worst practices are web pages that are initially blank and then populate, pages where CTA is the last thing to render, popups that block the rest of the page, and designing and testing in an ivory tower (or leaving the user out of the equation).
7. Adopt real-user monitoring with Paid Monitor
If you’re an online business owner then you owe it to yourself to keep close track of the behaviors of your customers and end-users. If you truly care about their experience in your shop, then you’ll want to understand things like page views and load times, site page build performance, and users’ browser and platform performance. These are the key metrics that will keep you informed of what your end-users are doing on your site.
Paid Monitor is a company that specializes in these kinds of things. Paid Monitor offers first-class global 24/7 monitoring solutions to keep your infrastructure and website running optimally at all times. Along with its premium website monitoring, Paid Monitor offers a special service called Real User Monitoring (RUM). What this service essentially does is collect valuable data about your users’ interactions with your website and shares it in a clear and meaningful way on your dashboard so that you instantly see your site’s strong points, weak points, along with a wealth of other valuable information. Page views and load times are broken down by browser, platform, and geographical location so can monitor how your business website performs in real-time from a specific web browser, OS, or country. Paid Monitor Real User Monitoring can be used standalone or it can be easily integrated with other Paid Monitor tools such as Uptime Monitoring, Transaction Monitoring, and Full Page Load Monitoring.
When it comes to preserving your peace of mind and keeping your customers happy you don’t want to leave things to chance. You need a trusted and reliable provider to lead the way. So why not do yourself a favor and check out Paid Monitor and sign up for a free trial today and see what a difference it makes. Then sit back and watch your business ROI grow!