How to Streamline Your Website’s User Journey

Avi

Avi · 15th July 2020·Misc

How to Streamline Your Website’s User Journey

The Importance of the User Journey

Whenever you start a website, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a personal blog or a customer-facing site for an SME, you must always consider the quality of your site’s user journey. It’s easier than ever to get a website online today, but getting a website to work for your target audience is still a challenge.

Think of a user journey like a flow chart of how target users will navigate around your website to achieve their aims. If you are a business that sells products or services online or wants prospects to reach out and make online enquiries, user journeys should be geared towards conversions, i.e. completing a transaction or submitting an enquiry form. As a blogger, you will be keen to encourage visitors to read your latest articles and consider signing up to your newsletters or alerts for when new content is published.

It doesn’t matter whether you are starting a website as a hobby or for commercial gain, the success or failure of your site’s user journey will often be linked to any of the three following areas:

Website Design and Layout

Maximizing user conversions – whatever they may be – is best achieved by planning your site’s user journey with supporting architecture. Wireframing is a great starting point for all new website designs and layouts. It gives you a chance to strip the essence of your website back to the bone, allowing you to incorporate what your target demographic will find most important first and foremost.

If you are at the “I have purchased a domain name now what” stage, you should then move on to the architecture of your website to engineer the customer journey. A website layout that offers a great first impression is far more likely to convert than one that doesn’t. There are two important questions that you must ask yourself when working on your website’s design:

  • Why is my website meaningful and valuable to users?
  • What makes my website more valuable than my competitors'?

The key is to provide them with a positive user experience and a slick customer journey. Both of which go hand in hand when it comes to the key design elements of a website:

  • Color schemes

Understandably, most business websites will adopt a color scheme that’s in keeping with their branding. However, it’s important to consider the issue of color psychology and how this can have a proven effect on users’ decisions. Major e-commerce sites like Amazon have continually altered their color variations on-site through the years to understand the schemes that resonate best with target customers.

  • Mobile-first

The era of designing websites exclusively for desktop and laptop use is well and truly over. Since Google revealed that it was prioritizing websites that were mobile-first and fully responsive – in recognition of the growing percentage of mobile web users – responsive designs are essential. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that most of your target demographic could interact with your brand using smartphone and tablet devices. Responsive designs that correctly lay out and display calls-to-action and prioritize the key aspects of your site on mobile screens will prevent bounce rates from creeping up.

  • Page speed

Recent research discovered that more than half (53%) of all mobile users will leave a webpage if it takes more than three seconds to load. With everyday demands on work-life balance growing on millennials and Generation Z, consumers are more time-poor than ever before. Attention spans are minute, and people simply don’t have the inclination to hunt for what they need. They would rather be spoon-fed. Your website design and layout should do everything it can to make your website load faster on mobile. It will not only enhance the user journey and experience; it will help your website rank better given that faster mobile sites rank better than slow-loading ones. Avoid excessive use of large images or videos and keep on-page advertisements to a premium wherever possible.

On-Site Content

It’s also important to discuss the value of on-page content with influencing and coaxing users along their journey through your site. Today’s consumers are less keen on “pushy” brands. Instead, they want “real” brands that understand their customers’ pressure points and are passionate about solving problems.

There are clever ways you can tailor your landing page content to your audience, regardless of what stage they are at in the user journey:

  • Positive and consistent messaging

First and foremost, your landing page content needs to be seamless and leave a lasting impression on consumers. It should be visually and intellectually stimulating, leaving your brand firmly on their radar.

  • Answer questions at the top of the funnel

Try not to leave users with more questions than answers about your products or services. At the top of the funnel, provide engaging content that explains your business. This could be in the form of concise guides or on-page videos.

  • Build trust and advocacy

The best way to encourage customers to buy at the consideration stage of the user journey is to build trust. Give them compelling reasons to choose your site over your competitors. Give them advice and guidance on various aspects of your niche in the form of blogs and infographics.

  • Ensure users understand your offering

It’s not easy selling things online. With so much choice out there, prospects will always be comparing your services with others. Use your content to build a reassuring brand image and a sense of identity that allows them to fall in love with your business as well as its services.

  • Create a sense of urgency

When it comes to calls-to-action, you’ll still need to provide reassurance at the final hurdle. This may be customer testimonials or reviews. Your content should also create a sense of urgency that gives users that last push to the finish line.

Web Hosting

An instant turn-off for prospective customers is either 404 errors or slow-loading webpages. We’ve already touched upon the importance of loading pages within three seconds on mobile, but it’s equally important that your website has as close to 100% uptime as possible.

Want to know how to make your website run faster and more reliably? Choose a cloud-based website hosting plan. Cloud hosting stores your website across multiple server locations. It mitigates the threat of website downtime that sites on dedicated servers experience due to attacks by cyber-criminals.

If you are new to building websites and are at the “what do I need to host a website?” stage, we’re here to help. At Verpex, no matter how big or small your website or organization is, we offer cloud-based hosting in a choice of locations too. Our infrastructure spans all five continents, so wherever you are in the world you can choose a server location that’s as close to your target demographic as possible. This will ensure the fastest possible page load as well as engaging user experiences.

We have hosting solutions to suit businesses in any sector, whether it's a one-man band operating a modest WordPress site for their plumbing business, a digital marketing agency with dozens of clients or a global conglomerate in financial services. We will help you to create the best possible impression with your local, regional, national and global users.

Choose our basic web hosting plans to get free unlimited SSL certificates that offer website visitors genuine peace of mind, as well as one-click installations of WordPress features to improve your site's user journey. Our reseller hosting plans are tailor-made for those digital agencies we've just mentioned, with twice-daily website backups for all sites hosted on your clients' behalf, as well as unlimited bandwidth to cope with web traffic spikes. Global conglomerates requiring their own hosting environment can use our dedicated servers and benefit from 24/7 support from our system engineers to keep you functioning at all times.

With servers from Sydney to Amsterdam, we can bring your site closer to your users than many other hosting packages can commit to. It’s one of the many reasons why we believe Verpex is better than GoDaddy and other larger hosting companies at being your trustworthy global hosting provider.