If you’re involved in the e-commerce business, you must underline the fact that there’s a directly proportional relationship between website usability and conversion rate optimization. Put simply, if you knuckle down to improve your website’s usability, you can help increase its profitability.
It all boils down to providing great customer service, considering that the goal of any business is to provide its service and meet its clientele’s needs as quickly and dependably as possible. With that being said, we’re going to share some tips that can help improve your website’s usability.
1. Optimize Page Loading Speed
Sometimes it’s not the design of a website that puts its users off; it’s how long it takes to load. A long page loading time can significantly increase the bounce rate on your website. As a result, it can inflict serious damage on your site’s conversion rate, reducing the amount of profit it earns.
A survey conducted by Kissmetrics indicates that 47% of consumers expect a page to fully load within 2 seconds or less of clicking on it. The survey also indicates that 40% of consumers tend to abandon a page that takes more than 3 seconds to load, which is a fairly large percentage.
Further, a 1-second worth of delay time on your site’s responsiveness can lead to a reduction in conversions that equates to 7%. To put this into perspective, if your website makes $100,000 on a daily basis, a 1-second delay can cost you around $2.5 million in lost sales per year.
We’ve already talked about the importance of optimizing your website’s speed and how you can do that on our How to Optimize Site’s Speed article, which we highly recommend you check out. But as a quick tip, you can increase a site’s speed by reducing the size of its image content.
2. Improve Website Accessibility
What good is a website that people can’t even access? If your site is suffering from accessibility issues, it’s imperative that you figure out solutions to these problems, or you’ll lose out on clients and revenue with every single day that goes by. An inaccessible site is quite simply a dead site.
When going about solving your site’s accessibility problems, you should begin by inspecting the hosting service that you’re using to make sure that users don’t receive any errors when trying to load your website. If you’ve invested in poor hosting service, we recommend you upgrade.
Another thing that you should inspect is your site’s mobile responsiveness. Can your site handle different screen sizes? Can it offer reliable responsiveness with slow internet connections? With Google’s mobile-first indexing in mind, mobile responsiveness is a major factor to consider.
We also recommend that you examine your website for broken links. Of course, searching every corner of your website for dead links can be especially inconvenient and time-consuming, which is why we highly recommend you make use of tools such as Ahrefs and Screaming Frog.
3. Convenient Navigation Layout
If your website utilizes an unrecognizable navigation layout, it’s going to be hard for users to get adjusted to it, which will make navigating through your website quite challenging. When it comes to navigation, the simpler and more intuitive your website’s layout is, the better.
But what exactly is a recognizable navigation layout? The vast majority of users are accustomed to websites that adopt a navigation bar at the top that offers links to various pages on the site. In addition, users are used to simple, short terms that can help them differentiate between pages.
To put it simply, the structure and navigation layout of a website should allow the user to find the information he/she is looking for without having to waste time on understanding how the website works. There’s no need to fix what isn’t broken, so stick to a tried-and-tested navigation layout.
4. Implement Proper Typography
When it comes to refining website usability, typography plays a major role, considering that 90% of the information floating around on the internet is in the form of text. If your website is suffering from readability problems, it’s highly likely that you’ll lose a lot of potential customers.
A few typography guidelines to keep in mind:
- Minimize the Number of Fonts – Using too many fonts will result in your website looking unstructured and unprofessional. To increase your site’s readability, you’ll need to stick to a maximum of 3 fonts. Using more will do more harm than good.
- Utilize Mixed Capitalization – Writing entirely in caps or small caps isn’t going to benefit your website whatsoever in terms of readability. Mixed capitalization is the way to go. It will make your site look more professional and appealing.
- Use Standard Fonts – People find reading fonts that they’re used to more easier than reading fonts that they don’t see every day, which is why it’s better for you to stick to standard fonts such as Arial, Roboto, and Times New Roman.
- Minimize Character Spacing – If you have the tendency to play with the spacing in order to fit it more text, we highly recommend that you limit doing so because it can make your text look dense, making it a lot harder to read.
- Avoid Over-Designed Text – Using too many colors for text content isn’t really a good idea as it can take away from its meaning. Moreover, users tend to mistake colored text for adverts, so limit your use of colors as much as possible.
Another thing that you must incorporate to enhance readability is headings and subheadings, as they help break up content and improve the overall look of a page. Nobody likes to read through an impenetrable wall of text, so do yourself and your customers a favor by using headers.
The elements incorporated in the design of your website also play a major role when it comes to readability. The placement of things like banners, text boxes, and sidebars can either help users hammer down on the information you’re providing, or they can be a source of distraction.
5. Make Use of Product Catalogs
As your website expands, the more products you’ll likely be offering, which is why it’s imperative for you to implement catalogs for your products so that the user can find it easier to sort through the numerous products that you have to offer based on various sorting parameters.
The more sorting parameters and product filters you implement, the easier it becomes for users to pinpoint the ideal product that suits their needs and budget, which is really the whole point of improving your site’s usability, right? Click here to learn more about online product catalogs.
6. Concise Product Descriptions
The more information you can provide users about the products they’re interested in buying, the better. Product descriptions should be concise and accurate. Further, they should include things such as technical specifications, price, shipping expenses, payment methods, etc.
Providing a product description in the form of mere text isn’t considered concise, and that’s why you should also incorporate high-quality images of your products. In addition, it’s better that you incorporate images of your products from different angles so that users can get a feel for it.
The use of images doesn’t just have to do with providing users with a good representation of the product you’re offering, but it’s also a great way to break up your content so that users don’t feel overwhelmed and disinterested by the amount of text content on your website.
7. Relevant Product Alternatives
Users don’t want to feel like they’re options are limited, but at the same time, users don’t want to spend too much time looking for the perfect product. This is why it’s important that you list out a bunch of alternatives in a separate block on a product page for convenience.
By presenting a list of alternatives to your customers, the possibility of earning a sale increases. You should also consider presenting users with a list of complementary products that go hand in hand with the products they’re viewing. This can also help increase the number of purchases.
8. On Hand Contact Information
All contact information should be as transparent as possible so that customers find it easy to get in contact with a representative of your brand in case of an inquiry or such. And the more contact options, the better, so make sure you offer email, telephone, and also live support to your users.
Moreover, pieces of information such as terms of service, return policy, and what have you need to be stated clearly so that users find it easier to trust your business. And by earning the trust of users, you help increase the chances of them actually investing in that which you have to offer.
By improving your website’s usability, you ensure that customers enjoy visiting your website and that your business reaches its full potential as far as profitability. However, website usability is all about testing, so don’t expect to achieve optimal website usability overnight.