In this day and age it seems that starting an online business is a dream a lot of people share. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering the amount of freedom having an entirely online business provides. Much like other types of businesses, in order to continue to grow you’re going to need to find ways to continuously improve what you’re doing. Luckily, when it comes to online businesses that focus primarily on websites, this isn’t a hard thing as there are always ways to improve your product.
It’s no secret that putting heavy focus on what’s going to make your page rank in Google or how you’re going to monetize your page is a great thing to do. However, an often-overlooked point that many people neglect is the actual user experience. Taking into account that the people coming to your site are real, actual users is paramount when crafting your site. Think of this as a valuable long-term investment – getting users onto your page is easy; it’s getting them to stick around and continuously return that is the hard part.
Luckily, there are some concrete methods to improve user experience on your site. Improving your site’s appearance and improving your content, for example, are proven methods that will keep your visitors happy. However, many will argue that improving your page load speed by optimizing your code and getting a content delivery network from a provider like TierPoint is even more valuable. Let’s take a look at each of these points.
Improve Your Appearance
Imagine you were going shopping for a certain product and you happened across two stores that sold the exact same thing. One store has beautiful architecture and is very clean looking. The other store is run down, looks dirty and is just aesthetically unappealing in general. Now ask yourself, which store would you go into? You would go into the one with beautiful architecture, right? This should be a no brainer but is something people often neglect when it comes to websites. Think of your website as your virtual store front – this is the face of your brand. If you are using a free theme with shoddily designed graphics that you threw together in a few minutes chances are users will be turned off. Instead, if you’re on a budget, opt to buy a readily available layout for your page. Alternatively, if money isn’t as much of an issue look into having a custom designed layout made for your page.
Improve Your Content
Improving your content is very important in getting people to stick around on your site. If your site looks great but all of the content is garbage, chances are people are going to read a few sentences and then navigate elsewhere. If you’re a smart individual, I would be willing to bet you’re fully capable of writing great content. All it takes it a bit of time, effort, research and planning and before you know it you will have great content. Alternatively if you feel you’re completely incapable of writing great content, you can always have it written for you. While it will cost you a bit to get high quality content, it is a very wise decision in the long run.
Improve Your Page Load Speed
Last but not least, a great way to improve user experience is by improving your page load speed. The faster your site loads initially and the faster a user is able to navigate around your site, the better. There are several ways to do this some that are free and some that cost money. On the free side, saving your images as JPG instead of PNG to cut down on page load size is a great way to improve page load speed.
On the paid side of things is a content delivery network. These networks will essentially give you access to data centers around the country that will mirror your data. These data centers will then recognize where a visitor is located and use the closest one to serve up content. Companies that offer such services include Cloud Flare, TierPoint and more.