5 Ways to Create the Optimal Customer Experience on Your Website

28 6月

5 Ways to Create the Optimal Customer Experience on Your Website

I am sure most people have quit while waiting for a website page to load. Waiting is a hassle; we all expect fast-loading sites—anything less isn’t worth the wait in today’s time-poor world. If your website is like this, then you probably haven’t upgraded or even thought about your website for a little while now.

And that’s why website speed is an essential part of your site’s performance. Whether your goal is reducing customer care calls, getting more targeted leads or being the hub of your digital strategy, website optimization can make your site more effective in achieving those goals.

Most consumers state that load time is an important factor when it comes to searching for information online. According to Google, 53% of mobile phone visits are abandoned if the page takes more than three seconds to load. Moreover, the study suggested that fast websites generate higher revenue. Mobile sites which take a maximum of five seconds to load earn two times more ad revenue than those loading for 19 seconds.

Furthermore, Google asked users whether they would prefer 30 or 10 search results to be served up per page. When Google incorporated 30 results to a few search pages, the traffic dropped by 20%, and the page load time between the two result pages was only half a second. If half a second has such an impact on traffic, imagine the difference it would make if you reduce your site’s load time by three seconds.

Key aspects of website performance optimization

Hosting

There are several important web hosting factors to consider when choosing whether to stay with your existing provider or move to a new provider. It goes without saying that you must make sure the hosting service has a dedicated 24×7 customer service. Check out reviews of their service on third-party review sites as well. Make sure there are no common themes in complaints as that would suggest there is likely to be a similar issue for you.

When browsing, you are trying to access remotes files found in web servers and the faster the computer, the faster one accesses the requested pages. The same applies to web hosting: effective web hosts invest in web server architecture to make sure that every page on those web servers run at full speed. Additionally, look for more advanced hosting packages that come with enhanced memory and increased power. Enhanced resources boost the speed of your websites because requests are executed more quickly. Advancing from shared web hosting to better plans will also do the trick.

Studies have found that 47% of consumers expect a web page to load within two seconds or less, with 40% abandoning a website that takes more than three seconds to load. There are lots of valuable guides and tips about there to speed up your site whether you need to speed up a WordPress website or any of the other content management systems out there such as Umbraco, Drupal, and so on. Speed really is king, so do what you can to improve yours.

Size of images

Files and images are crucial tools for your site as they help increase conversions, elicit your audience’s emotion, and tell stories about your site. It would be hard to develop an effective website without using visual content. The primary roles of using images on your website should be to improve the user experience and also enhance your content marketing. If the images negatively impact your site’s performance, then you need to fix this ASAP as Google will also start punishing your site by ranking it lower.

Also, consider “page bloat.” As new technology and new methods come along for content marketing and lead generation, try to avoid cramming too much onto one page. Images, scripts, flash, HTML, stylesheets, forms, video and so on—one page could have all of these on them. Try to avoid this. Simple, clean, and easy to understand is the best approach.

Images can often be quite a problem for load speed. If images are not properly optimized, they tend to consume valuable page loading time and contribute to providing a poor experience for your website visitors. Optimizing images helps boost your website speed and performance—the larger the file size of the image, and the less optimized they are, the slower a site will load and the worse it will perform. It’s as simple as that.

When selecting a file type, consider the purpose of your image and what it consists. Choose the format which results in the smallest size while retaining the quality. Furthermore, ensure you choose the right dimensions. Identify where the images will be used on your website and make sure they are not larger than needed for that space. Your hosting provider will be able to advise on not just how best to optimize them.

Apps/Plug-ins

Plugins offer different features and functionality. Some plugins load assets on the front-end such as images, JavaScript files, and CSS stylesheets while others are used in making database calls on the back-end. Most plugins need HTTP requests to load assets, and each request impacts your website’s page load time.

When website plugins are installed and set up properly, their impact on website speed is minimal. However, a conflict between plugins can negatively impact your website speed the same way as failing to keep them updated. Moreover, if you are using too many plugins that are making a lot of requests to load assets and files, or your plugins are not up-to-date, then your site’s user experience and performance will be negatively affected.

Mobile-first

Mobile-first can be described as the as a way of designing a mobile version of your site before the desktop version. Responsive design is ok, but mobile-first is ideal.

Mobile-first has three key benefits:

  • It improves the user experience for your website
  • Performs incredibly for backward compatibility
  • Google loves mobile-first websites and favors them in search engine results pages.

This means that even before coding and designing your website, gear your focus towards a great mobile design to get a better, simpler and faster web experience across all screens and devices. Aside from most of us browsing and searching on mobiles more than desktops now, Google’s mobile-first indexing is changing the game—this means that Google is crawling and indexing the mobile version of a site instead of the desktop version.

Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)

CDN is a geographically located server which host copies of your website’s resources to deliver content based on the user’s location. CDN shortens the RTT (round trip time) of your content and brings it closer to the geographical location of your site visitor.

When online users request specific content from your website, the content delivery networks look for the most optimal edge note which can fulfill the requests. This means that automatically choosing servers that are closest to the requesting user, are least expensive, and have the highest capacity.

Conclusion

Aberdeen Group conducted a study which found that one-second delay in a page load time leads to 11% fewer page views, 7% loss in conversions, and a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction. The findings imply that page load times directly impact sales, search engine optimization, as well as overall customer experience.

The fact that many customers say that they will never return to a slow site means that you should keep them happy by using proper website performance tools and incorporating the aspects mentioned above. You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes to not just your overall website traffic, but all key website metrics.

The post 5 Ways to Create the Optimal Customer Experience on Your Website appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

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