*This article is a guest post written by our web services partner, Cardinal Web Solutions.
A few weeks ago, a rock skipped up and hit my windshield as I was driving down I-85, creating a crack about 15 inches long. After asking neighbors and friends if they knew anyone in the area who could fix it in a timely manner without breaking the bank, I was referred to a company whose pricing looked great and could have it done the following day.
I hopped on their website and proceeded to the contact page, hoping to secure my appointment, when I noticed the form was broken. There was no “Schedule Work” button or way to submit my information. I called the number listed on the site a few times trying to get in touch with someone, but was unsuccessful.
The result? After a poor user experience on the company's website and overall lack of customer service, I did not believe that this company's quality of work could meet my expectations, despite the fact that I had been referred to them by a trusted friend.
Unfortunately, this happens to consumers all the time.
Just how important is user experience?
User experience plays a huge role in shaping a consumer's view of your website and, in turn, your company. A positive user experience can result in a conversion, a brand-loyal customer and even an advocate. However, a negative on-site experience, similar to mine, can lead to missed opportunity for your business.
According to DashBurst, 68% of users say they would abandon a webpage because of design issues and 44% go on to share their bad user experiences with friends. This means one bad visit to your site could incite a domino effect of lost customers and profit.
How do you ensure users have a good experience on your site?
The purpose of any website is to connect with consumers and that begins with web design. The design has to be unique, engaging, user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing. It has to tell the story of who you are, where you want to go and what you can do for your target customers.
But that's not all. Having a responsive website design that automatically optimizes for mobile and tablet users is imperative. According to a recent online survey, 99.5% of mobile phone users access content and information on their mobile devices, 62.1% access the internet or check their email and 15% make purchases. Making it easier for consumers to access and navigate your site will simultaneously make it easier for them to convert, regardless of the device they are using.
Let’s talk about your customers.
You absolutely have to know your customers. Your landing pages and content should be completely optimized to attract your target audience. How do they speak? How do they interact? What do they want to hear and how do they want to hear it? Knowing the behaviors, wants and needs of your customer is critical.
Throwing information on a page and hoping for the best is not a strategy. In order to be seen as a credible business, you must make sure that your website is speaking to consumers in the right way and at the right time, providing the ultimate user experience.
Jenny Grifenhagen is an Associate Account Manager at Cardinal Web Solutions, a Digital Strategy Agency located in Atlanta, GA.