productivity maze

‘Loose lips sink ships’, the War Council warned Americans during WWII. Today, I’m here to warn online entrepreneurs that bad user experience loses customers.

We are a digital society. Everyone has a website, a Facebook page, or a Twitter handle. In fact, if you’re running your online business well, you should have all of those, plus an Instagram, Pinterest and a Youtube account.

Good user experience is critical to building your following, retaining customers and spreading your message. You can have the best product in the world, but what does it matter if no one clicks over to see it? Online entrepreneurs depend on their online presence. It must be as user-friendly as possible to be productive in the long term.

As more people become skilled in coding, website design or basic website maintenance, and capitalize on social media, it’s easy to craft a unique and good user experience for your business. Here are four things that online entrepreneurs need to be doing for good user experience.

  • Links should cover multiple words

Put a link on more than one word. This is so simple, but you won’t believe how much of an impact it can have on your click through rate.

When visitors find your website on their computer, having a link take up multiple words makes it easier to notice. Better still use words like ‘Click this link’ to increase your click through rate. People respond to clear directions.

On a phone, sometimes a one-word link won’t show up or will be unclickable. If that link is a converter for you, you can be losing revenue because people can’t click through. Extending the link to cover multiple words ensures that readers on any device will be able to see it.

  • Put a sign-up option on every page

Another tiny but impactful detail. Having a sign-up option on every page will increase your click through rate. Whether the link leads to your newsletter or to an affiliate link, repetition is necessary. Advertisers say that people need to see things an average of seven times to

Advertisers say that people need to see things an average of seven times before they buy something. With so much competition online, I recommend you repeat more often than that. Putting opt-in pages on every single page on your website means people don’t have to look for it, and makes it seem like it was on their to-do list anyway.

  • Test things out

Before you go live with a new website design, a product launch, or using a new tool, test it out. Many people set things up themselves. This means it’s intuitive to you, but is it that way for everyone?

Have a few different people within your niche test drive the site. Are they able to find everything you want them to? What stands out to them? What did they struggle with? Does the website have a user flow? This is all information you want to have in your hands before you go live with anything.

  • Create happiness

When someone comes to your business wesbite, you want them to have a good time. Yes, this means that you have created an easy to use website, but it also means you’ve created a happy place.

What does that mean? It means your website should be fun to look at, engaging but not overwhelming, and speaking to your visitors on their level.

If you have a pop-up newsletter request on every page, try cutting that down to just the homepage. Too many interfere with the user flow. Make sure your website has a cohesive feel and an apparent color pattern. For example, your highlighted links should be a color that visitors see elsewhere in your business. Try using a color you use in your logo.

Overall, online entrepreneurs want customers to be happy and to become loyal. A consistent and easy to use website will help build that. Jump on any complaints from customers about their online experience right away. As the boss, you want to know what people are saying about you and how to meet and even exceed their expectations.

User-friendly websites separate not only the good from the bad but those who make money online from those who are simply an online presence. It can be deceptively complex to provide that, but these four tips will get you going in the right direction.

Kara Perez is the founder of Bravely, a company that connects women and money. She freelances in the areas of personal finance and travel, and she eats peanut butter straight out of the jar.

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