In today’s dig­i­tal mar­ket, cus­tomers have more options than ever when it comes to buy­ing online. Near­ly every prod­uct or ser­vice imag­in­able is avail­able at their fin­ger­tips, which means that every online busi­ness must find a way to con­vince con­sumers to choose them over the oth­er guys.

One of the best ways to do this is by offer­ing an intu­itive and pos­i­tive user expe­ri­ence (UX). In fact, 71% of suc­cess­ful busi­ness­es believe that their supe­ri­or UX is their top com­pet­i­tive dif­fer­en­tia­tor that attracts cus­tomers.

What is even more incred­i­ble to note is the fact that cus­tomers are incred­i­bly influ­enced by even the small­est of details, just one of the many UX chal­lenges that web design­ers face.

With these facts in mind, you’ve prob­a­bly under­stood why you need a kick­ass UX design for your web­site. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

1) Perform A/B Testing Frequently

The key to cre­at­ing a bet­ter UX is con­stant improve­ment, and that kind of inno­va­tion can only be sup­port­ed by thor­ough test­ing and exper­i­men­ta­tion. A/B test­ing tac­tics are the best way to deter­mine which adjust­ments are best for your web­site specif­i­cal­ly. Even the small­est of changes can have a heavy impact on con­ver­sion rates, so be sure that your design team is con­stant­ly exper­i­ment­ing and com­par­ing new con­cepts and ideas.

2) Reduce the Number of Website Pages

Effi­cien­cy and con­ve­nience are the two fac­tors that cus­tomers val­ue the most in a website’s UX – beat­ing out ser­vice, tech­nol­o­gy, and even per­son­al­iza­tion. A web­site with dozens of pages for each and every bit of con­tent is cer­tain­ly not effi­cient, espe­cial­ly when some­one is in the ini­tial stages of the cus­tomer jour­ney and is sim­ply research­ing your orga­ni­za­tion. Sim­pli­fy things by elim­i­nat­ing unnec­es­sary tabs and always be sure that they nev­er lead your cus­tomers to a dead end with no CTA.

3) Include Attractive CTAs

CTA but­tons are fussy crea­tures. A few lit­tle tweaks here and there can boost or impact the click-through rate sig­nif­i­cant­ly. One case study found that when a web­site made their CTA but­ton a con­trast­ing col­or from the rest of the web­page, it had 122% high­er click rates.

The place­ment is also very impor­tant to keep in mind. In gen­er­al, the clos­er to the top of the page, the bet­ter the but­ton will per­form. Of course, your team should do some exper­i­men­ta­tion here to see what design changes per­form best with your vis­i­tors, but keep in mind that even a lit­tle change (i.e. font, col­or, mov­ing graph­ics, etc.) can have a big impact.

4) Pay Attention to Website Security

One of the main rea­sons that a cus­tomer will aban­don their cart or leave a web­page is because some­thing scared them off. And for good rea­son; the num­ber of data breach­es con­tin­ues to rise every year, so con­sumers are espe­cial­ly skep­ti­cal and con­cerned with the safe­ty of their per­son­al infor­ma­tion.

Obvi­ous­ly, the safe­ty and secu­ri­ty of your web­site should be a top con­cern to your busi­ness as well. If you don’t have a secu­ri­ty sys­tem in place yet, get one. Then be sure to clear­ly dis­play your secu­ri­ty fea­tures with trust badges through­out your web­site – espe­cial­ly on the check­out page. When cus­tomers see a secu­ri­ty badge on an e‑commerce site, they are more like­ly to buy.

5) Beware of 404 Errors

Want to know the best way to get rid of your cus­tomers? Lead them to an error page. 74% of cus­tomers who run into a 404 error will imme­di­ate­ly leave your web­site with­out a sec­ond thought. There are plen­ty of mon­i­tor­ing tools out there, but just a sim­ple check with Google Ana­lyt­ics data can show which inter­nal and exter­nal links are bro­ken.

6) Use Adequate Images and Videos, but Provide Ample Whitespace

There is no debate when it comes to visu­als on your web­page. Includ­ing a video on a land­ing page can increase con­ver­sions by 80%. Prod­uct images have been sta­tis­ti­cal­ly proven to increase engage­ment and con­ver­sion rates, but the bal­ance is def­i­nite­ly key when it comes to a smooth UX.

A lit­tle bit of white­space goes a long way, and remem­ber it doesn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly have to be white. Busi­ness and text-heavy land­ing pages can be over­whelm­ing to a visitor’s eye and they don’t know where to focus their atten­tion. Instead, clev­er­ly-used white­space can be very pow­er­ful in guid­ing eyes along the page right to the CTA but­ton for bet­ter con­ver­sions, as you can see from this heatmap study. The page on the left has far more white­space usage, and as a result, cus­tomers are nat­u­ral­ly drawn to the con­trast­ing black CTA but­ton.

7) Focus on the Flow

Your web­site is there to take your cus­tomers through the buyer’s jour­ney, hope­ful­ly end­ing in a con­ver­sion. There­fore, every piece of it must have a flow that makes sense. Inter­est­ing­ly, one study found that 46% of cus­tomers found it incred­i­bly annoy­ing when a web­site “lacked a mes­sage” – and this was the most com­mon rea­son that they exit­ed the plat­form alto­geth­er.

Again, prop­er usage and place­ment of CTA but­tons is incred­i­bly impor­tant here. Take the home­page for this San Diego web­site design com­pa­ny as a per­fect exam­ple. It lit­er­al­ly spells out how to inter­act with the web­site, and each tab offers respon­sive ani­ma­tion when the mouse hov­ers over the CTA.

Your cus­tomers shouldn’t land on a page and won­der what to do next; cre­ate clear steps towards their next move and include con­tent that sup­ports each stage of the cus­tomer jour­ney for a smoother UX.

8) Colors Matter

Col­ors car­ry a whole lot of mean­ing when it comes to brand­ing. A rec­og­niz­able col­or scheme can increase brand recog­ni­tion by up to 80%. Accord­ing to psy­cho­log­i­cal stud­ies, cus­tomers asso­ciate var­i­ous mean­ings to col­ors when they are used by a brand. For exam­ple, lots of blue evokes con­fi­dence and hon­esty while orange is viewed as inno­v­a­tive and cre­ative. Be sure to use the col­ors that sup­port the type of brand­ing mes­sage you want to com­mu­ni­cate to your audi­ence.

9) Make It Responsive and Easy to Navigate

Over half of your web­site traf­fic is most like­ly from a mobile device these days, so smart­phone com­pat­i­bil­i­ty is crit­i­cal. An unre­spon­sive web­site design will turn away as much as 80% of organ­ic search­es if it doesn’t adjust to their screen size or sup­port mobile-friend­ly nav­i­ga­tion. The key here is to sim­pli­fy and enlarge.

While your web­site may have a lot of nav­i­ga­tion­al options clear­ly dis­played at the top of the page, this design is not so great on a small phone screen. Instead, opt for larg­er CTAs, fold down nav­i­ga­tion, and be aware of the nat­ur­al use pat­terns for phone screens for opti­mized place­ment.

10) Faster Loading Times Are a Must

Accord­ing to find­ings by the Nielsen Nor­man Group, web­site vis­i­tors typ­i­cal­ly leave it with­in 10 to 20 sec­onds.

If is to be believed, the aver­age person’s atten­tion span is just 8 sec­onds and only 28 per­cent of words are read on an aver­age web page. There­fore, quick load­ing speeds are a neces­si­ty. Every sin­gle sec­ond that it takes to load your site mat­ters, and any­thing over 3 sec­onds could be enough to send them search­ing else­where. Stay on top of your website’s load­ing speeds and opti­mize the graph­ics and pages that could be slow­ing it down.

11) Conduct Site and Usability Audits

Your business’s web­site will nev­er tru­ly be “fin­ished.” There will always be room for improve­ment, espe­cial­ly as new trends emerge. There are sev­er­al ways that your team can con­duct UX & SEO audits reg­u­lar­ly to ensure that your cus­tomers are con­stant­ly sat­is­fied with their expe­ri­ence. Be sure to stay on top of your cus­tomer reviews and look for pat­terns regard­ing the UX of your web­site, or send out sur­veys to cus­tomers ask­ing them to rate the usabil­i­ty. For a more tech­ni­cal approach, you can try a UX audit­ing tool that will gath­er ana­lyt­i­cal data to iden­ti­fy the areas that need improve­ment.