We all know the power of Google search, but many of us don’t pay much attention to the search feature on our own websites:
How important is that search box? Depending on your website and industry, site search can have a big impact on your website’s success. Research from Moz, eConsultancy, and ConversionXL has found that:
In short, site search is good for users and good for website owners!
What you can do: First of all, be sure you’ve enabled site search. Second, be sure that your site search works well, providing good results to users, even if their query isn’t exactly right. Third, use analytics to track how users search on your site (what keywords they’re using). Last but not least, optimize your site search to provide the best results possible, especially for the most popular queries).
We know that most users don’t really like ads. They’re kind of a necessary evil, acceptable only in limited quantities. Kinda like spinach, dentist appointments, and DMV visits.
How much does the typical user dislike websites with too many ads? A lot, as it turns out. According to a study by ReliaSite Insights, the average user would rather visit a website with errors, security issues, and/or poor content than visit a website with too many ads. (How dare the website give me free content in exchange for viewing an ad!)
What you can do: Explore alternative monetization tactics, such as sponsored content or affiliate links, so you can keep ads to a minimum on your website.
While shopping cart abandonment rates vary by industry, the typical website loses about 65% of potential customers during the checkout process. Most of us involved in marketing have probably heard statistics like that about shopping cart abandonment. But what can you do about it? A lot, as it turns out.Baymard Institute recently did a study to find out why people abandon the checkout process, and many of the reasons are factors that site owners can control. The study found that 2 of the top 3 reasons are related to difficult checkout processes:
Website owners can reduce shopping cart abandonment by reducing friction and impediments during the checkout process.
What you can do: Simplify your checkout process. Don’t force customers to register, remove unnecessary fields, test it fanatically to get rid of errors, etc. Make it so simple and intuitive that your 90-year old grandma could figure it out!
Full-width homepage sliders or carousels have become increasingly popular over the past few years. You can find this approach used by all kinds of sites - everything from free WordPress themes to custom website designs:
They’re flashy and attractive, but the truth is that they’re not very effective. Users tend to skim over carousels and not see all the slides, which means they’re not a good use of the most valuable real estate on your website (the top of the homepage). As ConversionXL explains, many studies have shown that carousels (usually) aren’t a good choice.
What you can do: Use a less flashy layout that makes it easy for users to see and interact with your website at a glance.
Make your web forms as short as you can.
Users don’t really like filling out fields with their personal info. They’re willing to do it to get to the prize (a free ebook, completing a purchase, etc.) but the form-filling itself isn’t fun. That’s why you should consider making your web forms shorter – which provides several benefits:
Here’s data from a test run by Marketing Experiments, showing how shorter forms boost conversion rates:
What you can do: Review each field on your form, asking yourself two questions:
If the answer to both of those questions is no, get rid of the field!
Update your form fields to make them fully auto-complete compatible.
As we just discussed above, most people really don’t like filling out forms. Auto-complete is a great feature that really helps speed up the process anytime you need to fill out a web form. It also helps website owners - a Google study found that disabling auto-complete decreased form completions by 25%.
But sometimes the browser gets it wrong– maybe it puts the company name in the last name field, or the phone number in the street number field. Ugh. Fortunately, there’s a simple way you can avoid auto-complete issues on your website. Browsers such as Chrome and Firefox support a special HTML attribute, called autocomplete, that website owners can use to specify which data to fill in each field.
What you can do: Add the autocomplete attribute to your web forms, testing each one to be sure it works in all major browsers.
Optimize your website until it can do the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs.
Did Han shoot first? Did he actually make the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs? We’re not sure, but one thing is for sure – Han believed in being quick. And website owners should, too! The faster your website is, the more users like it and the more likely they are to convert. I could quote statistics about the importance of site speed, but there’s a simpler way to show you…CloudFlare created a simple graphic that succinctly summarizes the research and shows the importance of a fast website:
Faster websites = more conversions!
What you can do: Relentlessly optimize your website for speed, including:
Ready to improve your website? These 7 ideas are a great place to start – proven effective by UX research. While every idea won’t be a fit for every website, they should get you started down the best path for website success – implementing website changes based on research and data.
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Published on 11/18/2019 by Adam Thompson.
Adam Thompson is a digital tech enthusiast with 15 years of experience in SEO, analytics, web development, ecommerce, and other web technologies. He currently works as SEO / SEM manager at ComodoSSLStore, where he works to make it easier for any website to implement cybersecurity best-practices.