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Matt Oxley

5 ways to get people using your website

Like most businesses today, your online presence undoubtedly plays a pivotal role in your success. You may have a great product or service which solves your customers’ pain points, but if their experience is poor when they interact with your platform or the interface is too complex, they will simply give up browsing, abandon cart, and ultimately, leave money on the table.

So, what can you do to ensure that your online experience isn’t holding your business back and encourage people to visit your website more often?

1. Know your users

It may sound obvious, but do you really understand your users? Are your perceptions based on opinion and assumption or actual research? Are you just listening to your suppliers or do you have direct feedback ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’?

By investing in direct user research and asking the right questions, you will have evidence-based insight relating to your customers’ goals, needs, wants, attitudes and frustrations. It is only with this in-depth knowledge that you can then create a digital solution that meets their actual needs (not just the one you think they have).

Tools such as user personas can be a valuable resource to represent the voice of the users throughout the design and development process, ensuring your website, portal or app continues to meet your users’ needs and thus encouraging people to visit your website or portal more often.

2. Test the user journeys

When you understand your users’ and the journey they take online, your website or portal should be designed to make those tasks as easy as possible. Regularly testing the user will ensure you are focused on getting the best end results. Any obstacles can be identified to help encourage a smooth path to conversion, whether that is encouraging a website sale or just regularly logging on to your portal.

3. Create consistent, tailored experiences

Understanding who your users are and where they have come from allows you to develop a relevant content strategy and map effective online journeys that meets their expectations. If users are arriving after having clicked an advert, the landing page should reiterate the same messages and reassure the user.

If the user has registered on your site or portal, you may want to tailor relevant content to them, customising their experience.

4. Design intuitive interfaces

Ensuring that the site or portal is easy to use is a vital element in encouraging repeat visitors. User insights should be used to inform the site architecture, page layouts and design.

As users are more familiar with social media style feeds like Facebook, it has become an intuitive way to present information. Incorporating this style, particularly for intranets, can help improve user adoption and buy-in.

5. Ongoing feedback

Keeping your web presence user friendly is an ongoing task, which will continually require testing and modification over time. The online world moves at a very quick pace, so gaining ongoing feedback is an essential way of ensuring that users will continue to engage with your platform. It needn’t be an intrusive survey pop-up, but having a ‘Give Feedback’ link on your site, asking for areas for improvement via social media and organising follow-up user testing sessions, will all help to provide vital insight into areas of improvement.

In summary, in order to get more people using your website, portal or online dashboard you simply need to understand who your users are, what they want, how they want it and when they want it. Investing in user research will help you to identify these key factors and inform the design of a better experience. When you consistently deliver a better experience, your users will be more engaged and interact with your website or online platform more often.

A note of caution however, if you want to maintain user engagement long term, this cannot be a one-off activity. Your users are constantly learning and raising their expectations of digital experiences as they continue to interact online. In order to keep up, you have to know how to adapt and evolve your online presence.

Ensure you invest in user experience research as part of a long term strategy and you will see the performance of your website, online portal or dashboard sky rocket.

This article way originally published on DotLabel’s website.

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