When people interact with a business’s website or app, they are subject to that company’s user experience (UX).
UX is different from design, but good design often makes the user experience better for consumers. People enjoy design that’s intuitive, visually appealing, and easy to use because it helps them easily access the content that they want.
Small businesses can benefit from having good UX. Good UX can increase traffic and establish authority and trust with customers.
Bad UX, however, can be devastating to a small business. Sites with bad UX have trouble converting and may even be penalized by Google in search engine rankings.
To help small businesses address UX challenges, Clutch surveyed over 600 people who visit five or more websites every day to find the biggest frustrations users have when browsing online.
Survey Reveals Top 3 UX Frustrations
The top three biggest website frustrations Clutch found are:
1. Unreliability (Broken links, 404 errors, etc.)
2. Slow load time
3. Pop up forms
Use this article to learn how to improve your website’s UX and make sure users stay on your site.
UX Frustration 1: Unreliability
If your site is full of broken internal and external links, incomplete pages, or is constantly down, you’re sending a message that your site is unreliable.
According to Clutch’s findings, almost two-thirds (63%) of people will abandon an unreliable website permanently.
That means that when most people encounter a 404 error on your site, they’ll find an alternative and won’t come back.
Consistent unreliability also hurts your site’s search engine optimization (SEO) by stopping search engine crawlers on the page. The combination of a drop in search engine page rankings and a decline in user traffic could be disastrous for small businesses.
Identifying and fixing sources of unreliability, however, is a manageable task for a good UX design agency.
A few steps your business can take to do ensure reliability on your site include:
1. Test for quality assurance: Check all links on your site and making note of any that are broken, or lead to error pages.
2. Populate all pages with content or remove them: This particularly applies to pages that you have under construction or plan to create.
3. Audit your website regularly to ensure when links are added or changed, they direct users and search engine bots the right way.
Making sure your website is reliable shows your site’s visitors that you care about their loyalty to your brand. Make your site a stable source of content for them.
UX Frustration 2: Speed
Page speed is the second frustration users identified in Clutch’s recent survey.
Most people (52%) said that slow load time would cause them to abandon a site permanently.
Speed is particularly challenging with mobile browsing. People use their mobile phones both connected to Wi-Fi at home and with spotty service on the bus or metro.
Smartphones and fast wireless networks have established an expectation among users that they can access content they want immediately. If someone has to wait too long for a site to load, they can easily go elsewhere.
Speed also factors into SEO. In July, Google announced a “Speed Update” that accounts for page load speed in mobile searches. If your mobile site isn’t fast enough for users, you risk dropping in search rankings.
You can’t control how someone is connecting, but you can control elements of your design that can provide a faster experience for the user.
UX Frustration 3: Pop-ups
Pop-ups have been around since the early days of the internet.
Third-party pop-up advertisements used to be more popular, but websites often now use pop-ups to promote their own products and services.
Their conversion rates make pop-ups a popular tool for digital marketers.
Common pop-ups today include contact forms for promotional emails and “exit intent” pop-ups that trigger when a person begins to navigate away from the page.
Clutch’s data, however, shows that half of website users (51%) will abandon a page permanently if they encounter a pop-up.
Pop-ups are a barrier to the content users want. Poorly designed pop-ups, in particular, make it harder for people to close them and increase user frustration.
Some people consider pop-ups “white noise” and click through them to access content, but if you decide to run a pop-up form on your website you risk losing half of your traffic for good.
Pop-ups are a risk for a small business. Before implementing a pop-up on your site, consider an alternative, less-invasive method of achieving your business goals, like email marketing or paid advertising.
Conclusion: Don’t Frustrate Your Users with Bad UX
A good user experience enhances your content and builds a loyal customer base for your business. Keeping your desktop and mobile sites easy to navigate and use establishes authority and trust for your brand.
Bad user experience, however, is detrimental to both your users and your search engine rankings. If your site is full of broken links, is slow to load, or is full of pop-ups that are difficult for users to close, you risk losing visitors and eroding trust in your brand.
By avoiding these costly UX mistakes, your company shows care and consideration for your target customers. It’s worth it for companies to invest in UX designers as part of an overall digital marketing strategy - it’ll set you apart from the competition.
Our guest author Kelsey McKeon is a content writer and marketer at Clutch, a B2B ratings and reviews firm in Washington, D.C. She covers web design and UX research topics.