Over the years, web design has evolved into something more than just about creating websites that look nice.
With the current advances in AI and machine learning, we’ve now stepped into a world where site engagement goes beyond just WOW-ing users with pretty fonts and images or trendy color schemes.
It’s now become a complex field with even more complex systems at work. But the main goal remains the same: getting site visitors to do something — whether it’s to share a post, subscribe to newsletters, or buy a product. And preferably, to keep them coming back for more.
Competing for user attention
Websites are responsible for creating the first impression. But with so many different companies out there, it can be hard to stand out.
With this constant battle for perfecting user-driven experience, it comes as no surprise that the standards and expectations of audiences have also been elevated.
And it’s a cycle that will inevitably continue, creating a highly dynamic digital landscape with user-experience placed on top of the pedestal.
How to get users to engage more with your brand
User engagement is essential to any business’ success.
If you’re not doing anything to engage people, then you’re likely losing them to competitors. Moreover, the longer someone stays on your site, the better your chances of increasing conversions.
Below, we’re sharing with you how you can use web design to gain favor in the online scene and increase the level of user engagement:
1. Make your website visual.
Visual content is by far one of the best ways to get people to engage. And we’ll explain why.
Let’s take a look two statistics that give some perspective on the relevance of visual marketing:
- People can process up to 36,000 visual images in an hour, which is 10 in 1 second. (Source)
- 90% of the information we store in our brain is in the form of visual content or imagery.
With that said, how can a business create highly visual content in web design with the goal of increasing user engagement? Here are some ways:
Make your website appear alive – moving images, whether in the form of videos or graphics animation, is a great way of catching site visitors’ attention.
Interactive visual content – who hasn’t take a virtual stroll with Google Street View? You can use the same concept with your website, letting people explore a particular visual content through VR-like experience, or just coming up with creative ways they can interact with the visual.
Create catchy graphics – using tools like Canva makes graphics-creation incredibly easy. Make sure you use the right combination of colors. And remember that in many cases, less is more.
2. Make everything intuitive.
What makes a website intuitive? Good question.
When a site visitor requires little to no learning curve to navigate around a platform, that’s an example of intuitive web design.
And the more cluttered or complicated a website looks, the more people will want to get out of there. So, how do you make your site intuitive?
If you already have a site, take a good look at the navigation options available to site visitors. Are you making sure they see only what they need to see? This means only relevant content that doesn’t take attention away from your CTAs.
Let’s take a look at Google, for example:
As you can see, they’ve perfected the art of simplicity.
As soon as you arrive at the search engine’s main page, what you see in front of you is exactly what the user needs: the search box.
There’s no advertising, no flashy sidebar graphics, no sign-up form. They’ve stripped their search engine to only the bare necessities, and no one can question that what they’re doing works.
Try and achieve the same for your own website. The faster users can see exactly what they need from your site, the higher the chances that they’ll engage.
Also, don’t forget to harness the power of drop-down menus. They can do a lot to simplify on-site navigation and create a better experience for users.
3. Speed up your pages.
Going overboard with flashy content and high-quality images can spell disaster for your website. Chances are, you’re sacrificing loading time — which can kill your site traffic and sales.
If you haven’t done so already, do a quick check on your site’s overall loading speed score using GTMetrix.
What we love about this tool is that they go beyond just analyzing page speeds.
They provide a wealth of other information, such as what your site’s main issues are so you know what needs fixing. This is just one way to optimize site speeds, however.
If your site targeting audiences from all around the world, we recommend using a content delivery network (CDN) that loads pages from the nearest server to reduce latency.
Other ways to improve website loading time:
- Caching pages.
- Reducing image sizes without losing quality.
- Getting rid of 404 redirects.
4. Optimize for mobile.
Mobile-friendly websites are appreciated by people and search engines likely. And considering how 49.7% of online traffic comes from smartphone users, your business can’t afford NOT to optimize for mobile.
Want to check how your website performs in the mobile experience category?
Google offers a way of helping digital marketers gain insight on how optimized their sites are, using the Google Mobile-Friendly Test.
Creating a responsive website that caters to devices can be challenging. There are so many different display sizes to optimize for. But Google has made it clear that they won’t hesitate to penalize sites that give a bad mobile experience, which is why you should invest in it too.
Today’s consumers are spoilt for choice. This makes it increasingly hard to make them stay and engage with your website. But just because something’s hard, doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
Every change you make to your business that’s centered around user-experience is sure to gain results. And with the tips we’ve shared with you above, you’ll definitely see an increase in engagement and ultimately, conversions.