All of these not-so-user-friendly headaches strengthen just how important user experience and conversion rate optimization of websites are. Let’s explore each of these two aspects of creative design and take a look at the big picture to improve the overall usability and efficiency of your business’ online presence.
What is UX?
How many of you have felt frustrated when visiting a website because you couldn’t quite find what you were looking for? Did you come across broken links? Was it hard to read text because a light colored font was paired with a light background? These are all examples of key factors that contribute to how user-friendly a website is.
UX, or User Experience, of a website analyses a person’s overall attitudes, perceptions, and emotional state both during and after they use a company’s product, system, or service. Crafting an ideal experience is based on whether or not a product – or in this case, a website – is usable, desirable, valuable, findable, accessible, and credible. So what does this all mean? Well, you have ask yourself…
What Does it Take to Make a Website Usable?
Usability focuses on how the user effectively and efficiently navigates throughout the site and whether or not they were satisfied with their experience. It is important for your website to useable across all platforms – desktop, mobile and tablet, all while keeping the user’s goals in mind.
- Are users navigating through the site seamlessly? It not, at what point are they exiting?
- Are you coming across broken links to important website pages?
- Did you reach your final destination without any obstacles or confusion?
A marketer’s tip: Check out Google’s mobile-friendly testing tool for a score of just how friendly your website is on smartphones and tablets.
Is Your Website Informative and Desirable?
Developing a user-centered website design not only makes it easy for visitors to scroll through and click on content that meets their needs, but it assists with motivating them to take action that fulfills your business goals.
- Is it clear what your business does? Syncing the wants and needs of your audience with enhanced website design and CRO best practices informs visitors who you are, what you do, and how users will benefit from taking an action. The image above showcases exactly what types of services are offered, the option to learn more, as well as a list of long-term benefits for users.
Is your website content in sync with your realistic targeted audience? Utilizing Google Analytics is a great method of digging into your website traffic. In fact, you can learn a lot about your visitors with this tool. From understanding which devices visitors are accessing your website from, to their demographics and location, and even seeing how long they spend on a website page, you can match up the overall success of your website design by taking a look at bounce rates and time spend on a site.
How Valuable is Your Content?
When it comes to building an online persona for your brand, your content strategy must complement the audience you intend to reach. This includes establishing a credible brand voice that portrays your company as a SME, or subject matter expert, which builds trust with customers.
Marketing your brand online begins with a unique content strategy, and this supplemental information has proven to effectively guide users to fulfill their intent of visiting your website. Be sure to create content that not only enhances a user’s visit to your website, but entices them to learn more, submit a form, watch a video, sign up for newsletters, or follow your business on social media.
Is Your Website Accessible to a Variety of Audiences?
Creating a fully functional and user-friendly website means designing for all types of visitors. In the United States alone, one out of every five adults has a hearing, vision, or cognitive impairment. These users are very important to UX designers, because the goal is to create and maintain an experience that is suited for every type of user.
For example, if a visitor who can’t hear well lands on your videos page, be sure to have transcriptions in place for each video so the user can benefit from your content. In addition, this can affect how you rank in the search engine results.
When it comes to accessibility, always ask yourself:
- Where does core products and services live on your website?
- Where is the search bar located? Does it give suggested content if you misspell a word?
- Does you website follow accessibility guidelines? Accessibility allows people with disabilities to perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with your website.
- Are sitemaps accessible to both users and Internet crawlers?
When performing a UX audit on your own website, or are taking a look at another, keep your attention on these following points to develop a standard operating procedure for the task:
- Are links within the page and to social channel functioning properly?
- Is there a site search option?
- How can users contact you? (list a contact phone number, email address, and functional social media icons)
- Is the site mobile friendly? Test it with Google’s mobile-friendly testing tool.
- What are the potential physical needs of the visitor (poor vision, blind, deaf, etc.)
- Is the top navigation and footer easy to use?
- Is it obvious what your business does?
- Is the content formatted correctly? (scannable text, high quality images & videos)
What is CRO?
Following the idea of UX, teams who are involved with enhancing a website’s CRO, or conversion rate optimization, focus on a user’s intent and behaviors while visiting a website. The idea behind CRO is to look at your website as an actual product, and to encourage visitors to take actions that meet your specific business goals.
There are a few ways you can encourage website visitors to convert, some including form fills to collect information, providing an option to subscribe to newsletters, build trust content – like an ‘About Us’ page, encouraging in-line CTA’s on landing pages and blog posts, and making sure your content is action-oriented.
How to Measure Conversion Rate Optimization
CRO involves creative innovation to develop multiple versions of a website or landing page, and tracking which version performs better with users. With A/B testing, you can two versions of a page against each other to see what works better in driving key actions. Incorporate different call to actions, use of persuasive language, and interactive content before checking conversion results on Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics, and VWO.
Remember that conversion strategies differ for large ecommerce sites, small businesses, and bloggers – depending on your goals.
The Big Picture.
In order to understand how a visitor is using your site you need to implement user testing. User Experience Testing provides insight how visitors are navigating through your website – what they are clicking on, what path they tend to choose, and what the most interesting and engaging items are to them.
User testing is crucial to your website’s overall success. Not to scare you, but UX specialists are able to track your every mouse click. By taking a look at a user’s pathway, UX teams are able to see first hand how visitors are interacting with a website, and what they might be looking for.
From heat mapping to scroll tracking, page by page funnel tracking to video recordings, the tests are endless. There are several UX tools to choose from, and here are some of our favorites:
- Google Tag Manager – track what website visitors are clicking on
- Google Analytics – get detailed insights on your website visitors, performance of core pages, and track conversions
- Lucky Orange – see first hand why users aren’t converting on your website
- Userzoom – technology should be easy and fun, and now you can test, monitor, and measure how well your website stacks up with user expectations
- Optimizely – experiment website design templates and algorithms that best suit your business and the needs of current and potential customers.
- VWO – one of the most important aspects of developing a successful, user-friendly website is utilizing A/B testing. This tool allows you to create a variety or site formats, track performance, and decide which best suits your users.
A helpful tip to keep in mind when analyzing your site’s UX is to ask friends, family, or peers who work outside of your business to click and read through your website. Collect their feedback on what they like, didn’t like, if information was easy or hard to find, and if they were able to successfully navigate and find pieces of content that meet their interest or needs.
UX testing shows how visitors are navigating through your website – including what they’re clicking on, what path they choose, and what pieces of content they find most interesting. Based on this detailed and comprehensive analysis, recommendations are prioritized and implemented that will improve upon your website’s overall user experience, increase sales and conversions, improve brand perception, build loyalty and trust, and reduce the costs of future development and support.
A solid UX strategy provides long-term benefits to CRO. Since UX is a way of studying how user behaviors range, it’s important to track activity and conversion based off how information is presented – which reflects CRO.
CRO gives direction to a user’s experience. Conversions begin with strong and enticing call to actions that guide your users to completing a task that fulfills business goals. Solidifying your content strategy not only guides your business model online, but can strengthen your conversion rate by guiding users through their journey on your site.
UX and CRO are important factors in your company’s long-term digital marketing strategy. With a bit of digging, a lot of user behavior tracking, and developing a comprehensive analysis of both the activity and functionality of your website, you can take the ‘guess’ out of what users see and lead them to a successful and informative business experience.