No marketing manager today is satisfied with his or her website. Whether the sticking point is usability or conversions, there is always room for improvement. When I’m presenting at a conference, I always say to the crowd, “Raise your hand if you’re satisfied with how your site converts.” And nobody ever raises his hand.
Digital capabilities are becoming faster every day. With more to engage with, it’s no wonder marketers are settling for a site that’s just OK. They might not have the means to conduct effective testing and make impactful, informed changes.
But finding these solutions can be tough with the limited attention span that comes with this increase in technology. My three-year-old’s attention span is practically nonexistent: He jumps from one thing to the next. With everything on mobile, we’re all just like three-year-olds. It’s no wonder conversion rates have gone down. Delivering a good user experience that will keep users hooked requires a new approach.
Enhance Your Usability
One of the usability factors my team evaluates is the “thumb zone.” Several tools on the market show where a thumb can reach on your mobile site. Sometimes your calls to action or engagement points are out of reach of a user’s thumb when holding a phone. If your call to action is in the top right corner, for example, that’s not an easy-to-reach area. Users notice if your site is attuned to these details.
If a user has three apps and four tabs open on her phone and is toggling back and forth among them, she might decide not to complete her purchase on your site if your experience doesn’t meet her expectations. Studies conducted by Eyetrack III found that not only do elements above the fold gain the most attention, but people’s eyes are drawn to the upper left corner of a page before going right. That means the items in your site’s upper left-hand corner should be clear and enticing.
These little details can have a big effect on UX—which affects conversion rates. Site speed, for example, can make or break a digital experience. How fast is your page loading? How quickly can users navigate between pages? When they click something, does a new tab load ASAP? Are you using single-page application? How are you maintaining a fluid process for users? My team uses the phrase “slower equals lower” to remind us that slower speeds lower our conversion rates.
Optimize Your Content and Organization
Another component to usability is ease of navigation. The easier it is for users to rapidly master your site, the likelier they are to convert. If a B2B user, for example, is in a research phase and he lands on your site, he should be able to find key information about your organization on your homepage. He shouldn’t have to dig through your site to learn what your company’s mission is.
UX Booth reports that people are likelier to make decisions based on emotion, and assign a reason to that decision after the fact. Incorporate this knowledge into your landing pages; aim to elicit an emotional response with your site’s design. Lastly, don’t forget that it’s not just what information you present; it’s how you present it. Focus on your content and visual hierarchy.
At my company, we’re big proponents of MarketingExperiments and its messaging. Users don’t engage with websites. Subconsciously, they engage with people. If you’re not presenting content in the order in which a user would naturally absorb that information, it can throw them off. Present your site visitors with the three W’s: Why am I here? What should I be doing? Why should I be doing it? A variety of small pieces go into making a site ideal for its users.
Here are a few more steps to get you started on your journey to providing a great UX:
1. Identify What’s Working with Your Users
Examine what your users like and which aspects of your site are unappealing. A variety of tools on the market can be used to leverage heat maps, user polling, and user videos to show you how users are engaging with your site. Hotjar is the internal favorite and is the cornerstone on which my team formulates our testing strategies. Analyzing this information enables your users to tell you with their actions what parts of your site are working for them. In the middle of a redesign? Leveraging tools like EyeQuant enable you to see how visitors will respond to your designs before going live.
2. Streamline Your Checkout Process
If you’re operating in the world of ecommerce, especially around the holidays, you don’t want the purchase process to be lengthy. Do your customers maintain user momentum when they enter your checkout funnel? How transparent are you being with shipping costs, taxes, and other information users want to know before they start the checkout process? If your process takes too long, don’t be surprised if consumers abandon their carts.
3. Incorporate Videos
For most people, it takes more time and effort to read than it does to listen to or watch something. People are busy, and as discussed earlier, have short attention spans. Take advantage of users who want to engage with sites while on the go. Give them something short and sweet to watch instead of making them have to scroll and read during their morning commutes. In fact, according to Wyzowl, 79% of consumers prefer videos with product information to plain text.
With consumers constantly on the go and able to access more content online than ever before, your site needs an impressive UX. Usability and high-quality content are major factors of a good UX, but don’t forget smaller steps like your checkout process and offering videos. Implementing all of these factors will keep customers coming back for more.