The term UX (or user experience) is used a lot these days. It’s a relatively new term for businesses to get used to, but not new to the tech industry in general. But what actually is it? What does it really mean, and why should you care?
User experience is defined as: “the overall experience of a person using a product such as a website or computer application, especially in terms of how easy or pleasing it is to use.” It encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with your company, your services, and your products. The first requirement for creating and maintaining an exemplary user experience is to meet the exact needs of the customer, without any hassles.
What does that mean for you?
Using the above definition as a guideline, you can understand why UX is so vitally important to you and your business. Providing a good user experience is of the utmost importance if you are going to attract and maintain customers. It is at the crux of providing them with value and delivering it in a seamless and effectively pleasing way.
Here are some things you might like to consider:
- A report by Forrester Research showed that every dollar invested in UX generates around $100 dollars in return.
- It’s much more expensive to gain a new customer than to keep a current one.
- 95% of users think that good UX pays off, (if it’s users you want, their opinions count!)
A better return on your investment, higher conversion rates, and increased sales aren’t the only benefits gained from providing enhanced user experiences.
- Increased user satisfaction – By making your customers happy, you will inspire loyalty and longevity. Furthermore, you will boost the number of referrals you receive through word-of-mouth. Today’s users expect more–give it to them and reap the benefits, time and time again.
- Reduced costs all around – Getting to know your users means you will be able to provide them with exactly what they want. This knowledge gives you insight into what they need and the problems they are having. In turn, you will be able to market to them more effectively and spend less money chasing them.
- Gain a competitive advantage – Sure, more and more businesses are upping their game when it comes to UX. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make YOUR users’ experience a great differentiator in what is possibly a saturated market. Who wouldn’t be keen to stand out above the competition this way?
So you see, with information like that, you can’t really argue the fact that there are plenty of reasons for you to look into your business’s UX.
You don’t have to be a UX expert.
Not many people know all there is to know about UX. It requires deep knowledge across a specific skill set that integrates design, curiosity, psychology and experience. But just because you aren’t an expert in those areas doesn’t mean someone else isn’t. It’s wise, though, to take your time in choosing a UX partner that really knows their stuff.
Effective and successful execution of user experience takes an investment of time, thought and money, but can you really afford NOT to?
When designing a website, put yourself into the position of the visitor of your website.
- Why do they come to your website?
- Can they see what they are looking for?
- Can they find it easily?
- Is there enough information available to them?
Finding answers to these questions is key when starting off with your website design. It only takes seconds for people to make up their mind about whether or not your website looks interesting enough for them to check out your content. Let’s have a look at how you can make sure your website aligns with your website visitors’ needs.
Who are you? What do you do? What are you offering? What products and/or services are you providing? Make sure this information is clear, concise, and at the top of your webpage so visitors don’t need to scroll up and down and search for this information.
What value or benefits are you bringing your potential new customers (also referred to as value proposition)? Why should they buy from you? How will they benefit from buying your product(s) and/or service? How will it make their lives easier?
Answer these questions and create another clear and concise message displayed at the top of your webpage. There should be no doubt why people would want to buy your service or product.
Your website’s visitor likes what you are offering and the benefit they are getting from you. The next question that is very likely to pop into their mind is “What will this cost me?” The pricing information, including different options, should be easy to find.
What makes you unique and special? Why should people buy from you and not your competitors? What sets you apart from the rest? This is your chance to convince potential customers that you are the right choice. Make your point of difference stand out, and you can be sure the visitors will remember YOU.
Allow your customers to give feedback about your products and services. Ratings, customer reviews, testimonials, awards, recognition, and your social media presence all influence a buyer’s decision. Finding “proof” that your product or service has been purchased and the quality appreciated by others increases your chances of making a conversion.
If your company is relatively new, incorporating the following information will help you in building trust and credibility:
- company’s address/physical location
- a separate “Contact Us” page including your company’s phone number and email address and any other contact options such as chat
- company policies such as product return information, money-back guarantee, etc.
- a professional-looking website with properly working links
In closing, there are three useful tools that can help you dig deeper into what the visitors of your website are looking for.
This is a free Google service which provides you with a ton of information. For example, it allows you to track the search terms of Google users that led them to your website. It can also give you an idea of the particular information users are looking for when they get through to your site.
This is another free Google service that helps you identify your best content. You will be able to tell which content generates the longest average time users spent on your webpage. You then get the chance to compare the content that performs better with that which performs worse, and improve the underperforming segment as needed.
A/B testing lets you compare two versions of a webpage and allows you to determine which one performs better. You can test the effectiveness of features like images, headlines and colors. You can see which ones get the most attention, generate the most clicks and/or interaction on the different website versions.
Remember you only have seconds to impress the visitors of your website. When creating or updating the content of your webpage, bear in mind above mentioned key points to keep you on track with your website’s visitors wants and needs. Use the tools available to get the relevant data and see if it matches your assumptions. Make sure your visitors want to check out your content, buy your service or product and come back for more.
What do you do if you hear about a company, business or service that you are interested in learning more about? You guessed it. You google it. But you cannot find them online, so you start wondering… do they really exist? How can you find out more? The Yellow Pages? Talk to people who know about them? Drive past the company to check them out in person given you know their location/address? Too much time, too much effort, too much hassle. For many, if they aren’t able to find what they want online, they will forget about them as quickly as they heard about them.
Living in a world where we constantly check information online, you can easily see why investing time and money in a website is incredibly important. Let us give you 10 reasons why it will be worth it.
1 Be visible
Since the majority of people don’t just like to look up information online, but also like to buy online, how will they find you and buy your services and products if you do not have a website? For small business owners, it should be interesting to note that search engines, such as Google, are largely focusing on local results. Therefore, it should go without saying that getting a website up and running is crucial to business.
2 Gain credibility
A website doesn’t just make you visible, it also lets people decide if you are trustworthy and if they would like to do business with you. A professionally done website that features your company’s history, information on you and your staff, the board of directors for bigger companies, certifications, business partners and testimonials help to instill confidence in your business and what you are offering as well as the credibility of your business.
3 Reach your target audience
Rather than being limited to the people of a small geographic area finding their way to your store, you can potentially reach billions of people in an instant. You get the opportunity to grow and expand your customer base in a faster and easier way.
4 Be competitive
Your competition has a website. People can search for them and find them. Your competition is accessible to the customers, whereas you are not if you do not have a website. You are losing sales and missing out on growing your business. Do you really want to let this happen?
5 Be available 24/7
If you do not have a website, you need to rely on customers coming to your store during opening hours. On top of that, if they do come to your store, they may not even be buying anything from you. Having a website means your customers can find you any time of the day, anywhere around the world. They can contact you and buy from you in the comfort of their own home, even if it is 3 a.m. in the morning.
6 Save costs
Websites are easier to setup and maintain than a lot of people think. If you hire someone to design it for you or if you try to have a go at it yourself, once it’s up and running, you are able to reach an entire new audience and maintain it at a relatively low cost. It is one of the most effective advertising, marketing and sales tools you could ever have. Always remember though to check out your competition’s online presence and to update your website with the latest information on your products and services.
7 Grow your revenue
Since a website allows you to reach a market that you would never be able to reach otherwise, it is safe to say that the only direction, for your sales to go is up! What you really want is not just customers that make a one-off purchase, but for customers to come back and keep buying from you. Your website can help you turn potential customers into loyal ones. From letting people sign up, to a regular free newsletter, to subscriptions and exclusive promotional offers – you choose which means you would like to use to keep your customers interested and have them coming back for more.
8 Be more efficient
Having a website means you can save time. Just to give you a couple of examples: sending out emails to your customers takes seconds. Imagine if you had to post letters! Updating information on your website, depending on how much content needs updating, only takes a few minutes. Creating a new brochure or flyer would not just take a considerable amount of more time but also money.
9 Gain a better idea of what your customers need
There are different ways to find out what your customers are looking for, or how happy they are with your service and/or your products. You can use online forms, questionnaires and surveys or you can use free tools such as Google Analytics. It allows you to gain valuable information ranging from who is visiting your website, how many of the viewers of your website bought something, to how much time they spent on your website. If you want to boost your sales, spending time on analyzing this data is a must.
10 Communicate better
A website enables you to answer questions through a Q&A section, forms and videos, etc. You can also help customers through an online support feature. New products and sales initiatives can be instantly advertised on your website. You can use social media to draw people’s attention to your offers by providing links to your website.
There are so many benefits to having a professional website. It is not just a way of showcasing who you are and what you are offering, but it is also a way of reaching millions of people at once, communicating with your customers, finding out what they want, being able to adjust to their needs. The result is an increase in your sales and business as a whole.
How many pages should my website have?
Which page on my website is the most important?
What elements should I include on my website?
These questions are not only common, but they regularly get answered incorrectly! So this blog post is dedicated to debunking five of the most common misconceptions about websites. We hope it helps you and your business, because that’s just how we roll! Read on to get the REAL truth about good web design.
1. Once Done, Always Done
This has to be one of the biggest myths we need to correct right away! Many people have the idea that once a website is built and published, it’s good forever. This is a dangerous attitude if you want your website to keep your visitors interested and engaged while also ranking well in search results. In reality, websites need to be updated periodically in order to stay up-to-date and be relevant to those visiting.
Your website is more like a magazine than a book. Unlike books, a magazine gets updated and published regularly, sometimes as frequently as weekly! The mission and brand remain the same, but each edition has new stories and images.
If you look at your website like a magazine instead of a book, you’ll be sure to update it regularly with new content and helpful information. This will keep your visitors interested and coming back for more because there will always be something new for them to find.
2. It’s All About The Looks
Yes, web design involves creating a website that looks great, but there’s more to it than cool fonts and pretty colors. Good design takes user experience (UX) into account and creates elements that function smoothly, are easy to interact with, and are helpful to the visitors.
The primary function of most websites is to get visitors to buy products or services. This requires a good amount of thought going into the design and layout of your website, as well as the copywriting.
If your customers can’t find the purchase button, or they get lost trying to navigate their way through your website, there’s a huge problem. So in order for your website to showcase good web design, it has to be both attractive and functional.
3. The Homepage Is All That Matters
This one really baffles us. It’s true that your homepage is often the one getting the most visits, but it’s certainly not the only one that matters to your visitors or to Google.
Think about how you search for things online. You probably find it by entering a term or phrase and clicking a blog post or service page that pops up in the search results. That’s where you will be taken, and from there you might click over to the homepage, but chances are it isn’t the first page you see. So it’s important to put the same amount of planning and strategy into all of the pages on your website, because first impressions DO count!
4. If It Looks Good On Desktop, It’s Fine
It’s no longer sufficient to build a website that looks good on your desktop and then be done with it. Did you know that in 2017, more than 80% of internet users visited websites from their smartphones rather than a desktop or laptop computer? That number is rising, and is set to keep going up each year as we become more accustomed to accessing the web while we’re on the go. If you haven’t put any thought into how the mobile version of your website looks, you could be disappointing a huge percentage of your visitors. That means you’re losing them.
What does it mean to be “Mobile-friendly”? Have a look at your website from your phone. Does it automatically resize to fit your smaller screen? Is the text easy to read? Are the buttons a convenient size to tap? Can you see the full images without interference from other elements on the page?
If you answered no to any of these questions, you should consider taking action to rectify those issues immediately!
5. More Features = A Better Website
That line between “Not enough” and “Too much” is a pretty fine one, we know. Some elements may sound like a fun idea, but if they don’t help your visitors become customers, they’re just getting in the way. Here are some interesting features that might be costing you customers rather than bringing them in:
- QR codes
- Special fonts
- Intrusive pop-ups
- Animated titles and headings
- Carousel banners
If the only reason you’re including an element on your website is because it’s fun, cool, or pretty, chances are your visitors won’t be that impressed. When it comes to good web design, sometimes less is more.
There you have it! Those are the Top 5 Common Misconceptions About Websites that we think should be set straight. There are plenty more, but that’s a great start in helping your business make the most of your online presence.
If you’re struggling to keep visitors on your website or aren’t ranking well in search results, the problem may be your website itself. But it doesn’t have to be! There are professional web design teams ready to take the wheel and help you ensure your website is working hard for you, not against you.