When business owners want to revamp or implement a new website, most become overly focused on the design. While the look of the website is important for peaking the interest of your visitors and the content will help your visitors identify with your marketing direction, it is the overall user experience (UX) that will help or hurt your conversion rate while determining how your user feels about your brand. It’s much more important to make sure your site navigation is intuitive and the overall experience is tailored to the visitors you expect to have on your site.
Ignoring your UX (or making assumptions about what your visitors want) will cost you big down the road. Fixing a UX error after your website development is complete can cost 100x more than doing it right the first time. Errors that make the user experience less than desirable can cost you customers and cause your brand to gain a reputation as less valuable than your competition. A well-designed site will have a seamless UX that brings clarity to the value you provide your customers — all packaged in an intuitive and convenient experience.
What Makes an Experience Great?
Imagine walking into a beautiful boutique store, without a clerk in sight and product haphazardly organized by color and shape instead of type or size. You appreciate that the lighting highlights the displays beautifully, but you have no clue how to find what you need. After browsing for a few seconds, you walk out feeling annoyed and head across the street to see what another boutique has to offer. This is what even a great design can encounter when UX is NOT considered. Everything looks nice and is set up to operate smoothly, but the actual journey of the buyer is not the focus. Instead, beauty overshadows practicality and a potential customer is lost.
Your website can be beautiful and terrible to use at the same time. Simple navigational options, comprehensive product breakdowns, easy search capabilities and access to customer service are just a few ways your website can provide a great user experience. A good experience means your customer was not forced to jump through unnecessary hoops or put up with hassles of any kind. Having pages that load quickly, adapt to the device of the user (responsive design) and adjust intelligently to previous visits are additional ways you can improve the experience of each visitor in a personalized way.
Creating the Buyer’s Journey
Of course you’ve heard of the “buyer’s journey” before, but are you the one crafting it? You need to think about what is drawing your visitors in and where they’re starting out in their journey. You should gently guide them from one stage to the next and help them find what they want. Your navigation options and calls to action (CTAs) will help accomplish these goals. Make sure you’re tracking your conversions and looking for bottlenecks in your process where visitors are dropping out or getting sidetracked.
You’ll want to create content and landing pages for various points along the buyer’s journey. Those that are just approaching awareness of a problem or business pain that you can solve shouldn’t land directly on your product pages, but on additional resources that can help them further identify the root of the problem and potential solutions. The visitors that are already loyal customers shouldn’t have to fill out their information every time. They should be recognized by your site and given personalized suggestions on what they may want to purchase next (based on previous purchase data). As you craft the journey, you’ll be able to elicit feeling with the UX that will lead to deeper connections and trust with your audience.
Perhaps a parent or grandparent once told you that anything worth doing is worth doing right. When it comes to your website, make sure you aren’t skimping on the budget where UX is concerned. Keep the experience of your visitors at the forefront of your strategies and let everything else fall into place.