Driving traffic to your website is an excellent goal for most small business owners. However, just getting people on your page isn’t enough. You want them to convert into leads once they land there. Without exceptional user experience (UX) design, they’ll bounce away before you ever have a chance to snag their attention.
UX is at the heart of every site. It encompasses everything from the user interface to the aesthetics of your site. Excellent UX can be a bit hard to define but people know it when they interact with it. Learning what works for your audience base takes time, determination and multivariate testing.
How Does UX Affect Conversion Rates?
The most recent data shows a drop of 0.06% in average conversion rates for e-commerce businesses, hitting around 1.78% overall. Already, the majority of site visitors will gather information and move along. If you want to truly impact your conversion rates for the better, you must improve UX.
Even a small improvement can make a drastic impact on your revenue. How can you be sure your UX design exceeds industry standards? Here are the top things to keep in mind as you tweak your site to perform better.
1. Create Landing Pages
Most businesses have a number of buyer types segmented into audience groups. One way you can make a better impression on users is by creating a landing page for each purpose. For example, if you sell prescriptions, you might have pages for patients and pages for doctors.
Know who your audience is and create pages speaking directly to each segment of your customer base. You can get more personal and meet the expectations of each consumer.
2. Fix Accessibility Issues
How can you create a more inclusive website for visitors? Fixing any accessibility issues goes a long way toward converting people of all abilities. For example, be aware of color blindness and how certain colors might blend together and make text unreadable. Finish alt tags for those with visual limitations.
Fixing accessibility issues can also improve your search engine rank. You’ll think through your descriptions a little more carefully and be more selective with the elements you use on your page. This streamlines your design and improves UX for everyone.
3. Choose a Layout Pattern
There are three distinct layout styles proven to work for most readers. People tend to either read in the F-pattern, Z-pattern or Gutenberg Diagram. Many sites turn to the popular F-pattern, putting the most important information across the top of the page and then moving down.
There isn’t a right or wrong way to lay out your site. There’s only a way that works best for your particular audience. Try different options and test them with some split tests. See which has the best conversion rate.
4. Tweak Your CTAs
Your calls to action (CTAs) are what show site visitors the options they have to move into the buyer’s journey. Take the time to really study what you have. Does the color pop against your background?
You can try different tactics, such as placing the button above the fold, changing the language a bit or comparing different shades to see what converts best.
Pay attention to your competitors’ CTAs. Are they doing anything differently than you? What? How do your choices compare? Base any changes on what you notice works well for others, while being prepared to switch back if the adjustment falls flat.
5. Ramp Up Mobile Responsiveness
Smartphone usage continues on an upward trajectory, with a projection of 4.68 billion mobile phone users globally. If your site isn’t responsive to small screens, you risk losing a big portion of your visitors.
Do your images and text scale accordingly when someone visits your site on their cell phone? What about your menus? A traditional navigational bar structure isn’t going to translate well on a mobile device. Instead, turn to a hamburger style menu.
6. Use Straightforward Language
Have you ever visited a site with a strong theme and cutesy language? For example, an author might have a spaceship themed site with different spaceship compartment names for the areas of the site.
While such websites can be a lot of fun, figuring out where things such as a biography or contact page are can be a pain. For businesses, it is best to stick with language everyone uses and avoid any technical industry jargon. Call your About page “About.” Call your Contact page “Contact” and so on.
If you want to improve UX, everything on your site must be intuitive and easy to understand. Images should enhance any text. Language should be at a basic level. If you’re unsure about wording, turn to a thesaurus and run a check via Hemmingway to ensure you are writing to an eighth grade level or below.
Strive for Balance
Exceptional UX design looks pleasing to the human eye. It isn’t cluttered or busy. Seek a nice balance between positive and negative space. White space gives readers a break and puts the focus on the elements you most want them to look for.
Cut anything that doesn’t point readers to the purpose of the page. It’s tempting to throw in anything of interest, but it’s best to stick to the basics for the purpose of excellent UX.
Ask for feedback from customers, employees and family and friends. Find out what is great about your site and how you can improve the UX even more. Look at UX as something you continually change and fix and not a one-time repair. Great UX takes time and consistent effort.
Eleanor is the founder and managing editor of Designerly Magazine. She’s also a web design consultant with a focus on customer experience and user interface. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dogs, Bear and Lucy. Connect with her about marketing, design and/or tea on LinkedIn!