09 May How to Improve Your Website’s UX Design and Boost Conversion Rates
Creating a website requires a juggling act of aesthetics, understanding your audience and creating content that drives users through the site instead of away. One that speaks to the needs of the user walks them through each step of the buyer’s journey, and in doing so, optimizes conversion rates.
In a study of 2,239 links and 264,016 designers, researchers predict UX will shift toward designing for behavior and simplicity rather than constantly engaging the user. People are overwhelmed with the technology around them, which seems to permeate every aspect the day. They long for things that are easy to access and tasks they can complete on the fly and move on. UX design should follow this trend and sites should become easier and more focused on single tasks.
Improving your site’s UX isn’t as simple as adding a few calls to action (CTAs). Here are 10 ways of upping your user-centered approach and turning more visitors into customers.
1. Understand the Buyer’s Journey
You’ve been told time and time again to know your audience, but good UX design takes this advice a step further and looks at the actual journey a person goes through once they land on your page. Make things as easy as possible so you don’t risk losing them along the way. There are typically three stages in the journey: gathering information, considering the offer and converting. Provide information and CTAs that move the buyer through each phase.
2. Provide Directional Cues
A subtler technique for moving the buyer along is providing directional cues that clearly state or show what the user should do. For example, you might add a down arrow so the visitor scrolls to find the next step. You can even make these icons actionable so if the user clicks on the arrow, the screen jumps to the next element.
3. Optimize for Voice Search
The popularity of conversational technology, such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa, makes voice-enabled search more important than ever before. UX designers must figure out how to mesh this with visual interface and meet the needs of users on different types of devices. They must anticipate what users might say while searching.
Start by researching common questions about your industry, but also think about the natural speech patterns people use and how someone might phrase a search on your site. For example, a browser might ask Alexa to “find a recipe using chicken” but wouldn’t say “chicken piccata recipe.” Internal data about searches becomes vital in figuring out certain phrases.
4. Use Google Analytics
One of your best tools as a UX designer is analytics about your site. The data shows how people find you and where they go once they’re there. If a page has a high bounce rate, you may need to revamp and make the focus clearer. If most of your visitors are from Spain and your site is in English, it might be time to hire a translator and provide a Spanish version of the website. Analytics help you better understand your user so you can anticipate their needs.
5. Speed up Your Site
You’ve likely heard before how important a site that loads fast is, but it’s such a vital part of your conversion rate that it bears repeating. In a recent survey, about 70 percent of consumers said page load time impacted their purchases and 81 percent of marketers believe page speed affects conversion rates. Speeding up your site impacts user experience directly and keeps visitors on your page. If things load slowly, especially on mobile, site visitors bounce away and aren’t likely to return.
6. Become More Likeable
Human psychology dictates that if someone gives us a gift we feel the need to reciprocate. When users land on your website, offer them something free. The more valuable the freebie is to the person, the more obligated they feel to you. For example, if you provide a free webinar series on a topic your typical buyer cares about, the person is much more likely to make a purchase or at least share their email address with you.
7. Put the User First
Most businesses design their websites and then worry about integrating good UX practices, but what if you did things the other way around? Start with the persona and what they prefer. Study competitor sites and how they meet the needs of the target audience and how they miss the mark. Make notes and figure out how to address buyers through designing your website. This simple shift in focus equals a highly usable site.
8. Play With Words
Words have a powerful impact on users. Action verbs indicate the path the user should take, but the wording can also evoke a sense of formality or friendliness. Knowing your buyer helps you understand the type of verbiage you should use. The younger generation might prefer more casual phrasing, while older investors seek formal language showing you are a professional and won’t put their finances at risk.
Try different phrases and experiment with first-person versus second-person language. Conduct A/B tests as you make adjustments to see what converts best with your audience.
9. Use Relevant Images
You already know that images on your page translate to more social media shares and higher engagement, but even more important is how personal they are. Stock photos are boring and don’t speak to what your business does. Anytime you can add an image relevant to who you are and what you do, you’ll send a stronger message to readers. If you don’t already have the funds in your budget for a professional photographer, now is time to shift some of your marketing dollars to that role.
10. Break Elements Apart
Spend time looking at the smaller parts of your website instead of just the whole. Start by examining your page and note where users take action. For example, someone might stop on an image before they read the headline and finally click on the CTA button. Break down each separate element and consider if it meets the needs of your users and how you might improve it.
This is also a good time to consider whether you even need something on your page. Heatmaps show how long users spend on each element and indicate if it’s vital to your conversion funnel or not.
Providing an Excellent Experience
Giving users a positive experience requires attention to even the smallest of details. However, when it comes to improving your conversion rates through UX, you must focus on things that drive the buyer through the journey toward conversion. Look at elements big and small and figure out which ones have the most impact on your particular audience. With a bit of attention to internal data and adjustments, you’ll gain more customers than you ever thought possible.