Don’t expect your actual users to be able to answer this question for you; since user experience is all about how someone feels or acts on your website, it’s on you, the brand, to know what your customers may want from your UX design even before they do.
Don’t start sweating just yet! Whether you’re able to define the importance of UX right now or not, we’ll show you how to integrate UX methods into your overall marketing strategy to achieve your business goals.
What is User Experience?
As stated above, user experience—or UX—is all about how a person intuitively feels when interacting with a website or device. This includes everything from how they first react when landing on your home page to how much they enjoy the journey while visiting multiple pages across your site.
In today’s competitive digital environment, bad UX is all it takes to get a user—or even a current customer—to jump ship from your brand to another. According to a RocketFuel study, most brands experience an average bounce rate for a website (defined as site exits after visiting only one page) between 26% and 70%, with 26-40% being described as ‘excellent’ and anything over 70% as ‘disappointing’.
If you’re uncomfortable with your current website bounce rates, the best place to start is by analyzing your user experience.
Common Reasons for a High Bounce Rate on a Website
Stay with us here, because there’s a very subtle but important difference in what we’re about to say next: Not all users are going to want the same experience with your website, but nearly all of them are going to be using it for the same thing—and that’s trading their time to solve a current problem.
Some people hope to go on a journey with your website, but they still need you as their guide. To ensure these users enjoy their trek, you’ll need to avoid these common pitfalls:
- No clear call-to-action or understanding of user intent for each page
- No internal site search, sitemap, or properly indexed webpages to get from point A to point B
- Lack of internal links to supporting blogs, pages, or items in your store that may pair well with another item of interest
Others are looking to speed through your site quickly, grab what they need, and go. As long as they convert or reach more than one page, this will help turn your bounce rates into exit rates—a much friendlier data point.
Here’s what to avoid if you want to keep these visitors happy:
- Sluggish loading times and overall site speed
- Poorly optimized content (more words than images, large blocks of text vs. easily digestible content with headlines and lists)
- No clear call-to-action or understanding of user intent for each page—that’s right, it’s so important we’re saying it twice!
Since user experience is so different for each customer, the most important thing you can do is keep from focusing on how much you enjoy using your website. Instead, continue talking to or surveying your customers, ask yourself and your team questions, and never stop analyzing how people use your website.
Like the old adage says—if you’re not measuring, you’re not marketing.
How to Improve Your User Experience Design
Of all the digital marketing techniques you need to master, UX design is up there in terms of guessing and hoping. However, that doesn’t mean you should ever stop trying, or that you should assume one big win means you can sign off on UX design forever. Whether you need a few tips or you’re brand new to the UX game, we’ve got a few ways to help you get–and stay–ahead.
Starting Your Website from Scratch
If you’re about to embark on a new website build or total site overhaul, investing in some UX research beforehand is worth the time and energy. This involves gathering a wide swath of people on your marketing team to democratize decision-making, embarking on a lengthy discovery process, and possibly purchasing some AI-driven technology for machine learning and pattern-building purposes.
Here are some specific UX methods you can use for research and discovery:
- Create user personas, which are semi-fictional representations of a potential user that combines market research with data on your existing audience. Personas should include everything from specific demographics to personalities and motivations that you can use to predict certain actions on your website. Give this task to the creative person on your team.
- Develop some A/B tests you’d like to try with your website. Better yet, use Google’s Optimize platform to show two different audiences a version of specific pages on your website and compare how they perform. Give this one to the technical guru on your squad.
- Perform user surveys at various stages of your build. Asking current customers what they enjoy or would improve about your product or service could tell you a lot about what to include on your website. Additionally, exit interviews as users are about to leave a site (or after they’ve left, via email) could help you understand more about their pain points and why they left. Your best people-person will excel at this task.
Optimizing Your Current Website
Don’t have time to redo your website? Here are some things you can do right now to improve your site’s UX as soon as today (or this week):
- Troubleshoot Site Speed: Find some available tools to help you determine your website’s speed, then get to work on identifiable problem spots—these include everything from your image sizes to the host you use for your website.
- Fix Problem CTAs: Do you have some call-to-action buttons that aren’t pulling their weight? It’s time to figure out the problem. It could be placement, design, copy, or all of the above; fortunately, tools are available to help you determine where users are attempting to click, where they’re hovering/hesitating, and more.
- Regroup on your Style Guide & Sales Funnel: Is everyone on board with your current style guide and using it correctly? Is your sales team just as committed to the entire customer journey as your marketing team? Users can tell when a company isn’t acting consistently across multiple channels (for instance, your emails promise “insider info”, but your website is 99% sales), so consider wrangling everyone together to get on the same page sooner rather than later.
Choose Brandography for your UX design strategy
If this all seems overwhelming, don’t worry–it probably should! Developing or redoing your website’s UX is a hefty task, and even the most seasoned UX designers will hit mental blocks during a new project. As long as you understand the importance of UX and include it in your overall marketing strategy, you’re on the right track.
Our blog page is a great 24/7 resource to help you improve your marketing at your own pace.
Need more of a boost?
We can get you started with a UX design strategy and process for your website or eCommerce store or offer our full website management services to do all the heavy lifting that comes with UX, leaving you more time to run your business.
Interested in seeing how we’ve handled a UX design project in the past? Check out this case study higlighting how we used Google’s Optimize platform to deliver a better conversion rate for a medical device supplier looking for more downloads from their website.