Product Pages

 

If you run an e-commerce store, the heartbeat of your website is your product pages. People turn to each page to get details about the items they’re considering purchasing. Without stellar details, images and layout, you risk them bouncing away to a competitor’s site.

 

E-commerce sales account for about 14.1% of global retail sales. Statista predicts the number will reach 22% by 2023. With increased revenue comes more competition. You have to be on top of your game if you want a piece of the digital retail pie.

 

The best place to start is by redefining your product pages to match the brand image you’d like to project. Here are our favorite things to focus on to make sure yours are the best they can be. We also include a few examples of businesses with excellent ones. Here is what your product pages say about your business.

 

1. You’re Focused


Stellar product pages don’t have a lot of unnecessary clutter taking up space. They offer only what the user needs to make a decision on whether or not they want the product. While there are elements that improve the shopping experience, there are some things you don’t need.

 

Hone in on the item you’re trying to sell. Put yourself in the shopper’s shoes. What information would you most need to make an informed decision? How can you best share those details with them?

 

If you run an e-commerce store, the heartbeat of your website is your product pages. People turn to each page to get details about the items they’re considering purchasing. Without stellar details, images and layout, you risk them bouncing away to a competitor’s site. E-commerce sales account for about 14.1% of global retail sales. Statista predicts the number will reach 22% by 2023. With increased revenue comes more competition. You have to be on top of your game if you want a piece of the digital retail pie. The best place to start is by redefining your product pages to match the brand image you’d like to project. Here are our favorite things to focus on to make sure yours are the best they can be. We also include a few examples of businesses with excellent ones. Here is what your product pages say about your business. 1. You’re Focused Stellar product pages don’t have a lot of unnecessary clutter taking up space. They offer only what the user needs to make a decision on whether or not they want the product. While there are elements that improve the shopping experience, there are some things you don’t need. Hone in on the item you’re trying to sell. Put yourself in the shopper’s shoes. What information would you most need to make an informed decision? How can you best share those details with them?

 

Bjork and Berries is a Swedish hand and body cream company. On this product page for their White Forest hand cream, they list the price, ingredients and highlight key benefits such as organic and natural ingredients. They also include several relevant photos. Notice the abundance of white space around text and images for a streamlined look.

 

2. You Value Users’ Time


How quickly does your website load? The average person will only wait a few seconds before bouncing away. If you don’t focus on how fast your pages pull up, you risk telling your audience you don’t care about their frustrations.

 

Invest in the fastest web hosting you can afford. Optimize images and run tests through sites such as Pingdom to improve site speeds. Make changes until your product pages load in milliseconds.

 

3. Filters Matter to You


Does your site give off the vibe that you care about how hard users must work to get to your products? Filters make it easier for them to navigate exactly where they need to go. An excellent product page only helps you make a sale if your site visitors can navigate to it easily.

 

rvinyl

 

Rvinyl does a fabulous job of helping users narrow down options by providing intuitive filters to direct them to the right products. Note how you can narrow down the choices by vehicle make, model and then year. Once you put in all the variables, you’re taken to the available options to make a selection.

 

4. Headlines Matter


Your headline is one of the first things customers see on your site. You have a chance to make an impression and confirm they’re in the correct location. Think about every word in your headings. Can you remove any without changing the meaning? Is there a more powerful verb to drive engagement?

 

Think about the subtle differences between two words. Is your product helpful or life-changing? You may even want to rearrange the wording and run A/B tests to see what resonates best with your customers.

 

5. You Want to Engage


Your product pages must grab the attention of your site visitors. Think about all the other things they could be doing rather than visiting your page. Not only are there online activities competing against you, such as social media and video streaming, but everyday life exists right past the computer screen.

 

Use animation, videos and relevant information to keep your users moving through your sales funnel. Think about what your competition isn’t doing and go a step beyond.

 

lunya

 

Lunya offers sleepwear. As you scroll through each product page, the site utilized parallax scrolling and some subtle animation effects to keep you engaged. If you hover over the call to action (CTA) to “Add to Bag,” the background changes color to grab your attention and encourage you to move forward.

 

6. Customers Can Trust You


People landing on your site may not have heard of you before. They may search for trust factors before choosing to place an order. Some of the things you can do to show you are trustworthy include adding reviews, testimonials, contact information and clear return and exchange policies.

 

You can also add badges for any organizations you belong to in your industry, links to awards you’ve won and your Better Business Bureau rating. Before a person clicks on the CTA, they want to know they’ll get what they’re promised.

 

7. You Know Your Stuff


Your product pages can also show consumers whether you are an expert in your industry or just throwing up a sign and taking online orders. The more authority you have, the more likely they’ll trust your recommendations.

 

There are a few ways to showcase your knowledge on product pages, such as linking to content on your blog or guest blogging and linking out. You can also add reviews that highlight why you’re the best choice when it comes to a particular product.

 

maple from canada

 

Maple From Canada has a unique take on showcasing their products. In addition to beautiful images and glowing descriptions, they add links to articles on each product, recipes and resources to teach kids about real maple.

 

Get Feedback


You may be so familiar with your product pages you don’t get a clear picture of what they’re telling viewers. Ask for feedback on what works and what doesn’t. Have customers highlight what’s unclear so you can tweak the language. Add anything they feel is missing but don’t go overboard. Get feedback on your product pages so you can better meet the needs of your customers.

 

Author

Eleanor Hecks is the editor of Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.

 

Customer Experience

 

Not a single business in the world can survive without happy and satisfied customers. You make customers happy by offering them a great experience. And you offer them a great experience by delivering them quality products and customer service.

 

Why customer experience and happy customers are important for a business? It is because they talk about the experience and how they feel about your brand with their near and dear ones. In short, they do the word of mouth for you, and make an indirect effort to bring you more customers.

 

So, if a customer had a bad experience while buying from your ecommerce store or using a product they bought from your website recently, imagine the harm they could do to your brand image through their negative remarks.

 

From a customer standpoint, reviews are a great tool that helps buyers decide, whether they should buy from you. One negative feedback can push many potential buyers away from your eCommerce store. That is why it is important to always stay on your feet and watch out for new trends related to customer experienceAnother important thing is doing surveys to research your customers, so check out Survey Cool.

 

 

This post attempts to underline some of the ways you can improve customer experience on your ecommerce website –

 

Develop Fast, Simple and Easy To Use Website 


Apart from products, an ecommerce website should have a fast and simple processing. From homepage to internal pages and from navigation to checkout process – everything on your website should load quickly and be easy to work with.

 

If your website or pages take forever to load, no one would like to be on it. Even if you manage to gain traffic on your website, it would be difficult for you to stop visitors from leaving and convince them to convert. Additionally, slow loading website and pages do not get a high rank on search engine result pages (SERPs).

 

Here is what you have to center on while developing a smooth, user-friendly, and search engine friendly ecommerce website –

 

  • Shorter page load speed
  • Simple Navigation menu
  • Mobile responsive website design
  • Rich product display and informative product description
  • Easy to understand shopping cart design
  • Allowing guest checkout (without forcing visitors to create a sign-up)
  • Quick and simple possible checkout process
  • Secure payment option
  • Providing info on how to contact customer care (should be clearly mentioned)

 

Put Easy Digestible Content 


ECommerce is all about rich, well-organized visual content. There is not much space for text on ecommerce. Giving too much of textual information is never advisable on ecommerce, because it will be difficult for a user to digest a heavy amount of text.

 

Instead, focus on providing all the essential information through high quality images, just like TobaccoPipes.com does.

 

Customer Experience

 

They use relevant and attractive icons to tell their visitors that they deliver worldwide and offer free shipping on orders above $75. Wow!!

 

Try to organize text content and product descriptions in a visually appealing way. Never use a sentence, if you can deliver your message in a few words.

 

Similarly, you can show information about your product.

 

Product Strategy


To make sure that your marketing and sales work well in the long run, you will need to work on your product strategy too. If there is no product strategy at all, no matter how effective your marketing strategies are, they are not going to yield anything.

 

An effective product strategy includes, but is not limited to –

 

  • The price of the product
  • The quantity of the product for the said price
  • The audience (everything about them, such as their age, location, gender, likes, dislikes, and preferences)
  • The competitors’ offerings, and
  • The medium of promotion (print, electronic, digital, or social)

 

You might want to add or remove certain factors in or from this list, based on your products and the age group of your exact audience. Here also, you will need to work closely with your industrial designers and manufacturing team, taking care of the negative feedbacks received from customers.

 

In addition to that, product strategy on ecommerce should include use of high quality product images, how-to videos, and informative description that is crisp and precise.

 

Build Your Own Online Community 


Since ecommerce takes place online, you should explore more ways to find new customers online. You can use digital marketing to generate traffic and gain new customers. For this, you can make use of free and paid channels of digital marketing.

 

You could also try social media marketing that gives you several added advantages; such as: free marketing tool, paid ads, and organic and paid ads analytics.

 

Social media is the most crowded place on earth. It is like a jam-packed market place, where you can display your ads and build a community, where you can feely communicate with your audiences and customers. It also gives you a chance to deliver high-level customer experience by resolving the issues your visitors or customers are facing while using your website or products. This way, social media help you build trust and gain more attention online.

 

Don’t Forget Emails 


Emails are still not an old-school practice. They still have relevance. They are still a decent way to connect with your audience and build a positive impression and content the unsatisfied customers.

 

If the issue is so broad that it cannot be discussed on social, you can definitely resolve it on email. You can send personalized emails for special days of your customers (for example their birthdays and festivals). Through these emails, you gain trust – and with that, a chance of sale. You can use birthday mailers and festive emails to send customized offers to your customers.

 

And when building your email marketing campaigns, make certain that your emails are bold, clear, short, and snappy.

 

Reminder: Even if it is not a promotional email, even if it is an email from customer support, it should be able to deliver the right message clearly.

 

Bottom Line 


Offer free shipping. Customers love the word free. Even if you can’t deliver next day, if the shipping charges are free (or lowest possible), the ball is still in your court.

 

Next, you will need to keep the “Add to Cart” and “My Cart” buttons easy to locate on your website. Not just that, adding to or removing from cart options should also be simple.

 

Last but not the least, do not leave a customer after he has made a purchase. Remember, you can always encourage them to repurchase from you through your social and email campaigns. But, don’t get too promotional.

 

A business to many (B2M) model is unique in the ways they utilize web design to reach both segments of their audience. Some choose to create a main landing page with separate areas for business and consumer customers. Because of the many needs of B2M companies, there are some specific trends in design that come to the forefront each year.

 

The latest report from the Small Business Administration shows there are about 30.7 million small businesses in the country. There were 433,000 startups but 400,000 closures. The fact that openings and closings are almost equal shows that businesses have to be on top of their game if they want to survive in a highly competitive, global economy.

 

No matter what type of business you run, it’s smart to stay on top of trends in online marketing. However, for a B2M business, it’s even more important to know how best to serve both sides of your firm. Here are some trends we think you’ll see in 2020 and beyond that apply to B2M models specifically.

 

1. Create Clear Deviations


Even though you may have a single website to serve both consumers and other businesses, it is important that you have separate areas to address the needs of each unique audience. There may be some services and products that overlap both segments of your customer base. However, there are likely at least a few areas that are different.

 

Amazon

 

Amazon is well-known for its consumer offerings and has been studied by many marketing experts in an effort to repeat its e-commerce success. However, it also offers a variety of business services. One way that Amazon meshes the two is by offering a separate area listing the many business services and partnership offerings. Note the lists of different ways business owners can work with Amazon or how you can start your own business.

 

2. Asymmetrical Layouts


You’ve likely noticed more and more sites going away from a grid design to a more free-floating layout. This trend applies to any type of website and not just business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C). It is an evolution in the way online browsers work and shows that sites are current on technology and understand the trends. An asymmetrical layout gives you a lot of flexibility to mesh both your B2B and B2C offerings.

 

3. Focus on Your UVP


Your unique value proposition (UVP) is what you offer that none of your competitors do. Good design embraces your UVP and puts it in front of your audience. It doesn’t matter who your audience is. It’s important to communicate why they should choose you over any other brand. Including your UVP in large type or a video or some other feature on your landing page is smart for any business model.

 

mcgraw hilleducation

 

McGraw-Hill Education serves educators and school systems as well as consumers (students). Their landing page highlights the types of textbooks and services they offer, but then it also has an area for teacher and professional development. They present their UVP above the fold with the words “We combine learning science and the art of teaching to empower success.” It’s their mission as a brand and shows where their focus is no matter which audience they’re serving.

 

4. Split Screens


Have you noticed the half and half screens popping up on some websites like Born & Bred in recent months? The new design trend basically takes the screen and splits it down the middle. The two halves are related and yet separate at the same time. This is a perfect design for a B2M business that serves two distinct audiences. Expect to see this design trend crop up often in 2020.

 

5. Offer Discounts


For companies that sell products, offering bulk discounts to businesses is one way they serve their B2B customers while still selling to the general public. Ordering more than a certain number of a product triggers the discount. Many companies also offer points reward systems to their repeat customers or allow businesses to set up automated orders so they can set it and forget it when it comes to supplies.

 

quill

 

Quill’s website meshes their consumer and business sides into a cohesive unit. However, as the user shops, they see that ordering a certain quantity triggers a discount. The site also puts information about their rewards program near the top of their landing page.

 

6. Add Video


Buffer’s 2019 Social Media Report shared that 85.5% of marketers publish some type of video content. Your website is the perfect place to share this content and educate your buyers about what you have to offer. Those consumers who buy from you might not realize you specialize in business services. Yet, some of those people may start their own businesses this coming year. On the flip side, business owners may not realize personalized products you carry for individuals but might be interested in making a purchase for their own household.

 

Educate your audience about what you do and what you have to offer. Videos are a quick and easy way to share information about your brand’s story.

 

7. Tailor Your CTAs


No matter what type of business you run, your calls to action make a difference in your conversion rates. For B2M businesses, CTAs might be particularly important for a B2M model to guide and direct the correct users to the right areas of your site. A strong CTA uses action words and doesn’t hide what will happen when the user clicks on the button. Test different words to find the ones that resonate with your specific audience.

 

idcautomatic

 

idc-Automatic offers garage door installation and repair to homes and businesses, serving many different people. Note their strong CTA on their home page that reads “Learn About Our Repair Team.” This is information that applies to both business owners and consumers as they’ll want to know the experience of those working on their garages.

 

8. Utilize Dark Mode


Dark mode web designs have a modern edge. You probably noticed with one of the recent iOS system updates that you now have the option to choose dark mode or light mode. Many web designers are copying this as more and more people use mobile devices to access the Internet. Create a site that adapts automatically to the settings on the user’s phone and thus shows them your site with their own personal preferences. You can also offer a manual setting to view in dark or light mode.

 

What 2020 Will Bring


While it’s impossible to predict every web design trend 2020 will bring, business owners can certainly look at trends at the end of 2019 for some clues. Technological advances also impact how you should present your site to visitors and what additions might have the most impact. Some things stand the test of time, such as writing strong headlines, keeping your audience in mind and adding CTA buttons. The rest is a matter of testing what works with your different buyer personas and finding some common ground between your B2B and B2C customers.

 

Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

Keep Website Visitors

 

Just as it’s important to focus your efforts on the things that make good web design better – informative content, high-quality photos, and an easy-to-use interface, it’s also important to think about the things your website visitors don’t want to see. If your bounce rate seems higher than it should be, but you can’t figure out why, there’s a good possibility that your website contains one or more of the five faux pas below.

 

#1 – Bad Overall Design


Once upon a time, getting to the first page of Google search results was as simple as inserting a few keywords into your website content. These days, though, things are far more complex. In fact, Google will rank your website based on its overall design – and so will your visitors. There are several things that might add to a bad design, and they include:

 

  • Lack of responsiveness – This occurs when your website isn’t as visually appealing or doesn’t work as fluidly on different types of screens.
  • Poor color selection – If you choose colors that are too bright, or if you put too many contrasting colors in the same place, this may aggravate visitors and cause them to bounce.
  • Bold, loud patterns – Though patterns are fine for backgrounds, it’s important to choose patterns that don’t overwhelm the visitors.
  • Poorly sized elements – Having a header that is too big, text that is too small or doesn’t wrap around images properly, and similar issues will cause frustration, too.
  • Bad fonts – Your font needs to fit your overall web design. If it’s too big or bold, it will likely annoy visitors, and if it’s too light or thin, they will struggle to read it.

 

It’s easy to get wrapped up in your website content’s quality while forgetting about its overall design. The biggest goal here is to make sure that it welcomes visitors without overwhelming them.

 

#2 – Bad or Misleading Navigation


In today’s world of fast internet and instant digital gratification, ensuring that your website operates the way it should is crucial. If a visitor can’t get to the information he or she needs within three clicks, it could be a deal-breaker. After all, why should visitors search endlessly for information on your website when they can easily find it from one of your competitors?

 

To combat this, make sure your website is easy to navigate and that users can get virtually anywhere in three clicks or less. Make sure photos and banners do not mislead your visitors, and clearly label your buttons with instructions like “Click Here” or “Buy Now”. Finally, be sure that your main navigation links are tucked neatly inside a menu rather than scattered across the website.

 

#3 – Poorly Structured Content


Content is still king when it comes to creating an excellent website that visitors will love. Unfortunately, many people continue to make simple mistakes that are causing their visitors to bounce and affecting their overall rankings. In order to ensure that your content is structured as optimally as possible, make sure that you avoid the following:

 

  • Too much content – Review your site’s existing content and remove any information that does not serve a direct purpose. It is better to have shorter, more informative content than to have a lot of content that doesn’t really serve a purpose.
  • Failing to introduce the website – When someone first lands on your site, they will want some sort of reassurance that they will find exactly what they searched for. Be sure that you include some sort of introduction for each piece of content that succinctly explains what visitors will find on that page.
  • Showing old content before new content – Dynamic content is your best friend (and Google eats it up) so be sure that you’re showing visitors your newest content at all times.
  • Straying from the point – Finally, if you include irrelevant information just to get some keywords in, you’ll end up confusing visitors. Avoid “fluff” at all costs and make sure that the information on the page all serves the same purpose.
  • Failing to include localized content – The focus on local content is huge, and Google has adjusted its algorithms to suit this. People want what they want, and they often want it now, so make sure that you’ve optimized for local keywords if this applies to you.

 

Statistics show that companies can lose up to 60% of their sales when visitors struggle to find what they were originally looking for. Keeping your content properly structured will help you avoid this.

 

#4 – Too Many Effects


When people visit your site, they want to be in control of their experience, so if you’ve considered the idea of videos set to auto-play or background music to help set a tone, you may want to think again. People find it aggravating when they are searching for information only to be interrupted by a video or background music they don’t like. If you’re going to use videos, allow the visitor to decide whether they want to watch it – don’t force it on them.

 

Photos are a great alternative to videos in many cases, and they load far faster, which improves your site’s response time – especially on mobile devices. If your site’s visuals are well-designed and appropriately placed (and sized!) they can go a long way toward giving your visitors a pleasant, memorable experience without the need for background music or videos set to auto-play.

 

#5 – Overwhelming Ads


Getting a small business off the ground can be tough, and online ads are indeed a phenomenal way to help you generate a little extra income to keep things moving forward. Though there’s nothing inherently wrong with having an ad on your site here and there, there is a limit. Everyone finds ads annoying to a degree, but if they are intrusive and interfere with your visitors’ experiences on your site, your bounce rate will undoubtedly skyrocket.

 

To combat this, make certain that your visitor does not see an ad before anything else on your site. Avoid pop-up ads where possible, and if you choose to use them, make sure they are easy enough for your visitors to close. Finally, if you have an entire sidebar filled with advertisements, there’s a pop-up on every single page, or there’s more than one pop up on any given page, there are far too many ads on your site and your visitors are almost certainly frustrated.

 

Focusing on good web design is crucial, and part of that involves truly critiquing your site to discover what might be putting users off. By going over your site carefully and keeping these five common mistakes in mind, you can discover what’s been increasing your bounce rate, resolve it, and start climbing the rankings once again.

seo and user experience

 

If you’ve done the research, followed search engine guidelines, and otherwise optimized your site to rank highly you would expect results, right? But what happens when you aren’t receiving the results you’d expect?

 

You might be seeing a lot of impressions coming in, but those impressions have a very conversion rate to leads. Those leads have an even lower conversion rate to sales. If this sounds like the issue you’re facing, then your issue certainly lays in site design and overall user experience.

 

Site Design


Site design is more than the background or fonts you choose to use on our company’s website. The overall design will incorporate all graphic and non-graphic elements of your company page. A good site design is:

 

User Experience


User experience is just what it sounds like. It is the experience a user has when they come to your website. Even more important than SEO best practices, ensuring a good user experience is vital. But what makes an enjoyable experience versus a negative experience?

 

A negative experience would be a site with hard to read copy, eye-straining color scheme, difficulty in navigation, unclear directions, or is otherwise difficult to use.

 

Keys to creating a good user experience would be ensuring that:

 

  • The site is easy on the eyes (no neon colors, hard to read fonts, etc.)
  • It is easy (and obvious) to navigate from one page to the next
  • Simple sign up procedures which make it clear what the user will receive
  • Effective copy and content that utilizes best practices for readability (plenty of white space, short paragraphs, concise sentences, clear call to actions, bullets, numbered lists, headers)

 

Why This Matters


Wondering why this is important? The point is to get customers to your site, which is done through search engine optimization. Right? Kind of.

 

SEO will get users to your site, but user experience is what keeps them there. A bad design or ineffective copy can have potential readers leaving before they even scan your pages to see what is being offered.

 

A straightforward way to think of this is as a series of actions and rewards.

 

Action #1: Using SEO and a variety of advertisement options to increase search engine ranking.
Reward: People come to your website.

 

Action #2: Implementing best website design practices and ensuring a great user experience.
Reward: People stay on your site, where they find out what you offer.

 

Action #3: You offer your target audience something useful in return for their information. This can be content, discounts, or something else entirely. What is offered depends on your brand and customers.
Reward: You get their information, which turns them into warm leads.

 

The process goes on from there, but this is the part of the buyer’s journey where website design and user experience are most important.

 

8 Easy Ways to Improve Site Design & User Experience


Knowing how important these elements are is one thing, but how do you go about optimizing your website for them? The best option is to hire a professional design company who is efficient in best SEO and user experience (UX) practices. Often, these selfsame companies can operate after your site is live as an extension of your marketing company.

 

If you choose to go it your own, however, here are eight simple ways you can begin to improve your site design. Each of the following are simple steps which are broken down, so they can be executed one at a time if necessary.

 

1: Optimize Color Scheme

 

Get rid of overly bright, neon coloring which causes eyestrain and a difficulty in reading texts. Replace it with soft or dark colors. The text should contrast the background, so it is easy to read.

 

2: Check Your Fonts

 

Do away with overly stylized fonts which are difficult to read. While pretty, these offer no purpose or benefit to the reader.

 

3: Optimize Sign-Up Forms

 

Check your sign-up forms. It is ideal to have five or less boxes which need to be filled out, if possible. If your forms have more than five boxes, consider doing away with any optional ones to decrease the chance readers will become too overwhelmed to sign up.

 

4: Increase Readability

 

Check your webpage copy for easy readability. Have you used plenty of white space? Are bullets used when possible? Have you incorporated headers to break up the text?

 

5: Check Graphics

 

Make sure the graphics used on your website are just enough to help the user experience without being overwhelming. They should also be of the highest quality.

Website Visitors Yearning for More

 

You want users to spend as much time as possible on your website. Every good business owner or digital marketer knows that the more time a person spends on your website, the higher the possibility they will purchase the products or services you are selling.

 

But how can you keep your website visitors yearning for more?


The idea is to implement several best practices. These revolve around optimize your website and content for a more positive user experience, as well as allowing your website visitors to know what to expect from you as a company.

 

You may already be doing some or all the following items – or you may not be. Check out the following to find out which best practices will keep your visitors on your website and yearning for more.

 

Strong Branding


Branding is the way you set your company apart from the dozens (even hundreds or thousands) of other companies like yours. Through branding you are telling your target audience a story. It is about why you do what you do and how you do it. Everything on your website (and all your marketing or sales endeavors, too) should reflect this brand story.

 

A few tips for creating strong branding on your website include:

 

  • Be consistent in the tone of voice you use through all channels (copy, blogs, conversations, etc.)
  • Have a phrase, logo, or something else that users can associate with your brand. Use it on the bottom or top of every page. Repetition is key, so you can fix your brand in the mind of your audience.
  • Use your domain name on everything from letter heads to business cards. This will not only bring in more website viewers but assists in pulling together your overall branding strategy.
  • Use graphics that represent your brand’s values and voice. People are more drawn to imaging than content.

 

Positive User Experience


A positive user experience means that people who come to your website will have no difficulty navigating your website. The design should be intuitive and visually appealing.

 

You can do all the search engine optimization in the world and run numerous paid campaigns to bring visitors in, but if the user experience is suffering it won’t matter.

 

Why? Visitors will never stay on your website long enough to become familiar with your brand, which translates to meaning they will never be converted into customers.

 

A few tips for creating a positive user experience on your website include:

 

  • Keeping page load times
  • Using best practices for content readability.
  • Avoiding stylized fonts, eye-straining color schemes, or cluttered design.
  • Utilizing as much whitespace (empty space) as possible.
  • Optimizing your design for mobile devices.
  • Keep navigation simple and intuitive.
  • Keep all forms clear and concise.

 

Quality Content


Content is still king, but the format options have changed. You want to include a variety of formats on your page to target the widest audience and make your message available in the way these viewers prefer. In addition to written content variations, formats could also include infographics, videos, or podcasts.

 

All content formats are important, but chances are written variations will be those most used. These include everything from website copy and blog posts to e-books and white paper.

 

In terms of website copy, blog posts, and articles that you host on your site, use the following practices to help increase readability. Great readability is vital in keeping visitors on your site longer.

 

  • Use bullets and numbered lists whenever possible.
  • Utilize H2 headers to break content up into sections.
  • Keep paragraphs short.
  • Keep sentences clear, concise, and conversational.
  • Avoid fluff or filler words.
  • Ensure the information is useful to your audience. It should offer valuable, relevant information or solve a problem your potential customers are having.

 

Free Downloads & Other Offers


Everyone loves a freebie. I do, and you do, so you can be certain your website visitors do, too. Free downloads and other offers are a wonderful way to both give your customers something of value to them and get their contact information in return.

 

Free downloads are typically in the form of e-books, which are useful resources in their own right. An e-book can help to set you or your company up as an industry expert, provide highly detailed information on a subject (versus brief explanation), and could help you garner more sales as a result.

 

The offer doesn’t have to be an e-book, however. It could also be a free trial service, discount, promotion (buy one get one), or anything else which might be of value to your target audience.

 

The contact information garnered from free downloads are down with landing pages with a sign-up form and clear instructions. Clear instructions may be “Sign up now to receive our free e-book on content marketing” or “Sign up now to receive 10% off your first purchase.”

 

Consistency in Design & Content


Our final tip for keeping your website visitors yearning for more is simply to be consistent. Consistency revolves around both your design and content, and includes:

 

  • Maintaining the same design elements for all website pages
  • Using the same tone of voice in all content formats
  • Using the same one or two format types for blog posts
  • Using images which are automatically associated with the content, your brand, and your industry
  • Publishing content on the same days, at the same times, on a schedule your marketing team can commit to

 

By keeping all your design elements and content formats consistent you let your website visitors know what to expect. This not only keeps them on your website longer, but also increases the rate at which people return to consume your content.

 

If you are not already utilizing the above strategies to keep website visitors on your page longer, now is the time to do so. Create a checklist of things you need to accomplish to improve the length of time visitors stay on your website and methodically check them off over the next few days or weeks.

 

Increased time spent with your company is not the only improvement you will see. You will also see begin noticing an increased conversion rate from impression to lead, as well as lead to customer.

Website User Experience

 

Once upon a time, back when Google’s algorithms were simpler, search engine optimization was as easy as using the right keywords at the right density. These days, though, Google demands much more than keywords. Today, you need relevant content, images, and videos alongside desktop and mobile sites that provide an outstanding user experience. If the user experience sucks, no amount of marketing will help you succeed. Here’s why.

 

The Importance of User Experience


Just like you, Google has a goal to be the very best among its competitors. In order to do this, it has to satisfy its users’ demand for search results that are relevant to the search terms they use. For this reason, Google considers many different things when it ranks websites, including the relevancy of the content, the frequency at which you update the content, bounce rates, conversion rates, backlinks, website speed, mobile responsiveness, and more. In fact, Google regularly researches user experience and tweaks its algorithms to provide exactly what its users want.

 

A couple of great examples of user experience:

 

Rover

 

 

It’s pretty clear that Rover.com 100% understands user experience. I recently had a chance to really use this site and it made me wanting to come back. That’s success.

 

Transferwise

 

transferwise

 

Transferwise is another site that we’ve been using lately. Similar to PayPal the user experience is really flawless. The front end and back end are both very smooth and easy to use. Probably why

 

HeyOrca

 

HeyOrca

 

HeyOrca is a new social media platform that takes the guessing out of social media. The front end and back are extremely user friendly which is not the case for all social media platforms.

 

All of these things ultimately provide the user with a good experience or a bad one depending on your site’s design. Failing to provide a solid user experience (UX) has serious consequences, as well.

 

Signs that Your UX Sucks


If you don’t know how your website ranks when it comes to the user experience, there are some key characteristics of an overall bad UX that you should consider.

 

  • Slow load times. Load times have a great deal to do with the user’s overall experience. These days, people don’t want to wait for pages, images, or videos to load. They want instant gratification, and if your site can’t provide it, they will go to a competitor.
  • Jumbled layout. The layout of your website is also crucial to the overall UX. If things are jumbled and elements get in the way, users will just become frustrated and leave.
  • Difficult navigation. Ideally, visitors should be able to go from one page of your site to another and find exactly what they need within three clicks. If they can’t, this is a good indicator that your navigation is too complex. This can also frustrate visitors.
  • No contact information. In order for people to truly trust you, it is important that you provide them with several ways of contacting you. Provide phone numbers, mailing addresses, physical addresses, email addresses, and even a contact form directly on your site. It’s an easy and effective way to enhance the user experience.
  • Stale content. Google ranks pages with regularly-updated content far higher than those with stale content. If you don’t update your site – and update it often – users are going to get bored. Update your blog once or twice a week, add new images here and there, and even better, be sure to build quality backlinks through your blog or informational articles to really give the visitor a wealth of information and options.
  • Sales-oriented content. Even if your website exists for no other reason than to sell things, it’s important that you offer some additional value. For example, if you own a bakery and your goal involves selling cupcakes, don’t just create content that revolves around selling cupcakes. Consider adding some of your favorite recipes, write about the popularity of cupcakes, or find some other way to add value to your site. Your visitors (and your ranking) will thank you.
  • Generic stock photos. Stock photos can be fantastic, and that’s especially true if they are meaningful. However, when you choose to use only stock photography, there’s a very good chance that other sites just like yours are using the same ones. This can drastically affect the user experience by making visitors feel as if they are being duped. Whenever possible, take your own high-definition photographs – or hire someone to do it for you.

 

Don’t Forget Mobile Users


Though the elements above are some of the most common issues affecting the overall user experience, these days, Google is putting far more emphasis on the UX as it applies to mobile users. In 2015, for the first time in US history, more Google searches originated from mobile devices than desktops. For the last three years, the search engine giant has worked tirelessly to improve search results relevancy based on this fact. This is evident with the recent announcement of mobile-first indexing, which will rank pages with responsive mobile sites higher than their non-mobile counterparts on searches conducted via mobile devices.

 

One of the absolute worst things you can do to bring down the overall user experience for your website involves failing to optimize your site for mobile users. Your site should display on a smartphone or tablet in much the same way as it displays on a computer. All the elements need to be present, navigation needs to be a breeze, and visitors should not have to pinch or zoom in order to read text or see images clearly. If you have not yet optimized your site for mobile responsiveness, now is the time. Failing to do so could leave you scrambling to climb the ranking ladder.

 

The Trouble with Marketing a Bad User Experience


Many companies out there believe that they can overcome a less-than-stellar website with mass marketing. After all, it’s just a website. This is absolutely not the case. These days, people rely on information they find online, and they form opinions of your brand based on your website. If your UX sucks because your site is a jumbled mess, or because it doesn’t display properly on their smartphones, or because they have to wait 10 seconds between pages, that reflects negatively on your entire brand.

 

No amount of innovative marketing, and no amount of marketing dollars, can overcome a poor user experience. In fact, by investing some of that marketing money back into your website to improve the UX, you can actually see a significant return and perhaps even save money on future marketing campaigns. Earning a high ranking via Google is arguably the world’s best marketing strategy, so be sure to consider your site’s UX and make changes accordingly.

Customer Support

Being available to our customers is important. If it’s difficult for them to reach us, we may miss out making a sale or a lasting connection. As expectations for acceptable ways to interact with customers change, you need to consider how to make your company available online.

 

When a potential customer or client has a question or concern, they’re likely to go online to see if they can get some help. If you make them jump through numerous hoops just to have a conversation with you, they’re likely to move on to a competitor to purchase their products or services instead. Making it as easy as possible for customers to reach you ensures you can provide them with the help they need to close a sale.

 

There are many different ways you can be available for your customers online. Here are five ideas you may want to apply to your business.

 

Use a Live Chat Tool


Live chat is one of the most popular ways to provide customer service help to your target audience. As an IM service you can feature right on your website, live chat allows both you and your customer to easily discuss problems. Because a customer service representative can take on multiple chats at once, it can be a time saver for both parties.

 

The clothing site Hautelook provides a live chat service to help customers troubleshoot problems, ask questions about their orders or provide other services. Connecting customers with a customer service agent enables them to get assistance immediately, without needing to wait for a return phone call or an email response.
 

Provide Location-Specific Information


If you have multiple locations for your company, you’ll want to provide unique information for all of them. By sharing location-specific information about each store, your customers will be able to find contact information for the area relevant to them. This can lower the amount of times the customer needs to be transferred, ensuring they get accurate information the first time around.

 

Location-Specific Information

 

Duncan Parnell offers a location and department search for its users. Not only can customers search for the location they’d like to contact, but they can also select the department they need. This search will then provide them with the exact person they need to connect with and the contact information they’re looking for.
 

Make Your Contact Info Easy to Find


If a customer comes to your website looking for your contact information, they don’t want to dig through page after page in order to find it. Keeping your contact information clearly displayed either in the footer of your site or in an easy-to-locate separate page can reduce the amount of time wasted on your customer’s end.

 

MailChimp clearly displays its contact link in the footer of its website, making it easy for customers to get in touch when they need to. After going through to the contact page, there are various topics the customer can choose, ensuring their message reaches the right department or customer service representative.

 

Put a Contact Form on Your Website


Many companies prefer to deal with their customer service inquires through email. While this is fine, you want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to send you a message. If they need to copy an email address, open their email app and type in the message, they may decide it isn’t worth the hassle. This is where having a contact form on your website can come in handy.

 

Contact Us

 

The messaging service Slack offers a contact form for customers to fill out when they need additional assistance. From this page, customers can input their email address and message and send it the same way as an email. However, the online form saves time and prevents them from needing to leave the original website.
 

Be Available on Social Media


Not all your customers are going to look at your website for a way to contact you. Many will turn to your Twitter or Facebook page to reach out. If you’re not available to answer questions, give advice or provide assistance on your social media pages, you could be missing out on an opportunity to connect with your target audience. Responding to messages and comments, and including your contact information on your page, can guarantee you connect with the right people.

 

Social Media

 

Airlines such as Delta are constantly dealing with customer interactions on social media. Because it is much easier for a traveler to send a message through social media or an app they already have downloaded on their phones, they can get up-to-date information while they’re on the go. Scrolling through Delta’s timeline, you’ll see they respond to a lot of questions and concerns throughout the day.

 

Being accessible is important for companies of all sizes and in all industries. If you’re unable to help your customer when they need you, they’re going to become frustrated and move on to a competitor. Making it easy to reach you can guarantee you’re providing the best assistance possible to your target audience.

 

Consider what technique will work best for your customer or those who may need to reach you. By considering their needs and tailoring your contact process to their preferences, you’ll keep them happy and more likely to buy from you again.

 

Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

UX Tips

Your website is the most powerful tool you have at your disposal. If it’s not designed well — or working well — your visitors will never convert to paying customers.

 

Appearance and design are important, but it’s the user experience most people will remember:

 

  • Is navigating the site frustrating and sluggish?
  • Is it easy to add a product or service to your cart and check out?
  • Can you get in touch with support fairly quickly?

 

If the user experience is poor, then people are simply going to leave, almost as soon as they arrive. But how do you know if a website delivers a good experience? Is there a way to measure?

 

Believe it or not, there are several ways you can measure your site’s user experience, and that’s what we’re going to talk about.

 

1. Use Metrics to See How Users Are Interacting With Your Website


Ever heard of something called a heatmap? It’s a unique analytics feature that allows you to see where people have engaged or interacted most with your page. You can see what elements visitors are clicking on and which ones are being ignored. This allows you to gauge whether or not your CTA is effective.

 

You can also visualize where people are spending most of their time. Are they scrolling down the page and reading your content, or are they looking away as soon as they arrive? Are they interested in all of your products or only a couple? Is the site layout or design directing attention somewhere you don’t want it to?

 

These are all things you can figure out with a heatmap. It displays where people engage most by highlighting the area in blue or green, similar to thermal imaging.

 

You’ll know a lot more about the user experience on your site by exploring interaction levels.

 

2. Check Your Site’s Loading Speeds


Website speed is important. If customers land on a page that’s taking too long to load, they’ll get frustrated and either backtrack or leave completely. According to research, the maximum amount of time you can expect your visitors to wait for a site to load is 3 seconds.

 

You can either manually check the loading times or you can use a tool like Google’s PageSpeed Insights. Google’s tool is more effective because it will show you which pages could be improved and what might be the cause of a delay. Similar tools include Web Page Test, GTmetrix and Pingdom Tools.

 

More often than not, image sizes play a role in performance. It’s possible to compress or decrease the size of images on your site, with little to no quality loss.

 

3. Conduct Usability Tests


One of the reasons why projects or sites fail is because of a disconnect in communication between customers and developers. You can bridge this gap by conducting usability tests for your site and then giving feedback to your developers.

 

Usability testing is when you recruit people to try out your product, which, in this case, would be your website. You can either hire a third party to do this or you can have your employees, friends or relatives take a look at your site.

 

During testing, it’s important those participating try everything on your site, including:

 

  • Forms
  • Purchasing goods
  • Watching videos
  • Leaving comments
  • And more

 

Every interaction a potential visitor could make, your testers should be trying out.

 

Then, get their feedback. You’ll be able to tell pretty fast if a certain part of your site isn’t optimized or working correctly.

 

4. Calculate Your Conversion Ratings


Visitors will come and go in waves, but not everyone will purchase a product or make it to the end of your conversion process. One great way to measure user experience is to see where in the pipeline visitors are jumping ship.

 

For example, did they add products to their cart and decide the checkout process was too involved for their liking? Did they see something before checkout that made them leave? Did they even get there?

 

Google Analytics offers a Checkout Behavior Analysis report that is handy for figuring out this sort of thing. It will tell you at what step in your checkout process users abandoned your site. This should help you discern any problems that need to be addressed — user experience-related or not.

 

5. Check How Much Time Your Forms Require


Visitors will spend a lot of time interacting with forms on your site. They may be signing up for an email newsletter, sending in contact details, submitting billing info and more. If the forms are asking for too much information or they just perform poorly, your visitors will be wasting a lot of time. They may not even get to the end, choosing to leave before they are finished submitting their information.

 

Luckily, there are tools to measure this, such as Hotjar.

 

Check to be sure your visitors are not experiencing a bottleneck with one of your forms. You can address problems by removing fields you don’t need, improving performance, or doing away with the form completely.

 

6. Conduct Online Surveys


Ask your customers directly what they think of your site. There are plenty of tools to do this and you can easily create a questionnaire that tells you everything you need to know. More than likely, they will have plenty to say about the experience your site offers, especially if it’s lacking.

 

This is a great way to get feedback from the people who matter most, your loyal customers. You can do things like filter the surveys to show only when a customer is logged in to get feedback just from regulars. Or you can allow anyone to take a survey. It’s up to you.

 

Measure Your Site

 

Hopefully you’ve gained some valuable insights that will help you measure the user experience rating of your site. Remember, there’s plenty you can do to improve the experience, and if you follow these tips you’re on the right track.

good-website

 

Developing a business website is full of dangers and pitfalls to people who are just getting started, but many professionals fall into dangerous web branding traps as well. There are a few common practices that seem like good ideas but which can cause you to lose a significant amount of business if you aren’t careful during the design process. User experience is extremely important and if you miss important elements your business could hurt. If your website is using one of the practices outlined below, you could be losing a significant amount of business without even realizing it.

 

Too Many Clicks


 

Any public section of your business website should be accessible to somebody searching for the material within a minimum of 2-3 clicks. After that three click threshold, a new user who is unfamiliar with your website layout is likely to become bored or frustrated, at which point they move on to something else. Your website can still have a wealth of information – in fact, it’s best if there’s a lot of useful information even for those who are not using your services – but you need to make sure that the amount of information doesn’t get overwhelming. Run tests on every page of your website and make sure that at no point is a visitor required to make more than three clicks to access what they want.

 

Poor Shopping Experience


 

If your company sells a tangible product but your business website doesn’t give customers a way to buy that product quickly and easily, you’re going to hurt your bottom line. An online storefront is one of the easiest ways to engage customers and guarantee that they buy from you instead of going through a third party. This cuts out the middleman and gets the public to see you as a trusted, useful online source that they should check in on more often. Your online storefront should not only be easy to navigate, but it should be accessible from any page on the site, usually through a clickable top or side button.

 

Difficult to Find Customer Service/FAQ


 

One of the most common reasons that anybody visits a business website is to deal with a problem that they are having with a company’s product or service. Because of this, and because top-level customer service is always an absolute must, you need to make sure that have an easily accessible and responsive customer service system. Moreover, adding frequently asked questions, or FAQs, to your page is an incredibly important step that can improve your impact with customers. The existence of a FAQ not only makes it very easy for customers to get answers, but it also boosts your page’s usefulness on algorithms used by search engines, thus driving more traffic to your site.

 

If your business website has any of the above issues going on, you will see a drop in efficiency and income. By making a few simple but effective tweaks to your site, you can make it more profitable and also provide your customers with better service, a happier experience, and the sense that your company is an organization that can be relied upon in the future.

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