More than half of current consumer purchases begin with online research, and it is likely some of that time is spent on your website. Since your first opportunity to interact with potential customers may begin online, it makes sense that digital marketers are emphasizing the importance of a positive user experience.
When crafting the ideal User Experience, whether it be for a web page or software platform, it’s important to recognize that there is no one-shoe-fits-all solution. Sure, there are standardized best practices that any vetted content creator or user experience designer may apply, but with the growing range of niche markets and verticals, it’s important to diversify your strategy. By doing so, you can create a unique user experience that is aesthetically pleasing, frictionless, converts and retains, and most importantly, aligns with your industry’s expectations.
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You Know Your Website is Providing an Excellent User Experience When…
Here are four customer behaviors that can let you know that you’ve hit your user experience sweet spot.
1. Your Visit-to-Lead Ratio is at 5% or Higher
Keep in mind that the ideal conversion rate varies depending on the industry, but the combined average sits at 2.35%, while the top 25% of companies convert at 5.31% or higher. (Wordstream) So, if you want to know if your user experience is where it needs to be to create a scalable business, you should aim for 5% and above.
There are several other factors that play into a successful conversion rate such as product demand and appropriate market value. However, potential customers will be more likely to put your product in their cart if they can figure out what you offer without confusion or misdirection. Your website should be dynamic and intuitive. This is not the time to experiment with an avant-garde design theme or strangely placed calls to action. Your visitor should be in and out within 2-3 minutes and, if you’re doing it right, heading to the checkout page for purchase or trial subscription.
2. You Maintain an 85% or Higher Customer Retention Rate
In an ideal world, you would have a 100% retention rate. While that number should be a driving force in your business decisions, it’s perfectly acceptable to function at 80% and above. In fact, the average for small businesses is 85%, so it’s not an unrealistic goal.
Seeing 85% of your new visitors or users stick around, and return after a purchase or free trial subscription should inform you that not only do you offer a valuable product but that it’s viable. Assuming you’re hitting your target audience and marketing is doing its job correctly, new visitors or users should have very few barriers as they complete their tasks. If there are too many hoops to jump through, convoluted processes, or unclear action steps, you’re going to lose your prospects.
So keep things intuitive. If you aren’t sure your website is optimized set up A/B testing. Make one change at a time so that you have measurable data to confirm which changes your users prefer.
3. Your Website’s Productive Features are Utilized
Incorporating productive site features like a blog, press, and news section, or user spotlights is a great way to educate your audience, build the tone for your brand, and get them to stay on your site longer while they go through their decision-making process. They’re also great for showing the public that your organization has a heartbeat and that there are people behind the scenes working towards the common goal of absolute customer satisfaction.
If you look at your HotJar analytics and see that 400 people visited your blog page last week but it had an 87% bounce rate before the top fold, something isn’t clicking. It could be that the headlines weren’t attractive, the content is outdated, or that the layout of the blog itself was disorganized. On the other end of the spectrum, if those same 400 people had a 35% bounce rate, 75% of them make it to the bottom of the page, and 4% of them convert, you can be assured that your content creation is worthwhile and your visitors appreciate what you are doing.
4. Your Customer Satisfaction Surveys Tell You So
This one is pretty straightforward. User satisfaction surveys are a simple way to evaluate your user experience design and gauge the areas that are functioning as intended and areas that need improvement. How often you should be sending them is up to you and your team. They can be in the form of a poll embedded in an email, in-app pop-up form, or maybe you go old school and send them in the mail with a personalized note.
Regardless of the implementation, satisfaction surveys will help you learn about the return on your design decisions. Instead of sifting through data in Google Analytics, you can actually read Joe Smith’s comments on your platform and learn his impression of your onboarding process. Not only will surveys let you know where your product stands with your users, past and present, but they will also let your audience know you are listening and are devoted to creating a product or service that is designed to meet their needs.
It’s important to remember that many of your customers are unlikely to respond to surveys because just like you, they are busy. We’ve listed this option last because while it is great to hear from customers, it’s also the most time-consuming for both parties. If you believe this is the option you need to use, consider offering a small incentive in exchange for responses.
At SMA Marketing we understand the importance of designing a website that highlights your company’s best features and also provides an optimal customer user experience. We believe that every client is best served by a unique website design strategy. Contact us to learn more about our web design services and how we work to ensure positive digital experiences.