One of the reasons online businesses thrive is because of the exceptional user experience (UX) that they offer to their customers. And to a major extent, UX design is considered crucial to every business's success and survival. A recent survey by Sitejet revealed about 90% of people leave a website due to bad design. This means a poor UX design can increase bounce rate, thus wasting all the marketing effort of getting people to your site or product in the first place.
In contrast, a good user experience can prove to be successful in attracting potential customers and retaining them. According to a Forrester Research report, for every $1 invested in UX, business owners can expect returns of up to $100. The research also revealed a better UX design has the potential of increasing conversion rates by up to 400%. UX is a major factor to consider when trying to achieve your site’s conversion goals. A good UX guides potential customers through the site smoothly and leads them to what they’re looking for without much hassle. In turn, this translates to more revenue and repeat customers.
UX design will play a major part in the future of digital marketing. Every year, there are new advancements in user experience technology, all aimed at making the user experience better.
Currently, many websites utilize features such as chatbots and voice user interfaces that keep improving. Some trends that may experience wide adoption in the near future include motion design, augmented and virtual reality, 3D interfaces, and zero-UI.
Source: Rally Interactive
These technologies not only improve the user experience but also offload some of the workloads for brands. For example, advancements such as predictive AI help with gathering data for marketing analytics, while technology such as chatbots and voice interfaces guide customers through their experiences, thus allowing brands to focus on other areas of the business.
A marketing funnel involves converting potential customers to paying customers through a step-by-step process. Before a customer makes his/her mind to buy a product and is ready to complete the checkout process, he/she goes through a marketing funnel. This funnel can be used to gauge the performance of a website and determine whether the site's user interaction is satisfactory.
For example, if your website's main goal is to get a customer to buy an ebook, a marketing funnel allows you to check whether your customers are following the right steps. It also shows you what steps are converting poorly and where your customers are going instead of proceeding to the next step.
There are four stages in the marketing funnel including awareness, interest, desire, and action. The following are ways in which brands can utilize UX to optimize the various stages of the marketing funnel to increase conversion rates.
The awareness stage is the first stage of the marketing funnel. It is the stage where potential customers are introduced to your product or service. It is the stage where potential customers are looking for solutions to solve a particular problem and have reached a point where they click a link to your website, thus giving you the opportunity to pique their interest.
Content used at this stage to introduce potential clients to your brand often include:
SEO-optimized blog posts
Social Media Campaigns
Once this content has succeeded in leading the target audience to your site, the UX has to be optimized to pique the visitors' interest or even take a step further by generating a lead on the spot. More often than not, new visitors to your site usually encounter a landing page as the first point of contact with your brand. This is where UX design can play a major role in leading a visitor down to the next step on the funnel. For a landing page, the copy should be clear and concise. The main goal should be presented to the user in a clutter-free environment to reduce distractions.
A recommended tip at this stage is to include videos on your landing page as they hold a lot of weight when it comes to conversion. Statistics show landing pages with videos can increase conversion rates by up to 80%, and 90% of users rely on videos when making buying decisions.
At this stage, customers have a basic familiarity with your brand and may want to know more about what you have to offer. To increase conversion at this stage, you need to take steps to ensure that they frequent your site or check your content. To achieve this, you need to focus on creating quality content and optimizing the UX. For content, you need to create something that gives potential customers a more branded experience. Tell them how your brand offers a solution to their problem, or show them relevant information about your brand's niche.
Content that can be useful in this stage include:
When it comes to the user experience (UX) when accessing these types of content, the presentation should be good visually. Everything should be easily accessible to increase the amount of time spent on your site. The paragraphs should be divided into short readable sections. Also, a good idea is to use carousels, in-page recommendations, and outbound links that lead to other pages of your site.
Other major UX factors to consider at this stage are site speed and mobile-friendliness. For site speed, the amount of content on a web page has to be optimized. Huge files such as images may slow down your site and increase the bounce rate. It is reported that 47% of website visitors expect sites to load in less than 3 seconds. Also, your site should be optimized for mobile devices because this is where you’ll find most of your customers. According to Businesswire, 67% of Black Friday/Cyber sales in 2020 were made on mobile devices. This means a site with a subpar mobile user experience may lose a lot of revenue.
At this stage, the user's interest is at its peak, and now the task left is for you to make your product or offering desirable so that the user can make a final decision to commit and buy from you. However, before the user clicks the call-to-action button, he/she wants to be confident that they are making the right decision.
To persuade and boost the user’s confidence, you need to distinguish your product or service from the competition and show the user the value they are getting. This can be done by: - Explaining the benefits that can be derived from your product by use of detailed product descriptions. - Showcasing your brand's reviews and testimonials. - Offering incentives such as sales or promotions (e.g free trials, discounts, gifts)
At this stage, most of the UX design is based on marketing content. Users who have developed a strong interest in your brand will sign up for a newsletter or other form of notification. This means you have an opportunity to market to them directly and offer deals or products that might interest them.
The newsletters or email campaigns that you send at this stage should have an optimized UX. The information on these materials should be relevant to the user's interest. Poor UX can chase interested users into the arms of your competitors, so ensure the user's digital experience is satisfactory. Make sure the links on the campaigns are working, clickable images lead the user to a landing pages, and the text is readable.
This is the final stage of the marketing funnel. After potential customers have gone through the funnel, only a small number will reach this stage. Most of them will be split between buying your product or bouncing. This is where your UX will play a major part in influencing the customer's decision. The UX elements at this stage should be optimized to provide the best user experience.
Make sure your site's navigation is usable and reliable, especially on your product pages. Go with clear menus and links to provide users with a seamless experience when searching for a particular product or service. Also, include tools such as filters to enable users to perform their searches based on parameters such as price, size, color, shipping, etc.
The product pages should load quickly, and the checkout process should be flawless. If your customers have a positive experience with your brand after purchase, they are more likely to turn into repeat customers.
UX optimization is a never-ending task. Every year there are new trends that provide customers with a better user experience. As an online business, it is important to measure users' interaction with your site to know when and where to improve the UX. Always remember to customize your UX to fit your business goals and align with your digital marketing content.
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