WIthout Great UX Your Site Could be Dead in the Water

August 17, 2017

On Call 24/7/365 Marketing Team

Your website is much like a living organism and one of your most visible marketing assets. It isn’t an expense item that you buy once and forget about. Think of it as your on call, 24/7/365 marketing team. With that in mind, you want to treat it as a sort of living entity. To keep outputting leads, it needs visitors. Is your site up to the task?

If your website isn’t achieving the goals you set or at least showing a positive growth pattern you might have to dig deeper. A tapering off of visitors, leads and sign ups could mean that your site needs refreshed or possibly overhauled.

Adjust Your Mindset.

The average business spends between 10 and 20 percent of their gross sales for the year on marketing and more toward the top end for launching new products. If you consider your website part of that figure, you’ll give it the attention it deserves to stay on the leading edge. A high functioning website tells users that you value their experience on your site. A responsive site isn’t just a competitive edge, it’s a must.

Do you gravitate toward bold imagery or a wall of text? Those luxury grade images? They’re attentions grabbers and your clients will fall in love with them. You may have gaps in the buyer’s journey or your message isn’t clear. How do you know what your users need?

Start with Analytics.

Once you start using analytics, and their value is understood, you’ll want to make it part of your marketing budget. Using a website without analytics is like flying a plane without air traffic control.

Data analytics dedicated to your specific site measure the traffic to your site, various pages within your site, and what pages get the most action. From this, you’ll know if traffic is driven by ads, content or links, social media, other pages or other websites. They can reveal which device your audience uses, even the brand or type of device, as well as where in the world your user lives.

Happer user at AeroInteractive

Most importantly, they show whether you’re hitting your actual target market or if your marketing hits another group entirely. Even without talking to your end user daily, you’re still tracking with them.  By seeing exactly what is going on, you’re gaining a better understanding of your audience over time.

Your design and development team knows how data informs strategies. Which is why we hear the oft quoted phrase: follow the data because data and numbers don’t lie. Going back to study data informs whether the strategy works didn’t work or worked in part. Often, it reveals something you didn’t know or expect. It allows you to keep modifying and tailoring to suit your audience. Most businesses are created for the bottom line, which is staying in business.  Keeping clients engaged and happy raises ROI, and increases conversions. The data tells you if you’re getting ROI and if not, answers why not.

Can Anyone Read Analytics?

With free analytics tools available, you may wonder if you can do this on your own. Let’s say you study the data. Google analytics can be overwhelming due to the amount of raw data it provides. Many business owners don’t really have the time it takes to dig in and make sense of it. Will you know how to apply the data that analytics provide? For example, your audience largely views your site from tablets, what does that actually mean for your site? 

As a business owner, you’ve got your hands full running the business. It might make more sense to hire a web development team used to reading & analyzing data and pulling out specific details that trend toward a higher performing website. It usually takes a team to understand the information that’s useful, valuable and how it applies to your business. Paid analytics services, like HEAP and Hotjar, give a more distilled dashboard of information.

It Might be Time for a Full Site Audit.

In a site audit, your consultants will analyze and evaluate what is already currently in place. They study from a design and development viewpoint and make recommendations as to how it can be improved to increase functionality and increase the dynamic user experience. For example, are your team members available by phone or email? Are their contact venues clickable? Do landing pages have downloadable offers? Do you have landing pages?

In addition to recommending needed improvements, these five core questions help define where user experience may be falling short. (See previous post/chapter)

  • Usability

How intuitive is your site? From the moment visitors land on the page, can they easily and quickly navigate from one page to the next? Can they find the information they need at glance? Content should be easy to read, and make sense. A user should be able to accomplish their goals on your site without training.

  • Appeal

Have you looked at the site through your customer’s eyes? Look into what engages your visitors. Have you given them anything they don’t currently have? Consider adding free content, info graphics, new photos, or video.

  • Accessibility

If most of your clients are mobile and you haven’t made your site mobile friendly, they will pass it by. But if your clients are using all three devices, laptops, mobile and tablets, then it’s important for your website experience to be cohesive. Meaning, all functions and features scale appropriately across all devices.

  • Performance

A quickly loading site or app is imperative to its survival, as well as its ability to respond to input quickly. The longer your site takes to load, the more likely you are to lose viewers. According to Hubspot, a site taking 3 or more seconds to load loses 40% of visitor traffic. At 4 seconds the bounce rate increases to 100%.

  • User Assistance

If your client experiences problems on your site or gets stuck, is help available and obvious? A good web design and development team has the expertise to read analytics and translate that data into a site the engages more users, modify underperforming pages and enhance user experience.

Have more questions? We’d love to hear from you.