As a savvy business owner, you understand the importance of great user experience (UX). You may even study what the next big thing is in UX design. However, keeping your site up-to-date and making sure it meets your target audience’s needs is an ongoing effort.
There are about 30.7 million small businesses in the United States. While not every one of those is your competition, you are vying for a limited amount of attention from consumers. If your site isn’t spot-on and meeting visitors’ needs, you risk losing them to some other distraction.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to ramp up the UX for your business. Your first step is to become a customer-centered company. If you focus on putting clients first, your website will match your overall attitude. Here are six areas to check to ensure your pages meet your audience’s needs:
1. Choose the Right Platform
If your website isn’t on the right platform, you won’t be able to integrate features your clients need. WordPress is a popular choice and offers some impressive abilities, such as adding parallax scrolling. However, there are also times when it limits your ability to design outside a grid — thus, it might not be the top choice for your website. You have to find a medium that works well for you, is intuitive for your customers and has enough features to meet future needs.
2. Dig Into Analytics
To match your users’ expectations, you must know who they are and what drives them toward specific behaviors. Start by digging into analytics and figuring out basic demographic information, such as the gender, age, career and location of your average customer. Next, look at some of their behavioral patterns. Pay attention to keyword phrases that show user intent. Why did these individuals come to your site in the first place?
Finally, consider the psychological reasons involved in why people come to your business for a solution. What pain points do they face? What is the underlying problem they need to solve?
Once you have an idea of what makes your customers tick, create buyer personas to represent them. Anything you add or take away from your site should go through the lens of these personas first. How would John Doe react to a specific feature?
3. Add Conversational Interfaces
A mere 14% of people prefer to use a form over a chatbot. People love the convenience and immediacy of live chat. However, creating a poorly done chatbot is worse than not having one at all. Make sure you utilize current artificial intelligence (AI) solutions with intuitive responses to people’s queries. A hybrid model combining automated responses with real agents is the best solution. Agents should be highly trained and able to answer complex questions. Give them the power to solve customer issues.
4. Cut the Clutter
A lot of business owners make the mistake of trying to cram every bit of information into a landing page. After all, you have a lot to say, and potential leads need to know all the fabulous opportunities available through your brand. Unfortunately, too much data overwhelms your audience. They may bounce away to another site without as much noise.
Most people are busy. They want you to make a quick point about why you’re the best choice and then give them the offer. Whether you wish to convert them into a newsletter subscriber or want to make a sale, focus on the bare bones. Get to the essentials of what they need to make a decision and then offer a concise call to action (CTA).
5. Design for Mobile
In the last quarter of 2019, Statista reported smartphones generated around 52.6% of website traffic worldwide. The number didn’t even include tablet browsing. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on a significant portion of potential visitors. The user experience for cell phones is quite different than for laptops, and your site must be flexible enough to respond to smaller screens.
Many businesses now focus on a mobile-first approach and then tweak the concept for larger screens. Since more than half of traffic comes via mobile, this is a smart strategy for giving your company website a suitable layout as more visitors access your site via their phones.
Picture trying to fill in a lengthy form by typing letters onto a screen small enough to fit in your pocket. The process is cumbersome. However, if you add the ability to share information via Google or Facebook accounts, you suddenly make it a one-tap option.
6. Test for Target Audiences
There are hundreds of ways you can improve your site’s UX. Once you’ve added new features, make sure you test each one for your target audience. You might think adding a game to the homepage will engage people. However, your audience may find it aggravating or completely ignore it. Conduct some A/B split testing for every element you add or change. See how your users respond. Even though you’re making an educated guess based on buyer personas, you won’t always be correct.
Study Your Competitors
One of the best ways to ensure your site meets customer expectations is by paying attention to your competition. Other businesses in your industry often add cutting-edge features because their clients asked for them. Your website should be as good, if not better, than any other company in your industry. Ask your customers what features they’d like to see, and you’ll set the UX standards for websites in your business sector.
Lexie is a digital nomad and graphic designer. She enjoys hiking with her golden doodle and creating new cookie recipes. Check out her design blog, Design Roast, and connect with her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.
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