Painless Ways to Improve UX for your Website
If you plan on success, you’re likely putting a lot of time and effort into potential customers to your website. You know how difficult and expensive it can be to get visitors to click through ads, get your site positioned correctly, and how much time it takes to build up organic traffic.
What if it’s all a waste? If you have a high bounce rate or your site is not converting at a healthy rate, you are wasting thousands of hours of work and a big part of your budget.
79% of users say that if they don’t find something useful on a website right away, they go back and search for another. You can’t take chances! Your UX design should show your value and push traffic towards a conversion right away.
Just a few changes to your UX can change how well you target, engage, and convert incoming traffic. Don’t waste anymore time and money on bouncing visitors.
Try these painless ways to improve user experience on your website and effortlessly boost conversions:
What exactly is UX design?
A quick reminder: user experience (UX) is the way a user, visitor or customer interacts with a website or app. UX designers make those interactions frictionless, seamless and even enjoyable in order to boost the user’s experience and overall satisfaction.
User experience is not a single step in the design process. A UX designer accompanies the user throughout the whole project, from user research to product development, from interface design, to usability.
Find your target audience from the beginning.
Each second users spend online, they get bombarded by articles, tools, products, and free solutions. All of them competing for their attention! And that includes the alluring and infinite scroll of social media.
That makes any time a user spends interacting with your website or app extremely valuable. Don’t waste the chance and convert visitors into future customers with the following tips.
Get your value down to one line.
It used to be really trendy to have a really cool, vague, abstract line as the first header on your website like “Changing how banking works”. And that sounds nice and grand but that means absolutely nothing. Maybe you have a good idea about what your product or app does, but first time visitors need a little extra help.
It’s far more effective to just get your value boiled down to one line and share that at the top to show users they’ve come to the right place. For example, Buffer has “Grow your audience on social and beyond.” Doesn’t get more clear than that! You know exactly what they do. Don’t have them trying to decode a deep, existential riddle.
Answer users top questions before they even ask.
You want to answer any questions users may have about your product as soon as possible. If they are confused or have to look for more information, they are likely to bounce. Clarity is key!
Focus on explaining your product by providing all the basic details right away. Make your message as simple and brief as possible and in plain sight, without breaking the flow of the user experience.
For example, “How it works” or “About” pages are a necessary practice, sure, but don’t rely on them. They are extra work for users and they’ll likely not getting there without some guidance.
Instead try to describe your service by giving users the basics:
- This is what our company does.
- These are the tools we provide.
- This is how those tools could help you.
Make it visual!
Sometimes the best way to get an idea across is through images! Use visual elements to describe the flow or process of using your service or the kind of problem the solutions you offer are for.
- This is what each of our tools does.
- This is the problem each product solves.
- These are the kind of project that the tools are best suited for.
- This is how our tools interact or contrast with each other.
Other visual elements like mock-ups or real product images may also help explain your product without many words, or at least giving your potential customers insights on what to expect when using your service. For example, this is how Hotjar does it:
Guide the user experience with the right interface.
One of the main tasks in UI/UX is to take visitors from point A to point B; make them focus on what you want them to see and lead them to conversion without friction.
Marketing and user research gives us insight on how people acquire knowledge, to what stimuli they are more responsive, what are their interaction patterns, etc. The following are tips on how to achieve that with two simple methods.
Inspire action right away with prominent CTAs.
Once you do make your value to your target audience, make sure there is a next action they can take. Don’t make it so they have to scroll to the bottom of your whole site or look in sidebars for the next step. They should be able to take action immediately!
A call to action or CTA is an UI/UX element designed to grab a visitor’s attention, entice them to take an action, and (if possible) shortly explain what that action means.
Common call to action prompts are “read more”, “click here to…”, and “leave a comment”. But you could be far more creative than that! Focus on what action you want your user to take and what step in the process to conversion is next.
Also, think of a message that would attract such a user, and use enticing language. For example, a call to action could offer some sort of discount or free reward (either material or perceived), as in “subscribe to our newsletter to get a free ebook” or “sign up to see premium content”.
Treat every page (blogs included) like a landing page.
Believe it or not, 70% of users learn about a company through their blog rather than their ads. Did you know that each article in your blog is an incredibly important landing page? That’s a good reason to call the marketing team to make their magic in your blog but also an opportunity for great UX design.
Well, if your blog posts already act like landing pages then you should bet on it and use them to engage and direct users to take action. You can do this by adding interactive features to your blog articles and always adding CTAs promoting other articles and your product itself.
A compelling banner with a signup at the bottom of every article is a great way to make use of your blog space and make it work for you.
Having Beamer on every blog article helps direct users to other blogs and page with interesting updates. You can add Beamer as a button or icon in your blogs navigations, or a as floating button. Regardless of the method you choose, your readers will see a notification icon whenever you have new updates to share with them.
With Beamer boosted announcements, you can create notifications inside any article. Users will see a top bar, a modal window, a small tooltip or an unobtrusive content suggestion, all of them with call to actions to read more content or get from the blog to your service.
User experience, navigation and exploration.
While CTAs provide a focused approach ideal for targeted conversion, in contrast, the web thrives on sustained engagement. Today, any business needs not only provide competitive physical or digital products but to position themselves in the market.
While the present of your company rests on marketing and sales, your future lies on long term retention and long-term revenue.
That means that parallel to the process to acquire new customers, it’s always a good idea to design ways to keep a user’s attention through an engaging user experience. This can also be addressed with UX design!
Provide options to boost engagement.
Think of your webpage like a storefront. Stores with plenty of well organized and visible options get more people exploring.
You can do that with your webpage by adding different options for users to click on and follow. If you only have one product, offer something else like free content or demos. It’s hard to resists the allure of free stuff.
On a very basic level, variety captures our brain’s attention immediately and we automatically want to explore more. Your user will stay longer if you give them a rich variety of content with which they can engage.
In our own site, we explain Beamer’s tools and features on the main page, but each section includes links and calls to action to more in-depth content. In our main navigation menu, we highlight some information about our main products and we also provide easy access not to just isolated content but to entire landing pages dedicated to each service.
Add cues on how to get around your site.
Aside from navigation, leave some breadcrumbs for users to get around your site. They won’t know where to click for more content or information otherwise.
If you want them to scroll further, add scroll arrows or dots to indicate there is more to see like the image below. If there is another page related to the page they’re on, make a clear CTA to get there.
In content, include a lot of internal links to make more information page available in context. This will help eliminate confusion, boost engagement, and lead traffic towards taking desired routs of action. Leaving your users explore through different content, doesn’t mean that the user experience can’t be a guided or must not be carefully curated.
How do UX designers address this? If we follow the storefront analogy from before think of how stores are designed and then translate that from the real-life market to the web.
Just as big retail stores use aisles, you can improve your UX design by provided clear and easy to find sections, pages or sub-sites that allow users to explore and find whatever interest them the most with little to no guidance.
Follow the example of some boutique stores that instead of allowing customers to roam aimlessly, provide a curated experience by providing paths to discovery, with multiple but defined avenues to encounter different tailored displays. In web design, there’s no single point of entry, users may arrive at your website or app from different contact points. UI/UX cues can guide your user to the most relevant content depending on their point of entry and can even help your brand to weave compelling and targeted storytelling.
From the large market to the small shop, it’s very common to see products in the way to the checkout counter. A similar strategy in UI/UX would be the suggested content, where the designers provide banners, notifications, popups and all sorts of recommendations to the user while they are reading or exploring a site or app on their own.
You don’t even have to pick just one of these approaches. You can combine them, present them depending on the customer or refine them through testing with actual users interactions.
Many techniques in the retail business can be translated to UX design
Improve navigation to help users get around your site.
We established that allowing customers to explore your website is a great idea but be careful to not left anyone behind. You don’t want to leave users stranded on pages while exploring your site without a way to reconnect with something else of your app or site.
You should never as a customer find an end of the road, so make sure to provide user interface elements that allow the customer to continue their journey.
Easy-to-use and well organized navigation is key. Even if the customer gets lost or astray of a path you as a designer envisioned for them, they can alway return to a new starting point.
Navigation tips to improve your UX and usability:
- As a rule of thumb, don’t have a ton of tabs on your navigation; just stick to the most important ones. Focus on the key elements and let users make their own path.
- Have another navigation in your footer to accompany every page so they can easily go elsewhere once they scroll to the bottom. In case of emergency, this will allow a customer to get back on track.
- Include search always so users can find anything. We have talked before about a curated user experience, and thats important but also leave room for customer agency. People research things differently so allow them multiple ways to engage with your app or site.
- In your content, include a lot of internal links to make more information available in context.
Update new and returning users on any page with Beamer.
As we explained at the beginning of this section: conversion is important, but retention is key. Your website should engage both new and returning users to decrease your bounce rate.
An easy solution based on UX design is to have mechanisms re-engage users. Here’s where Beamer comes in. You can install Beamer and add an interactive newsfeed to every page of your website easily. All users have to do is click “What’s New” in your navigation or a small icon in your interface to open up a feed of updates on anything.
With Beamer, You can add images, videos, GIFs, and CTA buttons to engage visitors and move them through your site. It’s the best way to add news and updates to your site without having to edit pages. It can be accessed from any page. Sites using Beamer have seen 10x more engagement.
Improve your UX with better content.
You may be thinking “of course that good content improves user experience”. But even if you don’t have a team fully dedicated to online content creation, there are still a few tips that can create a better user experience with little effort.
Teach users something helpful to build credibility.
Build the authority of your brand and position yourself as an expert in your industry by providing content that helps users out with their problems and questions.
If thinking on “writing better content” is too abstract, let’s focus on a way that your content specifically can contribute to user experience. Sure, your content has the mission of promoting your app, product or site, but what else dos it provides to your average user?
Marketing is not pushing a product until the user surrenders, it needs to be accompanied by providing some recognizable value. You promote your product, but it doesn’t hurt if your content also provides something valuable on its own.
Here are a few ways to do so:
- Use your content to amplify any research or data that reinforce the needs or solutions covered by your product.
- Offer samples, freebies, free online tools or demo versions of your product.
- Provide insight into your design process to allow potential customers to see first-hand that your team is working hard to keep your product improving, updated, and safe. You may also provide a roadmap.
- Create targeted content, showing how your product can be used for specific projects, for a kind of team, a user profile/persona, or a kind of business.
- Research your competition and produce content that compare and contrast your tools and products with theirs. This kind of analysis can help undecided customers to choose you.
- Let your team write posts! Sometimes, different team members can provide insights that apply to their areas or that speak on the language of their field.
- Provide content that teaches customers how to use your product or how to solve related to your industry. Tutorials, wikis, how to videos and other sources of knowledge could bring eyes that are looking for ways to solve problems that your product is ready to fix for them.
Create content that does this and make it visible. Users are likely to spend more time on your pages, decreasing your bounce rate and giving you more of an opportunity to convert. Creative and helpful content is more likely to get shared, increasing your organic reach.
Check and improve your readability.
People rarely read all way through much online these days (btw, thanks for stay with us so far and don’t forget to share in social media 😉). It’s important that you structure pages well and provide the most basic notes on the important information.
Cut out unnecessary and difficult wording, simplify language, and create readable structure. A great way to make your writing concise and clear is to run it through the Hemingway app and take their suggestions.
It’s very simple and points out some changes you may not see. There should be a lot of breaks in the text and headers to break up paragraphs and sections for easier reading. Use bullet points and lists to cover many points if possible.
UX design tips for better readability:
- Make your content visually engaging. The text is important but as any designer will tell you: people online interact with more than just the plain text. The medium is the message.
- Use responsive design and make sure that your content is legible in any device; mobile or web.
- If the content is written for the general public use language that’s not too technical. People online have different skills, allow them to access your content regardless of technical knowledge.
- Use a friendly tone and try to provide actual data, advice, insights or information. Sure, a blog is a marketing tool but few people will read a blog post if it’s just a sales pitch.
- If you have a blog, add reading times (like a X min read label) some people find it useful to decide to engage or not with that kind of content.
Using UX design as user research.
“Practice makes perfect”, this also applies for the skills of UX designers. But even if UX design may sound tedious, scary or complex at first glance, it has a useful secret: UX design may help you improve your UX design. Wait, what?
Yes. As you design the user experience, you can introduce different feedback channels that will allow you with useful data to improve your website, and hence improve your UX.
Some feedback tools include:
- Design elements that allow users to provide feedback like comments, reactions, contact forms, etc.
- Surveys and other satisfaction measuring tools like Net Promoter Score (NPS) that allow you to convert user’s experience into numerical data.
- A/B testing and others forms of usage metrics that allow you to identify usability problems, user preferences, patterns, interactions, etc.
Do we need to mention that Beamer can help you with this too? Beamer includes user feedback features (like comments and reactions), NPS surveys to gather data, and tools for research, pattern analysis, and usability tracking.
Put all these tips into practice in all your projects. By employing just a few of these changes, you take advantage of traffic and convert more customers. Turn your user’s experience in better UI/UX.
Installing Beamer in your UX can help you update all users and boost engagement by 10x with little effort. You can try it for free. Sign up for Beamer today.