Who cares about the user?…..your competitors do!
User experience or UX is becoming a far more important topic to businesses. While I have been advising businesses about websites for years it is amazing how many rarely think about their visitors using the site.
Designers do a great job of making a site look good, and optimisers spend their days driving traffic to the site, but does it actually perform well? As a business owner you’ve probably spent a reasonable amount already, and in the current climate are reluctant to spend more on yet another service.
I would argue, can you afford not too?
Most business struggle to get more leads, and more customers, so typically start spending more on advertising and even more SEO, and maybe pay per click campaigns. All probably driving more traffic to the site. So what would you say if I could increase enquiries by 10% without spending more on SEO or marketing?!
That is user experience/conversion consultancy!
To look at it properly you need to understand your business, I often ask what objectives have been set for the site? How many customers do you want to generate? If these have not been thought through its back to the drawing board. The following are my easy approach top tips for setting objectives & improving your sites effectiveness.
Where are we now
1. What is a customer worth?
Understanding the lifetime value of your customer will help you determine the budget to allow for acquiring the customer in the first place. I’d suggesting looking at on average how long does a customer stay with you, and how much do they spend, what proportion of that is profit and how much of that profit are you willing to use for acquisition. Calculate your current acquisition cost, which methods work and which do but are just too expensive.
2. What is your site bounce rate?
Benchmark how your site performs currently, look into Google Analytics as starting point. Most campaigns drive traffic to the site, so what happens when visitors arrive. Do they struggle to find what they are looking for, miss the point of the page, or are just turned off by it and reaach for the back button. Measure this and you will be suprised.
3. Offending pages
Look at your Analytics, are there individual pages with a high bounce rate?, are users dropping out of the site at certain points?, these are the areas that if tweaked can give you more customers from your existing visitors.
4. How do you perform?
Create goals and embed them into the site. In Analytics you can set goals and get statistics then as to how many visitors the site gets, from those how many enquire, and if you are tracking properly, how many enquiries from the website turn into customers. Looking at what you spent on your web campaigns to get them to the site will give you your acquisition cost. Compare the actual with your budget.
It is at this point website owners see the value of user experience and conversion consultancy, especially when they realise just by tweaking layout of a page I could increase the number of enquiries from my existing visitors.
A case study
I work for Buzz Connect a telecoms business specialising in small business telephone systems after rebranding the business from our old Buzz Networks site to Buzz Connect, we had a complete redesign from a professional agency, optimised by emarketing experts locally. All good you might think.
As it is a new site, SEO has yet to mature so in order to gain instant visitors, Pay Per Click advertising is used. In our market a click costs between £26 and £7, so for that cost I have to be sure the site is doing its job.
The initial campaigns worked well, we occupy a prime spot against the search terms for our target market, adverts are sufficiently well crafted they attract a good level of visitors, so traffic is healthy. Although it looked good, and we spent hours pawing over content rewriting and tweaking it, the bounce rate was around 80%.
Of those that stayed a healthy 30% enquiried, and of those that did we converted 40% to customers. I won’t give away the exact numbers but you can already see that if I can lower the bounce rate to appeal to more visitors, and enourage more to enquire the picture would be much better.
So with the help of specialist software to analyse visitor behaviour, where page elements were drawing attention we came up with a new design for the page. The new page had a cost implication to build but it has reduced bounce rate by 15 – 20%, and enquiries are up!!