Online customers have grown in terms of wants and needs, especially in the wake of User Experience (UX) trends and their development. Whether you work as a web developer, a digital marketing consultant or a content creator, the UX aspect of a website can effectively make or break a business.
According to Top Tal, 88% of customers are not likely to return to a website after a bad UX, with 62% ready to outright abandon a brand with poor UX altogether. This poses a lucrative possibility for small businesses with online storefronts to stand out from the competition.
However, finding the right UX mix for your target audience can be challenging without the proper know-how. With that in mind, let’s take a look at guidelines on how to attain excellent UX design for your small business in order to grow in both lead and revenue generation.
What UX Stands For
Before we get into the how of attaining excellent UX design for your small business, it’s worth noting why the goal is worth pursuing. In short, UX represents the entire journey a single customer goes through from the moment they hit your landing page to the moment they purchase an item or convert into a subscriber. It is a combination of well-designed UI, relevant content, SEO optimization, and timely user interaction.
As the name suggests, the “user’s experience” will always determine whether or not they will advocate for your small business and share your products and services with their social circles. As such, UX cannot be defined in an objective, right-or-wrong way like most web design and content creation trends can.
Its shape will always depend on the type of business you run, what kinds of stakeholders you work with, as well as what your long-term goals are. It is a complex process well-worth investing time and resources into since it can bring great RoI over time once it’s clearly defined. Attaining excellent UX design can also bring a plethora of advantages to your business in contrast to your industry competition.
Benefits of Excellent UX Design
Higher Engagement & Conversion Rates
Just as you are looking for reliable customers and clients, so do they look for professional businesses to work with. Reaching the level of excellent UX design on your website will increase your chances at conversion dramatically. Social media reach and word of mouth can do wonders for your overall engagement once people start sharing positive comments about your website’s UX.
Better Industry Authority & Brand Reputation
For better or worse, your business is one of many when it comes to the global market and specific industry you operate in. Having a professional UX present on your website will ensure that your business stands out from the crowd. Other businesses will start looking toward your website for guidance, reach out to you with collaboration opportunities and engage in B2B networking with your business more frequently.
Easier Lead Nurturing & Customer Retention
Lastly, the easiest way to retain customers and ensure that they come back for more products and services is to simply create an environment for that to take place organically. Investing in UX will ensure that you have a stable and reliable web outlet for people to use indefinitely without worrying about constant changes to your formula. Targeted sales campaigns, paid advertisement and push strategies will never reach the same level of success as excellent UX design will be able to.
How to Attain Excellent UX Design for your Small Business
- Research your Competition
The first order of business in terms of evaluating and redefining your UX design is to explore what your industry’s standards are. Whether you work in digital marketing, eCommerce sales, business consulting or something else entirely doesn’t matter – what matters is that each niche has its own trends and standards.
- Check out several industry leaders and their websites. You can always refer to web app development professionals for guidance in terms of UX design, web solutions and related trends. Browse their websites and pay attention to details such as sitemap, load times, ad placement, calls to action, popups, etc.
- Take notes on what you like and dislike about each website before jumping into your own site’s UX design. Use the opportunity to learn from other business’ mistakes instead of repeating what customers and clients might dislike.
Develop a Customer Profile
- You should always develop a customer profile before going into drastic UX design changes on your small business website. Depending on your product portfolio, different demographics and customer profiles will approach your site with the intent to make a purchase. However, millennials and elderly stay-at-home customers will react to the same UX and content marketing efforts in drastically different ways.
- Create a customer profile based on your perfect stakeholder with factors such as age, gender, professional background, lifestyle, income, and others in consideration. This will give you a much better idea of who your website’s UX should be tailored for in order to achieve a much better customer’s journey and engagement rates down the line.
Small Change, Big Impact
- It’s worth noting that UX design doesn’t necessarily involve a total website redesign. Your site may already have highly functional elements which offer perfect UX for your target audience. All your site might really need is a small change here and there in order for the experience to be streamlined.
For example, placing your navigation bar in an accessible spot at the header of your homepage is a logical choice. However, the same should be said about your categories’ naming scheme and sitemap. You should use professional outsource digital marketing services in order to get an outsider’s perspective on your UX and content writing style. This will give you a much better idea of the current state of your website without making large changes to your UX design which may not even be necessary.
Original Content Matters
Original content is an integral part of UX design, no matter how well-made your UI might be. In that respect, it’s good practice to blog about your industry, create marketing materials for ongoing campaigns and sales, as well as to integrate user-generated content into your publishing calendar. Tools such as Evernote, Trust My Paper and Hemingway can add a lot of credibility and quality to your UX if you choose to write about your business.
Sharing how-to guides, opinion pieces, discussion articles and news posts on your website will illustrate to the public that you are a professional small business worth working with. Make sure to always rely on original content instead of repeating what your competitors said or copying people’s content outright. This will have a negative effect on your UX and won’t help you attract more customers – be professional and the customer base will return the favor.
Optimize for SEO
While it won’t affect your website’s navigation directly, SEO will increase the likelihood of attracting new leads and traffic to your small business.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important aspect of website optimization and UX from a technical standpoint. Elements such as multimedia optimization, keyword density, content formatting, load speeds, and others affect a user’s browsing experience in a significant way.
- Tools such as Google Keyword Planner and SEM Rush are designed to help you find the best optimization methods for your website by analyzing your industry’s trends thoroughly. Make sure to apply the latest SEO trends to your UX design in order to achieve the best lead generation and organic traffic numbers.
- Your website’s mobile optimization plays a major role in its UX design. This is especially true for small businesses which rely on eCommerce and international sales since many customers order items through their smartphone devices.
- In this regard, you should always feature responsive web design optimization and ensure that your content is fully functional on mobile.
You can refer to a mobile commerce development service to assist you in the process of optimizing your UX design for mobile-friendly viewing if you don’t have a web developer or designer in-house. Failing to provide proper mobile support for your audience will result in very poor UX design reception and it will lower your traffic and revenue significantly – make sure to take responsive UX into consideration.
Personalization-Oriented User Experience
- When it comes to page-to-page browsing, your website’s visitors will want to have a distraction-free experience. Sales tactics that rely on frequent popups, flashy banner ads and other distractions should be left out of your UX design.
- Instead, you should rely on subtle calls to action, native advertisement, sponsored content and collaborations to drive your sales. You can always hire a professional UI/UX designer if you don’t have a dedicated developer in your small business.
Make the sales a natural part of your website instead of tacked-on content that your visitors won’t appreciate. For example, running a blog on your eCommerce website is a great way to promote your products in the content you create rather than to bombard visitors with sales popups. Create a personalization-oriented UX design environment for your customers and your revenue stream will reflect those efforts.
Engage your Audience
One of the best ways to enhance your small business’s UX design is to simply engage your audience on a regular basis. Answer any comments that might pop up on your blog or storefront, send follow-up emails to new customers, conduct surveys and polls to find out what customers think of your business.
Make sure that your customers have a way of expressing their thoughts and wishes in terms of your products or services. This is an affordable and quick way of gathering relevant feedback in regards to your UX design and business as a whole. Don’t use a one-way policy where your customers’ opinions don’t matter – this will only lead to negative UX and poor brand reputation.
UX Mistakes to Avoid
Now that we have a clearer understanding of how UX design can affect your small business’ development, let’s point out several noteworthy mistakes in UX. These can hinder your performance considerably so it’s important to keep them in mind in order to eliminate their effects on your business early on.
Poor Landing Page UX
Your landing page is arguably the most important part of having an excellent UX design present on your website. If your landing page is of poor quality, customers will likely seek other businesses to purchase products and services from. Work on your landing page’s UX design and ensure that it offers a good overview of your business, product portfolio, latest news as well as ongoing sales offers.
Lack of UX Research
It’s always a bad idea to make UX design decisions without proper research. Make sure that you are aware of your industry’s trends, popular design decisions as well as content types which might be interesting to your customers. Don’t redesign crucial elements of your small business based on internal meetings – conduct thorough research.
Difficult Conversion Process
Once a customer decides to make a purchase on your website or application, the process of doing so should be as simple as possible. Avoid multiple identity checks, mandatory login, captcha, verifications and similar hoops in your UX design. Make the process straightforward and your revenue will significantly increase as a result.
Lack of Innovation
Lastly, you should always look for new ways to improve your small business for new and existing customers. Don’t settle for “good” and try to fight to the top of your industry at all times. Collect customer feedback and analyze any data that comes from your sales and income. Eliminate bottlenecks and innovate in the product and service department to remain relevant as a small business even years down the line.
There is no right or wrong way to approach UX design and achieve excellence for your small business – it’s all a matter of what your customers expect to see. Evaluate the current state of your website or application before moving on to radical changes to the way your UX design currently works. Most importantly, implement your brand standards into the UX so that your business stands out to potential stakeholders as much as possible. Before you know it, the right customers and clients will reach out to you with purchases, subscriptions, and feedback for future UX development.