Written by: Daniela McVicker
Digital marketers should care about user experience (UX).
Although often overlooked, UX is actually low-hanging fruit in marketing.
Gone are the days when the primary function of web design was to allow people to complete actions such as product research and buying. Now, with hundreds of new businesses entering eCommerce every day, web design has emerged as a tool for competitive advantage.
From colors, aesthetics, and functionality to storytelling, it makes it possible for users to explore and experience a brand. The importance of this is hard to overstate, as customer experience is estimated to overtake product and price as the main brand differentiator.
This new opportunity to delight customers and demonstrate the unique nature of a brand has contributed to the increasing popularity of the so-called “design thinking.” It places the needs of a customer in web design and involves a range of techniques designed to meet them.
To take advantage of this opportunity, a digital marketer should have a clear understanding of how UX affects marketing. This is exactly what you’re going to learn in this article.
- UX can Improve Website Ranking
Any digital marketer knows that getting high in Google search results means satisfying a long list of requirements. For example, Google’s web guidelines change at least two times a year and impose new demands for websites and content.
For example, Google wants a website that:
- Is lightning-fast and loads with 3 seconds
- Is mobile-friendly
- Doesn’t use any outdated web design practices
- Has a low bounce rate
- Has a high dwell time.
Each of these performance indicators directly relates to UX design.
For example, if a website – let’s say, it’s an eCommerce store – has poor navigation, chances are that many of the visitors will leave. Google will notice a high bounce rate and view it as a sign that the website delivers poor user experience.
The result will be a lower ranking.
On the other hand, if a website has excellent navigation, loads quickly, and offers useful content, visitors will stay there for longer (so the bounce rate will be lower). The ever-watching Google will treat it as a sign that the website satisfies the user’s search intent, so it’ll improve its position in search results.
In turn, a higher ranking means more traffic and paying customers.
- UX can Improve Customer Satisfaction
Here’s a situation: someone has bought your product and told his friend about your business. That person wants to visit your website and see if they can check out your offers, too.
For you, it means that the person is a lead.
Just like almost 50 percent of customers who Google businesses before contacting them, they also do their research.
After they do so, nothing happens. No one places an order. No one sends a message for customer support. No one even goes beyond the home page.
Well, the answer is really simple: poor UX scared them away. Instead of building their confidence in the fact that your business is worth buying from, a poorly designed website did exactly the opposite: instill a feeling of uneasiness.
While terrible UX that scares customers away is not that common, the preferences of online customers stay the same (source: eConsultancy):
- 88 percent of them say they are less likely to return to a website after having a negative experience
- One second delay in page loading time can cause up to 7 percent loss in customer conversions
- 75 percent say they left for another business’s website because of the delay in website loading time
- More than one-third of them say they share their negative experiences with others.
All of this makes maximizing the performance of your website a must to ensure the positive customer experience. If people like their experience while browsing, buying, or otherwise using your digital products, they would be more willing to return.
Content is, without a doubt, one of the tools to make them “like” your website.
“Visitors don’t spend a lot of time on a great-looking app or website that lacks useful content,” says Wanda Otote, a UX writer at TopWritersReview. “So UX designers and content producers have to work collaboratively to optimize the usability and readability of the content.”
So, to sum up, keeping your customers satisfied is a work for UX designers, and requires selecting light and usable website templates, ensuring mobile-friendliness, doing a great job at content optimization and performing website bug tracking.
- UX and Increase Conversions
Properly strategist web design directly impacts the conversion rate. Just think about it: the decision to convert heavily depends on how a visitor engages with the website, so the design plays an important role in encouraging them to do so.
Let’s consider a simple example.
A small website owner decides to use a low-cost, good-looking website template for their online store.
Their team has designed a new software product they think that a lot of other businesses can use to attract leads. The landing page on that template has the following structure:
- a CTA placed above the fold (“Buy our Product”)
- A list describing the features of the product, most of which is below the fold.
While it may seem that there’s nothing wrong with this choice, the owner has made a mistake. There are two major problems that he failed to consider:
- Their product is new, so no one really knows about it. That’s why potential customers would want to read information about the benefits first
- The template pushes the visitor to buy the product they have very little knowledge of right away.
The combination of these problems leads to poor UX, and a major blow to the conversion rate.
What the owner should have done instead is change the template to display the description of the benefits for businesses above the fold. This would help to build confidence in visitors to press that CTA button. If the product is largely unknown, it requires certain support and justification, which should be above the fold.
The CTA with the call to convert, in turn, should have been placed at the end of the landing page. The visitor would land there, read the benefits, and then make a choice whether to try the tool.
Hopefully, this example showed you how proper strategies of web design impacts conversion rates. Even though the idea of buying a low-cost, nice-performing website template seems like a cost-effective choice to make, failing to consider the design’s role can be a bad idea.
Your main purpose as a business is to guide the visitors in the right direction across the website to the conversion button after considering their readiness to buy and awareness of the product. This way, you can take advantage of UX as a tool for guiding leads to a conversion.
- UX can Enhance Brand Image
A superb UX maximizes the number of people who have a positive experience with your brand’s digital products (websites, apps, online tools, etc.). By bringing delight with functionality and visuals and making sure that the process is effortless is hassle-free with excellent usability, your brand can succeed at nurturing consistent relationships with customers and leads.
From their side, customers will become more loyal to you, because they appreciate the fact that you’re doing a great job at making everything as easy as possible for them.
In fact, studies have found that 42 percent of customers are willing to pay more for a welcoming, friendly experience, and web design is certainly a huge part of that. On top of that, 52 percent are also ready to pay extra for more efficient and speedy customer experience.
Of course, many variables impact customer loyalty and retention, but it’s clear that web design is a big part of branding. The purpose of UX as a discipline is to develop a good understanding of a user and design something that encourages positive experiences and fosters user return for more.
Digital marketers are starting to understand that a logo and a brand’s designated colors aren’t the only things that people need to recognize a brand; positive, hassle-free, and rewarding UX is now a part of this list, too.
After conducting customer research and analyzing their needs, marketers need to work together with UX professionals to develop a user-centered digital product that fosters brand loyalty. This gives website prototyping even more significance in terms of letting the target audience know that the business understands their needs.
UX Design and Digital Marketing Have to Work Together
UX is increasingly becoming a priority for digital marketers, and for a good reason. In fact, as you can see, there are at least 4 good reasons why UX design has an impact on the performance of digital marketing.
It’s safe to assume that the role of digital marketers and UX designers will continue to overlap with one another, and brands who figure out the best way to combine them will win big. Hopefully, your business will be among them.
Author’s bio. Daniela McVicker is a blogger with rich experience in writing about UX design, content planning, and digital marketing. Currently, she is the chief contributor at many authoritative sources where she helps individuals and organizations improve their web content writing, design, and planning skills. You can check her last review of Write my essay . Her posts are always packed with examples and actionable content that readers can put straight into the action.