According to a recent report from global performance marketing agency Merkle, 66% of online consumers prioritize their experience on a website over price when it comes to making a purchase decision. More than half of those surveyed have left a website while shopping online due to poor site experience.
Why this matters
We’ve all heard before that your website is your “digital storefront”, but this data from Merkle goes beyond that. Merkle’s report shows that a company’s brand success is determined by how good its digital experience is, rather than the cost of its products or services. The majority of consumers are willing to pay more if the experience they have on the company’s digital platforms is simple, easy, and up to their standards.
General guidelines for a strong digital experience
Regular website maintenance
In order to have a strong user experience on your site, you need to have a site that is strong from a technical standpoint. A website should be treated like a living, breathing asset to your business and needs to be monitored and updated regularly. Without regular site maintenance, buttons will stop working, tracking will break, and plug ins may not operate properly.
Regular website maintenance also contributes to a secure website, which is a top priority, especially for eCommerce websites.
Rebuild your website every 3-5 years
This may seem like overkill, but I promise you, it is not. With how quickly design and technology innovates, it’s imperative to stay on top of these trends. Refreshing your website every 3-5 years will help you stay up to date on the latest design trends and technical capabilities.
Execute an integrated marketing strategy
Messaging should be consistent and timed thoughtfully across your website, email outreach, and social media strategy.Be sure to sit down with your marketing team and create a content calendar to plan out talking points and timing for this communication. Potential customers will likely find you or have touch points with your business on multiple different digital channels, so making sure your communication and messaging is consistent across all channels will contribute to a cohesive brand and seamless digital experience.
How to measure your digital experience
Measuring the effectiveness of your business’ digital experience is the only way to truly know if what you’re doing is working. Without hard data points, it’s impossible to know if your website’s design, user experience and messaging is achieving your goals and producing a positive return on investment.
Depending on your experience level, the amount of data and information in Google Analytics can quickly become overwhelming. Knowing where to navigate is key! The best tool for examining user experience on your website can be found in: Behavior > Behavior Flow.
The Behavior Flow tool shows you how people navigate through your site. What page path do they take before they convert? How many times do users come to your site before converting? What pages do they drop off on?
When looking at data in Google Analytics it’s best that you have a question you’re trying to answer, otherwise, you can make incorrect inferences from the massive amount of data. For example, if you made a landing page to attract customers to a certain product, look at the user flow to see if users are in fact landing on that page, and what their next step is. If it’s not what you intended, take a look at your copy or design and see what you can adjust to make the intent more clear.
Tools such as HotJar or VWO are very valuable because you can track user interaction on your website. You can watch recordings of where a user’s mouse travels to identify if they’re clicking on icons that aren’t buttons but maybe should be, for example. You can also review heatmaps of how users scroll through pages. What percentage of people get all the way to the bottom of the page? Is there information down there that should be prioritized to the top? These insights help improve your user experience so you can ensure you’re giving your customers the information they want at the time and place they’re looking for it.
This is the most straightforward way to measure the effectiveness of your business’ digital experience – ask your customers! When you initially reach out, ask them if they found everything they needed on the website or other digital channels or if there was anything the business could do to improve their experience.
Improve your business’ digital experience
Implementing the above tactics will improve user experience across your digital platforms. In turn, this will help grow the business and reach your goals. Without a simple and intuitive experience, users will quickly leave your site and move on to another.
Making sure your website experience leverages the latest and greatest, while speaking directly to your target audience is our bread and butter. We’d love to get the conversation started with you. Give us a shout!