When taking on Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), the primary concern for digital marketers is unsurprisingly the user experience. UX is a catch-all phrase for a visitor’s experience journeying a website, the feelings they undergo and the content of the website itself. Consequently, there are a variety of methods to improve it.
While having CRO on the mind is important, it is also critical to consider user behaviors, including the negative ones. As business owners or marketers, we often have to contend with a rather challenging digital reality, that of bounces and exits. While the definitions of these negative metrics sound similar, they bear a crucial difference.
Delineating site leaves, the bounce rate is far more detrimental to your UX than an exit, and its respective exit rate. That’s because the bounce rate refers to visitors who leave a site after visiting only one page, while the exit rate refers to the visitors leaving after their last pageview, at the end of a journey which may include any number of pages. This article will show you how to both improve your UX and reduce your bounce rate in 5 ways.
1. Measure Conversion Rate and User Experience
It has been said that if you aren’t measuring, then you aren’t marketing. Consequently, particularly in UX and the subdiscipline of conversion rate optimization (CRO), measuring comes first. It is crucial to know how your website is faring and conversion rate is one of the foremost KPIs to keep track of. You’ll also need to understand the state of your conversion rate before moving forward with any changes to your UX.
Measuring the conversion rate is done via the following calculation: divide the total number of conversions by the total number of site visitors and multiply the result by 100%.
This is the formula for conversion rate:
Conversion rate = (conversions / total visitors) * 100%
For example, if there were 8,055 visitors on your site which yielded 1,003 conversions, the conversion rate is 12.45%.
There is no single method to quantify the UX, since it encompasses both the feelings of the users visiting the site and the content of the site itself. There are many factors to work out, as the UX cannot be defined by a single metric, unlike the bounce rate or CRO.
You can parse through the UX through a variety of means. This is where unique, AI-powered analytics come in, as they point to a much more granular understanding of your visitors’ behaviors. You can get a deeper understanding of the digital happiness that your users experience, by way of a read on their emotions. This can be achieved through an overview of their patterns of behavior, one that takes into account visitor objectives, or intent, context and more.
There’s a lot to sort through when evaluating digital happiness, but these factors contribute to your UX, and as pointed out, UX goes a long way towards both reducing bounce rates and optimizing the conversion rate. Here are some of the metrics to work out in your user experience:
- Hesitation Time: The average gone-by time between the last mouse movement and the first click on an element of your site, or zone. This metric shows if the content is quickly understood or if visitors hesitate before they click.
- Engagement: Expressed as a percentage, it shows the visitors who clicked on something after hovering over it. This metric reveals how intuitive an element is, i.e. its ability to demonstrate how it should be used through its design.
- Click Rate: The number of pageviews where a zone was clicked divided by the total number of pageviews. This metric allows you to identify how many visitors clicked at least once on a zone per each pageview.
- Conversion Rate Per Click: The percentage of the number of buyers who clicked a zone divided by the number of users who clicked on it. This metric shows you if clicking on a zone impacts purchasing behavior.
- Attractiveness Rate: The percentage of visitors who clicked on a zone after they have been exposed to it. This metric clarifies the attractiveness of an element.
2. Improve UX Design
The design of the UX is essential to the success of digital journeys. You won’t be able to improve the user experience without addressing and mending the design. What makes up the UX, if not the copy and design?
For a long time, UX design has been a guesswork game, with analytics solutions having provided some answers but not all. Today, next-gen solutions can produce a much more in-depth reading of consumer behavior. These will empower you to make wiser, more UX- savvy designs, so that your site visitors get the most optimal user experience. But the UX design should not be entirely dictated by designers.
As aforesaid, marketing teams reflect a diversity of roles and responsibilities, and the UX design can benefit from a variety of team members’ input on improving the UX. Thus, data democratization is paramount, as it denotes data accessibility: the ability of data to be accessible, and understandability, which denotes the ability to be understood and leveraged by non-data analysts. When behavioral analytics meet data democratization, your UX design will become virtually foolproof and indestructible, creating a space for digital happiness.
Additionally, with access to highly visual, easy-to-read data, UX designers don’t have to wait for analysts to provide them with answers before they get to work. This allows them to streamline their projects and helps focus continuous optimizations.
3. Optimize Website Speed
Website speed paints a picture of the faculty of your UX, and as such, has the ability to yield a good or at least an average, conversion rate. Your website’s load speed is important since it’s one of your visitors’ first impressions of your site. Website speed is especially crucial on mobile, which has surpassed desktop in traffic. And there’s plenty of judgment as far as that is concerned for an on-the-go audience.
There are a number of ways to optimize your website speed for both the desktop and mobile versions. First, evaluate your current website load time, a quick task away, since there are several free sources performing a website speed test on your site, such as GTmetrix and Uptrends.
Next, you’ll have to deduce what is slowing your website down, before you can compile a list of solutions. Website speed can slacken from a variety of issues. These include image difficulties, such as too many images per page, large image sizes and the src tag when using images in HTML.
There are other contributing issues, most of which are technical in nature, such as a high server response time, a lack of browser caching, issues with coding languages and disregarding compression.
Once you find what’s bogging down your website’s speed, you can then employ several methods to remedy it. You can try several workarounds; it’s most appropriate to do what corresponds with your particular issues.
4. Work on Your Funnel Conversion
This primarily deals with sales. A sales funnel is a visualization displaying an assessment of where your site visitors are in their customer journey and conversion process. Specifically, a sales funnel is a model, one that is aptly shaped like a funnel, with the widest area at the top, representing all levels of visitor/customer engagements and narrow at the bottom, which displays the most engaged users, or those most likely to convert.
The below image shows the sales funnel, which can be thought of as a chart that sums up your prospects’ sales process. Each stage can be used to improve the overall funnel conversion, i.e., the totality of the process that gives way to a conversion. By working through each stage in a step-by-step manner, you can effectively augment your funnel conversion.
First, start with the awareness stage at the top. This entails building your brand awareness and digital footprint. You can do this via blogging, social media campaigns, PPC and SEO campaigns and traditional PR work.
Next, you must tackle the consideration stage, where brand awareness exists. To do this, take the lead magnet approach, in which you propose solving your leads’ problems if they give you their email address in turn. This will push these leads further down the funnel. The lead magnet involves using landing pages, CTAs and contact forms for content engagement.
For example, in the case of a contact form, it would be beneficial to be able to know exactly which form field is causing user abandonment of the form. Some form fields aren’t clear to users and others just don’t work because of a technical malfunction. Knowledge is power and with the knowledge of these obstacles, you can make precise optimizations.
Then, ease your leads further through the rest of the steps by way of educating them. This can be done through the application of emails, drip marketing (emails you send over time that have long been previously written), integrations of your CRM for re-targeting, offering promotions to incentivize conversions, monitoring your social media campaigns, performing A/B tests and finally, asking converting users (customers in e-commerce) to refer a friend or anyone that may benefit from your offering.
Throughout your sales funnel optimization efforts, you should analyze your visitor journeys to make sure the path to the objective is clear and intuitive. And of course, the final steps of conversion must be streamlined and pain-free for your visitors so don’t neglect to locate and fix obstacles at checkout.
5. Improve Your CTA Button
At last, we arrive at the point of conversion in the UX: the terse but mighty CTA button. The CTA button is the last portal to converting, the threshold between your ultimate goal and user hesitation. So it goes without saying that your CTA button must be optimal.
Fortunately, the CTA button requires little on both the copy and design fronts. First, you should come up with a call-out that is not only attention-grabbing but clear and easy to understand. This is usually no more than a few words that denote a command.
Regarding the design quality, you should make your button big enough to be easily seen without the need for much scrolling down after a user views the content above it. Ideally, the button should be big and bold enough to be impossible for your users to overlook.
While generating a productive CTA button isn’t difficult, the button itself is only as good as the content before it. If the content on your landing page is too long, profuse with jargon or exhibiting poor design elements, your prospective visitors and leads will leave before they even finish reading, watching or scrolling through your content.
However, even if your visitors do reach the CTA button, this does not guarantee conversions. Sometimes, the CTA button itself is out of order. There are several signs to take into consideration of a non-working CTA button.
For example, pay attention to clicks and hovers. Is there a high hover rate but little to no clicks? That’s a UX red flag. Are your users clicking on a non-clickable element? This indicates a faulty CTA design, in that the users think a non-CTA element might be the CTA button. Before answering these questions, you’ll need to be equipped with these particular types of analytics.
Thus, captivating visuals and persuasive copywriting go hand in hand on your landing pages, or wherever else you place a CTA. But a truly functioning and conversion-yielding CTA requires knowledge about how users are interacting with it, which only certain analytics can provide.
Per this reading, you have probably concluded that improving the user experience and reducing bounce rates is not a lone endeavor by any stretch. Instead, it is made up of a series of processes that involve conducting measurements, applying UX design best practices, improving sales funnel conversion, executing an adequate CTA and quickening the speed of your website.
These processes and solutions will not be the same for businesses and websites industry-wide, or even necessary for all, as the UX differs across businesses and their respective digital assets. Thus, the conversion rate also varies from site to site. The good news is that if your CRO efforts stem from a granular analysis of how consumers are navigating your site, you’ll be able to optimize from a knowledgeable place, and enjoy data-driven results in no time.