Think about your favorite websites. (Or if you don’t have favorites, just think about some of the better ones you’ve seen.) Pause. Now, think about why you chose them or what made some pop into your head over others. Was it the content? Layouts? Imagery? Colors? It could be a plethora of things of course, but I want to emphasize (1) that they were all probably created with intention and (2) that intention is often driven by lots of research, analysis, and testing to result in positive user experiences like the ones you just recalled.
At this point, you may be thinking, “Of course that’s what drives positive user experiences. Isn’t that how all websites are created?” The answer is…not quite. Often times when someone is explaining why something is one way over another, the answer is too frequently “I don’t know” or “It just looked good.”
In this post, I want to shed light on some broader concepts that we use to approach CRO strategically—and to demonstrate that great UX doesn’t happen by just saying, “Yeah, I think that will probably work.” There are reasons as to why you feel like some websites are better than others. The best ads, landing pages, and websites didn’t just happen by coincidence or chance. (Check out this post to read more specifics about Hanapin’s CRO program, testing, and types of analyses.)
Some Concepts to Consider
If you’ve never considered CRO or UX, here are a few concepts to get started. I’m just mentioning some high-level notes and providing a few examples, but they’re ones I’d recommend diving into sooner rather than later.
Functionality, Accessibility, & Usability
Functionality, accessibility, and usability are three of the most fundamental aspects of an online experience. (Check out what the Persuasion Pyramid looks like here.) If a site isn’t all or any of those things, finer details like messaging and imagery suddenly become much less important. When users are scrolling through a page or interacting with different elements on your site, everything should work as intended and be easily accessible—regardless of device or browser. And I’d say because these concepts seem fairly straightforward, they’re often overlooked or not given as much time and attention. On the contrary though, I’d say websites with great UX nail all three of these.
Messaging should be clear and consistent. It should also meet users’ expectations. You never want to try to mislead or trick someone into visiting a page or adding something to their cart. If you’ve ever seen an ad, clicked through to the landing page, and purchased something because you thought, “This is perfect! It’s exactly what I need,” I’d guess messaging had something to do with it. It’s important to speak to your target audience with the right messages at the right time. And on this topic, I’d like to emphasize my recommendation against just throwing words onto a page or into ads and hoping they do well. Be intentional with word choices.
As you can see here, this test improved the conversion rate for demo requests by 170%.
Content, Processes, & Layouts
All three of these play a lot into motivation and usability. If content or the order of content don’t make any sense, no one is going to be motivated to continue looking at the page—or the rest of a site for that matter. Likewise, if a page layout or process (like filling out a form or checking out) is confusing or overwhelming, users generally don’t stick around to figure it out. It’s important to make every aspect of your site clear, consise, and intuitive so that users have to think as little as possible. They should never have to ask, “What’s next?” or “How does that work?” or “What does that mean?”
In this test, our team focused on breaking down a conversion process into one that was simpler and easier. As a result, the conversion rate for information requests increased by 46%.
Colors can be strategically used to do things like impact emotion, emphasize consistency, or create contrast. Some folks are against tests like button color changes due to the perception that they’re small and unimpactful. However, results often depend heavily on reasoning.
As you can see from these results, you shouldn’t underestimate the potential impact of color-related tests. In this case, a color change lead to a $21,000 increase in revenue.
Poor user experiences can not only cause someone to abandon a cart or stop filling out a form, but they can cause someone to associate negative feelings or thoughts with your business. If a user goes to your site, for example, and thinks it’s one of the worst online experiences they’ve ever had, it’s possible they may never want to click on one of your ads or visit your site ever again. Granted, that might be a little dramatized for the purposes of conveying a point but thinking about these things is becoming more necessary every day in today’s competitive digital landscape. Great UX and heroic results don’t happen on their own!
If you don’t have the time or resources to devote to UX and CRO but want to optimize your landing pages or website, reach out to us. We’d love to hear from you!