All ready to create your dashing new website? We get it - it’s exciting and while UX research might not be the sexiest topic, it’s vital to your site’s long-term success. Here’s why.
We are big fans of all things user experience (UX) including research. Unfortunately, in many projects, it is not considered or altogether ignored. With customers’ expectations of a seamless online shopping experience growing, UX research is imperative in understanding what your potential customers are looking for and what can set you apart from your competition. We’re talking about the difference between thriving in the online space and merely surviving. When you’re putting resources into UX research from day one, you’re ensuring your digital strategy is based on facts and your customer’s needs. It also has the added benefit of ensuring any other SEO/paid advertising efforts are not going to waste. Anyone that has experienced a horror website build in the past (unfortunately, we’ve seen our fair share), also realises this saves them a heap of cash and headaches in the long-term.
So what can you do to get some UX research started for your website without the help of a UX professional? Here are some of our easy go-to’s.
Look at what you’re already doing
If you already have a solid digital strategy for your website, you don’t want all of that hard work and resource going to waste. From day one, get your team’s digital marketers involved and work out what your keywords are (reach out to business partners and team members if you’re having trouble). Come at it as though you’re a customer: what search terms would you use? What would make you stay on a website and make a purchase? From there, you can develop a work plan for your new website that supports and builds on your existing efforts. You’ll also want to make sure the correct URL structure and metadata is included on your new site as well to ensure that your customers can still find you once your new website goes live - if you’re unsure, ask for help.
Conduct a competitor analysis
As they say, there’s no point in reinventing the wheel. You can learn so much from your competitors. After all, they’re working with the same target market. With so many options just a few clicks away, you can bet your customers are visiting your competitors’ sites as well. To win them over, you need to match your competitors’ efforts and go one step further. Look at what your competitors are doing well and where there’s room for improvement (and for you to totally overshadow them). All of this research goes into making your site as user-friendly as it can be. Remember, this isn’t about duplicating what’s already out there but really honing in on your point of difference within your relevant industry.
Plan out quality content
Your website isn’t a build and forget exercise. You need to be adding content such as images, blogs, product descriptions, landing pages and so on, regularly. You want simple, clear and effective messaging to be at your site’s core so your customers understand what problem you can solve for them and how you’re different to everyone else out there. Speak in your customer’s language: think about what they need to know and always include clear calls to action (CTAs). This is where your keyword research really comes in handy as you can plan out your content to ensure you’re including all of your keywords without doing what we call ‘keyword stuffing’. This is where numerous keywords have been applied and loaded onto a webpages to spam and drive customers to sites, however they are not actually appropriate to that site and customers generally don’t find what they searching for (that will drive your customers away quicker than Usain Bolt in a 100m sprint).
Speak with your customers
You need to communicate with the people using your site. An easy and cost-effective way to connect and speak directly to your target market is to interview users of your site and ask them what they think. You can ask questions like:
- What would you like to see added in future versions?
- Did you have any issues navigating around the site?
- Do you understand what we do?
Set the interviews up via phone, email or in person and record everything. You can then go away, analyse the answers and spot patterns as to what your customer base wants from your site. This allows you to incorporate them into the site in future versions or make any easy changes instantly.
Never underestimate the power of quality UX research. Spending months and months and your budget on creating a site that doesn’t meet the needs of your target market, doesn’t benefit your business. You’re far better off engaging in UX research before even thinking about a website build so that you can develop a site that’s brilliant from the beginning and continue improving it as you continue engaging with your customers.
Need help with UX research? Contact Woven today.