I have a confession to make! Please don't hold it against me, but I'm telling you this because I hope that you can learn from it.
My first website was horrible. My second one was only slightly better. My third, whilst I do truly love it has some improvements to make, because if I'm honest with you - your website will be constantly evolving (just like you).
The reason for these improvements is because I want to make life easier for you, my loyal readers, to navigate and explore the content you need to make your brand better. This in a nutshell, is the concept of user experience or UX as us nerdy web-people like to call it!
User experience is everything from how fast your sit loads, how it looks on a mobile device vs a desktop and even whether you have one of those controversial pop-ups on every page!
Now, there's a lot of information out there on the web about so-called trends when it comes to user experience, and don't get me wrong, they definitely have their place, but today I wanted to talk to you about some catered ways to look at the user experience of your site to ensure that your not annoying your potential dream customers before they even begin get to know you!
Look at your site's own analytics
One of my favourite things to do with my Google Analytics is to take a look at the way that people use my site. (Side note: I always feel kinda creepy when I talk about this, but I promise it's totally legit!).
In the Users Flow Section of your google analytics, you can see a visual map of the pages your clients are clicking through.
For example, here's a screenshot of my very own visitor flow-chart.
Taking a look at your own site, will allow you to see what common interests people have in the pages on your site. From the above graphic, I can see that people who are interested in web-design are often also interested in branding, and the same goes for e-books!
But just having this information at my disposal doesn't really mean much! It's what we do with it that will make the difference!
Update your homepage to match your visitors screen flow.
If your homepage is one of your most visited pages (again mr Google Analytics can help you find that out!), then it's important that the key information people are looking for and enjoying on your site gets premium location on your homepage.
This not only makes it easier for your dream clients to instantly find the information they need, it increases the engagement level of your visitor, as they'll be more likely to stick around and explore more having found the relevant information with such ease!
You can also take this one step further, and update some of your services pages with easy click through buttons to other areas of your site, that match the flow of your Google Analytics.
Test things out
One of the biggest pains we cause our users is the use of a pop-up on every screen. Now as a marketer, I need to tell you that as a general rule 'pop-ups' work when it comes to converting your sits visitors into subscribers. BUT, that's a general rule.
I believe that EVERYTHING (even the things I tell you) need to be tested on your own website, with your own unique audience.
So pop-ups that might work on one business' website, might totally deter users on another. This rule doesn't just apply to pop-ups either. Test out the layout of your homepage, the position of things on your blog sidebar, the colour of call-to-action buttons.
To really test things out, you're going to want to set yourself up for tracking that data with a simple excel spreadsheet.
Get real-life feedback.
As well as testing out things on your site and collecting data on them as you do, it's also important that you're getting real-life feedback.
There's a few way to do this, each of them ALOT easier than you might think.
1. Conduct a peer-review.
I love conducting these in The Brand Chat Facebook Group, as it encourages people to not only look at others sites and provide feedback, but it's my hope that by looking objectively at someone else's site they might too be prompted to make some improvements to their own. You can always reach out to a friend (that you know will give an honest opinion) and conduct a user experience review on each other's sites.
2. Install heat maps.
There's really no better way to know what parts of your site are grabbing your visitors attention than with heat maps. Heat maps essentially track the clicks-points and flow of how someone is viewing your site. Are they clicking on the blog post image or the 'rad more' button to be taken to the post? Are the scanning through the entire page and then returning to the top to read only the parts that interest them? You'll never know this useful information unless you are utilising heat map software, which will, allow you to place your most important pieces of information and call-to-actions in the spots that are going to be seen. My two faves for this are SumoMe Heat Maps & Crazy Egg
3. Get a virtual review
The are sites like Peek and Criticue that allow you to upload a page of your website for review. Your page is then delivered to one or more people to review and provide feedback, in some cases feedback is even provided in the form of a screen sat video. Whilst this might show some flaws in your layout or colour scheme, be sure to make sure any changes you make are made in-line with what YOUR own audience want and need form your site.
Often, in the realm of coaching, where you are your brand, it's easy to get caught up in creating a site that YOU LOVE. Whilst it is totally important that your online home is reflective of you and you're and it's also important to ensure that your site is meeting the needs and expectations of your dream customers. Because the last thing you'd want is for one of them to land on your site and be deterred because they couldn't easily find the answers they needed!