In today’s digitally driven business world, more and more of the typical brand’s consumer touchpoints — and in some cases even all of them — are moving online. As such, of course, a brand’s website has become an all-important element of the modern customer journey.
From becoming aware of and initially investigating a brand’s offerings to researching any potential purchases, getting quotes, asking questions and eventually even converting — just to name a few important online actions — the brand website has become a primary vehicle for moving consumers through the marketing funnel. And for all of these reasons and more, in the 21st century, website usability is clearly critical to brand success.
In fact, according to an article on Inc.com, between 70% and 80% of consumers will research a small business online before visiting a physical location or making a purchase. And when web surfers find a website unattractive, 38% will stop engaging with it. Further, according to Google, as page-load times increase from one to 10 seconds, bounce rates jump by more than 120%. And when users don’t find what they’re seeking on a website, nearly 80% will search elsewhere.
6 reasons why good UX is important
Of course, the list above is far from complete — the statistics demonstrating the importance of a good user experience on a website go on and on from there. To dive a bit deeper, consider these six compelling ways that strong website usability can boost a brand’s success:
1. Establishing brand legitimacy
In the modern business environment, a company’s website often serves as the face of the brand, driving the all-important first impression for consumers and typically supporting a number of touchpoints thereafter. For these reasons, it’s important for a brand website to have a clean, engaging design and a strong navigational structure that makes it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for. Further, the incorporation of professional photography and graphics can help give consumers an impression of brand legitimacy.
2. Building consumer trust
Because the internet has gained a reputation for at times hosting bad actors and scam artists, it’s also important for brand websites — and especially e-commerce sites that sell products and services directly to consumers — to quickly build consumers’ trust. In addition to demonstrating the legitimacy-focused website qualities mentioned above, some of the top ways to do this include providing easy-to-find company contact information such as a physical address, as well as phone numbers and email addresses for company representatives and customer service. Another way to build trust is to have a valid SSL certificate in place so that an “https:” web address appears when consumers visit the site and make purchases. In addition, providing quality content that’s pertinent and free of grammatical and spelling errors can help convey an impression of brand expertise in its segment.
3. Alleviating consumer frustrations
In today’s crowded (and global) marketplace, consumers typically have a range of options to choose from when procuring the goods and services they desire. So, when a brand’s website presents persistent usability issues, it’s a sure way to send consumers elsewhere to get what they’re seeking. Performing regular usability testing is the leading way to ensure that no problems such as broken links, missing images, load failures and error messages are encountered when consumers are navigating a company website. It can also help eliminate any hurdles to conversion on the site.
4. Increasing average time spent on site
Businesses spend a lot of time and marketing dollars trying to attract consumers to their websites — so of course, they want guests to stay there for a while once they arrive. And in addition to providing the aforementioned benefits, having a solid website design and delivering a good user experience can also help keep visitors on a brand’s website longer, increasing their likelihood of conversion. Other ways to increase users’ site-visit duration include adding compelling video content, strategically incorporating internal links, regularly adding new content, and allowing users to comment on blog articles and videos.
5. Increasing conversions and sales
Of course, the overarching goal of all of the strategies discussed here is ultimately to boost a business’s conversions and sales — both online and via other purchase avenues. And by taking all of these steps, a brand can significantly improve the usability of its website and create a stronger online user experience, each of which are bound to help achieve those objectives.
6. Boosting customer satisfaction
After the sale, strong website user experience can foster customer satisfaction by consistently supporting positive customer-service experiences — and as a result, help to create more repeat business and boost brand loyalty in the process. It can do this by making it easy for consumers to find the contact information needed to reach customer-service representatives and send them queries, whether via phone, email, chat or other avenues. Of course, from there, the brand must ensure that any customer questions are responded to quickly, appropriately and adequately.
For many businesses, ensuring seamless website usability is a clear need — but the technical skills needed to do so frequently fall outside the staff’s skill set. Fortunately, help is at the ready. The Brandon Agency’s fully integrated team of marketing professionals includes tech experts who have dedicated their careers to interactive web development and UX strategy. So, whether your brand’s need involves website creation, custom software development, usability testing, SEO, advanced analytics or a range of other tech-related specialties, our interactive team has you covered. To learn how you can put our team of marketing and web-design professionals to work for your brand, contact us today.