Experience is everything – five tips to improve your user experience

If you’ve spent the time to put together an effective and engaging campaign that works to bring customers to your site, the last thing you want to have happen is for those customers to lose interest or leave your site before taking action. A good user experience (UX) on your website and landing pages is vital in making sure that your campaigns succeed in the goals that you have set for them. In today’s article, I look at five ways you can improve your customer’s user experience and get better results from your campaigns.

1) Consider customer knowledge

Not every customer comes to your site with the same information. Some customers will already know everything they need to know about your product and will want to move through the sale process as quickly as possible, without interruption. Others will be looking for information and guidance before they make their decision. Most will fall on a spectrum somewhere in between. In setting up your campaigns and building your landing pages, bear in mind the different types of customer you have and the differing amounts of information they will need, and try to lead the right person to page that gives them what they need to make their transaction with you as easy as possible.

2) Make it flow

The core of good user experience design is making sure that the customer is lead though the page, following the layout and information without interruptions and without them having to search for what they need. Make sure that key information is at the top of the page, above the fold, and that your layout encourages the user to move their attention from one element of your page to the next. Place your calls to action regularly throughout the user’s journey, to ensure that no matter how far through your content the user progresses, they are encouraged to take action.

3) Know what you want

Every marketing campaign should be pursuing a specific goal, and your user experience should be driving your users to complete that goal. Make sure that you know exactly what it is that you are trying to achieve, whether that be an email sign up, to contact you for more information, or to purchase an item. Knowing what you specifically want to achieve means that you know what to emphasise within the page, what your call to action should be, and what to test for.

4) Make sure you look good everywhere

The ways that your users have to access your content are now more varied than they have ever been, with users accessing media from smartphones, laptops, smart TVs and more. Responsive web design is absolutely essential in making sure that your content looks its best on any platform. Make sure that you incorporate responsive design into the creation of your pages, and make sure that your content still looks good and flows correctly no matter what platform your users might be using.

5) Test everything

As with everything else in a marketing campaign, never simply assume that your user experience is perfect. There are a wide variety of tools available to help you test and optimise your material. A/B testing, click maps and scroll maps are all vital to helping you understand how your users are navigating your pages, what is getting their attention, and where they are disengaging. Test everything, make improvements, then test again.

John Rowbottom Design and Marketing is a Sutherland Shire based company offering marketing and design services to businesses throughout Sydney and Australia. If you would like to find out more about how we can help you achieve your goals, visit us today at jrdm.com.au.

5 ways to be a better content marketer

Content marketing is the backbone of any digital marketing strategy. Used well, content marketing is cheap, effective and engages your customers in a way that no other marketing can. However, getting it right can take a lot of work. In today’s article, I look at five ways to make sure that you are putting your effort into the right areas and making content that will meet the goals of your business.

1) Write with passion

If you’re creating content for your own business, this should hopefully be an easy thing to achieve, but it’s worth saying all the same. The first and most important thing when putting together content marketing is for you to have a genuine passion for what you are writing about. The aim of content marketing is to create material that will draw your customer’s attention. If what you are writing is flat and uninspired, or if you are trying to fake an interest, your readers will know it. Make sure that you care about the topics you are covering, and you’ll be well on the way to creating content your readers will care about too.

2) Write with a goal

Always remember that content marketing needs a specific purpose. While it’s important that your readers will be interested in what you’re saying, you also need to bear in mind exactly what you are trying to get your reader to do with each piece, whether that be to sign up to an email, to engage with your website or to buy a product. Keep your intended goal in mind as you create a piece of content, and make sure that your content is leading the customer towards that goal.

3) Use analytics

If you follow this blog regularly, you’ll notice this is a piece of advice that I’ve given again and again, and it’s worth repeating. Pay attention to your analytics. You need to be sure that the content you create is resonating with your audience, and you need to know which pieces you have created are getting the most attention. Using your analytics will show you what your best performing content is, which means you’ll know what works for your audience and what doesn’t.

4) Master research

The internet is a treasure trove of information that can be used to inspire and provide material for content. If you’re not already great at research, take the time to try to improve your skill in the area. Ideally, you should be able to look through the data available to identify trends in your industry, analyse market data, identify new opportunities and generate new content to take advantage of them.

5) Make use of marketing automation

As I said at the beginning of this article, content creation can take a lot of work. Marketing automation takes some of that work off your shoulders, not just scheduling content for your website but also letting you set up email and content flows that will automatically send your leads the content to nurture them from their first interest to becoming a potential client, saving you time and energy.

If you want to build a better content marketing strategy for your business, John Rowbottom Design and Marketing can help. Visit us online at jrdm.com.au to find out what we can do for you.

Five (more) elements of great landing pages

A strong landing page is an essential part of any marketing campaign, letting you get your message to your customers, capture their attention and generate leads that will help you to grow your business. In a previous article I listed five things you can do to build effective and successful landing pages, but like any part of marketing there is always more that you can do to enhance and optimise your output! In today’s article, I look at five more things you can do to improve your landing pages and get better results.

1) Keep your goals in mind

Maybe the most important thing to bear in mind when creating a landing page is that it should be focussed on one specific goal. Don’t make the mistake of treating your landing pages the way you would treat your company’s website; a landing page needs to have one clear, specific call to action, one offer or solution that will engage your customer’s interest. By focussing on that one aspect, you keep your customers attention and ensure that they remain engaged with your conversion goal.

2) Know your audience

As with any part of your marketing mix, it’s important to bear in mind who it is that you are trying to reach with your landing page. You should already have a clear idea of who your customers are, how they think and what their path to a purchase looks like, so make sure that your landing page reflects that. Make sure that you are using the right language, the right imagery, and including the right information to speak to the specific customers that you are trying to reach. One of the best things about landing pages is that you have a high level of control over which parts of your audience will see which page, which means you can and should be taking the opportunity to customise your landing page to the sections of your customer base that will be using it.

3) Use the right images

Images engage the emotions of your customers, and the right images will draw them in and keep them engaging with your content. You should include a ‘hero image’ that showcases the product or service that you are using, ideally one that shows the benefits of what you are offering. Also, be sure that your images and your copy compliment each other. If your headline and your copy reflect the same mood and context as your images, they’ll go a long way to retaining your audience’s interest.

4) Put what matters above the fold

Anything that falls ‘below the fold’ – in digital terms, anything that your users will have to scroll the screen to see – is less likely to be seen and less likely to be acted on. It’s important that you keep the most important elements of your landing page above the fold. Your headline, your key paragraphs of information, your hero image, your social proof, your call to action and your capture form should all be visible without the user having to scroll. Keep those elements visible to your users, and you’ll significantly increase your conversions.

5) Use social proof

Social proof is an incredibly powerful tool. If you can demonstrate to your customers that your product or service is already solving the problems that your user has, for people like them, then you’ve given them a reason to believe that it will work for them too. Customer reviews and testimonials are one of the best tools you have at your disposal to prove the effectiveness of what you are selling. It’s important to make sure that your testimonials are believable. Anyone can easily write a fake testimonial, but making sure that you have the full name of your customer, their position within a company, a picture of the customer or even a full video testimonial from them all make it easier for your customer to see that a testimonial is real and reliable.

From individual pages to complete campaigns, John Rowbottom Design and Marketing can help you take control of every aspect of your marketing. If you would like to find out what we can do for you, visit us at jrdm.com.au today.

Five ways to use analytics to boost your site

Analytics are a goldmine of useful information that can take your website to the next level and make sure that it’s achieving your goals, but to get the best results, you need to approach that data in the right way. In todays article, I look at five tips that can help you make the most of your analytics and turn raw data into results.

1. Know what you want from your page

This is one of those things that I can’t say enough times; always focus on the goals and outcomes that mean the most to your business, rather than getting distracted by vanity metrics. This is especially important when looking at analytics. If your site has increased it’s traffic by 200%, that’s great! But if none of those new users are converting – buying your product, signing up to your mailing list, or meeting whatever other goal you have for your website – then you’re not really seeing meaningful results. Having a clear goal for your site means you will be able to track the results that make a difference to your bottom line and ignore the ones that don’t.

2. Identify poor performers

Pay attention to how your users interact with your website. In an ideal world, a user will enter your site, move along a set of pages that are designed to lead them towards your desired outcome, and then take the action you’re looking for. Three things will stop that from happening; poor traffic, high bounce rates, and high exit rates.

Poor traffic is self-explanatory. Bounce rates refers to pages that your users come to… and leave after a few seconds, meaning that the content on that page didn’t engage them. Exit rates refers to the number of users that abandon your site on a specific page; if one page is causing a lot of users to leave your site, then the content and message of that page will need to be made more compelling. Investigating the issues that lead to these problems and working on solutions will help move more users to your intended goals.

3. See where your users are coming from

Look at the top sources for incoming links to your page and look at the pages that are referring users to you. Especially, look at the types of content and messaging that those sites are using and the tone of voice they use. These sites are resonating with a significant portion of your user base, so don’t be afraid to borrow some ideas from them!

4. Understand your audience

Identifying the types of users that are visiting your site will help you to optimise their experience. If a significant portion of your audience is connecting to your site through mobile devices, then you will need to make sure that your sites design is responsive and is easily navigable on a mobile browser.

5. Don’t get obsessed

It’s very easy to check in on your analytics every day, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Try to only check in on the data every few weeks. This is a long enough period to allow for trends to appear, meaning you can make decisions based on what a significant portion of your users are doing, not just a handful.

Correctly using analytics will help you to identify what is and isn’t working in your site and make the right changes to improve performance. If you want to take your website further, John Rowbottom Design and Marketing can help. To get started, visit jrdm.com.au and arrange an appointment.