Mike Kwal

AMA: User Experience

This episode is about how business owners can give their potential customers an effective and satisfying UX, or online user experience.

This episode is about how business owners can give their potential customers an effective and satisfying UX, or online user experience.

[00:01:10] What does UX mean? 

UX is short for user experience. It’s about how people experience your website. What experience are you going to be giving visitors? 

What do people feel when they land on the website? Do they find the right information? Do they interact with the right app? It’s the process of interacting with your website, your app, your software, as a service.

For a local business owner, it means how people get to your website and how they experience your service. If you’re a local business owner, or you run a service area business, like painting, plumbing, mobile oil changes or mobile bike repairs.

When people land on the website and they’re going to encounter your service for the first time, what do they experience? Do they just see a big logo? Do you have a banner? Do you have a call-to-action on the website?

[00:02:38] How does UX affect my small business?

It affects your business by making your site more appealing and much more accessible. 

If you’re in the business of providing service, or if you’re in the business of providing a product, let’s say you run an e-commerce store – what do you want people to do? What’s the result? You want them to go there, find the product they’re looking for, click Add To Cart, check out, put their information in and confirm the order. The UX is the user experience. What does that look like? And how quick and effective is the process for the user? 

Take a look at how accessible your website is. Maybe you run an appliance repair business. If someone is visiting the site, how easy is it for them to book a service with you or to get an appliance repair quote from you? Can they do it from the homepage or do they have to read about what kind of appliances you have first, and then go to the Contact Us page?

You might lose some traffic there when they have to go to the Contact Us page. To improve, what you could do is just add the contact quote directly to the homepage. So when people visit your page, they can read all your information on what appliances you service. Then they can get a quote directly from the homepage. 

Why let them browse around the different parts of the website when they can just get the entire UX experience on the homepage? If the call-to-action or your objective is for them to get a quote from you, just get them through the first page. That’s how good UX can affect a small business in a positive way – by fixing these micro conversion issues that you may not even know you’ve had, you can now convert more people that land on the website towards a specific purpose.

[00:05:24] How can I reduce my site’s bounce rate?

When people Google search you or they visit your website, whether they click on an ad or they click on you organically, they land somewhere on your site. Depending on how you rank on Google, when they go there and don’t find the information, they bounce. You know, that old adage: Hey man, let’s bounce. It’s kind of like that. People just bounce off the site. So if your bounce rate is really high, it means one of two things.

One, you have some technical issues on the site and it’s taking too long to load. Or two, the content was not what they were looking for. For example, what do I do when a tree falls on my fence, and I land on your website and it goes to the Contact page and it doesn’t really solve my problem? I’m going to leave.

I don’t want to contact you; the issue here is that I’m looking for a DIY solution. I’m looking for you to tell me: how would you fix it, or what should I do? Maybe the answer is: I need to get emergency support because it could break the fence in half. It could cause danger. It could cause a telephone pole to fall on my neighbor’s house. That’s the information I want. 

So delivering that is one of the ways we can reduce your bounce rate. It could also be because one, the website loaded too slowly, or two, the website is just impossible to navigate. If someone goes to the website and they’re looking for the menu of all your services and they can’t find it, that creates friction and the person doesn’t have a good experience.

Whether they are reading a blog article or they’re looking for a service, we want to give people who visit your website a fruitful experience. And that’s what Google really cares about, especially when people find you online organically. If you can give people a great experience, a clear pathway defined, all the stuff that you offer, all the services, all the products, a great checkout experience – you reduce your bounce rate and you increase retention, or time spent on the website.

[00:08:36] How can I improve website navigation?

You might be running a local business on a desktop computer. Maybe your service staff runs that. But your actual visitors who look for you – they’re not on a desktop computer. In most cases, they’re on a smartphone. It could be Android, iPhone, Samsung, LG, whatever it is, they’re looking for you on that. Maybe they go to your website on mobile view, and they can’t navigate it because it doesn’t have the hamburger menu (three bars that represent the actual menu). If your visitors are visiting the site, and can’t navigate the website properly, if buttons don’t work or there’s no Call Us Now, it’s a navigation issue. 

For example, someone may need an emergency because they’re on the side of the road and they need someone to pick them up. If you’re a mechanic shop and you want to service your customers, what happens if they’re on the highway and they call you? You may not be a tow service, but they called you for a reason, because they trust you. But what if they can’t navigate your website and they get frustrated? They go somewhere else, right? So this is where we need to improve website navigation. This is where UX comes into place. 

You want to give people a really great experience. You want to make sure that your logo appears there prominently on the top left-hand side, you want to make sure that you have a great menu on the desktop, you want to have a great menu on mobile view. This is so when people go to the website, there’s no friction. We want to make sure that everything they are looking at makes sense. If they look for the right service, you don’t have a million services there. You’ve got your top five services and then they can navigate through the website as needed.

When people need to contact you, they can go to the Contact Us page and call you. Or in some cases, you might want to have a Call Now button and a Book Now button right on the homepage, to make it smooth for the user.

If a big tree does fall on your fence, to the previous example I made, what do you do? Some people are looking for emergency help. They want that tree removed as soon as possible. So what do you do? You need to feature a Book Now, an emergency 24/7 help line, or a Call Now. Most people will just call now because they want help immediately. They want a quote. How long will it take? They don’t want to wait one day, two day, seven days for a crew to get there.

That’s where these little micro wins will help you improve website navigation. So when people do go there, there’s no friction for the people that want great content, they may need to call you right now to get immediate service, and they’ll be able to call and get it. And you’ll get that business. 

[00:12:12] Please give an example of a positive user experience.

We can look at three different types of business models: e-commerce business models, the brick-and-mortar local owner that sells products, and service-area businesses. 

If you are an e-commerce store, a positive user experience would mean a very low bounce rate. A low bounce rate would mean around 10 to 20%. The goal of the e-commerce store, other than to make money, is to have a great user experience. So you want people to visit your homepage, stay, check out your products, maybe find exactly what they’re looking for.

If you sell dog toys, cat toys, pet toys, you want people to go there, find out what they’re looking for. Do the right research, add to cart, check out, confirm it, add their information and get their order shipped to them. You want them to do it with as few obstacles as possible. 

When everything flows in a good workflow, it means they get everything fulfilled, you send them an email and everything’s done, and they see that the order has been accepted. It says the store has received it even though you may not have actually received it yet – it’s an automated response. It makes people feel at ease, like hey, I am being taken care of. That’s one example of an e-commerce store user experience. 

Let’s move on to the next one: what if you’re a brick-and-mortar store, maybe you’re a local service owner or you sell products locally. You sell printed products, you’re a printer, or you sell cheese, you sell food and beverage services in your store. You also might have an e-commerce store. Maybe you’re selling greeting cards in your store and you have a presence on Google Maps. You also have a website. What do you want people to see? 

You might have an e-commerce store, but you also might have a custom service there. In this way, you want to be able to create an experience for them online. A positive experience here might be: they can browse the e-commerce part of the website, but they can also contact you. They can find out about other projects you’re working on. They can visit you on social media, so they can go off your website and open up your Instagram, your Facebook, your YouTube, and see what else you’re working on. 

The third example is: what if you’re a service business? Let’s say you are an arborist, a painter, a plumber, or a chiropractor, for example. A chiropractor might provide people with some products here and there for muscle massaging, but what they’re really providing is a service – to crack your back or to make alignment, more physiotherapy than anything.

In most cases, a user is going to go online and type in: knee pain or elbow pain. They will find a local chiropractor and will research them. So as a chiropractor, you want to provide a really good experience for them.

Frequently Asked Questions for the service you’re providing can help. When people find out enough about your techniques and what you’re doing, they’ll use the booking form. When you talk about how you solve an inflamed knee, for example, then people can click on the call-to-action at the bottom, which is Book Now, or Call Now if their knee is inflamed.

People might be online from [10:00] PM to [2:00] AM, with a really bad back pain or knee pain. They probably will not call you. And if they do, you’re not going to pick up, you might be sleeping. So they’ll use the call-to-action and they’ll use the form on the website to tell you about their pain, to schedule an appointment to, to get a booking with you. You can call them the next day to get them booked into your clinic and provide your service.

If they have a good experience with how they engage with the website content, with how they use the booking tool, with how they get booked, with the calendar invites that get sent out and a confirmation – they’re going to come visit you more, and they’re going to become a customer for life. 

Some questions that can help you check if your UX works well are: Did they get knowledge from you? Did they get a kind of wisdom? Did they feel empowered, because their curiosity led to empowerment from wisdom, because you shared with empathy, using words, using your content? Did they have an effective call-to-action to work with? Was it seamless? Did you have a form on the site? Were they able to have easy access to you and contact you, so they can book a service or get a quote from you?

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