So, what do we mean by UX? Well, essentially, we're talking about the overall experience that someone has when interacting with your company's website and how it makes them feel as a result. Back in 2004, Peter Morville, an information architect, and his colleagues created a handy honeycomb-shaped model (see below) to illustrate what he saw as the seven key facets of user experience, which is still relevant today.
Of course, if you're working in the B2B tech industry, particularly for a software development firm, you probably know exactly what user experience is and how important it is to get it right. However, it's still a good idea to give your website regular UX-focused health checks. Not only do you need to ensure its design helps visitors to move through the sales funnel, providing people with a superb online experience could convince them that your tech products and services will also be satisfying to use.
So, what common problems should you be looking for? How could rectifying them improve your conversion rate? Here are just some of the questions you should be asking yourself when undertaking a UX-based audit of your B2B website:
1. Is Our Website Content Useful Enough?
Visitors arriving at your company's website are usually there for one reason: they're looking for information. Therefore, that information needs to be there and, if you aren't sure what your users want to know, you'll need to carry out some research. Ideally, you should be asking your own website visitors what they'd like to see, but there have also been some more general studies that could help you. For example, 89 per cent of B2B buyers surveyed in 2017 stated that the vendors they ultimately chose provided them with content that made it easier for them to either build a business case for purchasing their product or service or demonstrate return on investment (ROI).
By including the information that your potential clients need and removing anything that's irrelevant, you can provide each visitor with a better experience. However, it's also worth noting that 93 per cent of B2B buyers prefer website content to be educational and informative rather than sales-focused, so you'll need to get the tone right too. Finally, make sure your content is in a form that will appeal to your potential clients: 70 per cent of B2B buyers view video content before making purchases, so if you don't include this, you could be missing a trick.
2. Can People Find Their Way Around Our Site With Ease?
Whatever content you decide to include, your website visitors need to be able to find what they're looking for with ease – and you need to be able to guide them towards making an enquiry (or even a purchase) too. There are a host of things that you can do to make sure your navigation is up to scratch, including:
- Dividing your content carefully so that everything is in a logical place;
- Ensuring you don't have more than seven or eight categories on your menu, so visitors aren't overwhelmed;
- Presenting your visitors with the menus they'd expect in places where they'd expect to see them;
- Avoiding the use of dropdown options;
- Making sure you use clear and appropriate wording for each menu item;
- Using breadcrumb trails.
Don't use hidden navigation either; according to the Nielsen Norman Group, people are much less likely to be able to find your content if you do. You can see how much difference using visible navigation makes in the graph above.
3. Is Our Website Optimised for Smartphones and Tablets?
Eight out of ten B2B buyers now use mobile devices for work, so your website must be optimised for mobile if you want to maximise sales. In fact, your website viewers should be able to enjoy a seamless viewing experience whatever type of device they're using. Not only do you need to make sure that your website looks right when viewed on different gadgets, you'll need to consider how visitors using each type of device will interact with it. For example, your call-to-action buttons may need to be larger on the mobile version of your website, so that people can press on them with ease. It's also well worth using a responsive web design, so that your pages will be resized automatically to suit the type of device a visitor is viewing them on.
4. Does Our Website Load Quickly Enough?
Surprisingly, there's little data available about the effects of website loading times on B2B conversion rates, but we all know how frustrating waiting for a site to load can be. What's more, there's a wealth of evidence available from the B2C sector to show what a dramatic effect loading times can have on both customer satisfaction and sales. A one second delay in page response can not only lower customer satisfaction by 16 per cent, it can also reduce conversion rates by 7 per cent.
B2B buyers are busy people, so it's probably fair to assume that slow loading times frustrate them too. Therefore, taking appropriate steps to ensure that your web pages load quickly (such as reducing your file size, removing unnecessary code and minimising the size of your images) should be one of your priorities.
5. Is Our Website Visually Appealing?
While having a good user interface (UI) isn't the only thing that matters when it comes to creating an outstanding experience for users, it does play a crucial role. According to Adobe, 38 per cent of website visitors will stop using a website if they don't find the layout of its content or the images used attractive, so if your website's design is underwhelming or outdated, it could be having a negative effect on your conversion rate. There are many elements you need to take into consideration, from the type of font you're using to the amount of white space on each page, so research the subject thoroughly. Consider embarking on a UX testing programme while revamping the design, so you can get valuable information about the features that your visitors are likely to prefer.
If you answered "no" to any of the five questions above, you now know what to work on to improve your website visitors' satisfaction levels and, in turn, your conversion rates. However, for more sensational marketing tips, check out our other blog posts or give our team of experts a call.