Is your company planning a website redesign or creating a brand-new site? This is a great opportunity to think about the impact of web design on user flow within your digital presence, including your website and the ways people reach it. We take a look at the easiest ways to turn your site visitors into conversions and your conversions into loyal clientele.
What is user flow?
User flow encompasses the many ways website visitors find what they’re looking for on your website. Depending on the size and nature of your site, there may be dozens or even hundreds of ways website visitors navigate your site. A clear user flow helps customers reach their end goal, no matter where they entered your website and how they got there.
The user interface and technical features on your website will be influenced by where customers want to go within your site. A few simple additions to your website design can increase conversions as people navigate through your site.
How is a customer journey different?
The customer journey encompasses each step a potential customer takes before buying your product or service: awareness, interest, intent, evaluation, purchase and retention. These steps could happen online (through digital marketing, social media and on a review website, your website or a third-party seller’s website) or offline (TV ads, word of mouth, your store or another retailer).
In comparison, a user flow takes into account what a website visitor sees and how they act within your website to help them reach a solution to their problem.
Building Your User Flow
To create a better user flow within your website, it can help to map out variations on paper, just as you would when building any other infrastructure. A well-planned user flow identifies pages where website visitors may feel “stuck.” Eliminating these dead ends encourages website visitors to say on your site until they convert (make a purchase, sign up for newsletters, etc.).
A brainstorm session with a whiteboard or sticky notes is a great way to start mapping your user flow. Once a basic user flow is created in this informal setting, transferring the “map” to a classic flowchart can make it easier to share it with anyone, from your company’s leadership to your web designers.
Design Elements that Increase Conversions
Making the most of each touchpoint throughout your user flow increases conversions and return on investment (ROI).
Call to Action Buttons
A call to action button clearly directs users to the next step in your user flow, which could be a new product or a task you want them to do. “Download this PDF” or “Sign Up Today” are good examples. Create tailored landing pages for your advertising campaigns to help users through their web experience from the moment they enter your website.
Mobile Friendly Design
Make sure your mobile design is as robust as its desktop version! There are too many reasons to list here why you need a website that’s optimized for mobile if you want to drive conversions online. Most importantly, in the second half of 2017, mobile traffic made up 57.3% of all internet traffic.
If that’s not enough to convince you of the importance of responsive design, the average smartphone conversion rate is up 64% (when compared to the average desktop conversion rate). More than half of users won’t recommend a business with mobile website that isn’t well designed.
Diving deep into the data your website collects is the best way to determine that your website and user flow are functioning properly. Add Google Analytics to your website to track what methods are working best, set goals and keep track of your conversions. Make changes and improvements based on the best resource you have – data!
Start User Flow with Digital Channels
Encourage people to interact with your website using other digital channels. A website designed to increase website conversions encourages visitors to follow the user flow no matter how they got there or the page they ended up on.
Link to Your Social Media Profiles
Take advantage of your social media platforms to increase conversions. You can leverage the power of these channels by linking to your profiles within your website (start by placing them in the navigation, footer and contact page) so that your users can easily find and follow your social profiles.
Not only will you increase your brand’s digital presence, social media accounts provide a host of other opportunities. Consider the visibility and trust your clients will gain from reading reviews and getting a better understanding of your business model through photos and posts. Social media is a great place to host a giveaway and provides a casual environment to tell your story and promote your offerings to people who were previously not ready to convert.
Grow Your Email Marketing
Use your website’s user flow to direct visitors to short contact forms that help you build your email lists. An easy-to-use marketing platform like MailChimp allows you to connect with your clients more often via email campaigns.
Set up automation to build your brand and sell more products using seamless (time-saving) interactions. Start with a series of emails targeting past customers likely to buy again and branch out with an automation encouraging recent website users to head back to your website and convert.
Invest in Digital Advertising
Use search and display advertising to drive highly targeted traffic to specific landing pages on your website. These visitors are more likely to be ready to follow your user flow and convert than the general browser. Like email marketing, you can use digital advertising to reach website visitors who did not previously become customers by encouraging them to visit your website again.