Although it’s not a living and breathing entity, a website should still operate like an employee of your company. It should have a clear role within your business model, tied to specific objectives that can measure overall digital footprint and success.
If developed and managed correctly, the browsing experience for your site visitors will feel effortless and meet established goals. In order to achieve this, it’s critical to perform a comprehensive user experience (UX) audit of your site.
While UX is definitely a business buzzword thrown around a lot, you might think you need to be an expert to audit your website performance. The good news is that’s not true! We’ve created a UX audit cheat sheet, with seven quick and easy steps to make sure your site is delivering a quality experience.
1. Design with Responsiveness in Mind
According to recent data, more than 50 percent of people use their mobile devices to visit websites, as opposed to desktop. For some industries—like retail, online banking or quick-service restaurants—they’re likely to see even higher percentages. This ultimately means your design approach needs to place equal emphasis on responsive functionality on mobile devices, focusing on practices like condensed navigation, image optimization, micro-frameworks and minimalist design.
In layman’s terms, your website needs to look good and perform well on a smartphone. You’ll see that on our client’s mobile website.
Image credit: EPOCH Clemson
Test your website on multiple devices (phones, tablets, etc.) to confirm it’s effective across each variable screen size. Take note of the data in Google Analytics for each browser and device and compare to each other.
2. Accessible Contact Information
Your name, address and phone number (NAP) should be in a consistent location on every page of your site, easy to locate and clickable for visitors. Double-check that all information is accurate on each page; one wrong number can lead to a lost phone call or prospect from your website!
3. Create Smart Visual Hierarchies
Where you place your information is just as important as the idea it communicates. As a rule of thumb, the most valuable content needs to stand out, whether through a strong headline, call-out text or bolded type.
You’ll notice on our website homepage “High ROI Digital Marketing” is the largest header because that’s what we provide clients.
Make sure your internal links, navigation and call-to-actions (CTAs) are differentiated with a button or hyperlink, with a clear, engaging description of its intent. (More on CTAs later). Your approach should also take search and navigation practices into consideration, creating intentional, intuitive environments for the end-user.
4. Optimize Your Page Speed
There’s nothing more frustrating than a page that won’t load. Research shows that even a one-second speed delay can cause a 16 percent decrease in customer satisfaction, 11 percent fewer page views and a 7 percent loss in conversions. If your pages are loading slowly, consider optimizing your site backend and collaborating with your hosting provider to improve load times. Be sure to test speed on desktop and mobile devices.
5. Scan for 404s and Redirects
Broken or missing pages aren’t uncommon on most websites, but a thorough UX audit can help you identify errors and correct them through deleting content or establishing redirects. If you chose to delete a page, it’s likely that its URL still exists in some capacity on the internet. There are a variety of widgets and plug-ins you can use to make linking old pages to new pages simple, ensuring you don’t lose traffic from broken pages. Check out this Hubspot listicle to find options for WordPress sites.
6. Reevaluate CTAs
The effectiveness of conversion pathways often comes down to the clarity and accessibility of your CTAs. Evaluate if your buttons or hyperlinks are highly visible and correlate to the content on your page. Test each link and fill out the relevant forms or details to confirm the process is seamless and functional. Also ensure you are receiving the forms that are filled out – whether direct to your email or through an integrated CMS. If your forms are throwing an error message, you’re missing those easy leads.
Referring back to the screenshot of our 10x website above, you’ll see that we have two CTAs to attract leads—“Learn More” and “Let’s Do It!” The second CTA is also on a floating lower nav bar so that it’s front and center and clients have the option of clicking it (and converting) at any point.
7. Outsource Your UX Audit
Peer-reviewing is key to a comprehensive UX audit process. Send your website to trusted friends and family for their feedback. If your site is geared toward a specific demographic, set up a focus group of individuals who meet your audience criteria and facilitate an environment where participants can have unbiased conversations about your site. Collect and analyze the feedback of all individuals to make the final adjustments to your digital experience.
For complex issues, or if you just can’t achieve desired results, consider consulting a digital marketing agency that can not only perform a comprehensive UX audit but also deliver the changes needed to increase conversion.
Chat with a 10x UX expert today to get the process started!