First, let’s define what the User Experience or “UX” is when it comes to website design. Professional designers help build websites that offer relevant user encounters to your potential and current customers. From including all aspects of branding, design, usability, and overall website function, to making the software easy to use through its simplicity, visual qualities, navigability, and customization. The UX promotes customer satisfaction, a fulfilling use of your website, and customer loyalty. It also helps to generate sales.
UX is a way to make your product or service accessible, easily usable, and enjoyable. It can also include the design of other functions related to your product or service, like a marketing campaign, packaging, and after-sales support. Basically, the online user experience is really the sum of all user interactions with your products, services, and website as a whole. And it solidifies your product or service brand in the mind of your users.
From a local business perspective, prioritizing a positive user experience usually results in satisfied and happy customers who remain loyal to your company, generating higher conversion rates, increased revenue, and a stronger competitive brand. UX is the perfect solution to getting and retaining long-term customers.
How UX design helps small local businesses
UX expertise helps to create an intuitive and attractive website design that encourages users to stay on your site longer, making it easier for them to find what they’re looking for, and coming away with a positive and confident perception of your business and its products. It’s essential for cohesive content, dynamic headlines, brief explanatory information about your products, and a pleasing color palette, to all come together to ensure that your potential consumers easily understand how your product works. It almost guarantees that customer reviews and testimonials will reflect that optimistic experience.
Good UX design boosts customer satisfaction, it adds to customer loyalty and customer retention, and as a result it improves brand loyalty. If you look at this from the customer’s perspective, a company that understands and meets their needs is one that they will continue to use and recommend to others.
Make UX design a priority
So how does a website designer come up with a UX strategy for your local business? It starts with identifying the needs and expectations of your website users. Is your site easy to navigate? Does it explain what you sell or what you do simply and to the point? Is it easy to click-to-buy in your online store? Does it make it simple to contact you if the user has questions? In short, do all the pieces of your website puzzle come together efficiently and effectively?
UX design has become increasingly important for local businesses who want to stay competitive in today’s fast-paced digital marketplace. With the overwhelming daily use of laptops, tablets, and mobile smartphones that people can access on the run, it’s become even more necessary to create an outstanding UX to fully understand and fill their needs. It has become too easy to click to another website, if yours is not providing a good experience.
Stand out from your competitors
So what does a UX designer focus on when creating your website? First, the total functionality of your site is reviewed. Are there broken links? Do the pages load quickly? Has the site been optimized? Is it mobile friendly? Can the user navigate easily to other pages? Do the tabs go to landing pages correctly? And more. It’s basically a thorough “check-up” of how your website technically performs.
Secondly, the designer looks at how simple it is to find product choices. Ease of navigation is extremely important in the fast-paced world we live in. Customers have a very short attention span. They’ll bounce and go to another site if they can’t find what they’re looking for with minimal effort. An easy-to-navigate website equals satisfied customers. Does the content have a call-to-action? Are the fonts big enough? Are the headlines accurate? Do images load easily? Is your navigation intuitive?
Hire design company with UX expertise
Unfortunately, many small, local businesses just don’t have the time or manpower to keep their websites updated and fresh. That’s why having a UX website design company is vital. They can add a personal touch to your site, refresh content, headlines, and images so that your site always looks and feels enticing to users.
Website design companies can make sure your site is kept simple. Reducing clutter is the main feature of simplicity. Blank space or “white space” can work for you, creating emphasis on headlines, content, or images. De-cluttering your website can work wonders for sales conversions. And photos of ”Main Street” in your town and/or an image of your storefront, can personalize your site even more. People love doing business with locally known entities.
Contact information needs to be highlighted and placed strategically within your website. Use a “Contact Us” link button so users can easily reach out to you. Your logo should also be placed prominently on your homepage and throughout the pages of your site. Be consistent with where the logo is located. For example, always place it on the upper left-hand or right-hand side of a page or in the header box. These repetitive brand impressions can build recognition and trust over time.
Enable customers to leave reviews and testimonials
Customer comments and testimonials add a truly human touch to your website. They allow potential customers the ability to “hear” what current customers have to say. It’s a great way to validate what your headlines and content are declaring about your company, giving it “social proof” that other “locals” are happy with your product or service.
Social proof adds credibility to your advertising claims and “proves” that your product or service is reputable, high-quality, and popular. Make sure your UX design team uses this powerful tool to help increase sales conversion rates. If your company has provided a successful business transaction with current customers, it surely will do the same for new ones searching for your product.
How to create a great UX design
If you don’t already have a User Experience strategy, make one! You need a roadmap so that you can plan the steps that will lead you to success. A UX strategy plans the actions necessary to reach an improved state of your company’s user experience over a given period of time.
Your focus should be on SEO, local SEO, and optimizing for mobile smartphone use. Ease of navigation, upgrading and refreshing your headlines and content, and adding social proof can measurably improved the online UX and drive long-term and consistent business visibility and growth.
And it should always include:
- A compelling homepage design that differentiates your business from the competition.
- A clear and simple layout and utilization of “white space.”
- Strong calls-to-action inserted throughout your site.
- A highly functional, responsive, and intuitive navigation system.
- Personalized images that mean something to your customers. Stay away from stock images when possible.
You may also want to consider adding a live chat box or an online store. And you’ll want to drive traffic to your website through other traditional paid advertising campaigns and social media.
The local, small business market is growing as more and more people are looking for a better quality of life by moving out of major cities to the suburbs. In fact, according to a recent report from American Express, “small business revenues rose by an average of 87% between July 2021 and July 2022.” This represents a significant opportunity for local business owners to capitalize on the growth in their community. By having a website crafted so that it heightens the user experience, is quick and easy to navigate, and that speaks to the needs of local consumers, your chance of growth and overall success increases measurably.