Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) With Delightful UX/UI
You’re already a master at getting a lot of traffic to your website. You know the ins and outs of writing great content, how to optimize for search engines (SEO), and you have paid campaigns on Google and social media. But how do you go about improving your website’s conversion rate (CRO)?
This is a question that many website owners often ask themselves. It’s not an easy question, because there’s no one-size-fits-all answer.
There are many ways to optimize the performance of your website. This is why in this article we will show you how to improve conversion rates in a very delicate and beautiful manner – with UI and UX.
Why Conversion Rate Optimization Is Important
You probably have a steady stream of website visitors. But if only a small percentage of them convert into customers, your ROI remains limited.
While driving traffic to your website is essential, it’s equally crucial to convert that traffic into paying customers or subscribers.
This makes CRO one of the most cost-effective strategies in digital marketing. Rather than pouring more money into increasing traffic, which can be expensive and unsustainable in the long run, CRO focuses on optimizing your existing traffic.
It is not a one-time effort; CRO is an ongoing process that relies on data and insights. With constant A/B tests and user behavior analysis, you gain a deeper understanding of your audience’s preferences and pain points, which in turn helps you meet the evolving needs of your users.
What Is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)?
Now that you understand why CRO is important, let’s also cover the basics: Conversion Rate Optimization is all about ensuring that the visitors to your website take the actions you desire, whether that’s making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or requesting a demo. CRO is the key to turning your website into a revenue-generating machine.
The process of optimizing for conversions often leads to improvement in the overall user experience (UX) of your website. When visitors find your site easy to navigate, with clear calls-to-action and a visually appealing design, they’re more likely to stay longer and engage with your content.
User Experience vs. User Interface
Speaking of UX, you can’t do CRO without understanding its relationship to UI/UX design. So let’s break these two concepts down.
User Experience (UX) Design
User Experience (UX) design ensures that your website offers a smooth, intuitive, and enjoyable journey for users. It focuses on understanding user behaviors, needs, and motivations to create an experience that aligns with their expectations and objectives.
Key aspects of UX design are:
Firstly, UX designers typically conduct in-depth research to understand the target audience. This involves user surveys, interviews, and the analysis of user data to identify pain points and opportunities for improvement.
Your website should have a logical and user-friendly structure. Information architecture involves just that: organizing content and navigation in a way that makes sense to users.
Wireframing and Prototyping
Before diving into visual design, UX designers create wireframes and prototypes to outline the layout and functionality of the site. This allows for testing and refinement of the user journey.
UX designers conduct usability testing to gather feedback from real users. This helps identify any issues or roadblocks users may encounter in their journey and guides improvements.
Ensuring that the design is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities, is a fundamental aspect of UX design. This includes considerations for screen readers, keyboard navigation, and other assistive technologies.
Based on these aspects and insights, the specialists design the overall structure and functionality of the product, ensuring that it’s intuitive and user-centric.
User Interface (UI) Design
UI design focuses on the visual and interactive elements of the website, such as the layout, color schemes, typography, icons, buttons, and other graphical elements. It aims to create a visually appealing user interface that guides the audience through the user experience crafted by UX designers.
The main elements of UI Design are:
UI designers are responsible for the aesthetics of the website. This includes choosing color schemes, typography, icons, and graphics that align with the brand and create an engaging visual experience.
In today’s multi-device world, UI designers ensure that the design adapts seamlessly to various screen sizes and resolutions, providing a consistent experience on desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
Buttons, forms, menus, and other interactive elements are designed to be intuitive and user-friendly. UI designers consider user feedback, micro-interactions, and animations to enhance usability.
Maintaining a consistent design across all pages and screens reinforces brand identity and helps users navigate confidently.
UI designers often create interactive prototypes that give stakeholders and developers a clear vision of the final product’s look and feel.
In practice, UX and UI design often overlap and collaborate closely to create a seamless and effective user experience. Both are important for creating a product that not only looks great but also functions intuitively and meets the needs of its users.
But UX/UI design isn’t just about aesthetics or usability; it’s a strategic tool for improving CRO.
How User Experience Affects SEO
Apart from CRO, user experience and SEO also share the common goal of meeting user needs and enhancing satisfaction. SEO relies on satisfying search intent to achieve high SERP rankings, with engagement signals like dwell time and bounce rates serving as crucial factors.
These signals fundamentally relate to user experience, while also affecting SEO. Neglecting user experience comes at a significant cost.
To enhance both SEO and UX, focus on optimizing page speed, offering a seamless mobile experience, ensuring easy navigation and site structure, and fulfilling searcher intent. In essence, a better UX leads to improved SEO, and vice versa.
CRO and UX: What Are the Differences?
- To begin with, CRO and UX have different objectives:
CRO is concerned with increasing the percentage of visitors who take a specific action on a website (boosting conversion rates); while UX design aims to enhance the overall experience, satisfaction, and ease of use for visitors, whether or not they convert.
- They measure success differently:
CRO focuses on metrics like conversion rate, click-through rate (CTR), revenue per visitor, and return on ad spend (ROAS); though UX design may indirectly impact conversions, it mainly focuses on user satisfaction and engagement, measured through qualitative feedback, user surveys, usability testing, and user retention metrics.
- They have a different scope:
Conversion rate optimizations often target specific pages or elements that directly impact conversions, such as product pages, landing pages, or checkout processes; UX design takes a broader view, including the entire user journey from the moment a user lands on a site to when they achieve their goal or exit the platform. It considers the overall brand experience.
While CRO and UX design share the common goal of improving digital experiences, they approach it from different angles. However, integrating both approaches effectively can lead to a website that not only converts well but also delights users and fosters long-term loyalty.
How to Improve User Experience & Your Website’s Conversion Rate?
Here are our top 7 UI & UX recommendations to convert more of your users into paying customers:
Pick Up Your Page Speed
Your website’s loading speed is a huge factor in your conversion rate. In fact, according to a study by Akamai, if your site loads slower than the rest of your competitors’, you can lose up to 70% of potential customers.
Use Google PageSpeed Insights to check how fast (or slow) your website loads and optimize accordingly. For some specific tips on how to do that, you can check out our article on reducing your website’s carbon footprint with SEO.
Make Your CTAs Stand Out with CRO UX
Your call to action buttons are there for a reason: to get users to click on them. If your CTA is not clear, your visitors will get confused and may leave the page without clicking on it. Make sure that your CTA is easy to spot, visible, and easy to understand.
Here are 3 major tips on making your CTAs stand out:
- Use a contrasting color for the CTA button (don’t use a color similar to the background)
- Make the CTA text descriptive and specific
- Include a relevant microcopy
We give some additional pro tips on microcopy in our article on UX writing.
Forms: UX Best Practices to Enhance Your Lead Forms
Lead forms are one of the most important resources on your website. If your lead form isn’t intuitive, chances are that visitors won’t complete it. Lead forms are also a great source of information for you to use in your marketing campaigns, so make sure they look professional and work perfectly.
Here are some tips on making your lead forms better:
- Include information on what will happen after filling out the form
- Make important fields required (to avoid users leaving them empty)
- Merge ‘First’ and ‘Last Name’ form fields into one to reduce frustration
- Use placeholders to guide the user on what should they type in, e.g:
- Enable browsers auto-fill
- Use action-oriented text on the CTA button
Use the Help of a Chatbot
Chatbots are great because they can answer a lot of the questions that users might have, and they can do so in real-time.
55% of businesses* that use chatbots go on to generate more high-quality leads. Chatbots bring:
- Better ROI
By using a chatbot you can automatically prequalify leads and save your sales team’s time and efforts.
- More leads
Because chatbots are timely and easy to interact with.
- Important context
When your sales team gets a prequalified lead from your chatbot, they will already have valuable information for them. This makes the chances of closing the deal higher.
Customers are much more likely to spend more than they had planned when their experience is personalized. Here are some more benefits:
- Bots can help you identify people’s interests, likes, and dislikes and give them more engagement, which leads to a higher conversion rate.
- Chatbots surveys can help you engage customers by asking them to share their experience with different products and their preferences.
- Marketers use the right content at the right time to move leads further down the funnel. Chatbots can segment your audience by using the answers they provide about preferences and interests.
What are the crucial questions for a great chatbot experience? You can learn more about how to build a conversational marketing strategy.
Build Attractive Pricing Pages
Pricing pages with attention to detail and your target persona can drastically improve your conversion rate. They are effective because they make visitors feel like you know them and understand their needs.
We have a whole article on building pricing pages for SaaS, but here are our top 2 best practices:
- Align pricing options with personas
- Make use of the anchoring effect
The anchoring effect describes people’s bias to rely on the first information presented to them. In this case the “Recommender” tag. You can have a look at more physiological hacks for your pricing pages.
Use Human Faces in Visuals: Designing for Conversions
We found that visuals with human faces increase conversion rates. The reason why this works is that people are wired to respond to facial expressions and emotions.
Here are some pro tips when using human faces for CRO:
- Have human faces looking towards the CTA
- Include photos evoking positive emotion
- Make sure to depict your buyer persona
- Avoid stock imagery
- A/B test illustrations vs people, because each case can be different
Be Minimalistic With Fonts
Too many font sizes create a feeling of confusion and asymmetry. Narrow them down to a few to please the eye of the user. The same applies to too many different alignments.
You can do a quick check with Chrome Dev Tools (CTRL + Shift + I on the keyboard when using a Chrome browser) and the CSS Overview feature.
What Does a Bad UX Website Look Like?
You’re already familiar with the conversion rate optimization strategies to enhance your website’s UX and conversions. Now, you might be curious, what are some common mistakes websites make related to user experience signals? Glad you asked!
Here’s a list of poor user experiences you should definitely avoid on your website:
- Slow-loading pages (including mobile site speed)
- Cluttered and unintuitive navigation menus
- Overwhelming (intrusive) pop-ups and ads
- Non-mobile-friendly design (content not displayed properly or excessive scrolling)
- Poor typography (illegible fonts, poor color choices) and readability
- Complicated (lengthy) forms
- Inconsistent design (inconsistent layouts, fonts, colors, and branding elements)
- Lack of search bars or an ineffective search feature
- Auto-playing audio or music without the user’s consent
- Poor (lengthy) e-commerce checkout process (or requiring too much personal information)
- No contact information
- Broken links and errors
Here are a few great examples of how you can ensure your 404 pages contribute to a positive user experience:
Jakob’s 10 Usability Heuristics for SaaS Websites’ User Experience Optimization
Speaking of improving CRO through UX design, we cannot overlook Jakob Nielsen’s renowned 10 golden principles for interaction design, known as “usability heuristics“.
Jakob Nielsen is the co-founder of Nielsen Norman Group and the brilliant mind behind usability heuristics.
These principles provide thumb-rule insights and have revolutionized how UX designers approach user interfaces.
Now, let’s explore how you can apply these usability heuristics to your SaaS website with some examples.
1. Visibility of System Status
Let users know the system’s current state to foster trust and control. Simple cues like changing button colors or progress indicators keep users informed.
Example: You can display a loading spinner when users submit a data processing request. This spinner communicates that the system is working on the request, keeping users informed.
2. Match between the System and the Real World
Use familiar language and conventions to make users feel comfortable and acknowledged. Real-world terminology and logical order enhance empathy.
Example: You can use everyday language and concepts in your navigation and features. Instead of “Data Aggregation Tool,” you can label the feature as “Data Cruncher,” making it more relatable to users.
3. User Control and Freedom
Empower users with the ability to undo actions or exit flows. Back, cancel, close links, and undo options give users control.
Example: Allow users to cancel a lengthy data import process. A “Cancel Import” button lets users exit the process and return to the previous state.
4. Consistency and Standards
Follow industry and platform norms to prevent confusion. Ensure that different terms and actions consistently mean the same thing.
Example: Use standard iconography for common actions, like a trash can icon to delete items. This aligns with industry conventions and ensures users understand the actions.
5. Error Prevention
Keep users on track by offering suggestions, constraints, and good defaults to prevent accidental errors.
Example: When a user configures settings, provide real-time suggestions and validation messages to prevent input errors. For instance, you may highlight an invalid email address in red and offer a suggestion to correct it.
6. Recognition rather than Recall
Show users recognizable content instead of making them remember from scratch. Consider factors like activation, practice, recency, and context to aid memory.
Example: Provide users with a list of recently accessed projects on the dashboard, making it easy for them to pick up where they left off without having to recall the project names from memory.
7. Flexibility and Efficiency of Use
Cater to both novice and expert users with shortcuts and multiple methods for tasks, speeding up experts without slowing down novices.
Example: Expert users can use keyboard shortcuts to navigate your website quickly, while novices can access the same features through the menu. For instance, pressing “Ctrl + S” for saving in addition to the standard “Save” button.
8. Aesthetic and Minimalist Design
Create aesthetically pleasing yet clutter-free designs. Prioritize clarity and usability over excessive visual elements.
Example: Maintain a clean and minimalist design by only displaying essential information on the dashboard. Keep unnecessary elements or distracting visuals minimized, ensuring a focused user experience.
9. Help Users Recognize, Diagnose, and Recover from Errors
Design visible, constructive error messages that respect user effort. Consider visibility, communication, and efficiency in error messages.
Example: If a user enters incorrect login credentials on your website or app, a prominently displayed error message appears with clear instructions on what went wrong and how to recover, such as “Incorrect Password. Reset your password here.”
10. Help and Documentation
Provide proactive help to introduce users to the interface and reactive help for troubleshooting and system proficiency.
Example: Offer a guided tour or onboarding wizard for new users to get familiar with the platform (proactive help). You can also provide a comprehensive knowledge base and chat support for troubleshooting and learning (reactive help).
Why Choose a Conversion Rate Optimization Agency
Choosing a UX and CRO agency is a strategic move that can drive higher conversions, boost revenue, and help your business thrive in the competitive online landscape.
At Hop Online, we’re committed to boosting your website’s profitability through our Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) services. Our approach includes three key pillars:
1. Content Optimization
Our experts will identify your site’s most valuable content and then craft strategic split tests to enhance their performance. By focusing on what resonates most with your audience, we’ll help you increase conversions and overall user engagement.
2. Performance Analysis
Leveraging site analytics, we gain valuable insights into user behavior, shedding light on what drives your visitors to convert. Our data-driven approach ensures we understand the strengths and weaknesses of your current strategies, enabling us to fine-tune your website for optimal performance.
3. User Data Processing
We handle user data with the utmost care, adhering to all necessary guidelines such as GDPR. Our secure and ethical data processing practices allow us to gain deeper insights into why users convert. This, in turn, informs our strategies for a more effective and user-centric CRO approach.
Grow Your Business With UX/UI and CRO
It’s not just about customer experience, it’s about delivering a GREAT one. When you hone the UX/UI principles, you can make your website intuitive and easy to navigate. Remove the ‘obstacles’ from your webpage, then just watch your conversion rates grow.
Want to learn more about how to turn your traffic into conversions? Learn next how to build a high-performing landing page that converts!
Author: Yoanna Antova – Content Team Lead & Vesselina Levkova – Content Strategist & Copywriter