UX web design services

5 Ways to Check if Your Website Needs a UX Upgrade

Designing a site with a user’s experience in mind sounds obvious, but is actually a complex endeavour. This is because User Experience (UX) takes into consideration a wide range of responses to a website, from the practical and measurable like SEO, to more intangible factors like aesthetics and design.

User Experience is vitally important. Every website owner wants to reduce any frustration a visitor might feel, so their visitors stay on the site longer, will come back again, give good reviews, tell their friends and, if you have an e-commerce site, buy your product.

Below we list helpful Google Analytics key performance indicators you can evaluate your site against to help determine how well your UX is performing.

How many Pageviews per month?

If a visitor is visiting multiple pages, they are often finding something they find interesting. This is especially true if your conversion rate is also high. Otherwise, it could mean that your users aren’t finding what they need, forcing them to flip from page to page (something like the old days of TV). It’s important to determine which behaviour is happening as it will inform the rest of your metrics.

What is the dwell time & Time on Page?

How long a visitor stays on a site before returning to search results is also an indication of good UX. Makes sense, right? Google even takes this into consideration when it ranking a site.

Related, but not exactly the same, is the time spent on each page, because a longer amount of time spent on a page is an indication of a higher level of interaction with the material.

What’s your Bounce Rate?

The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who navigate away from the site after viewing one page only. A high bounce rate can mean that visitors aren’t finding what they want, and leave. This isn’t necessarily so, however. Analytics platforms will measure both a short and long visit to a page as a bounce. A page with long-length content that people are actually reading could show a high bounce rate, when in fact, people leave after reading it because they got something of value and don’t need more at that time. Bounce rate, therefore, needs to be considered in the context of time spent on a page.

As well, a high bounce rate on a dedicated landing page that is meant to work separately from the rest of the site, often on a subdomain, is expected and necessary.

What’s your Conversion Rate?

The conversion rate also gives an indication of your UX. A conversion is whatever you are measuring as a goal — some action you want the user to take on your site. This could be filling out a form or buying your product, for example. Of course, this stat presupposes that you have the correct goals set up in Google Analytics.

On e-commerce sites, shopping cart abandonment is also an indication of poor UX. Good UX at this point in the shopper’s journey can involve a number of components, from a clear, easy process to permitting users to buy even without an account, to reasonable shipping costs and easy payment methods. A look at conversion funnels in Google Analytics can provide an idea of where you are losing visitors in their journey through the process.

A/B Test Changes

Finally, using A/B testing will help determine if the insights gleaned through the Google Analytics stats above will actually improve your UX before you do a wide scale implementation. Basically, A/B testing is comparing two versions of an element on your website to see which performs better. It is best to test one element at a time to so data is not confused. All sorts of elements can be tested such as: CTA position, colour or label, form fields and position, headlines, content length for different sorts of pages and so on.

Still Not Sure? Get in touch

If you’ve reviewed your website and are still unsure whether your UX could be upgraded, get in touch. We provide web design services for Vancouver Island businesses and are happy to help.

Posted in UX

Canna Tours – Case Study

About Canna Tours

Canna Tours was started in 2015 to provide insight into the new cannabis industry in Canada. Canna Tours partners with Canada’s top cannabis companies to create educational and unique experiences for tourists around the world.

The Challenge

Canna Tours approached our team in late November of 2018 because their site, built in Wix, was not performing very well. Canna Tours’s traffic and sales had dropped. Q4 is a crucial time for any ecommerce business, but since Canna Tours sells Cannabis Christmas Advent Calendars as an important part of their annual income, they absolutely needed a site that was functioning properly. On top of that, Canna Tours had just published a post that had gone viral and they didn’t want to lose the benefits of the publicity. They needed a new site … and fast!

The plan was to get a fully functioning WordPress site designed, developed and launched within a couple of days. Ecommerce would be handled by WooCommerce.

Implementing The Plan

Day 1

Because the timeline was so short (impossible?), and required the co-ordination of different experts with different skill-sets, we first created a detailed to-do list. The goal was a website with a clean, simple design, and intuitive User Experience. Our team was stoked and up for the challenge.

Within a day our team of developers had the development site’s basic design and structure set up. The content of the old site had been imported, but some of it did not import very well. The blog, —all 40 posts — had to be fixed manually.

Day 2

Morning

By day 2 the development site was a fully functional site. It still needed images, service pages and some search engine optimization (SEO) love.

11:30

The developers decided to point the name servers since it can take 24 hours to propagate, even though not all of the SEO was finished. Metadata was completed, but some crucial SEO tasks such as 301 redirects and removing dead links still needed to be done.

12:15

The name servers were already pointed (that was fast!). Our developers made the necessary adjustments in WordPress and the site was live! By early afternoon, the orders were rolling in.

Banner image of the Canna Tours website

Day 3

The site was up on the web, looked great and was functioning well. We fixed a few remaining broken links, but otherwise it was done! Since Day 2, Canna Tours had pulled in $2,690. in Christmas Calendar Revenue.

graph of Canna Tours Christmas revenue

The Outcome

behaviour acquisition stats

Due to the meticulous planning, and the tight coordination of our developers and SEO crew, the design, build and migration to a new WordPress site went absolutely smoothly. Our team really pulled it together to put up a site in record time with absolutely no downtime and no loss of business. A week after the migration, Canna Tours was ranking in the top 3 on Google for a range of cannabis keyword variations that people were using to find the calendars. In fact, Canna Tours had one of their best Christmas seasons to date, and it didn’t stop there. Recent stats show that pageviews have risen 3,146.18 % over last year!

vancouver island

3 Reasons to Choose a Victoria Web Design Firm that Gets SEO

When selecting a web design firm, there are a lot of considerations. Experience, portfolio, price and positive reviews are some. Design and technology chops are others. But one fundamental consideration that often gets overlooked is making sure the web design firm you choose also understands marketing and search engine optimization. 

Read three common mistakes we see all the time and then follow our tips for choosing a Victoria web design company that understands SEO and will set your business up for success – rather than frustration.

Got 301 Redirects?

Make sure the web design firm you choose includes a plan to add 301 redirects from existing pages to new pages.

We see it all the time. As an example, a web development firm creates a beautiful site for a Nanaimo law firm, trains their client on how to manage it then hands the keys over. After the initial excitement and fanfare over having a beautiful new website subsides, the client checks Google Analytics and is befuddled why their site’s traffic and search rankings have fallen off a cliff. In a fit of panic they call us up to help them out.

We get it – a new website often requires reorganizing content. Blogs, products and other key pages move around, pages are re-named, that’s all normal. However, when that happens, it’s absolutely critical to make sure redirects have been put in place for each page. This is 10x more important for pages that rank like your about, contact or main service or product pages. Otherwise, visitors are sent to a dead end and leave your site frustrated. When enough people leave after one click, it increases the bounce rate, telling Google that page has a poor user experience. Google then drops the page in its rankings and fewer customers visit. Needless to say, a bad experience for everyone!

Avoid Being Image-heavy and Search-light

Choose a Victoria web development company with an intrinsic understanding of SEO to make sure they don’t miss any opportunities to rank.

For example, a Campbell River painter may want to emphasize images on their site to show off their work but fail to add content that describes the project. While the pages may look aesthetically pleasing, when it comes to ranking that page, it’s much tougher to be indexed by Google, Bing and other major search engines when they don’t have content to help them understand what the page is about. We recommend avoiding image-heavy pages when well-written and search-optimized content could be added instead. A web development company that understands SEO will anticipate this and make the recommendation during the web design process.

Avoid Subdomains for Blogs and Other Pages with Backlinks

Don’t create additional work – leverage brand equity earned from backlinks. Another scenario: a well established Victoria credit union with a well-regarded financial tips blog moves their blog to a subdomain, making it blog.examplewebsite.com rather than examplewebsite.com/blog. Their blogs then drop in the search rankings and they are left wondering why.

We recommend keeping the blog under the same roof as the rest of your website because Google treats subdomains as a completely new website. If your site’s been around awhile you’ll forfeit any backlinks and link equity you’ve earned and will have to re-earn it all over again. An experienced web design firm with digital marketing chops will advise you to keep everything under one roof and explain why.

Next Steps – When Choosing a Web Design Firm Think Marketing and SEO

We hope these tips for choosing a top web development company are helpful and will save you time, money and frustration. Whoever you choose, make sure the company makes design, technology and marketing sing in harmony.