agency,conversion rate optimization,user experience

CRO Glossary

  • Laurel
  • ON
  • January 29, 2019

Ever feel like the digital marketing world is full of jargon? We created this glossary so you have the most popular conversion rate optimization terms in one place. No BS. Just straightforward definitions. Hope it’s helpful!

AB Testing: a method of website testing that compares two variations of a webpage, “A” and “B” to see which converts better. “A” is the control while “B” contains copy or design changes. Performance is measured using Key Performance Indicators, KPIs.  

ABn Testing: a subcategory of AB testing which compares three or more variations of a webpage, “A” “B” and “n” additional variations to measure which performs best. “A” is the control while the other variations contain copy or design changes. The more variations, the longer the test will take.

Above the fold: the top of a web page visible to users without scrolling. The fold cutoff is different for desktop, tablet and mobile devices. The term “above the fold” is adapted from print marketing, where “above the fold” refers to the top half of the front page of a newspaper, visible from a newsstand.

Banner: a prominent graphic display that stretches across a website. Banners are typically rectangular and are usually displayed across the top of a page. Banners can also appear on the sides or bottom.  

Banner blindness: a situation that often occurs as users learn to ignore information presented in the form of banners. Banner blindness causes users to skim over banners or mentally block them out.

Baseline: the data/metrics used as a starting point when comparing a webpage to a variation. Baseline data usually includes a mix of KPI’s (key performance indicators), TPI’s (tactical performance indicators) and LPI’s (leading performance indicators).

Bounce: to leave a website after visiting only the landing page.

Bounce rate: the percentage of visitors who leave a website after visiting only the landing page.

Buyer persona: a characterization of a typical or ideal customer based on qualitative and quantitative market research. While some characterizations may be imagined, buyer personas are based on real data and customer insights. They are used to help marketers create more relatable content and a better user experience.

Call to action (CTA): an “ask” that aims to induce a user to take a specific action that moves them closer toward conversion. Examples include:

  • “Buy Now”
  • “Click Here”
  • “Sign up today and receive 20% off”

Cart abandonment: a drop off that occurs when a user adds a product to their online cart but navigates away from the site before completing the purchase.

Churn rate: the percentage of users who don’t renew a subscription. Churn rate is often used as a KPI for ecommerce sites that are subscription-based and even B2B services like SaaS.

Click map: a visual map of a website that shows of how users interact with a given page. Click maps show which buttons, text and other elements users click on.

You may be wondering which is more important between on-page and off-page SEO and the truth is, you can’t have one without the other. If you have no content, there is nothing for people to link to, and if you have no links you have no credibility or reason for search engines to rank your content.

Clickthrough rate: the percentage of users who “click through” from a hyperlink or ad to a landing page, or from one page to another linked page within the site.

Confidence level: the percentage of all possible future cases that can be expected to have the same outcome as a test.  For example, if a variation outperforms an original webpage with 95% confidence level, we can expect that the new variation will outperform the original in 95% of cases.

Control page: the original webpage which is kept the same throughout an experiment, in order to keep a baseline of metrics and ensure changes to metrics in any variations are not due to an outside influence.

Conversion: a defined action taken by a user. Usually, this action moves the user from browsing closer toward converting. Examples include:

  • Purchasing a product
  • Subscribing to a newsletter
  • Downloading a whitepaper

Conversion rate: the percentage of users who take a defined action. Conversion rate is calculated by dividing conversions by total traffic.

CRO (conversion rate optimization): a set of methods used to increase the percentage of users on your website who convert.

Cookies: small text files that are stored in the user’s device. Cookies allow marketers to recognize users and track their preferences. Marketers use cookies to target specific users for particular experiments. For example, we may choose to show a particular webpage variation to returning users only.

CPA (cost per acquisition): a pricing model in where marketers pay for a desired action, for example, a form submit or purchase.

CPC (cost per click): a pricing model where marketers pay for each time their ad is clicked.

Cross selling: a tactic that increases sales by suggesting complementary products to a user who has already added products to their cart.

Decision fatigue: the deteriorating quality of decisions made by a user after a long session of decision making. Decision fatigue can cause users to bounce or exit a website.

Exit popup: a popup that displays when users start to navigate away from a website. Many exit popups include coupons designed to entice users to stay.

Exit rate: the percentage of visitors to leave a website from a given page, after possibly visiting more than one page on the site.

Experience optimization: a high-level approach to optimizing a customer’s experience across various channels. Experience optimization is holistic and encompasses CRO.

Eyeflow: the path where visitor’s eyes flow throughout the page. Studying eyeflow can help marketers discover which areas of a webpage are used often and which are ignored by users.

Form testing: a specific type of CRO testing that tests the elements of a form like length, design and copy in an effort to increase form fills.

Friction: any points in the customer journey that are annoying or cause frustration. Friction points make users less likely to convert.

Funnel: a marketing model based on a visual where customers move from the “top of the funnel” where they become aware of your brand to the “bottom of the funnel” where they convert.

Growth hacking: rapid experimentation across product research and development, sales and marketing to identify the most efficient ways to promote business growth.

Heatmap: a visual of a webpage that is overlaid with color to indicate how users interact with various elements. On most CRO software, areas with warm colors like red have high engagement and areas with cool colors like blue have low engagement.

Hero: the large banner image placed prominently above the fold on a webpage.

Hypothesis: a testable idea used as a starting point for further investigation. CRO hypotheses are based on quantitative web data and engagement metrics, as well as qualitative data from user testing.

Impression: the point at which an ad or piece content is displayed to a user. For example, if an ad appears 100 times in Google search results, there are 100 impressions.

You may be wondering which is more important between on-page and off-page SEO and the truth is, you can’t have one without the other. If you have no content, there is nothing for people to link to, and if you have no links you have no credibility or reason for search engines to rank your content.

Landing page: a page of a website accessed by clicking a hyperlink or ad. Historically, the landing page was most often the homepage. However, the best-performing landing pages are optimized to closely match user intent. High-converting sites often have many landing pages.

Lead generation: the initiation of consumer interest. For example, a user may become a lead when they click “request a demo.”

Leading Performance Indicators (LPI’s): secondary metrics used to track actions that eventually lead to KPIs. LPIs are more valuable than TPIs but less valuable than KPIs in terms of revenue.

Macro conversion: primary conversion goals; for example, purchasing a product.

Micro conversion: supporting conversion goals; for example, signing up for a newsletter.

Mobile first: the concept of designing or optimizing a page for mobile first before optimizing for desktop. Mobile first is becoming increasingly important as mobile use becomes more popular than desktop.

Multivariate testing: a testing style in which multiple variables are changed (as opposed to AB testing which isolates one variable). Multivariate tests are less precise but usually higher impact than AB tests.

Qualitative data: non-numerical data like survey responses and user feedback.

Quantitative data: numerical data like click rates, session duration or pageviews.

Responsive web design: website design that allows pages to adjust and display properly on a variety of devices and screen sizes.

Retargeting: a marketing tactic that involves using cookies to follow traffic who bounces from your website and targeting them again.

Sample size: the number of users needed to run your AB test until it reaches a desired statistical significance (usually 80-95%).

Segmentation: the act of dividing users into segments based on common traits; for example, mobile users or desktop users.  

SEO: Search Engine Optimization. SEO focuses on getting the right traffic to your website while CRO focuses on encouraging traffic already on your site to convert. The two work in synergy to optimize your website’s performance.

Session replay: an anonymized recording of a user interacting with a website. Session replays help marketers identify frustration points and create ideas for optimizing a page to better serve users.

Shopping cart abandonment (also called cart abandonment): occurs when a user adds a product to their cart but leaves the website before completing their purchase.

Social proof: In general terms, a phenomenon that occurs when people copy the actions of others. In digital marketing, social proof is the use of trust points like customer reviews, testimonials, social media mentions, etc, to make users more likely to convert.

Split testing: a broad term that encompasses AB testing and multivariate testing.

Split URL testing: a testing style where traffic is split between two different URLs of the same page, allowing marketers to test multiple design or copy elements at once.

Statistical significance: the level of certainty around whether a given test result is real (correlated with the change being tested) and not due to chance.

Tactical Performance Indicators (TPI’s): the lowest level of metrics used to track actions that eventually lead to LPIs and KPIs.

Trust icons: icons, logos or other symbols that boost a user’s confidence in a website. Examples of trust icons include an SSL certificate or McAfee logo.

UI: user interface; the way a user interacts with a computer or device. UI is more specific than UX.

Unique visitors: the number of unduplicated users who visit a site in a given time. If the same user visits two times, they will count as 1 unique visitor.

Upsell: the practice of introducing users to more expensive but similar items or add-ons. Examples could include an upgraded product or expedited shipping.

Usability: a website’s ease of use. Usability optimization is similar to CRO but nuanced in its focus. Usability optimization focuses on optimizing the user’s experience while CRO focuses on optimizing conversions. Usually the two go hand in hand.

User flow: the click path taken by a typical user from the moment they enter the website to the moment they convert.

User intent: what the user is looking for when they land on a page.

UX: user experience; the overall experience of a user as they interact with a brand. UX is broader than UI.

Value proposition: an feature intended to make a product or service more valuable to the user. The best value propositions can be communicated clearly and succinctly.

Variation: a web page that will be tested against the original. AB tests contain one change per variation page while multivariate tests contain many changes on a single variation page.

Whitespace: also known as negative space; the space between graphics, text blocks, CTA buttons and other design elements.  

Widget: a web application that makes it possible for a user to perform a function. Widgets can be used to add forms, live chats, etc.

content marketing,conversion rate optimization,design,musings,search engine optimization,user experience,web development

How much does a website cost?

  • Jason
  • ON
  • January 25, 2019

If you are asking this question you are likely trying to determine what you will need to budget for a website for your business. You have come to the right place.

So how much do your websites cost?

Knowing how a great website is created can help give you a better understanding of the cost. Websites, like cars, have a wide range of pricing options. You can get a website for $50,000 or $50,000,000 — it all depends on its features. Keep in mind that building a truly great website is a big task. I always equate building websites to building a brick-and-mortar store location, except it’s somewhere people around the world can visit 24/7/365. Today we will go over each stage of website development and the potential cost involved.

LET’S DIVE IN!

Website discovery

Price depends on a number of factors: the size of the website, the number of competitors, the complexity of the sales funnel, and the depth of research areas the website team explores during discovery. For example, one client might need a discovery into their website’s conversion rate optimization, possibly including a deep dive into performance analytics and session records to determine how visitors are using the current website. Other clients during discovery might simply need us to become familiar with their business and their goals before we begin work. Ultimately, discovery comes down to how able you can specifically identify your website’s problems to solve. The more gray areas, the more a discovery phase can help.

Website discovery cost:
Simple: $500.00 – $1,500.00
Moderate: $2,500.00 – $4,000.00
Complicated: $5,000.00 – $20,000.00

For most businesses, a moderate discovery will suffice. At that rate your website development team should have a firm understanding of most aspects of your business and can apply . If you are skeptical about the need for a discovery, talk it over with your website team and see why they think it’s important. Don’t be afraid to ask questions; most web design agencies are flexible and willing to figure out the most cost-effective way to solve problems.

Flow mapping

Website flow mapping is all about thinking of how users will navigate through your site. You add on layers of complexity as you think through how a user will navigate through every page of your website. Many website companies and their clients believe that people go to your homepage first. That could not be more wrong. People arrive on your site by searching Google for a specific keyword and land on a related page. This is why at our agency we see every page as its own “homepage.” By looking at your website holistically, we can control what happens when someone lands on any page and push them into a sales funnel where appropriate so they convert. The next time you are doing a web search, think about where you are landing. Take note. You’ll see that understanding how users navigate though the site is critical to conversions, goal completions, and revenue.

Website flow map cost:
Simple: $200.00 – $1000.00
Moderate: $2,000.00 – $4,000.00
Complicated: $5,000.00 – $20,000.00

Every business needs to keep flow mapping as a consideration. If you choose not to do a flow mapping exercise, you will lose potential business. Moreover, Google won’t trust websites whose pages are not organized optimally or do not relate to each other in a way that makes sense. What’s important to Google’s advanced algorithm are the page relationships uncovered in flow mapping exercises. Flow mapping connects pages’ subject matter and establishes you as the expert around those specific subjects. That’s huge for both Google and your visitors.

Site architecture

Site architecture is essentially mapping out the navigation of your website. And if you do a flow mapping exercise, it will be clear what pages you need on your website. We use a program called Slickplan to create our site maps. A robust site architecture gives your users and search engines an easier time getting the information they need. Google loves a great filing system. It makes their job easier. By having an easy-to-digest site map, Google rewards you with higher rankings in the SERPS and users reward you with more conversions and goal completions.

Website Site Architecture Cost:
(If you skip flow mapping, this price will likely be very different.)
Simple: $200.00 – $1000.00
Moderate: $1,500.00 – $3,000.00
Complicated: $4,000.00 – $7,000.00

You really can’t get away from this step. Yes, you can do it yourself, but it’s always better to have a team of trained experts by your side because, over and over again, we have seen what works and what does not.

SEO (search engine optimization)

A mistake I made early in my career was not including SEO at the beginning of a project. I’d finish a website and then bring it to an SEO specialist. All it did was frustrate them. Why? Because it turns the website into a game of “What keyword are you trying to rank for?”, a lot like putting the cart before the horse. If I build an entire site with, say, forty pages and every page lacks a keyword focus, several things can happen:

You build pages that rank for zero keywords.

You have multiple pages with the same keywords, therefore cannibalizing your own pages. Google then has to make a decision about which page to serve in its result pages, and if there are a ton of pages with the same keyword, it causes Google to say, “I’m confused. I’m not going to serve any of these pages because it’s unclear what is the best page to serve.”

Google’s job is to serve the best result for any given query. Keep that in mind always, and then common sense comes into play. (If you have pages with the same keyword, make sure to put a rel:canonical tag on the one with the best content.)

You miss keywords that are critical for your business. Missed keyword opportunities mean missed business.

So what will an SEO team do at the beginning of a website project?

  1. Keyword mapping: Keyword mapping is the process of researching the search volume and intent around relevant keywords. Typically our keyword maps start with 300 to 600 keywords, but we quickly expand to tens of thousands after site launch with an important, ongoing SEO retainer. Building a site is just the start. You must think of your website as an evolution. If you don’t you are wasting money!
  2. Content assignments: Our team creates in-depth content assignments for our content creation team and/or your team’s content writers. These assignments list out the main keyword focuses, synonyms of those keywords, and break down each page by <h> tags (header tags) so it’s easy for Google to index and crawl.
  3. Site architecture recommendations: Words matter in search; so does the structure of the website. SEO specialists are always looking for ways to optimize. Having a keyword in your navigation is great, but how it connects to all relevant content is even more important.

Website SEO pricing:
Simple: $1000.00 – $2,000.00
Moderate: $2,500.00 – $4,500.00
Complicated: $5,000.00 – $20,000.00

Website SEO monthly retainer cost:
“I want to play the game and have an internal team”: $1,000.00 – $2,000.00
“I want you to do my SEO and I just want to be relevant in search results”: $2,000.00 – $3,000.00
“I want to win SEO and get to page one in SERPs within the next 6-12 months for specific keywords”: $4,000.00 – $14,000.00

Choosing not to do SEO at the start of your website is a horrible mistake. Trust me! I already told you I’ve skipped it once, and we have the occasional client that decides to skip it even after all my warnings. They all pay the price — retroactive SEO fixes and changes are expensive!

Website content development

Content is king, queen, and everything in between. Search engines rely on content to decipher what is on your website. There are a ton of best practices prescribed to content creation. If you want to be a player in the SEO game, then you must have the content to back it up. Great content (like this amazing post you are currently reading) is critical to website success. A quality content team will write with SEO in mind… ALWAYS.

Did you know that Google wants you to write like a 5th grader? We use the Hemingway app to ensure we deliver content that’s easy to consume. Google also wants your content to be above 300 words. They like 500 better but if you look at pages that rank in the number one position they are typically over 1500 words. My top ranking articles are often over 7,000 words like my article on “Music Video Costs” that ranks #1 or #2 for the keyword “Music Video Cost” since 2013! I beat Wikipedia. That’s how important great content is. Great content helps the reader by supplying them with solid, trustworthy information.

Don’t write your own content? Want to know why? Because you won’t. The majority of clients who say they will write their own content won’t actually do it because it’s hard and requires a dedication that most people don’t have time for. (This blog for example has taken me five airplane trips between Atlanta and Boston.) It’s beyond a simple matter of convenience. Content is not easy to do the right way. Hire an expert. It’s worth it.

Website content development cost per blog article or standard page:
(Depending on the writer and word count.)
Simple, using freelancer: $50.00 – $700.00
Moderate using an agency’s content team : $500.00 – $1000.00
Complicated using an agency: $1,000.00 – $1,.500.00

Website content development cost per in-depth resource (i.e., e-books, white papers, case studies):
(Depending on the writer and word count.)
Simple, using freelancer: $1,000.00 – $1500.00
Moderate using an agency’s content team : $2,000.00 – $3,000.00
Complicated using an agency: $4,000.00 – $6,000.00
*Case studies can be very dense and require a ton of research.

The great thing about creating quality, evergreen content is it has value year after year. I tell clients to think about it like compounding interest. I write articles every year that drive revenue for my business each year after I wrote it, as long as I keep it up-to-date with new information, or if it receives a decent amount of attention online. You can’t just let a piece of content sit stagnant. You need to keep it fresh and accurate.

Website design

Website design is critical to the success of your site. It’s not only the first impression, it’s the full user experience. You’ll hear the term UI/UX thrown around a lot these days because understanding how people use a site is paramount to its success. A good website design team understands user flow and conversion rate optimization — it’s critical to the success of a project. For exceptional and thoughtful website design, you can plan on spending a decent amount of cash; however, that kind of design is critical to helping drive conversions and revenue for your business. Good design is even more critical to e-commerce sites as it helps to reduce checkout friction — from selecting products, to entering payment and shipping details, to confirming purchase.

You can find designers online from $25.00/hr all the way to $150.00/hr depending on experience, but in my opinion a dedicated design team is the way to go. A website design team will produce much more powerful work than a single person building a site. Primarily, there is no diversity in thought with one designer, so you often get opinions rather than decisions based in facts and data. You see, today’s modern design teams don’t just design things that look good. They understand the reasons why websites should be designed a particular way. They have data to back up why sliders usually don’t work, or that you need multiple calls-to-action on a page. They know that anticipating how a user will use a site is more important than how pretty it is. They know that if a visitor doesn’t see what they need in 5 seconds, then they are likely to bounce off the site.

If you are only concerned with how your website looks, take a step back and think about how you use websites. Rarely are you concerned with design aesthetics over practicality. Of course, you won’t trust a site that looks like it was coded in 2008, but you also want a site that gets you the information you are looking for quickly and easily.

Website design cost: homepage
(The homepage is always more costly as it’s the website’s anchor.)
Simple, using freelancer: $300.00 – $700.00
Moderate using an agency : $3400.00 – $4,800.00
Complicated using an agency: $7,000.00 – $10,000.00

Website Design Cost: key pages
Simple, using freelancer: $150.00 – $300.00
Moderate using an agency : $2400.00 – $3,800.00
Complicated using an agency: $4,000.00 – $6,000.00

Website design cost: simple pages
Simple, using freelancer: $100.00 – $200.00
Moderate using an agency : $675.00 – $800.00
Complicated using an agency: $1,000.00 – $1,500.00

Most designers and design agencies will work to get you the most cost effective quote based on the effort involved. It’s likely that the cost of design varies even more deeply than I have laid out above. It’s also important to note that there are a ton of amazing page builders like Elementor and Octane that exist. These page builders allow designers to work within a drag and drop framework allowing them to build custom graphics and build out beautiful pages quickly. The website world is changing and there are a ton of options. A great digital marketing agency will work with you to decide what the best path forward is to you.

Website development

Website development is an area where you don’t want to cheap out. You can do every other step correctly, but this is where the rubber meets the road. The way your website is developed will affect everything from the user experience to the way Google and other search engines index your website and its pages.

In other words, if you take the cheap way out and skimp on development, you are likely to accumulate what we call technical debt. And technical debt is expensive. Technical debt refers to the shortcuts and their bad coding which cause the need for future code fixes (which cost money). You can also go into technical debt from your website going down or a hack caused by poor security measures. Technical debt can be avoided by hiring trusted developers or trusted agencies to code your website. In development you will always pay a price. The question is how much risk you want to take on. Do you pay upfront and know the cost, or do you cross your fingers and deal with the technical debt when it comes out?

Development costs vary greatly depending on the project and the language you are coding in. For example, a WordPress website will be far less to code than a .NET or Node.js website. Another variable is the development team. A younger and less experienced development team might be less money per hour but they will likely take longer to do the work or the quality might not to be as good. That said, there are a ton of really bright young developers so just do your research. An older and more experienced website development team is likely to have a higher hourly rate but also move faster. Again, every situation is different so do your homework.

Website development will affect the following:

  1. SEO indexing in the SERPS
  2. Page speed
  3. User experience
  4. Conversions
  5. Your overall stress levels

Look, #5 on the list is no joke. Worrying about your website can be very stressful and time-consuming. As many of you know, your website is the backbone of your business, and when the website goes down, business is affected. Worrying about the health of your website is a big distraction from running your business operations. It’s always best to hire a reliable team of experts to back you up.

Website development cost: homepage
(The homepage is always more costly as it’s the website’s anchor.)
Simple, using freelancer: $500.00 – $100.00
Moderate, using an agency : $3,600.00 – $5,000.00
Complicated, using an agency: $7,000.00 – $20,000.00

Website development cost: key pages
Simple, using freelancer: $150.00 – $300.00
Moderate, using an agency : $2,600.00 – $4,200.00
Complicated, using an agency: $5,000.00 – $7,000.00

Website development cost: simple pages
Simple, using freelancer: $100.00 – $200.00
Moderate, using an agency : $1,000.00 – $2,000.00
Complicated, using an agency: $3,000.00 – $4,500.00

The cost to develop a website could be expensive, but going back to my aforementioned car analogy… you can get an 1988 Ford Escort and it will get you there, but a new BMW is going to be a better ride and is less likely to breakdown because it’s better engineered and newer. Don’t be cheap. You will pay for it! Technical debt is very real. In 2010 I built a social network for a specific sport. The project went so far over budget that we were pushed to take shortcuts when the client refused to recognize major issues that would come back to haunt their website and severely complicate it down the road. One year after launch the company was out of business because of those issues that were skirted over.

Opinion: Outsourcing the code for cheap, with a company you don’t know, in some faraway place is not a viable option. For example, early in my career I worked with several small development companies in India that promised $12.00/hr for web development. Although they were friendly, I got exactly what I paid for. The point is this: If you are paying anyone $12.00/hr for web development, you can count on the end result being garbage. Don’t learn the hard way.

Disclaimer: I am speaking from my own experiences with developers. This is not a knock against any of the fantastic Indian development companies out there — my point is they likely don’t charge $12.00/hr and I’ve never had the chance to work with them. I’m always open to working with great people so if you have a international team you trust please share them with me in the comments.

How do you choose the right website design and development company?

Choosing a website design partner is not easy. Use these steps to evaluate prospective web dev partners:

  1. Know your budget. Don’t go in blind. Map out your spending threshold and give a range to your prospective web development partners. The saying “the one who says the first number loses” does not apply to the web development world. A budget helps the team building out the website proposal come back with a realistic solution to your problem.
  2. Figure out how much time you can realistically commit to working your website, and determine if your internal team will provide the content. If you don’t have free time, tell the prospective website partner. It allows them to understand how much of the mental load they will hold, which affects the pricing and the process.
  3. Review your website development partner’s portfolio. The portfolio and client list will tell you a ton about your potential partner. Note that just because they have not done something exactly like your project does not mean they can’t do it. Many teams are very agile and can adapt to different businesses and needs. But a good team will be open and honest about their capabilities.
  4. We started our website design and development agency when clients from one of my other businesses kept complaining about their web team’s response times and communication skills. When evaluating a web partner and their proposal, keep an eye on their responsiveness and when they deliver. If they are slow to respond in the sales cycle, think about how their responsiveness when it’s time to deliver a design or a build. Think about how long it will take them to respond if your site goes down or is hacked. Digital marketing moves fast and so should your agency.
  5. Once you get the proposal, make sure that that partner truly understands the project, deliverables, and timeline. Building a website is not easy, so make sure the team pitching truly gets it. Call out things they missed and ask them to make sure those things are considered. However, website designers and developers are people, too, and everyone makes mistakes, so don’t necessarily ditch a great vendor over a missed detail. There are a ton of details with every website, so the occasional oversight shouldn’t take anyone by surprise.

What happens after my website launches?

What happens after you launch is 100% up to you and your budget. The most important thing to remember is that a website is an evolution. With today’s advanced data collection tools, businesses have real insights into how people use their websites. This is an opportunity to dial up your website to boost conversions and revenue. Below are common website questions I get asked after launch:

  1. Do I need to keep doing SEO after my website launches? You should! SEO is a never-ending game, one that most of your competitors are playing. And if you’re not playing, you can’t win. Websites gain authority in the SERPS by creating trustworthy content that’s optimized for specific keywords. And those websites are shared because they provide value. Look at this post. I created this in the hopes that it would help people answer a question I hear all the time: “How much does a website cost?” If it’s truly useful, people will share it and other websites may link to it. This will add value to our entire website.
  2. How much content do I need to create monthly for my website? My opinion is you should be putting up a new article every week at a minimum and you should be editing old post to make sure they are relevant every quarter.
  3. Are blogs important for SEO? Yes. Blogs are one way to stay relevant, and search engines like blogs because they want to see that a website is active, not stagnant. Blogs are also easy to write if you are actually writing about something you know and about which you’re passionate.
  4. How important is social media marketing for my website? Huge. Social media sites and apps are, ultimately, how your content is shared. Although most social network links are opaque and considered “no follow” within website analytics, search engine algorithms still consider social signals as a big trust factor, and will rank your website better because of them.

How much does a Brain Bytes Creative website cost?

Our website costs span a massive range depending on the project. Most sites are between $30K and $60K, but there are many outliers from $15K to $400K. If you’d like to get a quote it’s as easy as clicking here or calling me right now (yes, really).

Good luck!

user experience

Why is UI/UX so important?

  • Jason
  • ON
  • April 2, 2018

Smartly crafted User Interface/User Experience, commonly called UI/UX, is the most important thing for any website or app. If your pages aren’t easily navigable and aesthetically appealing, people won’t stay. Studies show that people decide whether or not they are going to stay on a site within the first few seconds of arriving. You want people to spend time and interact with your website. If it’s designed badly, people will close out of it in a heartbeat.

So you need to ask yourself: How accessible is my site, and how do I avoid bad UI/UX?

Simple fixes with enormous effect

I’ll share a story to help make my point here.

Our clients, Resurgens Orthopaedics, were having an issue with a form on their website designed to help patients find the right doctor. People would start the form, but not finish it. We ran some user experiments, and discovered that visitors were starting to fill out the questionnaire, but they were consistently falling off around Question 11. We gathered the data, and went to work.

We needed to figure out why users were abandoning the form when they reached Question 11.

Here’s what we found. A user’s ability to answer Question 11 was contingent upon their having answered Question 1 already. The problem was that they weren’t seeing Question 1. The question’s position on the page caused visitors to miss it, get frustrated and, as a result, abandon the questionnaire altogether.

The solution? We moved Question 1, and made it Question 10. With the two linked by proximity, users no longer had an issue fulfilling the prerequisite, and the conversion rate on the questionnaire spiked to 49.6%.

That issue was so simple, but it made a huge difference in UI/UX without any change to the actual content. Order, structure, color cues, motion, and more all factor into user experience on a page. When you’re ready to adjust these things, it can make an enormous difference.

The quest to optimize UI/UX

Don’t take this subheading to mean that there’s a formula for achieving an optimized state of UI/UX. There isn’t. Anyone who tells you they can design the perfect website “you’ll never have to adjust again” is full of it.

There are, however, a ton of resources available to help you determine what users are drawn to. You won’t predict it perfectly every time, like I said, but if you have the data, it’ll be that much easier to figure out what optimizations you need.

There is eye-tracking data, so you know where people look when they visit your site. There’s also heat-mapping, so you know what they click on. You have session replay to show you users clicking through your site in real time. There have been numerous debates about the optimal colors to use in order to maximize conversion rates.

The point is, use these things to your advantage, but don’t take them as guarantees of success.

Visitors will tell you how to improve

People’s needs are always changing, so your website has to be constantly evolving to stay relevant. It can’t take days off, and it can’t ever be off its game. At the same time, when you have an established system, you can alienate users with unnecessary changes, just as easily as you can with a mediocre user experience.

It doesn’t matter how smart you are; it’s impossible to predict user behavior with 100% accuracy. Whether you are just now building a site, or updating an existing one, the optimal state of your website should be dictated by the people who visit it. Don’t get oversold on perfect UI/UX when you first build your site. Do the best you can when planning, by all means! But be prepared to run A/B tests and make plenty of changes.

The last thing you want is a complicated, clunky site that you have trouble updating, and then have to pay someone to fix. You’re going to need the ability to optimize your site continuously as you learn more about your users, so approach the process right the first time.

Takeaways

If you take anything from this article, let it be this: When your site is hard to use, people leave and they never come back. That means your site has failed. One mistake can make or break UI/UX, and those are leads you are throwing away by not making the necessary adjustments.

There are products, apps, and sites that I want to use, but can’t or won’t because some aspect of their UI/UX prevents me. That’s crazy. There’s no reason why you should ever let your bad layout, or failure to address user complaints, lead to a loss of business.

There have even been times when I want to give feedback to an app I like, but can’t find a way to do it. I’m trying to do their research for them! How do you not let me, the user, help you make your UI/UX better? Sure, if you open yourself up to it, you’ll get some feedback that’s… less than helpful. But you’ll also get free information on how to make your business better.

Adjustments need to happen quickly and often. I can’t stress it enough. But you also need to walk a line between being reactive and over-reactive. Listen to the data, let it work for you, then adapt.

Remember, the public will tell you how to build great UI/UX. Just be sure to listen.

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