Archive for the ‘Customer Experience’ Category

Meet Customer Needs Through These Website Navigation Examples and Questions

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

Your website navigation plays a critical role in keeping visitors on your site. When you look at statistics like bounce rate, consider your navigation as playing a key part in this number. After all, visitors are quick to give up and leave your site if they can’t find what they are looking for within a couple of seconds.

In a recent HubSpot survey, 76% of respondents said the most important factor in a website’s design is the ability to find information easily.

Think of the last time you landed on a site and couldn’t find the company address, phone number or other piece of information critical to forward movement. Did you leave the site? Go to a competitor? Did your frustration create a small tarnish on your impression of that company? If you said yes to any of these, look at your company from your customer’s perspective and start to identify these pain points. A good starting place is the navigation and how information is prioritized.

Before moving on to our website navigation examples, we want to provide you with a few key questions to ask about yourself about your site’s navigation.

Ask Questions and Answer Questions About Your Own Site Navigation

  • Who are the main (priority) audiences coming to our site? And from where?
  • What are the main questions they have about our company or products? How and where are we providing that information?
  • What are the different stages in their purchase process? How is our content meeting those stages and moving them to the next?

Navigation comes in all forms (not just the main navigation bar) but in supporting content and contextual links, graphics/images throughout each page of your site.

Let’s take a look at a couple of website navigation examples to review what works and what doesn’t.

Bad Website Navigation Example

website navigation examples sells all kinds of products from ice makers to cars and everything in between. Almost every single piece of text and image on the homepage directs visitors to another page which is as poorly designed as the homepage. There is no organization whatsoever in the use of on-screen elements such as navigation, text and pictures. This website experience is like Alice falling down the rabbit hole – scary and unsettling.

If you want more examples of poor customer experiences, check out our post: Shocking Amazon Cart Fail: Learning from Big Brand Customer Experience.

Good Website Navigation Example

website navigation examples is a fantastic example of a site with clear and effective navigation. The top nav has links to all the main pages about the company, and the right side nav includes real testimonials from customers talking about the different features they enjoy about the product.

You’ll find the social buttons in the top right as well as a search feature where visitors can search by keywords. Additionally, you can see options to chat with someone at the company in the lower right. They even spell out what you can expect when you scroll down the page. Finally, the navigation is responsive to the screen resolution, so if you make your window smaller (or are viewing on a difference device) it adapts to keep a clean, organized look.

Here are a few key tips to creating clear website navigation schemas for your visitors:

  • Keep the structure of your primary navigation simple and near the top of your page.
  • Include navigation in the footer of your site.
  • Use breadcrumbs on every page (except for the homepage) so people are aware of their navigation trail.
  • Include a Search box near the top of your site so visitors can search by keywords.
  • Don’t offer too many navigation options on a page.
  • Keep your navigation to no more than three levels deep.
  • Include links within your page copy and make it clear where those links go to.
  • Avoid use of complicated JavaScript and Flash for your navigation.

In summary, you want to keep your website navigation as clear and simple as possible so that visitors don’t have to think about how to get around your site.

How to Lower Bounce Rate To Improve Customer Experience

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

If you’re reading this post, chances are you’re already highly aware of your website’s performance metrics and data. People at your company most likely turn to you with marketing questions and task you with projects like deciphering online marketing data to upper management.

In this post, we’re going to look at how to lower bounce rate to improve overall user experience.

how to lower bounce rate

Update, Enhance or Improve Your Design

Poor design is being tolerated less and less by savvy web users. Make sure all of your on-page elements are designed and laid out in such a way that it drives your user towards a particular action or goal. Look at your website navigation, color themes and use of white space. For more on this, read our recent articles on website navigation and tips for great website design.

Avoid Pop-Ups

In general, pop-ups do not perform well. There are always exceptions to the rule, but for the most part, pop-ups are generally avoided by the top ecommerce websites out there today. The reason is that pop-ups tend to annoy people and disrupt the overall user experience.

Open External Links in New Windows

This is one that is commonly overlooked by many companies. If you’re linking to third-party content on any webpage on your site, make sure you have it open in a new window. Otherwise, you’ll redirect the user off your site and they probably will not return. All you need to do is add target=“_blank” into the link code.

Increase Your Speed

How quickly your website loads plays an important role in overall user experience and ultimately bounce rate. It shouldn’t take more than a couple of seconds for the user to be able to interact with your site. Anything longer and you’ll likely notice a higher-than-average bounce rate, because people simply don’t have the time to sit and wait for a website to load. They will go elsewhere to find the content they were looking for. You can check sites load time here. How your site loads is a key factor influencing factor in search engine visibility so talk with your SEO and IT team about this.


We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – your website NEEDS to adapt to mobile and tablet devices if you want to provide the best user experience. If your site is not device dynamic yet, make the changes now and you’re almost guaranteed to see your bounce rate decrease.

Be Clear and Set Expectations

Your content should be well-written and free of industry jargon. Additionally, let your visitors know exactly what they can expect from you. For example, on your contact page, tell them how long it typically takes you to respond to emails and phone calls. If you’re giving them something like a whitepaper or tutorial, tell them exactly where they can find/download all the materials.

Include Calls-to-Action

Every page on your site should include at least one call-to-action based on your goals. Whether you want them to request a quote, download a how-to guide or sign up for a webinar, you need to guide the visitor towards this action with compelling content and end with your call-to-action.

Offer Search Functionality

It’s best to have a search box prominently placed on your website. This will give your visitors an opportunity to search for the content they are looking for if they can’t easily find it with your standard navigation.

Helpful 404 Page

Of course you don’t want any visitor to reach this page, but sometimes it’s inevitable and you should plan accordingly. By being proactive, you are attempting to turn a negative experience into a positive one. On the page, tell visitors the content can’t be found on that page. Then provide links back the homepage and other key sections of your site. Be sure to use friendly language and keep the design consistent with the rest of your site. You may even want to try a little bit of humor to spice things up. Check out this post for 404 page inspiration.

Shocking Amazon Cart FAIL: Learning from Big Brand Customer Experience

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

For years,’s cart and checkout process has been used by clients and digital marketing consultants as a best practice. Its ease of use, simplicity and seemingly flawless process is void of friction to the end user.

That is…until now.

eCommerce Conversion Optimization

You may be familiar with the latest Target credit card compromise causing hundreds of thousands of people to have their bank accounts cancel their debit cards and reissue new ones. Whether you’re a Prime Amazon customer or not you probably have that same credit card linked as a default payment in your account.

This reissue of cards did not impede on proceeding as usual with my purchases on Amazon, until Amazon sent me an email saying that my purchase could not be completed due to a declined payment.

Thank you Amazon for sending this email notification. I really do appreciate it.

Customer Experience Friction Point #1:

I receive an email notification that DOES list the products in it that have been declined for payment. I delete and do not click the button in it that says “Manage payment options.” Instead I use the mobile application to attempt to update my billing but, this functionality is not available.

I’ve already deleted the email so I don’t want to go back and find it, plus I feel reservations on clicking a button from an email using my iPhone. Also, I’m more forgiving because usually makes everything very simple for me. Plus, I understand there are certain limitations to billing and payment options/updating through mobile applications.

But, this is where things start to unravel. I need to now remember to update my payment options in the morning when I am at my desktop.

As it happens, I forget. I forget the next day too. I remember just before I fall asleep the night before but I can’t grab my phone. I’ve forgotten too many days in a row to late to update my payment information. My order is cancelled. Okay, fine. I get it. I’m not mad. It’s my fault anyway.

Customer Experience Friction Point #2:

Finally, I remember! My expectation is that I will log into my account (from desktop computer), go to my Orders or Order History and select the declined order. Right? Seems intuitive. But…nothing. No order to be found.

Okay, I start to panic. I then use some positive self talk, “Oh, they probably just put those items back in my cart.”


The one scenario, quite possibly overlooked, no matter how small a percentage of folks (like me) wait too long to update their payment option. However, the issue is that there is no way for me to find out what items were in my order (unless I go back and find that deleted email, which may have been deleted deleted – you know what I mean). I remember one item, an Animal Bag from Boon, but I don’t know the others because my husband had added them.

Suggested Solutions for this eCommerce Problem:

  1.  Move the declined ordered items back into the customer’s cart, suggest adding a notification that indicates these specific items were added back to the cart due to incorrect billing information or declined payment.
  2.  Allow payment methods to be updated from mobile applications to allow customers to act when they can without device interference.
  3.  Send a new email notification with urgency “Your order will be cancelled unless you update your payment options in the next 24 hours.”
  4.  Send another email notification or SMS text to notify the customer of what has happened to these items OR if you can’t fix #1 and #2, tell the customer to save this email so they can add these items later and provide a link to update their billing.

How can all types of organizations learn from this eCommerce scenario?

45% of US consumers will abandon an online transaction if their questions or concerns are not addressed quickly.

While a good majority of businesses are still in the process of getting basic conversion tracking in place, it is not impossible to plan for optimizing conversions and your customer experience for the future.

Take some time to sit down with your team and map out different cart, checkout and user experience scenarios. Not just for the desktop experience but for your mobile experience too. Sometimes a good old whiteboard comes in handy for this type of exercise versus wireframes. Start from the ideal cart and checkout experience then throw in real life user scenarios to nail down where the holes and friction points are in your process.

55% of consumers would would pay extra to guarantee a better customer exprience.

Defaqto Research

No doubt, as seen in this secnario, some will be missed but if you can map out a good majority of these customer experience scenarios you will be improving your bottom line and eliminating a good percentage of loss in sales or leads.

Need help with creating these user paths for cart and checkout? We can help. Call us at 818-806-3868 or contact us today.

Photo credit: Bill Thompson

Changing Site Latency to PageSpeed

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

For a few years now, Google has been more than hinting at the fact that site latency (how fast your site/pages load) is going to have an impact on your visibility. Why? Well, for one, users are tired of waiting. Over a decade ago waiting three minutes for a page to load was acceptable but these days anything more than 3 seconds can cost you valuable visibility and loss of visits. Users don’t want to wait for pages on your site or elements on your site pages to load and neither to search engines.

Rocket Man (I Think It's Going To Be a Long, Long Time)
peasap / Foter / CC BY

New Tool: PageSpeed Insights
A few weeks ago Google launched PageSpeed Insights. We are ecstatic about this new tool since we have been pulling from various tools ourselves for creating site assessments and while we believe this doesn’t necessarily cover everything, it does help in prioritizing and figuring out how to make your site faster – and for that- we give three cheers.

We love that these tools make our job easier and faster so we can do more for our clients.

Find out how to make your site faster here.

After that, call us for a full Technical and Marketing Site Assessment to get your site in tip top shape.

Make Your Website Mobile Friendly In 10 Minutes or Less

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Internet technologies are constantly changing and your audience’s habits and sophistication are too. Over 50% of Facebook users access their site via mobile and we are seeing an increase in mobile use to small and medium sized businesses websites. So, we are here to help with your mobile presence. We have been searching for some simple, quick and easy solutions for our clients to take advantage of enhancing their mobile presence and we’ve discovered a few cool tools so it doesn’t become another item that keeps getting pushed down on your to-do list.

William Hook / Foter

There are many free tools out there to create your own mobile friendly website. In many cases, you don’t need a full mobile version of your site but simply a mobile friendly version. Either way, depending on how much of a perfectionist you are, you can do it in less than 10 minutes. Are you ready? On your mark…get set…go…

Google and duda mobile have teamed up to help businesses build a mobile site. In just five easy steps you can have your own mobile site for your company – and you can customize it too.

Follow These Steps to Make Your Mobile Website
1. From your computer, go to:
2. Enter your website address
3. Customize it (edit extraneous copy!)
4. Change your index file to detect and redirect smartphone users
5. Go live. (It is free for a year, just enough time to learn and measure performance).

We did it! Visit our mobile friendly site today from your smartphone at

Take a few extra steps to further optimize your customer’s mobile experience with your organization and enhance interaction and engagement:

Hubspot’s put together a guide on the first three steps to making your website optimized for mobile, it’s worth the read.

Create an “Add to Desktop” bubble on your mobile site home screen

Create a Custom Apple Desktop Icon:
Dave Taylor has put together a simple and easy to follow tutorial on creating a desktop icon that iPhone and iPad users can add to their phones.

For WordPress Sites – Add this plugin for an instantly mobile friendly site
Add the “WPTouch” plugin to your WordPress site
(view on an iphone and you can see how it transforms it for mobile devices).

10 Great Tools to Create A Mobile Version of Your Site

Other great mobile site references and stats:
Smartphones Beat Computers For Facebookers Time On Site
Why Mobile Optimization Matters: 6 Best Practices for Mobile Design

More Opportunities for Businesses on Facebook With Ads and Pages

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Three big items were announced this week from Facebook, bringing further opportunities for businesses.

1) Timelines for brand pages

With Timelines added to new brand pages a whole new world is open to exposing audiences and fans to your brand and allows brands to be more effective at conveying their identity on Facebook’s platform.

When you visit a brand Page in Timeline layout, the experience becomes more personal. A prominently displayed section on the landing page shows how many of your friends like the brand, as well as your friends’ public mentions of related topics.

“The goal is to make Pages more engaging and more social,” said Gokul Rajaram, Facebook’s product director for ads.

Page administrators have new options at their fingers too. An admin panel hides or expands on command, meaning you don’t have to navigate to a separate page to make changes, updates or improvements. The panel includes notifications of activity on your Page and chart-based performance data. Best of all, you can now respond directly to private messages without added hassles or obstacles, a feature also directly accessible from the admin panel. – Sam Laird, Mashable

2) Real-time Insights and other new metrics

Pages Insights now shows your last 500 posts (going back to last July) and tallies the total number of engaged users, People Talking About it and virality. The latter measures the percentage of users who commented on the post, though sentiment isn’t taken into account. - Todd Wasserman, Mashable

For marketers, this is a new way to understand how competitors are performing on Facebook. Businesses can use that information to establish benchmarks for their own efforts. Most marketers have little to compare their Facebook growth and engagement to. For a long time, the only way to know how companies were doing on the social network was to look at total Likes. This became a skewed metric as more pages began to buy fans and launch programs that inflated their numbers but didn’t result in lasting engagement. With more public insights, it will be harder for companies to appear more successful than they truly are. – Brendan Irvine-Broque, Inside Facebook

3) New ad formats and applications

An article on The Australian said Facebook has invited marketers and journalists to New York to discuss new, potentially lucrative advertising opportunities designed to lure its 845 million-strong user base.

It is expected Facebook will try to integrate ads into people’s experience, so that friends’ posts about brands are showing up alongside their news links and puppy photos.

“Facebook is making serious money from ads right now, but they are not making serious money from major brand advertisers, and that’s where the ad money is,” said Rebecca Lieb, an analyst with the Altimeter Group.

On Mashable, Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst with eMarketer, told Bloomberg that Facebook still has to win over much of Corporate America. “It really comes down to brand advertisers,” she said. “They just need to do a better job of convincing the big advertisers that ads are effective and that they perform.”

Additionally, an article in Internet Retailer mentioned that the social network announced it is adding its Sponsored Stories ad format to Facebook’s mobile application and also adding those types of ads to the Facebook log-out screen. Sponsored Stories enable advertisers to highlight posts or actions, such as when a consumer’s Facebook friend Likes a product, checks into a store, plays a game or uses a Facebook application. The move marks the first time mobile users will see ads on the social network.

Facebook is also adding back the free Offers program, which enables merchants to offer discounts via their Facebook pages.

Consumers will initially see about one Sponsored Story a day, Facebook says. “We want to make sure that over time the marketing messages are as good as the content that you see from your friends and family,” said Caroline Everson, vice president, global marketing solutions.