Popular Design News of the Week: October 18, 2021 – October 24, 2021

Every day design fans submit incredible industry stories to our sister-site, Webdesigner News. Our colleagues sift through it, selecting the very best stories from the design, UX, tech, and development worlds and posting them live on the site.

The best way to keep up with the most important stories for web professionals is to subscribe to Webdesigner News or check out the site regularly. However, in case you missed a day this week, here’s a handy compilation of the top curated stories from the last seven days. Enjoy!

CSS Squid Game

Alter 3D Illustrations – Hundreds of 3D Illustrations for your Designs

25 Quirky & Highly Creative Free Fonts for Designers

HTML with Superpowers

Smart CSS Solutions for Common UI Challenges

Expandable Sections Within a CSS Grid

Bright Color Palette: How and When to Use One

Everything Apple Announced at its 2021 MacBook Pro Event

UX Design has a Dirty Secret

Building a Multi-select Component

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The post Popular Design News of the Week: October 18, 2021 – October 24, 2021 first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.

How To Leverage Social Proof Successfully

Customer reviews are incredibly valuable to your company. Around 95% of customers say they read reviews before they make a purchase. Another 72% say that they won’t even consider buying your items until they’ve read the reviews associated with your business or product. 

No matter how good your marketing and promotion strategies might be, your audience will always turn to other customers for a credible insight into what buying from your brand is really like. That’s why it’s so important to leverage as much social proof as you can.

Unfortunately, gathering reviews and displaying them correctly on your website can be challenging.

In this article, we’re going to look at what you can do to make your reviews stand out when you’re ready to display them online. 

The Different Kinds of Review

Before we get into looking at all the different ways you can effectively display your reviews on your website, let’s get the basics out of the way. 

There’s more than one type of review. Some are simply comments left on the bottom of your product pages by customers that were impressed by whatever you sold. Other reviews are available in the form of videos or badges. When you want your website to look as credible as possible, the best thing you can do is decide which types of reviews will have the most impact. 

Ideally, you’ll want a combination of different review types to add depth to your site. Putting various kinds of reviews on your website increases your credibility while also boosting your SEO

Here are your main options:

The Testimonial

Testimonials are one of the most common types of review. Essentially, these are the messages shared by your customers that highlight the things they liked and didn’t like about your product. Testimonials often include a picture of the person leaving the message, and their name, to give them a greater sense of authenticity. You might also include a link to a website or case study with a testimonial to give it more depth. 

Most testimonials go at the bottom of pages. You can showcase these reviews on your home page to start generating credibility as soon as someone interacts with your brand. Alternatively, you could allow users to place their reviews on product pages. Here’s an example of what a testimonial might look like from ducttapemarketing.com:

Review Badges and Widgets

If your customers tend to leave reviews about your company on other sites, like Angie’s List or Yelp, then you can add a widget or badge to your website that makes it easier for other customers to find them. Sometimes, you’ll just include a small button on the bottom of a website pay that says, “find us on Yelp.” Other times, you can add your star rating too.

Some review sites will also give you the option to showcase the actual reviews in a widget that frequently updates with new messages. 

If you’re only showing reviews from one third-party site on your website, it’s best to focus on Google reviews, as it’s one of the most recognizable options. 

Provided that you’re using them correctly, badges and review widgets shouldn’t slow your website down too much, and many can be customized to suit the style of your site too. However, it’s essential to ensure that you don’t add too many widgets to your site if you want to avoid performance issues. 

Case Studies

Case studies go beyond the basics of the standard review and provide potential leads with a tremendous amount of information about how you’ve previously interacted with other companies. With a case study, you’ll often create a structured document that demonstrates a customer’s problem and your strategies to overcome those issues. 

Case studies often exist on their own pages, so you can go in-depth with sharing valuable information. For example, you’ll include an overview that introduces the customer you worked with and details on the outcomes you achieved together. 

Although it’s much harder to interview customers for complete case studies and get all the statistics and numbers that make these reviews appealing, it’s often worth the effort. Particularly if you’re running a B2B company, case studies demonstrate the effort you go through to support your customers. They also act as proof of your success and set valuable expectations for customers. Here’s an example of a case study page by Fabrikbrands.com:

The Rating

If you’re just posting basic five-star ratings on your website or asking your customers to give you a number between one and ten for how positively they’d rate your service, then you can use a few handy automation tools to create one of these visuals. 

All you need to do is add a little basic CSS to your website or use a star rating widget that automatically calculates your average score based on all of the reviews that you collect from customers. 

Just make sure that your star ratings are positive not just on your website but on other review sites too. For instance, if you give yourself five stars by adjusting the CSS and then get three stars from Yell, customers will begin questioning your authenticity. 

Notably, while star ratings grab customer attention, they are a little basic if you’re trying to convert people and convince them to buy an expensive product. Most customers will often need more information than a basic star rating can provide. 

How to Display Reviews on Your Website

Now that you know what kind of reviews customers can leave about your product or brand, you can start exploring ways to display them on your website. 

You could decide to let your reviews show up on other third-party sites and leave it at that. For instance, if you’re a hotel manager, you may know that your customers are already leaving reviews on Booking.com and TripAdvisor. However, leaving your audience to seek your reviews out for themselves means that they spend less time where you want them – on your website. 

There’s also a risk that failing to add reviews to your site will make you look less credible. If you don’t own your rating or score, customers might wonder what you have to hide. 

Fortunately, we’ve got some great options to help you get started.

1. Create a Testimonials Page

The first and perhaps most accessible option for showcasing your reviews and testimonials is to design a page where your customers can easily find all the information they need about your brand. Having a dedicated testimonials page can be a great way to demonstrate transparency as a brand and show your customers that you’re not hiding anything. 

You could even add a form at the bottom of your testimonials page that allows other customers to leave their reviews and information. Just make sure that you have a CAPTCHA or another security measure in place to prevent people from spamming your site. 

It makes sense to showcase some of your most positive reviews at the top of your page, so your customers see those first. However, it could also be a good idea to showcase some negative reviews alongside them. That’s because customers generally expect to see at least some negativity associated with your brand. If all your reviews are positive, they might assume that you’re hiding something.

When displaying your negative reviews, make sure you also show that you’ve responded to them and are working hard to address any issues. You can even publish the “thank you” you get from an unhappy customer after rectifying the problem. 

2. Show Reviews in Your Website Header

The great thing about using reviews and testimonials on your website is that if you have a little coding knowledge and the correct information, you can display them wherever you choose. Most companies leave the reviews at the bottom of the website, but this could mean you’re missing out on an excellent opportunity to connect with your audience as soon as they visit you. 

Having a positive review highlighted at the top of your page could immediately boost your credibility and give your audience a reason to keep reading. Remember that a picture of the person sharing the review and their name can make them look a lot more credible when you’re trying to build trust. 

3. Add Some Reviews to Your About Us Page

It’s best not to hide your reviews somewhere your customers will have to search for them, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t scatter a few testimonials around other pages. A great way to give more credibility to your brand and your website is to create a sidebar on your “About Us” page or just showcase a handful of reviews underneath the description of your business. 

Suppose you don’t want to show customer testimonials on your About Us page. In that case, you could always show different kinds of reviews, like badges that show your certification with certain industry bodies or awards and recognition you’ve received.

Showing that you’re connected with major industry groups and that you’ve been recognized in your sector is a kind of review in itself. It indicates that other people have already assessed your business and see you in a positive light. 

Every review doesn’t necessarily have to come from your customers. Any business or person who can give more credibility to your business deserves some representation too!

4. Embed a Carousel on Your Site

As your business begins to grow, the number of regular reviews and testimonials you get from happy customers should start to skyrocket too. You might even get to a point where you’re not sure how to fit all the reviews you want to showcase onto the same page of your website. If you already have a dedicated “reviews” page where people can go to get more insights into your growing collection of social proof, try a carousel. 

Carousels are a great and dynamic way to showcase customer reviews while getting your audience more involved with your website. Give them a button they can click so that they can browse through a broader range of reviews after they’ve seen the ones that show up straight away on your carousel. It’s also worth including a link nearby the carousel widget that the user can click to visit your review page or your company’s page on a dedicated review website. 

If you want to go beyond putting carousels on your home page, remember that you can add them to your product pages and menus too. Online reviews impact around 67.7% of purchasing decisions, so it makes sense to put them somewhere your customers will see them when they’re figuring out whether or not they should hit the buy button. 

5. Add Reviews to Your Social Media Ads

Reviews can be an excellent way to add an extra spark to your advertisements elsewhere in the digital landscape. Telling your audience on Facebook that you have the best steaks in the country is great – but it’s not going to make a significant impact on most of them. That’s because every business claims to be the best. Most of your clients expect you to speak well of yourself. 

However, if you can combine an attractive image on social media with a quoted review from one of your happy customers, your ads will make more of an impact. You can include the quote from your customer in the text above your Facebook ad or create an image to display it instead.

Remember to add any hashtags and extra information that might make your ad more appealing and share it as often as you can with the right audience. Targeting your audience carefully towards people who are in the “consideration” stage of the buyer journey may help you to get more conversions. 

While customers usually scroll past dozens of social media ads every day, a genuine statement from a real person still shakes up the status quo and grabs attention. Include a button below the ad so your customer can learn more about the product the customer is talking about. 

6. Link to Reviews in Email Signatures

Finally, social media ads aren’t the only way to bring attention to your reviews outside of your website. If you want to get more external customers to go and check out your products or rediscover what your business is all about, you can add review links to your email signature too. These links can go directly to the case study or review pages on your website, reminding customers what it is that makes your service or product special. Alternatively, you can get dedicated signatures for your email that link to specific review sites too. 

Showing your clients how many ratings you have on Yelp or how many stars your products have earned with Google Reviews gives every message you send a lot more credibility. Most email marketing software solutions make it relatively easy to add information like this to the footer of your email.

Remember, your signature shouldn’t take up too much space in your email, so don’t add any specific reviews from customers. A star rating and a link back to a page where consumers can get more information will spruce up your content without weighing down your emails. 

Show Off Your Social Proof

Successfully collecting positive reviews that show your prospects how much customers love your company can be challenging enough. However, that’s just the first piece of the puzzle. Once you’ve got all those great reviews, you also need to show them off in the most effective way. From dedicated pages on your website to scrolling carousels and Facebook ads, there are a million ways to prove your credibility to your customers with testimonials.

 

Featured image via Pexels.

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Tilda – The Website Builder That Disrupted The Way We Create Websites

Tilda website builder combines everything we liked so much about constructors when we were kids – you can experiment, test out and build myriads of new creative ideas out of ready-to-use blocks. Tilda is that type of constructor that allows you to own your creative process and create pretty much any website: landing page, business website, online store, online course with members area, blog, portfolio, or event promo page.

Founded seven years ago, Tilda is a website builder that completely revamped the way we create websites. Tilda has been the first website builder to introduce block mechanics that allows users to create websites out of pre-designed pieces. This breakthrough technology allowed all users – not only designers – to create professional-looking websites. Just like in kid constructors, you can drag-and-drop and mix-and-match blocks on Tilda to let your creativity flow and build a dazzling website, at extraordinary speed. 

When you ask designers why they love Tilda, they usually say it’s because the platform provides the ultimate balance between choosing from templates and being able to fully customize and create from scratch to bring any creative idea to life. Here’s what else they say:

Tilda has been a game-changer for us. It allows our team to quickly spin up new web pages, make edits, and ship new programs. We left WordPress for Tilda and after being with Tilda for 2 years, I don’t ever want to go back.

~ Andy Page, Executive Director, Forge.

I built my first website in 2001. Since then I’ve used countless platforms and website builders for customer websites and my own business. Tilda is the perfect combination of ease of use with powerful features at an unbeatable value.

~ Robby Fowler, Branding and Marketing Strategist, robbyf.com & The Brand ED Podcast.

Let’s dive deeper into core functionalities you can leverage on Tilda. 

#1 Cut Corners With 550+ Pre-Designed Blocks And 210+ Ready-Made Templates

The beauty of Tilda is that it provides 550+ blocks in the ever-growing Block Library designed by professional designers. Thus, you can quickly build a website out of pre-designed blocks that encompass virtually all elements you might need for your website: menu, about us page, features, contact, pricing, etc. 

Customizing each block is a breeze with Tilda: You can drag-and-drop images, edit text right in the layout, alter block height, background color, padding, select the style of buttons, use custom fonts, and assign ready-made animation effects to specific parts of it. Also, Tilda provides a built-in free image library with 600K+ images, so you can find images that are just right for you without leaving Tilda, add them to your website with just one click, and use them for free.

Finally, all blocks fit together so well that it’s almost impossible to create a bad design on Tilda – even if you are a stranger to website building.

For a quick take-off, you can use 210+ ready-made templates for different kinds of websites and projects: online stores, landing pages, webinar promo pages, multimedia articles, blogs, and more. Each template is a sample of modern web design and consists of blocks. It means that templates don’t limit your creativity: you can modify them to your liking by playing with settings, adding extra or removing existing blocks, and embedding images and text. 

Each of the templates and blocks covers over 90% of use cases you’ll ever require and is mobile-ready, meaning that your website will look great on desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones by default.

#2 Jazz Up Your Site With Zero Block: Professional Editor For Web Designers 

To better meet the demands of a creative brief and unleash your creativity, you can use Tilda’s secret weapon called Zero Block. It is a tool for creating uniquely designed blocks on Tilda.

You can control each element of the block, including text, image, button, or background, and decide on their position, size, and screen resolution on which they’ll appear. For example, you can work with layers to create depth with overlay and opacity techniques or set a transparency level on any element and shadow effects below them. Additionally, you can also insert HTML code to add more complex elements, such as calendars, paywall, comments, social media posts, and so much more.  

Finally, Zero Block allows you to fool around with basic and more advanced step-by-step animation for a more individual look. Here’re some animation examples that you can make on Tilda:

Animation on scroll (position of elements is changing on scroll).

Trigger animation (animation is triggered when pointing at or clicking on an object).

Infinite scrolling text.

#3 Import Designs From Figma To Tilda In Minutes

Creators love using Figma for prototyping, but when you have to transfer every element and rebuild your website design from scratch – that’s what’s killing the party. With Tilda, you can easily turn your static designs into an interactive website in no time. 

All it takes is to prepare your Figma design for import with a few easy steps, paste the Figma API token and your layout URL to Tilda, click import and let the magic happen. Once your design is imported, you can bring your project online just by clicking publish.

#4. Make Search Engines Love Your Website With Built-In SEO Optimization

Thanks to the consecutive positioning of blocks on the page, websites designed on Tilda are automatically indexed well by search engines. There is also a set of SEO parameters you can fine-tune right inside the platform to ensure that your web pages rank high even if you don’t have an SEO specialist in-house. These parameters include the title tag, description and keywords meta tags, reader-friendly URLs, H1, H2, and H3 header tags, alt text for images, and easily customizable social media snippets. 

As an additional value, Tilda provides an SEO Assistant that will show you what errors are affecting the indexing of your website and will help test the website for compliance with the search engines’ main recommendations.

#5. Turn Visitors Into Clients

Tilda gives you the power to set up data capture forms and integrate them with 20+ data capture services, such as Google Sheets, Trello, Notion, Salesforce, Monday.com, etc., to ensure seamless lead generation.

For more fun, Tilda developed its CRM to manage your leads better and keep your business organized right inside of a website builder. This is a very easy-to-use tool that automatically adds leads from forms and allows you to manually add leads you captured outside of the website. There is a kanban board that gives you an overall view of how leads are moving through your sales funnel and allows you to move leads between stages easily.

#6. Build A Powerful Online Store In One Day

Tilda provides a set of convenient features to create a remarkable online shopping experience. The platform gives you the power to sell online using ready-made templates or build an online store completely from scratch, add a shopping cart and connect a payment system of choice — Stripe, PayPal, 2Checkout, etc. — to accept online payments in any currency.

If you are looking to run a large ecommerce business, you should also consider Tilda. Thanks to the built-in Product Catalog, you can add up to 5000 items, import and export products in CSV files, easily manage stock, orders, and keep track of store stats.

And thanks to adaptive design, your store will look good across all devices, including tablets and smartphones. 

#7. Bring Your Project Online For Free

Tilda offers three subscription plans: Free, Personal ($10/month with annual subscription), and Business ($20/month with annual subscription). When you sign up for Tilda, you get a lifetime free account. It allows you to publish a website with a free subdomain and gives you access to a selection of blocks and a limited number of features that offer enough to create an impressive website. 

Personal and Business tariffs allow more advanced options, such as connecting custom domains, adding HTML code, receiving payments, and embedding data collection forms. The business plan also allows users to export their website and create five websites (while personal and free plans allow one website per account). 

To discover all features and templates on Tilda, activate a two-week free trial – no credit card required.

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Fighting Your Corner: Assertive SEO in 2021+

The web industry is beset by competing ideals and goals so that the simplicity of numbers makes sense to us: one is more than zero, two is more than one.

When it comes to any metric, there is an understandable temptation to focus on volume. In some cases, absolute metrics make more sense than others. If your goal is to make money, then $1 is marginally better than $0, and $2 is marginally better than $1.

However, even in ecommerce, some conversions are worth more than others; high-value items or items that open up repeat sales are inherently more valuable in the long term.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has traditionally been built around a high-traffic numbers game: if enough people visit your site, then sooner or later, someone will convert. But it is far more effective to attract the right type of visitor, the high-value user that will become a customer or even a brand advocate.

The best content does not guarantee success on Google, and neither does good UX or even Core Web Vitals. Content is no longer king. What works is brand recognition.

SERPs Look Different in 2021+

Traditional SEO strategies would have you pack content with keywords. Use the right keywords, have more keywords than your competitor, and you’ll rank higher. SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) used to be a league table for keywords.

Unfortunately, it’s simply not that easy any longer, in part because Google has lost its self-confidence.

Even before the recent introduction of dark mode for Google Search, its SERPs had started to look very different. [We tend to focus on Google in these articles because Google is by far the biggest search engine, and whatever direction Google moves in, the industry follows — except for FLoC, that’s going down like a lead balloon on Jupiter.]

Google’s meteoric success has been due to its all-powerful algorithm. Anything you publish online is scrutinized, categorized, and archived by the all-seeing, all-knowing algorithm. We create quality content to appeal to the algorithm. We trust in its fairness, its wisdom…

…all of us except Google, who have seen behind the curtain and found the great and powerful algorithm, may as well be an old man pulling levers and tugging on ropes.

Content Is President

Google has never been coy about the inadequacies of the algorithm. Backlinks have been one of the most significant ranking factors of the algorithm for years because a backlink is a human confirmation of quality. A backlink validates the algorithm’s hypothesis that content is worth linking to.

One hundred words or so of keyword dense text requires less processing and has fewer outliers, and so is relatively simple for an algorithm to assess. And yet content of this kind performs poorly on Google.

The reason is simple: human beings don’t want thin content. We want rich, high-quality content. Thin content is unlikely to be validated by a human.

The key to ranking well is to create content to which many people want to link. Not only does this drive traffic, but it validates the page for Google’s algorithm.

There Can Be Only One

One of the key motivating factors in the recent changes to search has been the evolution of technology.

Siri, Bixby, and all manner of cyber-butler are queueing up to answer your question with a single, authoritative statement. Suddenly, top-ten on Google is a lot less desirable because it’s only the top answer that is returned.

Google, and other search engines, cannot afford to rely on the all-seeing, all-knowing algorithm because the all-powerful algorithm is just an educated guess. It’s a very good educated guess, but it’s an educated guess nonetheless.

Until now, an educated guess was sufficient because if the top result were incorrect, something in the top ten would work. But when it’s a single returned result, what search engines need is certainty.

The Single Source of Truth

As part of the push towards a single, correct answer, Google introduced knowledge panels. These are panels within search results that present Google’s top answer to any given question.

Go ahead and search for “Black Widow” and you’ll see a knowledge panel at the top of the results hierarchy. Many searchers will never get beyond this.

Knowledge panels are controversial because Google is deferring to a third authority on the subject — in the case of Black Widow, Google is deferring to Marvel Studios. If someone at Marvel decided to redefine Black Widow from action-adventure to romantic comedy, Google would respect that [bizarre] decision and update the knowledge panel accordingly.

Whether we approve of the move towards single results, knowledge panels, and whatever else develops in the next few years, it’s a moot point. It’s happening. Most of us don’t have the pull of Marvel Studios. So the question is, how do we adapt to this future and become the authority within our niche.

Making Use of sameAs

One of the most significant developments in recent years has been structured data. Structured data is essentially metadata that tells search engines how to interpret content.

Using structured data, you can specify whether content refers to a product, a person, an organization, or many other possible categories. Structured data allows a search engine to understand the difference between Tom Ford, the designer, Tom Ford, the corporation, and Tom Ford, the perfume.

Most structured data extends the generic “thing”. And thing contains a valuable property: sameAs.

sameAs is used to provide a reference to other channels for the same “thing”. In the case of an organization, that means your Facebook page, your Twitter profile, your YouTube channel, and anything else you can think of.

Implementing sameAs provides corroboration of your brand presence. In effect, it’s backlinking to yourself and providing the type of third-party validation Google needs to promote you up the rankings.

Be a Brand

Google prefers established brands because people are more likely to trust them, and therefore consider the result that Google returned as high-quality. They will, in turn, come back to Google the next time they need something, and Google’s business model survives another day.

Google’s results are skewed towards brands, so the best strategy is to act like a brand.

Brands tend to be highly localized entities that dominate a small sector. There’s no benefit to spreading out keywords in the hope of catching a lot of traffic. Instead, identify the area that you are an expert in, then focus your content there.

Develop a presence on social media, but don’t sign up for every service available unless you have the time to maintain them properly; a suspended or lapsed account doesn’t corroborate your value.

Big Fish, Flexible Pond

There’s a pop-psychology question that asks whether you would prefer to be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond. The direction that search is moving the correct answer is “Big fish, small pond”.

The problem with metaphors is that they carry irrelevant limitations with them. In that question, we assume that there is the choice of two ponds, both a fixed size. There is no reason the pond cannot be flexible and grow with you as you increase in size.

What matters from an SEO point of view is that you dominate your niche. You must become the single source of truth, the number one search result. If you find that you aren’t number one, then instead of competing for that top spot, reduce your niche until you are the number one authority in your niche.

Be the single source of truth that Google defers to, and the all-powerful algorithm can clamber into its balloon and float away.

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The post Fighting Your Corner: Assertive SEO in 2021+ first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.

Popular Design News of the Week: October 11, 2021 – October 17, 2021

Every day design fans submit incredible industry stories to our sister-site, Webdesigner News. Our colleagues sift through it, selecting the very best stories from the design, UX, tech, and development worlds and posting them live on the site.

The best way to keep up with the most important stories for web professionals is to subscribe to Webdesigner News or check out the site regularly. However, in case you missed a day this week, here’s a handy compilation of the top curated stories from the last seven days. Enjoy!

Exciting New Tools for Designers, October 2021

Sprinted – Making You the Most Productive You

11 Must-Follow Web Design Blogs

12 Modern Logos for Inspiration in 2021

Grafix – A Free Online Image Editor

Huetone: Make Colors Accessible

Doom Rendered Via Checkboxes

How to Define a UX Research Approach

Esbuild – An Extremely Fast JavaScript Bundler

It’s Time for Designers to Shift their Obsession with User Experience to User Safety

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The post Popular Design News of the Week: October 11, 2021 – October 17, 2021 first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.

7 Simple Ways to Boost Your Website’s CX

Many markets are saturated with competition; it’s no surprise that customers are expecting top-of-the-line experiences. Businesses must keep up with these ever-changing demands to remain competitive and drive forward.

One way to ensure customers have positive experiences is to take a look at your website. Your website is like your digital headquarters, where customers can browse through products or services, have frequently asked questions answered, and be able to reach you if they need direct support.

Making a site user-friendly and customer-centric will assist businesses while they work to build a loyal customer base. Customer happiness is more important now than ever and has the potential to make or break your business. We all know that happier customers spend more, and delighted customers will always come back for more.

Let’s explore some ways you can level up the customer experience on your website to foster customer loyalty and retention, as well as garner brand advocates for your business.

How Important Is CX?

As a site manager, your goal should be to meet customers’ needs. Creating a website is no simple task but can transform CX (customer experience).

Suppose a customer visits your site only to see a buffering symbol or a lag on their desktop or mobile device. This wouldn’t make for a positive experience, would it?

When customers have to spend extra time navigating your website to find what they’re looking for, it can directly lead to site abandonment, where customers leave the site before browsing. It’s vital to consistently monitor your website metrics to see if abandonment rates impact your overall traffic.

Customers who have enjoyable experiences browsing through your site are more likely to appreciate your brand and strongly consider purchasing whatever offerings you have.

Additionally, positive customer reviews can help your business gain new customers — word-of-mouth marketing is still relevant in 2021’s digital marketing landscape. Earning those 5-star reviews can help other potential customers see that they too could have a positive experience with your brand.

As you can see, CX is just as important as the products or services you offer, so keep that in mind as you set out on the journey to improve your website to advocate for your customer base.

Below, we’ll cover some of the most important elements and features of a strong business site so you can implement them.

Valuable Features to Include on Your Website

The features of your website are the foundation of your business. One of the best parts of building a killer website is that you can get as creative as you’d like with all of the features at your disposal.

Whether you use WordPress or another platform to host your website, you can always explore other paid services or offerings online to bring your site to the next level.

For example, the WooCommerce WordPress extension allows e-commerce sites to improve the overall appearance of their site, add customizations and, generally speaking, create a high-quality e-commerce store.

Below are some examples of elements you should consider incorporating into your web design. Offering these features will surely keep your site visible, relevant, and attractive to all types of customers.

1. Add Personalization

Every type of customer can benefit from a personalized experience, and it helps you turn them into loyal customers.

Personalization is becoming more prevalent in web design, whether it’s including past products they’ve viewed on your landing page or making it simple for them to log in to their account.

Maybe you allow your customers to create a wishlist, just as Amazon does. You could also make personalized deals or recommendations for your customers based on their past purchases or search history. When customers see this level of personalization, it may influence their purchasing decisions and make it simpler for them to order products.

2. Include Compelling and Unique Content

Every professional in the digital marketing space knows that content is king. The companies that include the most compelling content garner the most attention and increase the number of customers who make up their customer base. Here are some examples of what your content should look like:

  • Comprehensive
  • Useful
  • Accurate
  • Visually appealing
  • Helpful
  • A direct answer to a search engine query

By following these descriptions, your content will improve. Whether it’s a blog post or a photo or video, quality content is a driving factor in your user engagement. It helps to support your SEO strategy and will undoubtedly keep customers coming back.

3. Prioritize Speed and Usability

Because technology is an integral part of most people’s lives, customers expect to visit a fast, reliable website. No longer will customers wait patiently for a site to load. The dreaded buffering symbol is a clear indicator that your business is not taking customer experience into account.

It’s critical to create a website that loads quickly and is easy to use. Avoid organizing any tabs in a confusing way. Ensure that your website is visually attractive without overwhelming color schemes or photos that take up too much space.

Go for a more modern, contemporary look that’s easy on the eyes. Customers will appreciate this and will likely spend more time browsing your various website pages.

4. Focus on Navigation

Users should be able to access any page on your website with ease. They shouldn’t have to search for the right drop-down menu or type into the search bar unless they’re searching for a specific product or service.

The majority of users on a site, 70% to be exact, spend most of their time navigating freely without using the search bar. This should tell you how vital good navigation is to your business website. Placing menus on the top of your site is common practice — if you would rather place your drop-down menu somewhere else, make sure you’re putting it in a section where it’s easy to find.

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. See what types of designs you can incorporate into your site to elevate UX and make browsing simple.

5. Make Sharing Simple

One of the best ways to grow your customer advocates is by leveraging your existing customers. Your customers should be able to easily send your product or service descriptions to their friends and family.

Rather than copying a link, include a share feature. If something on your site is worth sharing with other potential customers, make it easy for them to send it.

Social sharing plays a significant role in digital marketing — it helps to garner organic traffic to your website. You can reach a larger number of people than originally intended, which is the most important benefit to reap by making it easy to share links from your site.

6. Incorporate Chatbots

Offering customer support by using chatbots is something major companies are incorporating into their website designs.

Suppose your customer is trying to complete a purchase but runs into a problem with a coupon they’d like to use. Rather than wait on hold on the phone or for an email in their inbox a few days later, an automated chatbot can step in and assist them.

Chatbots are on the rise, and it’ll be critical for your business to include them on your site. Proactive web actions can increase your site’s conversion rates and improve the overall customer experience.

7. Allow Customer Feedback

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that allowing your customers to share their experience with your brand can help you better understand them and the solutions they’re looking for from you.

Did you know that brands with superior customer service can generate 5.7 times more revenue than their competitors? When you’re in touch with your audience, you’re better able to include features they want and need to have a positive experience. By taking advantage of customer feedback, you can make necessary changes to your site to better serve your customers.

Advocate for Your Customer Base

All of the examples listed above can help elevate your site and improve the overall experience for existing and potential customers. Isn’t that the goal of any business, regardless of industry?

To serve your customers effectively means they’ll feel valued and come back for more. Whether that’s ordering more products or requesting more services, you’ll see the benefits of including the elements we’ve covered in this post.

As a recap, here are some steps you can take to advocate for your loyal customers:

  1. Add personalization
  2. Include unique content
  3. Make your site fast and usable
  4. Provide easy navigation
  5. Allow for easy sharing
  6. Leverage chatbots
  7. Be open to feedback

Overall, customer experience will become more important in the future as customer expectations change. Standing out from your competitors is no longer an option but a necessity. So many markets are struggling to do just that — so if you’re able to offer unique features on your site, it could potentially draw more customers in and drive them to purchase.

 

Featured image via Unsplash.

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The post 7 Simple Ways to Boost Your Website’s CX first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.

11 Must-Follow Web Design Blogs 

Need inspiration for an upcoming web design project? Want to learn how to add live chat functionality to your site, or which trends you should be aware of as you pursue new projects? Leading web design blogs could be the solution to your problems. 

Just as marketers follow posts on websites like Search Engine Land and Mashable, and tech enthusiasts read up on Hacker Noon and TechCrunch, designers have plenty of blogs worth following too. The top web design blogs are incredible sources of inspiration, information, and guidance for today’s budding professionals. You can find insights into recent web design news stories or learn how to use new components in your website content. 

As one of the best resources for any designer, a good web design publication can expand your education, act as an instant muse, or give you some much-needed entertainment. 

Here are our top choices for the ultimate must-follow web design blogs. 

1. Webdesigner Depot

You’re already here, so obviously, you already know that Webdesigner Depot’s a comprehensive hub of tech tips, news, thought leadership posts, and inspiration. Webdesigner Depot stands out among the most popular design blogs in the world. Frequently updated with content from a series of experienced authors, Webdesigner Depot is the go-to place for designers. Here, you’ll find the latest design news, explore the pros and cons of different coding systems, and discover some of the best design resources around. 

We have many categories to choose from, including coding, news, resources, SEO, inspiration, content marketing, and user experience. You can even find the occasional “funny” post or poll to take part in too. 

Many of the articles produced by Webdesigner Depot also go above and beyond the competition in terms of detail and depth. If you’re learning about freelance project management apps on this site, you can expect a complete overview of each of the available apps covered, along with notes on how to choose and use these tools correctly. 

Webdesigner Depot also has a newsletter you can subscribe to in order to stay informed about recent posts. 

2. Smashing Magazine 

Another excellent publication popular among web design professionals, Smashing Magazine, covers all kinds of helpful content. To make finding the right posts a little easier, the company organizes content by category, covering topics like user experience, web design, React, JavaScript, CSS, and accessibility. You can also search through articles with the search bar at the top of the page.

Alongside standard blogs, Smashing Magazine also produces eBooks and guides for those who need more extensive information about a specific topic. All of the content shared on this website is designed to be easy-to-read and informative. You’ll find plenty of sketches, screenshots, and images to guide you through learning experiences too. 

Notably, the blog has been around since 2006, so although it has a lot of material to explore, some of the content might be a little outdated. If you want to stay up-to-date with Smashing Magazine’s latest posts, you can also subscribe to their email newsletter for once-a-week messages. 

3. The Design Blog

While many of the top design blogs on the market today focus on sharing a combination of inspirational and informative content, The Design Blog is explicitly intended for inspiration. The site shares a “designer of the week” every Monday, and that person’s content is featured on the web and social networks of TDB. There’s also a quote of the week, featured video, and free resources every week. 

Most of the design blog’s content is split into sections according to the days of the week. Web design Wednesday is a great section to check out if you’re looking for inspiration. The segment covers a range of well-designed websites from different niches to help guide your next project. 

On Thursdays, the design blog covers UI and UX designs from around the web, as well as well-designed apps from budding creatives. Every Friday, there’s a “freebie” offered on the site in the form of an available download or digital resource. 

The design blog also covers recommended books and websites you should visit, leading Dribble profiles, and more. The biggest downside is navigating through all the available content can be quite a complicated process. 

4. Web Design Ledger

Beautifully organized and packed with helpful information, the Web Design Ledger is an excellent site for designers to visit. The website splits into various segments depending on the kind of design you’re interested in. For web designers, there are content categories for portfolio work, mobile design, business development, ecommerce, and even wearable devices. 

You’ll also find several sub-categories for sections like User Interface design, graphics, and web development. For those looking to learn from thought leaders in the industry, Web Design Ledger has a range of fantastic interviews to explore. There’s also a review section, where you can check out some of the latest tools available for design professionals. 

The “Inspiration” section of the site also includes many great ideas for people who need a little creative boost for their next project. You can check out some top-rated WordPress themes, explore tips about branding and design for specific industries, and even get advice on logo creation.

5. Mockplus Blog

Mockplus is more than just a blog producer. The company offers tools to make design teams faster and more productive through unified collaboration, interactive prototyping, and scalable design systems. If you’re using Mockplus’ cloud technology for your design projects, there are plenty of tutorials and articles on the website tailored specifically to you. 

The Mockplus blog, alternatively, delivers easy-to-consume content to designers from all environments, using various kinds of tools and software. You can find guides on how to experiment with new web design strategies and tips on how to master things like navigation menu design. 

Many of the most popular posts on Mockplus are lists of useful resources, websites, and downloads you can use in your design tasks. For instance, you can use this site as inspiration when finding Android UI systems or wireframing tools. The site has a subscription form available for people who want to sign up for regular blog updates. 

6. Design Bombs

Design Bombs is an attractive and reliable source of blog content for the design world. Easy to explore for beginners, Design Bombs even has a helpful “Start Here” section, where you can find beginner articles on how to start a blog, make a website, or use WordPress hosting. If you already know what you want to learn about, there are plenty of categories to choose from. 

Content covered on Design Bombs ranges from the top WordPress plugins and themes on the market to news stories about recent design events and guides on coding or design. The “inspiration” section of the website is excellent for those who need a little creative refresh before working on the next part of their project, and Design Bomb also offers freebies and deals to readers too. 

You can check the website regularly to see what kind of offers are available for popular design software and tools, as well as what sort of resources you can access for free. For beginners, the “glossary” section covering common design language is fantastic for your bookmarks. 

7. Web Design Library

Otherwise known as Webdesign.org, Web Design Library is a simple but attractive blog environment for design professionals. The site includes a lot of valuable information for beginners and professionals looking to hone their skills. There’s a search bar to help you sort through content quickly at the top of the page, or you can choose your content focus through the “categories” section.

The Web Design Library has various categories to choose from, including web design basics, design principles, website usability, typography, Photoshop tutorials, web layout guidance, and HTML or CSS tips. You can also find plenty of inspiration in the “Showcase” section of the site. 

Like many of the top web design blogs available today, Web Design Library offers access to extensive tutorials and guides for pros and beginners. You can learn everything from creating your first web page to how to shave someone’s head in Photoshop. The “Freebies” section on the site is a great place to visit for budget-friendly resources too. 

8. Hacking UI

A community-focused website built for people who want to master the user interface, Hacking UI is a brilliant blog for all kinds of creative professionals. This laid-back website contains all sorts of different content for designers, including thought leadership articles, opinion posts, and even a regular podcast, where David Tintner and Sagi Shrieber discuss all kinds of design questions.

Hacking UI covers simple and complex topics alike. You can learn how to accelerate the performance of your web-design side project and how to make the transition from freelancer to a business owner. There are also topics like how to improve your workflows. Hacking UI covers a lot of content from worldwide events like the Global Innovation Forum too. 

You can find information about upcoming events, conferences, and classes on the “Event” page, ideal for developers and designers who want to improve their skills. There’s also the Hacking UI “Master Class,” which constitutes a series of live conversations and lectures with experts in development and design. 

9. 1stWebDesigner

One of the most attractive things about 1stWebDesigner, is its commitment to sharing ideas from a range of different designers and experienced creatives. Though still relatively new, 1stWebDesigner is a growing platform for sharing all kinds of design insights, including news, guides for learning, and lists for design inspiration. 

The 1stWebDesigner site is wonderfully easy to navigate, with a search bar for those who want to find content on specific topics and keywords and a range of categories to choose from. You can check out collections of content on things like WordPress design, CSS, JavaScript, UX, Mobile UI, and Typography. There are also sections dedicated to things like Photoshop and how to succeed as a freelance designer. 

1st Web Designer is a valuable source of inspiration for beginners and a great way to top up your knowledge as the design industry evolves. The “Learn” section is home to a host of guides and tutorials perfect for design enthusiasts from different backgrounds. Make sure you check out the site’s YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook pages too. 

10. Design Shack

Design Shack is a simple blog for beginners in the design landscape. Here, you’ll find many in-depth guides and tutorials to walk you through the basics of design. There are thousands of articles to explore, listed under several categories, including User Experience, app creation, and Photoshop. You can also search for specific content with the search bar.

Design Shack is particularly good at producing long-form content for designers in search of inspiration. Their lists of things like mock-up templates, photo collages, and premier pro templates are excellent. It’s also worth checking out the “Trends” section on the website, where you can find content written about some of the most appealing trends for design leaders. 

Design Shack has a subscription available for those who want to stay up-to-date on the latest blog posts with regular emails. You can also interact with the community on sites like Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. 

11. Web Design Tuts+

Created by the Envato+ company, Web Design Tuts+ is a website offering learners in the design world all the information they need to excel in their projects. The website is packed full of free tutorials and learning guides, as well as online courses you can follow in your own time, to help you learn more about various aspects of web design. Tutorials and courses cover everything from interface design strategies to front-end development, UX (User Experience), and accessibility.

To help you figure out where to get started, Envato sorts all of its available guides and resources into sections based on the kind of design information they cover. You can also check out a list of the most popular and featured eBooks, courses, and tutorials on the homepage. 

One thing Web Design Tuts+ does exceptionally well is translating complex ideas into simple guides. You don’t have to have a lot of coding knowledge or understand design-focused language to benefit from this site. Everything is written in an easy-to-digest format, with plenty of pictures and examples to guide you. 

Choosing the Best Web Design Blog

As web design and development continue to thrive as a crucial skill in the digital world, there’s no shortage of blogs out there to help inspire and educate professionals. Whether you’re a beginner learning about the techniques required to start your first WordPress site, or you’re keen to know more about specific aspects of CSS code, there’s plenty of content to help you.

With a wide range of fantastic websites to choose from, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to picking the best web design blog. Many designers devote an entire folder in their bookmarks to blog pages, news sites, and other resources they can visit when they need information or inspiration. You may find yourself using various blogs throughout your career. 

Our advice? Start with a website capable of covering many different topics in the web design world, to begin with. Resources like Web Designer Depot are packed full of content to sink your teeth into. Then, as you develop your knowledge in the industry, you’ll begin to find other more focused sites offering specific guidance into your chosen niche or specialty. 

 

Featured image via Unsplash.

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Exciting New Tools For Designers, October 2021

There are some spook-tacular finds in this month’s October collection of resources and tools for designers and developers. From interesting tools that can help in the design process to boo-tiful typefaces, there’s something for everyone here.

Here’s what is new for designers this month…

Atropos

Atropos is a lightweight, open-source JavaScript library to create touch-friendly, three-dimensional hover effects. The results are stunning and have a nice parallax style. Everything is highly configurable and customizable. It’s available for JavaScript, React, and Vue.js and has zero dependencies.

CSS Gradient Editor

CSS Gradient Editor helps you create the perfect gradient style – you can start from presets – that you can use in projects. Design a background, fill, or almost any other gradient element you might need, make adjustments or customizations, and then get the CSS with one click so you can use it right away.

Octopus.do

Octopus.do is a fast visual sitemap builder that lets you work in real-time using the content brick method. Share and collaborate in real-time and there’s no signup required to use it.

Pirsch Analytics

Pirsch Analytics is a privacy-friendly, open-source alternative to Google Analytics — lightweight, cookie-free, and easily integrated into any website or directly into your backend. It includes filters to see metrics in the way you want and light and dark modes.

Basic Pattern Repository

Basic Pattern Repository is a collection of simple SVG patterns for projects. Everything is rooted in a simple style to help push projects along quicker. You can get it via GitHub or as a Figma Library.

Blobr

Blobr is a way to get a branded API portal, manage access, and monitor usage all in one place. Customize everything to fit your brand and the tool grows as you do with the ability to increase or change capacity. Plus, it is easy to set up and free to use.

HEXplorer

HEXplorer helps you better understand something you use all the time – HEX colors. This pen by Rob DiMarzo shows how the values for different colors come together to provide greater comprehension when it comes to this color format.

CCCreate

CCCreate is a curated collection of tools and resources for web creators. It includes some tools that have been around for a while as well as some newbies. Everything is grouped and sorted by type of resources – color, icons, type, layouts, animation, shapes, docs, and miscellaneous so you can find what you are looking for faster.

Glass

Glass is a photo-sharing app for photographers. It’s a social network of sorts that lets you share images with the greater photography community without “likes.” Just great images.

Revolt

Revolt is a chat app that’s still in beta and designed for easy communication without having to download apps. It’s an open-source project that is customizable and with an intuitive and recognizable interface. The thing that’s different about this app is that it is built on a privacy-first model.

Doodle Ipsum

Doodle Ipsum is the illustrated version of placeholder elements. Customize your doodles, grab the code, and use them on your web prototypes, landing pages, or no-code tools.

Mechanic

Mechanic is an open-source framework that helps you create custom, web-based tools that export design assets in your browser. The best part is you can try it right on screen using the “poster generator.” If you like what you see, there’s plenty of documentation to help you along the way.

Medio Website Template

Medio is an agency-style website design template for Bootstrap 5. The layout is perfect for a design agency or marketing group but can be adjusted for almost any multi-purpose design. The free template includes a minimal design and includes features such as parallax, popup video, and more.

Tutorial: Simplifying Form Styles with Accent Color

This tutorial is a life-saver when it comes to using and understanding the new CSS accent-color property. This quick lesson will help make your life easier and is simple to use. It starts with setting an accent-color property on the root element and then applying it.

Houdini.how

Houdini.how is a worklet library that is full of CSS and code examples to help you work smarter. See how different elements look cross-browser and learn to adjust the code and put them together in just the way you want. Houdini is a set of low-level APIs that exposes parts of the CSS engine, giving developers the power to extend CSS by hooking into the styling and layout process of a browser’s rendering engine.

Chainstarters

Chainstarters is a powerful, rapid, Web3-enabled platform for software developers. It eliminates the burden of setting up and maintaining a secure and scalable infrastructure, allowing you to focus on creating amazing technology.

Web Vitals Robot

Web Vitals Robot is a search optimization tool that monitors SEO metrics for you – so you can prevent your business from disappearing from Google.

Searchable

Searchable is a unified search tool that looks at local, cloud storage, and apps to find the files you are looking for. It returns results in a jiffy with previews so you don’t have to open every file to find what you are looking for.

Athlone

Athlone is a fun serif with lots of personality. The free demo version includes a limited character set for personal use only and the full version has everything you need for fun display or branding with this typeface.

Capitana

Capitana is a Geometric Sans typeface with humanistic proportions and open apertures. This means that all shapes are constructed from basic forms, the circle, triangle, and square, and are designed according to the classic proportions of the Roman Antiqua. Distinct ascenders and pointed apexes with deep overshoot give it a cool beauty and classic elegance. It includes 784 characters per style in nine weights from Thin to Black, it offers both light and extremely heavy weights for striking headlines.

Colours

Colours is a funky script with just enough texture to keep it interesting. The free version includes a partial character set and is for personal use only.

Flexible

Flexible is a variable typeface that includes 18 styles in the family. It’s made for creativity and display use. This typeface is made for experimenting because there are so many things you can do with this single family.

Singo Sans Serif

Singo Sans Serif is a simple and strong typeface that would make an excellent display option. The free version is for personal use only. Fun fact: Singo means Lion in Indonesia, which is where the name of this strong font comes from.

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The post Exciting New Tools For Designers, October 2021 first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.

Popular Design News of the Week: October 4, 2021 – October 10, 2021

Every day design fans submit incredible industry stories to our sister-site, Webdesigner News. Our colleagues sift through it, selecting the very best stories from the design, UX, tech, and development worlds and posting them live on the site.

The best way to keep up with the most important stories for web professionals is to subscribe to Webdesigner News or check out the site regularly. However, in case you missed a day this week, here’s a handy compilation of the top curated stories from the last seven days. Enjoy!

How to Find Business Ideas

What Happened to Treehouse?

Coca-Cola Tweaks Brand with Magical New Logo – And It’s Genius

Awesome CSS3 Background Gradients

18 Essential Graphic Design Terms You Need to Know

Windows 11 Review: An Unnecessary Replacement for Windows 10

3 Essential Design Trends, October 2021

12 Helpful Chrome Extensions for Web Designers & Developers

An Exploration of the 80s Retro Style in Modern Web Design

The Rise of Dark Web Design

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The post Popular Design News of the Week: October 4, 2021 – October 10, 2021 first appeared on Webdesigner Depot.

7 UX Principles to Boost SERPs

User experience is one of the most important principles of web design. There’s no doubt that you focus on UX with every page you design on the web, whether it’s a portfolio, a profile page, or an entire website. 

Unfortunately, what many experts forget is that UX doesn’t just apply to digital pages. That means that you need to discover the right UX strategies for everything from your website homepages to your email marketing messages and even your listings on Google. 

Today, we’re going to explore ways you can apply UX principles to your client’s image on search engines. 

Why Your Search Engine Listing Matters

Let’s start with the basics…

89% of customers start their purchasing process with a search engine. 

That means that whether you’re creating a portfolio to sell your services or building a website for a client, the first connection a customer has with your design isn’t on the homepage.

Developers and designers know that first impressions count when it comes to succeeding online. However, they assume that those first impressions happen on a social media channel, a landing page, or a home page. 

The truth is that most of the time, you’re driving a specific experience for an end-user before you even realize it. Before you can wow an audience with a beautiful site design or a fantastic CTA offer, you need to convince them to click on your Google link.

Just as UX on a website is all about giving your audience what they need in an informed and strategic manner, UX in search engine results works the same way. 

How to Make Your Search Listing Stand Out with UX

So, how do you begin to apply the principles of UX to your Google Search results?

It’s much easier than you’d think. 

Step 1: Show Immediate Value 

Delivering an excellent experience on a website often means providing end-users with the information they need as quickly as possible. Imagine designing a landing page; you wouldn’t want your audience to scroll forever to find what they need. Instead, you’d make sure that the value of the page was immediately apparent. 

When creating an image for your search engine listing, you’ll need to take the same approach. This often means thinking carefully about two things:

  • Your headline
  • Your meta description

Around 8 out of 10 users say that they’ll click a title if it’s compelling. That means that before you do anything else to improve your SEO strategy, you need to make sure that the title of your web page is going to grab the audience’s attention. 

The best titles deliver instant value.

Immediately, these titles tell the audience exactly what they’re going to get when they click onto the page. The promise drives action, while clarity highlights the informed nature of the brand. 

The great thing about using an excellent title for a page is that it doesn’t matter where you’re ranked on the search results. Whether you’re number 2 or number 5, your customers will click if they find something they want. 

It’s just like using a CTA on a landing page. Make sure your titles are:

  • Informative: Show your audience value immediately
  • Optimized for mobile: Remember, your audience might not see your full title on some screens. That means that you need to make the initial words count.
  • Easy to read: Keep it short, simple, and straightforward. Speak the end-user’s language

Step 2: Build Trust with Your URLs

Trust factors are another essential part of good UX

When designing a website for a new brand, you know that it’s your job to make visitors feel at ease. Even in today’s digital world, many customers won’t feel comfortable giving their money or details to a new company. 

Within the website that you design, you can implement things like trust symbols, reviews, and testimonials to enhance brand credibility. In the search engines, it all starts with your URL. 

Search-friendly URLs that highlight the nature of the page will put your audience’s mind at ease. When they click on a page about “What is SEO” in the SERPs, they want to see an URL that matches, not a bunch of numbers and symbols

Use search-friendly permalink structures to make your listing seem more authoritative. This will increase the chances of your customer clicking through to a page and make them more likely to share the link with friends. 

Once you decide on a link structure, make sure that it stays consistent throughout the entire site. If a link doesn’t appear to match the rest of the URLs that your audience sees for your website, they may think they’re on the wrong page. That increases your bounce rate. 

Step 3: Be Informative with Your Meta Description

To deliver excellent UX on a website, you ensure that your visitor can find all the answers to their most pressing questions as quickly as possible. This includes providing the right information on each page and using the correct navigational structure to support a visitor’s journey. 

In the SERPs, you can deliver that same informative experience with a meta description. Although meta descriptions often get ignored, they can provide a lot of value and help you or your client make the right first impression. 

To master your meta descriptions:

  • Use the full 160 characters: Make the most of your meta description by providing as much useful information as you can within that small space. 
  • Include a CTA: Just as CTAs help guide customers through the pages on a website, they can assist with pulling in clicks on the SERPs. A call to action like “read about the” or “click here” makes sense when you’re boosting your search image. 
  • Focus on value: Concentrate on providing your customers with an insight into what’s in it for them if they click on your listing.

Don’t forget that adding keywords to your meta description is often helpful too. Keywords will boost your chances of a higher ranking, but they’ll also show your audience that they’re looking at the right result. 

Step 4: Draw the Eye with Rich Snippets

You’ve probably noticed that the search engine result pages have changed quite a bit in the last couple of years. As Google strives to make results more relevant and informative, we’ve seen the rise of things like rich snippets. Rich snippets are excellent for telling your audience where to look. 

On a website, you would use design elements, like contrasting colors and animation, to pull your audience’s attention to a specific space. In search engines, rich snippets can drive the same outcomes. The difference is that instead of telling a visitor what to do next on a page, you’re telling them to click on your site, not a competitor’s. 

When Google introduced rich snippets, it wanted to provide administrators with a way of showcasing their best content. Rich snippets are most commonly used today on product and contact pages because they can show off reviews. 

Install a rich snippet plugin into your site if you’re a WordPress user or your client is. When you enter the content that you need into the website, use the drop-down menu in your Rich snippet tool to configure the snippet.

Ideally, you’ll want to aim for the full, rich snippet if you want to stand out at the top of the search results. Most featured snippets have both text and an image. You need to access both of these by writing great content and combining it with a relevant image. 

Step 5: Provide Diversity (Take Up More of the Results)

As a website designer or developer, you’ll know that different people will often be drawn to different things. Some of your visitors might immediately see a set of bullet-points and use them to search for the answer to their question. Other visitors will want pictures or videos to guide them. So, how do you deliver that kind of diversity in the SERPS?

The easiest option is to aim to take up more of the search result pages. Google now delivers a bunch of different ways for customers to get the answers they crave. When you search for “How to use Google my Business” on Google, you’ll see links to blogs, as well as a list of YouTube Videos and the “People Also Ask” section. 

Making sure that you or a client has different content rankings for the same keywords can significantly improve any customer’s experience on the search engines. Often, the process of spreading your image out across the SERPs is as simple as creating some different kinds of content. 

To access the benefits of video, ask your client to create YouTube videos for some of their most commonly asked questions or most covered topics. If you’re helping with SEO marketing for your client, then make sure they have an FAQ page or a way of answering questions quickly and concisely on articles, so they’re more likely to appear in “People Also Ask”.

Step 6: Add Authority with Google My Business

Speaking of Google My Business, that’s another excellent tool for improving UX in the search results. It allows business owners to manage how information appears in the search results. 

With this service, you can manage a company’s position on Google maps, the Knowledge Graph, and any online reviews. Establishing a company’s location is one of the most important things you can do to help audiences find a business quickly. Remember, half of the customers that do a local search on a smartphone end up visiting the store within the same day. 

Start by setting up the Google Business listing for yourself or your client. All you need to do is hit the “Start Now” button and fill out every relevant field offered by Google. The more information you can add to Google My Business, the more your listing will stand out. Make sure you:

  • Choose a category for a business, like “Grocery store.”
  • Load up high-quality and high-resolution images
  • Ensure your information matches on every platform
  • Use a local number for contact
  • Encourage reviews to give your listing a five-star rating

Taking advantage of a Google My Business listing will ensure that your audience has all the information they need to make an informed decision about your company before they click through to the site. This means that you or your client gets more warm leads and fewer people stumbling onto your website that might not want to buy from you. 

Step 7: Use Structured Data Markup to Answer Questions

If you’re already using rich snippets in your Google listings, you should also have a plan for structured schema markup. Schema markup on Google tells the search engines what your data means. This means that you can add extra information to your listings that will more accurately guide your customers to the support they need. 

Providing additional schema markup information to your listings gives them an extra finishing touch to ensure that they stand out from the competition. For example, you might add something like a “product price” to a product page or information about the product’s availability.

Alternatively, you could provide the people who see a search result with other options. This could be an excellent option if you’re concerned that some of the people who might come across your listing might need slightly different information. 

For instance, you can ask Google to list other pages along with your search results that customers can “jump to” if they need additional insights.

Baking structured data into your design process when you’re working on a website does many positive things. First, it makes the search engine’s job easier so that you can ensure that you or your client ranks higher. Additionally, it means that your web listings will be more thorough and valuable.

Since UX is all about giving your audience the best possible experience with a brand, that starts with making sure they get the information they need in the search results. 

Constantly Improve and Experiment

Remember, as you begin to embed elements of UX into your search engine listings, it’s essential to be aware of relevant evolutions. Ultimately, the needs of any audience can change very rapidly. Paying attention to your customers and what kind of links they click on the most will provide you with lots of valuable data. You can use Google analytics to A/B test things like titles, pictures, featured snippets, and other things that may affect UX. 

At the same time, it’s worth noting that the Google search algorithms are constantly changing too. Running split tests on different pages will give you an insight into what your customers want. However, you’ll need to keep an eye on the latest documentation about Google Search if you want to avoid falling behind the competition. 

Like most aspects of exceptional UX, mastering your SERP position isn’t a “set it and forget it” strategy. Instead, you’ll need to work on constantly expanding your knowledge if you want to show clients that you can combine UX and SEO effectively. 

Make sure you have plenty of tools set up to offer reports and insights into the kind of changes that you may need to make to align with search engine expectations. 

Making the Most of UX in the SERPS

It’s easy to forget that there’s more to UX than making your buttons clickable on mobile devices or ensuring that scrolling feels smooth. For a designer or developer to deliver excellent UX for a brand, they need to consider every interaction that a company and customer has. 

This means starting with the way a website appears when it’s listed on the search engines most of the time. Getting your SEO listing right doesn’t just boost your chances of a good ranking. This strategy also improves your reputation with your audience and delivers more meaningful moments in the buyer journey. 

Don’t underestimate the power of UX in SERPs. 

 

Featured image via Pexels.

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