If we follow the traditional rules of web design, then the further you go down the page, the less important the information there. And as a result, we have a self-fulfilling prophecy: Users expect to find less interesting and relevant information – so UX designers don’t generally give the footer space the attention it deserves.
However, the advent of the smartphone and tablet are in many ways re-writing the rules of digital customer experience.
Among the many heatmap observations on the differences between mobile and desktop user behavior, it was found that mobile users tend to scroll much further down the page. In fact, most mobile users tend to scroll straight down to the footer – making this part of the website almost as important as the header.
UX professionals are therefore being forced to apply the same website engagement and optimization rules without discrimination to both top and bottom of their sites. Here’s the proof, as demonstrated on our very own ClickTale website:
In this case below we’re looking at a heatmap of scroll reach for the desktop site. From this we see that users stayed mainly in the top half of the page (the dark red color) and begin to scroll less as they descend beyond the half-way mark, as the dark red coloration gives way to yellow.
Now compare this to the mobile version of the same website, below. In this Scroll Reach heatmap for mobile you can clearly see that the red coloration – representing high levels of engagement, continues almost all the way down the page to the footer.
Why the Footer Matters for Mobile:
1. Swipe! The swipe function is the main reason why the footer gets far more exposure on mobile sites compared to desktop. It’s simply that much easier to reach the bottom of the page when a single finger swipe or two will do it.
Compare that to desktop sites where you have to place the mouse over a narrow side bar and then move your arm down towards the edge of your desk. (Surely I’m not the only one who’s elbow has fallen off the edge of the table sometimes!)
The alternative is not much better either – start looking for the ‘Page Down’ key which is one of the least used keys on the board and gives you far less control than the mouse.
2. Horizontal layout encourages scroll. A further heatmap observation has to do with the layout of the page. Horizontal layouts tend to prevent people from scrolling and clicking, whereas vertical layouts do the opposite. Due to the narrow shape of the iPhone screen and some other mobile devices then, a horizontal layout works best – and therefore encourages further scrolling down the page!
5 Ideas to Make Better Use of Footer Real Estate
1. Mirror your header. If you find that users are just as engaged with your footer as your header, then why not give them the same navigation functions at both top and bottom?
2. Provide additional information. Footers can be easily used to convey additional useful information that you can’t display on the header, including the contact us form, subscriptions, site map, company address, etc.
3. Further reading material. Many sites will use the footer to promote additional content from their website, blogs, forum discussions or external links related to the subject matter that all help to ‘soft sell’ or nurture the visitor further.
4. RSS Feed, social share icons, media and search function. Many sites will place these functions at the bottom of the site, particularly if the page is long and content heavy.
5. Don’t waste this space on SEO and advertisement spam. If you lack what to place in your footer then consider something artistic or illustrative that will help to improve the overall customer experience of your site. Many sites like to include illustrations of the ground (buildings, earth, grass, trees etc.) and using the proximity to the ground and a clear differentiation in color, to clearly mark off the footer from the main body of the site:
- Enhance existing, already processed GA data with imported dimensions and metrics.
- Upload calculated values after a transaction occurs, like total customer spend, last transaction date, or a loyalty score.
- Correct any errors in data you have uploaded to GA in the past.
|Illustration of a new Google Analytics report with data from multiple sources|
A page’s bounce rate is regarded as an extremely effective, yet simple to qualify metric. Depending on your website type, typically the higher the bounce rate the less effective the digital customer experience.
Knowing your bounce rate can also help determine the quality of your traffic.
High bounce rate coupled with large volumes of single source traffic could indicate poor referrals.
But, knowing that your website’s experience is not effectively optimized is only half the answer. What we really need to know is why the bounce is occurring in order to take the right corrective actions.
Follow this 4 stage escalation process to help you analyze and reduce webpage bounce:
1. Are you getting the right traffic? (Hard vs. medium vs. soft bounce)
The first step in the escalation process is to figure out if your visitors are intentional or unintentional. If you have ClickTale, the Bounce Rate report will help you identify this via the following 3 types of bounce:
‘Hard bounce’ are those visitors with no interest in your page. They usually view only a single page of your website and spend less than 4 seconds engaging. They usually leave your page without even looking at it and in all likelihood, shouldn’t have landed on your page in the first place!
‘Medium bounce’ are those visitors who have a little bit of interest in your web page. They probably viewed a single page and had an engagement time of between 4-10 seconds. They may have the potential to come back at a later time with the right messaging or follow-up is in place.
‘Soft bounce’ refers to visitors with plenty of interest in your web page. They usually have an engagement time of over 10 seconds. But these visitors still left. Probably because they couldn’t find what they were looking for. Or they were nervous about making a commitment to ‘buy’ or provide their details to the online form.
2. Does your page load fast enough?
Before we even look at optimizing the content on the page, make sure the page is technically sound. Does it load fast enough? Are there too many errors? If you have ClickTale, take a look at the Page Console feature which provides exactly this data for every page of your site.
Soft and medium bouncers are interested in what content your website has to offer.
But they’re leaving because there’s something missing from your page. Firstly, re-check your PPC ad campaigns or Organic Search content. Maybe it doesn’t quite promise what your website content actually delivers.
Next, if you have ClickTale, take a look at the heatmaps for the page to see if visitors are being distracted by an element you didn’t intend – this can be anything from an unnecessary link to an interactive visual that you never assumed would hurt your conversion.
The good news is that these can usually be easily moved or removed altogether, leading to a dramatic about-turn in engagement and conversion.
4. Do your calls to action perform?
Once you’ve completed all of the above, check your calls to action. Do they stand out enough on the page? Or are they blending in with additional page elements? Sometimes the most important calls to action fall below the fold line, so most visitors are not even aware they exist.
Banner blindness – Too many ads and calls to action can stress your visitors. Whether it’s the placement, color, messaging or size, visitors may not be engaging or utilizing your calls-to-action to progress further along the conversion process.
Once you’ve analyzed your heatmaps, drill down further into the individual Session Playback recordings which enable you to follow the movement of individual customers as they scroll and engage across a page. This will help to understand why customers may not be engaging with specific elements and calls to action.
Bounced visitors don’t have to be lost customers. If you can identify the type of bounce, you can better determine the amount of real money being left on the table. A timely response can then save your company millions in revenue – especially if the fix is something that can be achieved relatively quickly and economically – as is often the case!
Following on from yesterday’s post, here’s a bit more information on Monday’s up-coming webinar! Make sure to register now!
- Ever wondered how web visitors really respond to the layout and content of your web pages?
- Ever wanted to understand why potential customers abandon important landing pages and forms?
Sometimes, the smallest negative customer experience can have drastic effects on your overall conversion. And you’ll never know why. Until now.
Join Shai Tamari, Pre Sales Manager for ClickTale, on Monday June 30th, 2:00-2:30PM EST/11:00-11:30AM PDT, where he explains how sophisticated in-page customer experience data can transform your website’s potential!
This webinar will show you how to understand and interpret what visitors are doing on every page of your website and how this knowledge can be used to create a winning digital customer experience.
During the webinar you will learn:
- How to create a successful customer experience analysis using ClickTale
- How traditional analytics integrates with in-page Digital Customer Experience insights
- The ClickTale toolset: Session Playback, Heatmaps, Conversion Funnels and more.
But before we even get to that happy point, we need to look at how a typical web optimization analyst would arrive at what options to even test. This is how it’s done using the ClickTale software:
The screen shots below shows a typical travel website. In this site, ‘conversion’ is defined as a straight journey from the ‘Home Page’, to the ‘Trip Planner’ page (where they choose which country they want to visit) to the ‘Book a Hotel’ page where they actually book their hotel and pay.
Step 1: So Where is My Conversion Low?
From the ClickTale instantly generated conversion funnel we see a good conversion from the ‘Home Page’ to the ‘Trip Planner’ page (63%). But only 15% converted from the ‘Trip Planner’ page to the ‘Book a Hotel’ page.
So our challenge is obviously to increase the conversion from ‘Trip Planner’ to ‘Hotels’ page. But how do we go about doing that?
Step 2: Compare Success vs. Failure
One of the fastest ways to improve a page is to compare visitors that converted with visitors that didn’t.
We can then make elements that are correlated with success even more noticeable, and conversely, we can minimize elements that are correlated with failure. These changes then become our A/B tests. Stay with me as I explain how, below:
Step 3: Start Listing Your Possible A/B Tests:
1. Visitors that succeeded (to the ‘Book a Hotel’ page) had a greater tendency to scroll down the page than visitors that didn’t (88% vs. 54% in this example). So one A/B test would be to move the ‘Check Accommodation’ button higher up the page – above the fold.
2. Visitors that succeeded had a greater tendency to save their trip (28% vs. 8%). So another A/B test could be to move the ‘save trip’ button above the fold or make it more noticeable.
3. Visitors that succeeded had a much lower tendency to price their trip (1.4% vs 6.8%). So a third A/B test could be to make the ‘price trip’ button less noticeable or remove it all together.
Well, if you have an enormous web team you can probably test all 3 at once. But even still, testing can take weeks and during that time you’re losing valuable business revenue. Ideally, you want to be able to prioritize your test according to how much value each fix will bring.
Step 4: Create an Instant Funnel for Each Hypothesis!
With ClickTale you don’t just get an automatically generated conversion funnel which we saw above. You can also program specific funnels to see how much value a certain A/B test will bring you! For example:
From our third observation above, we suspect that we’re losing visitors from the ‘price trip’ button. But how many visitors are we actually losing? To find out we can build a segmented funnel to show people that did price their trip vs. those that didn’t price their trip:
How Much is a 360% Conversion Rate Increase Worth to Your Company?
We can see from this funnel that clicking the ‘price trip’ button lowers our conversion rate from 3.78% to 0.82%. So, resolving this A/B test issue can raise our conversion rate by an incredible 360%. Its then a simple step to build similar funnels to check the conversion value for our other 2 tests above.
How much would a 360% conversion rate increase be worth to your company in revenue terms ? It could be millions. Not just that, but also consider the incredibly fast ROI associated with the discovery of the whole ‘price trip’ problem and how easy it is to resolve by the simple change in the position of the ‘price trip’ button!
Watch our Free Demo This Coming Monday!
Join Shai Tamari, Pre-Sales Manager for ClickTale, in this 30 minute webinar where he explains the above scenario in practical detail!
This webinar will show you how to really understand and interpret what visitors are doing on every page of your website and how this knowledge can be used to monetize far more efficiently and effectively! Join our webinar.
- A brand new look and layout.
- A combined view of both services and apps so you don’t need to visit multiple sites to find a solution.
- New search capabilities and category selection making it easier to filter and find what you’re looking for.
- Google Analytics Certified Partners are sorted based on your location to find partners that have an office near you.
- Media assets like screenshots / videos / case studies that highlight customer success stories and illustrate app features.
- Comments and ratings to review user experiences and provide feedback.
This blog post came out of a discussion between myself and Liraz Margalit, Customer Experience Psychologist for ClickTale, who originally suggested the concept of the ‘Digital Hierarchy of Needs’.
Essentially, Maslow was saying that one must first satisfy lower level basic needs before progressing on to higher needs.
While impossible to draw an exact parallel, the pyramid of human needs does share something in common with the digital world of websites and website experience: Basic website requirements also need to be fulfilled before we can move up to higher level requirements.
If we were to put together our own version of Maslow’s pyramid for the digital world, it could look something like this:
Where human’s require biological and physiological needs such as air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep, websites require a basic infrastructure including a web content management system, servers and Cloud infrastructure. Without these your website simply doesn’t exist.
Level 2: Website Functionality
Once your biological needs are met, humans look for safety: protection from the elements, order and law. The components of a civil society achieve this for us today. For the online world, the next level up is functionality. This translates into your basic web analytics tools and error monitoring systems that ensure your site actually performs and doesn’t just exist.
Level 3: Digital Customer Experience
The next level for Maslow’s hierarchy are social needs: the sense of belonging and the feelings of affection and love you get from peers, friends and family. This is closely followed by esteem needs – for mastery, independence, achievement, respect and self-respect. These are the highest of Maslow’s ‘basic’ needs.
For the digital world, our equivalent steps are encompassed under digital customer experience. This is the ability of visitors to feel that they are in the right place when they get to your website; that they intuitively understand where they are on each page in relation to where they want to go in their online journey; that they can easily find what they’re looking for; and that they can achieve their intentions without a struggle.
Achieving Basic Website Needs Are Not Enough
Now if a website can achieve all of the above; it’s technically sound, it functions well and it gives the customers the right experience then your website has begun to serve your business goals and you can start to measure its success against your business KPI’s.
But in a highly competitive online business world it’s not really enough. In the same way that for humans, being respected, having a big house and being successful are, for most, not the end of their ambitions and goals. Which is why Maslow added a ‘self-actualization’ layer to his pyramid. This is the ability to use your creative talents to fulfill your maximum personal potential. And Maslow (1962) believed self-actualization could be measured through the concept of “peak experiences”. Hoffman (1998) also states that self-actualization is a continual process of becoming rather than a perfect state one reaches – something we’ve mentioned before on this blog: 5 Reasons Why Your Website Optimization Should Never End.
Level 4: Business-Actualization
In the digital world, we could call the top layer of the pyramid business-actualization. The ultimate goal of a website or online business is not that people just visit and buy. Rather, that through the right digital experiences (build upon all of the preceding factors that we mentioned), the customer enjoys visiting, wants to visit often, and wants to develop his identity in-line with your brand. And that’s what sets a winning online experience apart from an average one.
Becoming the Ultimate Digital Hub
Most websites have already achieved steps 1 and 2 of our digital hierarchy. And many are implementing step 3, a better digital customer experience, using tools such as ClickTale, VOC, A/B testing and others. If these tools are tied together successfully, then your website can become the ultimate digital hub for your customer. And I say ‘hub’ because this includes mobile, desktop, apps and more. And like Hoffman points out – it’s a continual process. Not a one-time step.
To start you need to be able to live your website experience through your customers’ eyes. And just as Maslow (1970) believed that only around 2% of people ever achieve self-actualization, probably far fewer than 2% of websites are currently doing what they need to reach the top of the digital pyramid.
But that should only spur us on harder. Because whoever gets to the top of the pyramid becomes a brand winner with the power to reshape entire markets according to their vision. And if that’s not business-actualization and indeed self-actualization, then nothing else is!
Want to start seeing your website through your customers’ eyes?
Book your own private demo with a ClickTale expert consultant.
In today’s commodity-hyped age, where every website is trying to garner more traffic and online sales, the e-commerce cart and checkout facility has become the cornerstone of any successful online business.
So how hard can it be to get a fairly standard shopping and payment facility right? Well, like any optimization issue, the details of customer struggle can often be as plain as the nose on your face: If it’s your face, you simply won’t know it’s there.
But as soon as you start to experience your website through your customers’ eyes (or by holding up a mirror, just to follow that great nose analogy), then the problems become clear and the solutions obvious. And often, they’re simpler that you’d imagine.
So here are 3 small ways to make big enhancements to your cart checkout rate. These are based on examples that our Customer Experience Analysts here at ClickTale have discovered using our digital customer experience software and implemented with some of the world’s largest retail and e-commerce accounts. (As I’m sure you’ll understand, we can’t release the names of those accounts.)
1. Shorten the Checkout Funnel
This sounds rather obvious. But that’s because it is. Shortening the funnel and simplifying the customer journey results in a significant increase in conversion numbers as we can see from the ClickTale Conversion Funnel from a real e-commerce website, here.
By cutting the checkout process by just a single step for example (from 5 to 4 steps – not forcing visitors to go through the cart), this retail giant saw a very significant increase in conversion of 24%.
This is an important indicator to keep in mind as we see more and more websites moving to one-page checkout with multiple steps.
2. Create a Sense of Urgency
A banner from the US Mint’s website promoting free standard shipping and reminding customers of the 30th September deadline.
Improve conversion by giving customers a sense of urgency. Although this is a tried and tested method from the travel industry, from our experience, e-commerce and retail sites can gain a lot from adopting this method.
Promotion deadlines are a great way of doing this. And make sure that you place the time remaining for a promotion next to the relevant product. Not only on the product page, but also on the checkout page.
Another idea: If you have a limited quantity of product on offer, then state it! Don’t bury the fact in the product page or the category page but keep reminding visitors as they journey towards the checkout.
By including a sense of urgency on the checkout page you can help visitor overcome that last second of hesitation where they would normally press Back or the red ‘X’.
3. Allow Visitors to Return to their Last Cart Entry
Research shows that window shoppers “just browsing” are one of the major causes of cart abandonment.
This alone accounts for between 37% and 57% of the total online shoppers who abandoned the various sites we examined.
Let’s face it, for most of us the cart and checkout process is never going to be fun or 100% stress free.
This helps to alleviate the stress of having to start the shopping process from scratch. And as a result, it significant decreases abandonment rate and improves overall conversion.
Want to see how customers really experience your website?
Book your own private demo with a ClickTale expert consultant.