As an affiliate marketer, your site is where your money comes from. This means you should be making every effort to make it the best available site in your niche. You want users to come to your site, use it and go on to make a purchase via your site. To make all of this possible, your users must like your site.
Web design has evolved and in some cases become more complex. Understandably, it can be hard to keep up, especially if you're not a designer. However, your designer isn't the only person who should be worrying about your site. Your number one concern should always be to make your website as user-friendly as possible, and this is where UX design comes in.
What is UX Design?
First things first, what is UX design and why should you, an affiliate marketer care about it? UX is an abbreviation for User Experience. UX design is the practice of designing while keeping the end user in mind. This means always thinking about how the user is going to feel when visiting and navigating your website.
Why should you care?
- Your users are the source of your income. By improving their experience, you're enhancing your chances of increased profits.
- Design isn't just about aesthetics. By thinking about UX design for affiliate sites, you're thinking about how to make exploring your site easier and better.
- Accessibility of your site is key. By taking this into consideration when designing a site, you're likely to attract more users.
UX Design Tips for Affiliates
You're not running a huge brand: You're running an affiliate marketing site. How can you make your site better, more useful for your users? Here are some UX design tips for affiliates that you will find useful.
Always Put Accessibility First
A common mistake many site owners make is to offer way too many options and site features. They think the more, the better. But no, simplicity is the key.
Simplify your site and make it easy for users to access the features you offer. Always keep this accessibility in mind whenever you make a change to the site. How can you do this?
- What is the most important thing you want the user to do? Make this prominently visible.
- The path from your homepage to the next most important task should be clear to your users.
- How many clicks does it take for your users to get to where you need them to go? Can you reduce the number of clicks? Make every click count.
Design for Purpose
When thinking about accessibility, it's also really important that you think about the purpose of the site. Ask yourself, why are the users on my site? What information are they searching for?
Now, are you making this information easily available to your user? Imagine that your affiliate site is about the benefits of green tea. Your users visit your site to find more information about the subject. They click through to land on a site that has great graphics and is a pretty sight to behold, but is that what your user is there for?
They just want the information, and they want it quick. Don't annoy them with unnecessary graphics. Just design for their purpose and get to it quick. Otherwise they will leave and go elsewhere.
Limit the Reading
I've said this before, and I'll say it again: Reduce the text on your website. The 5,000 words on your homepage might seem super interesting to you but trust me, your users aren't reading it. They don't have the attention span for it! To be honest, neither would you, if it wasn't your site.
Get rid of text where it isn't needed. Where you do use text, make it easily scannable:
- Write short paragraphs.
- Use bulleted lists where necessary.
- Incorporate relevant images and tables.
- Make use of sub headings.
Incorporate a Search Bar
It's simple, but it works. After you've put all the work into designing a site that is easily accessible and user-friendly, there will still be people who may not find what they need. Don't risk losing them. Incorporate an easily visible search box on your site.
People of all age groups use search boxes and are familiar with it. If, for some reason, they can't find what they need on your site, they can simply search for it — so make the bar easy for them to find.
Test, Test, Test
Finally and very, very importantly, keep testing. A website isn't great just because you think it is. Your users need to think so too. Start by asking real people (friends? family?) for their opinion of your site. See whether they find it easy to use and ask them to complete the most important tasks on your website.
The next step is to make the site live and test it with users. Track your users with Google Analytics to see how they're using the site and how long they're sticking around. Then analyze their exit points. This will help you gain an insight into what is working and what isn't.
By constantly testing, you will constantly be improving. This will ultimately give you a winning website.
UX design isn't just a web designer's domain. Sure, they can worry about the technical details, but as the site owner, you should always be thinking about how to make your site as user-friendly as possible. A well-designed, well-planned site is going to be much more profitable to you than a poorly designed one.
Do you have any more UX design tips for affiliates you'd like to add? Do share with us.