User Experience (UX) is how a user interacts with your website, how they feel and how they use it. When users have a good experience on your website they are more likely to re-visit and are more likely to convert.
In Google’s ‘Ten things we know to be true,’ number one is “Focus on the user and all else will follow.” Google goes on to say that they focus on providing the best user experience for their users, and wants you to do the same.
A Google study shows that users prefer a simple website design. An aesthetically pleasing design is important as users expect websites to look a certain way as users are comfortable with familiar website design. On an overly complicated website, users are less likely to answer calls-to-actions and more likely to leave due to confusion.
Clear and straight forward calls to action work best. Too many calls-to-actions and too much choice can reduce the click-through-rate. For example, if your website offers four ways of getting in touch users are less likely to complete the action, but if you have one clear registration call-to-action users are more likely to chose this.
Deciding what calls-to-action you want to include on your website is dependant on who you are targeting and how you want them to convert. If users are coming to your site to get a quote for home insurance, a clear and prominent “Get a quote” button will quickly satisfy their needs. To enhance the user experience further, Confused.com set expectations by adding “Takes about 8 minutes” to the call-to-action. This is a great way to engage with users who are short for time.
A clear and simple navigation can greatly improve the user experience, a well organised and intuitive structure helps users get to where they want to be. The less thinking users need to do, the better.
- The navigation should guide the user to your product and service offerings, this means your navigation should be focused around your content.
- A breadcrumb navigation can help provide a context to the landing page. As not all users will arrive through your homepage, some will land on a product or service page first.
- Filters allow the user to make decisions of the products that they wish to see, this helps the user manage and absorb the information they want.
We often say, “Write high quality content” and it’s still true. If your copy gets to the point quickly, in general users will have a good experience on your website. We recommend keeping your most relevant copy “above-the-fold” so that there is no need to scroll and search for answers. Implementing engaging content above-the-fold such as info graphics and images can help to increase retainment. Include the less important content further down the page and to ensure users don’t leave the site, include blog posts or case study links at the bottom of the page.
Google Analytics measures the amount of time a user spends on a each landing page. The users that are least satisfied are more likely to leave quicker. By developing quality content with SEO in mind, you will not only keep users on your site for longer, but they will be happier.
Since ‘Mobilegeddon’ there has been a big focus on creating a website optimised for mobile. The design of a website needs to be modified for mobile users to enhance the user experience. Small things such as larger buttons for thumbs and larger text so that users don’t need to zoom.
Mobile users are likely to have different intentions to desktop users, as mobile users want information faster and important the top of the page to reduce the need to scroll. Prominent calls-to-action such as ‘Call now’ should be added to capture users who need to get in touch fast.
These five components work together with SEO and most importantly they put the user’s wants first. Interacting and providing a good experience for your users is essential as Google becomes more like a human and less like a robot.