Have you ever visited a website that made you cringe? How about a website where it was unclear what they offered and how to get additional information? These are all examples of poor user experience (UX), and this week Brandon and Craig sit down to discuss user experience and the role it plays in digital marketing.
Watch and learn how you can provide your website visitors with great user experience.
#MSHUnderReview: A Brief Intro to User Experience from Mainstreethost on Vimeo.
What is User Experience?
User experience is how a person feels or reacts to products and services. In terms of digital marketing, this relates directly to how a person feels about a company’s website or other digital presence, including social media, email marketing, landing pages, and mobile websites.
While many think UX applies only to the design of the website, it’s much more than that. It’s about how your visitors navigate through your site, and whether or not they complete the actions you want them to. To determine this, dive into your analytics to see what’s working, and what’s not working. When thinking in terms of UX, A/B testing will be your best friend.
If you’re familiar with Google Analytics, they have an interesting “Google Analytics in Real Life” video series where they act out things such as bad site search and poor landing page optimization in real life scenarios. These videos shine light on the negative side of user experience, in an easy to understand format.
Watch the Google Analytics in Real Life videos here.
Why Should I Care about User Experience?
If you don’t pay attention to user experience, you risk losing customers and potential customers. A great way to build brand loyalty, positive user experience also helps ensure that your visitors are able to accomplish what they came to you for, while building trust. In fact, Google even looks at user experience-related signals when ranking websites.
User experience is also a way to differentiate your products and services from your competition. Why should your audience choose your products? How does what your offering make your customers feel?
However, it’s about more than how your products and services perform; it’s about the experience. What keeps people coming back to you?
Figure out what makes your audience tick, and tailor your message to that. Whether you’re using a website to do this, or an actual product or service, think of your user: how did you make them feel before, during, and after using your product/service?
If you have a website without a mobile solution, you’re not only potentially losing a great amount of business, you’re also failing to provide your mobile users with great UX. For example, if you’re searching on a smart phone or tablet, and are unable to easily navigate and consume information on a website, you’re not going to be too happy with your overall experience.
In this age, you can’t afford not to have a mobile website. According to Marketing Land, “close to 50% of worldwide Internet consumers are using mobile devices as their primary mechanism for surfing the Web.” Moreover, in June of 2013, Google announced that they would demote websites that aren’t user friendly in attempt to provide a better user experience for mobile searchers.
How Do I Know If My Website Offers a Great User Experience?
To begin, ask yourself what you want your visitors to accomplish on your site. Do you want them to fill out a form? Do you want them to download an eBook? Do you want them to call you? Do you want them to “Like” you on Facebook or add you on LinkedIn?
You may have many goals for your website, and in order to give yourself the best chance of reaching these goals, your site must have some direction. Great user experience leads to higher conversions, which is ultimately what any business wants.
Make sure your visitors know what you’re offering, where they need to go to take the next steps, and how they can learn more about you and your products.
Just remember not to get complacent. What works one month, might not work the next. This is where A/B testing becomes vital. Test, re-test, and analyze your website and analytics. You might even want to survey your site’s visitors; there are plenty free, non-intrusive survey services out there that are easy to integrate, and provide invaluable data straight from your visitors.