If you’re a business owner, you know that it isn’t enough to simply have a website. With an endless list of competing websites, it’s absolutely critical to fine tune the small details of your site.
For years, websites focused on designing their website around Google’s ever-changing algorithm in hopes of improving their site’s ranking. Not surprisingly, this lead to websites that were difficult to use for customers.
Just think of this scenario from a user’s perspective: You click on a website and it is difficult to navigate around. What is your first instinct? Naturally, most users will click off the website and click on a competitor’s site instead.
Google recognizes the importance of user experience, and factors in variables such as engagement patterns and bounce rates when ranking sites. With that being said, we can’t stress enough the importance of user experience and how focusing on this will benefit your website and its ranking in the long run.
Aspects of User Experience
There are a number of factors that will affect the user experience (UX) on your website. In general, the best sites make it easy for visitors to navigate and understand. The very basics of user experience can be summed up with the user experience honeycomb.
This honeycomb represents the most important traits that contribute to user experience, which include information and design that is:
Useful: Users should find your website informative, easy to understand, and easy to find.Your content should be original and should take into account the needs of your audience.
Usable: Your audience should have no problem navigating around your website. In fact, according to Go-Globe, 87% of Fortune 500 companies have an easy-to-find search field on their homepage.
Desireable: Your website shouldn’t just be efficient at fulfilling a user’s needs. It should also be pleasant to use when compared to other competitor sites
Findable: Different aspects of the design and content should be obvious to the user.
Credible: If your website looks disorganized or “spammy,” users will have a difficult time trusting what you tell them. The content and design of the website should work to improve your credibility.
Accessible: Like a physical brick-and-mortar location, your website should also be accessible for those with disabilities.
UX: A Piece of the SEO Puzzle
User experience is a direct reflection of a potential customer’s interaction with your site. If they have a poor experience, they are less likely to return to the site and you miss out on additional business. The Gomez Report, “Why Web Performance Matters”, tells us that 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.
Of course, user experience isn’t just important for relations with customers. It is also important for the ranking of your site.
Search engine robots are unable to decipher a website the same way a human user would, but they take into account several variables that are dependent on user experience in order to rank websites. Search engines adjust their rankings by measuring user experience, which includes:
Engagement: Google takes into account how you interact with the results given to you. If you immediately hit the back button after clicking on one of the results, it indicates that you were not satisfied by the first search result.
Linking: This is simple to understand. If a site has poor content and design, other sites will be less likely to link to it. While backlinking strategy has changed quite a bit since Google’s early days, links are still a great indicator that a site has quality content and good user experience.
If users are staying on your site longer and linking to it more frequently, search engines interpret that as a sign your website is of high-quality.
Contact Now Media Group
While user experience can be difficult to understand, you don’t have to tackle this alone. Here at Now Media Group, we pay special attention to user experience and responsive website design.
Have more questions? Feel free to contact us today to learn about the various design and SEO services we offer.
SEM Associate & Social Media Manager