User experience and SEO are related, didn’t you know? And if you’re an avid reader of our blog, you’ll have seen that we’ve recently written about How to Use SEO to Beat Your Competitors. But in this blog, we’re going to explain the importance of designing a website with a seamless user experience (UX) and how it affects SEO.
Ever Been Lost in the Supermarket?
Let’s begin with a quick shopping analogy. Think back, have you ever been lost and simply walked out of a big supermarket because you couldn’t find the laundry detergent? Even worse, have you ever stormed out of a supermarket because the music playing over the loudspeakers just annoyed you to the point you just gave up and went home?
The first instance is more likely than the second. But both, as well as telling us something about your sense of direction, tell us something about design and customer experience. It’s likely you became lost—and probably fed up too—due to a lack of design awareness on the part of the supermarket. The signage, layout, customer services, and other aspects, perhaps even the dodgy Christmas music playing on the tannoy, weren’t up to scratch, so you bid your shopping trip goodbye.
In this post, we’re comparing physical customer experience to digital UX, so you can understand how important your website’s design and usability is to your SEO investment.
Help People, Don’t Give Them a Reason to Leave
Close your eyes. Imagine spending your marketing budget on SEO and content marketing, but settling for a humdrum website. A website with poor loading speeds, blurry images, messy graphics, illegible fonts and a confusing purchase process will, most likely, make potential customers or clients—those all important leads—close your website down in favour of another in the next tab within their Google Chrome browser. Remember the time you left that shop and went home? You don’t want that exodus of people waving goodbye to your website never to return. Don’t settle for that. Help people find what they need.
Gently guide them to the products they want, help them find their basket, and make adding items to it easy. Taking the time to design a nice looking website with easy-to-read fonts and clear, high-quality imagery. Place buttons and links in logical locations. Make your website mobile-friendly, so they don’t have to clumsily zoom in with their fingers and thumbs on their touch screens (we’ve all been there). And don’t forget to display your contact details so they can find you.
Here’s how to provide a great—or at least satisfactory—user experience that your customers or clients enjoy using and one which will boost conversions and your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) more than ever.
5 Effective Ways to Optimize User Experience and SEO to Generate More Leads
1. THINK ABOUT THE USER
Before you’ve even designed your website or re-designed your existing website, speak to your potential customers and clients to see what types of design features they like. Hold a focus group, ask people online. Don’t leave everything to the designer. Even they need input from the people who will actually be using the website. Go out there and get other opinions, so you can create a seamless user experience that ticks the boxes users need.
2. DESIGN WITH YOUR KPIs IN MIND
Is your aim to sell sneakers? Do you want to generate sign-ups and collect contact information from potential leads? Do you want visitors to ring your premium rate telephone number? Think about your aim and how, using savvy design and without making it too obvious, you can encourage users to do exactly what you want. Figure out the end result and work backwards, then design a user experience that makes your digital till ring.
3. REMEMBER SIMPLICITY AND CLARITY
There’s a reason art galleries hang paintings on white walls. It’s because the human eye responds better to anything when it’s placed on white. Similarly, use black text on a white background, where light is absorbed by the black lettering, rather than a black background and white text where the text absorbs the light blurring all the characters into one. It’s a much better for a choice for a website.
Think about design best practices and choose a typeface that’s easy on the eye. The font should be big enough so users can read or scan it without it losing its message. Consider if you want to use a serif or sans-serif font too, which will depend on the aesthetic you desire, whether you’re going for a sleek modern design or traditional, newspaper-esque look.
4. DESIGN A MOBILE-FRIENDLY WEBSITE
More people search using their mobile devices than on desktops. This is the only reason you need to design a mobile-friendly website. If you need another reason, just look at Google’s algorithms. Since ‘Mobilegeddon’ back in April 2015, they have been penalising websites for not being mobile-friendly.
In simple terms; if your website isn’t optimised for mobile devices, its Search Engine Results Page (SERP) ranking will be given a huge hit, which will impact the amount of traffic its product pages and blogs receive. Less traffic equals less conversions which means less money in the coffers.
If you haven’t designed a mobile-friendly website but you’re still getting visitors, just imagine how much better your business would be performing if you designed it with your users’ needs in mind. It shouldn’t matter whether they’re browsing on tablets, smartphones, or other smart devices.
5. TEST, TEST, TEST
Don’t just make design changes and think your work is finished. Sadly, your work is never done. Yes, the design might be a work of art, but it’s also a science too. The best designers and marketers now undertake what’s known as A/B testing (sometimes known as split testing). It allows them to compare two designs to see which one works best.
It might be that you’ve changed the colour of the ‘buy now’ button or re-designed your homepage altogether. Either way, A/B testing will provide the numbers to back up those all-important design decisions. That’ll bring those heated debates between your design and marketing team to an end once and for all.
Feel free to contact us, if you have any struggles or need any advice on your website and content needs — email@example.com.