First of all. What is user experience? Let’s look at it from a visitor’s perspective. When someone visits your website, how comfortable your website is? Did they get what they visit the website for?
Comfortability can concerns how easily they can navigate through your website: Is there a visible toolbar with clear categories? Are the text size and font easy to the eyes? Does your website loads in seconds?
Matching up with visiting purpose to make sure the users get what they want: Are the title tags and meta descriptions misleading? Do you have a thin content problem? Do you have the product that they want?
User Experience (UX) is somewhat of an elusive notion with many different definitions, even amongst the UX community themselves. There is user experience involved in all product and service design however my focus here is purely on digital user experience (e.g. websites, intranets, applications, software).
Why you need User Experience
It is very likely that every person reading this article has had an interaction with a product or service that doesn’t work the way you expect or that doesn’t quite meet your needs. Think back to the time, and how it made you feel. Frustrated? Confused? Stupid? Angry?
When your product or interface doesn’t work the way your users expect it to, these are some of the feelings that they experience. Generally your users are your customers and as such, any of these emotions are the last thing you want them to experience when engaging with your business.
In addition there are some key areas in your business that can be affected by the user experience you offer.
Why it matters to you
This is how Google views bounce rate. For Google, a page with a high bounce rate means less relevancy, less relevance means lower SERP position.
That’s how user experience can influence your SERP ranking.
When you create a web page, there is always a goal. Think about what is the goal of the web page then associate it with the bounce rate. Is it achieved?
If a homepage has a high bounce rate. That should be concerning. The main function of a home page is to serve as a navigation ground to visitors to explore your whole website. If they are not clicking on links to check out your other pages. Then that is not a very good homepage.
Why is it important?
For content creators, you want people to actually go through what you have created. If you have written a massive three thousand word article. But your average time on page is only 30 seconds. It is clear that the visitors didn’t really read your work.
For business, it’s normal for potential customers to spend time on a product page to read the reviews or product descriptions. If they spend more time on a product page, we can safely assume that they are interested in the product.
There are a couple reasons that can influence average time on page.
Starting from the web page itself. If the top of the fold, which is the area of the web page accessible to a user without needing to scroll down, is filled with advertisements. Or the users are overwhelmed with multiple pop-ups the moment they enter a web page. You can be sure that the visitor will nope out of the web page in a heartbeat.
If the website design is perfectly functional and user-friendly, yet the average time on page is short. Then maybe the problem lies in the content. If it’s a blog, is the content relevant to the title? Is the formatting easy to the eye and retains attention?
If it’s a product page, do you feature basic information about the products? Picture, measurement, price, availability, options, reviews, all those are crucial for a customer to consider if they are looking for something to put into the cart.
UX Makes Customer satisfaction
Your customers are your users. When it is easy, pleasant and natural for users to be able to achieve a given task, users are likely to do the task more often.
So if this customer was your employee an experience that was easy, pleasant and natural to achieve helps ensure the employee experiences a high level of satisfaction – which can help them become productive.
If the user was your customer, the satisfaction experienced because the product was easy and pleasant to use, means it is likely that the product (e.g. website) will be used more often which leads to higher conversion rates and often to higher sales figures as well.
UX Creates Return on Investment and Conversion Rates
Having a really good user experience ensures that your company gets a return on its investment. It ensures that all the money you put into the website generates into measurable value for your business. This value may be in dollar terms but it could also be in things like conversion rates. For example, because your user experience is good:-
- Customers are loyal and frequently return to buy your products/services.
- Customers think it is easy to find, use or buy your products/services.
- You have the ability to convert “browsers” into “buyers”, increasing your “browser to buyer” conversion rates.
Keeping track of what percentage of users you convert into customers helps you measure how effectively your website meets your business goals. This percentage is called the conversion rate, and this is far more effective in measuring your user experience than actual sales figures.
Good UX Reduces Bounce Rate
If a reader visits your website, stays on an article page then exit. It is considered a bounce. On the opposite, if a reader visits your website, browsed an article then clicked to another one, and another one, then it is not considered as a bounce.
What it means is, a visit session that only consists of one web page is a bounce. Lower bounce rate is usually preferred. Since it means a visitor is engaged with your website. It implies that your website is relevant to their query or interest.
Imagine a website selling shoes, if a visitor clicked on the page selling a pair of red sneakers, then exit the website altogether. We can safely assume that they did not found what they want.
But if the visitor, after the red sneakers product page, clicks on the white sneakers product page then the blue sneakers product page. We can assume that they are interested in the things offered. Thus, the higher level of engagement.
So what you need to do is, associate the purpose of a certain web page with the exit rate. Then see whether it is natural for a visitor to exit on that certain page.
Let’s look at some examples. A blog post tends to have higher exit rate. The purpose of a blog post is mostly to educate the reader about something.
Because the users are there to read an article. When they are done reading it they will go on their merry way and continue browsing the web. Or whatever it is that they were doing before stumbling on your blog post. That’s normal.
A product list page is a different story. If the exit rate of the page is high, it means the visitors are not interested in your products at all. That’s not normal.
You want visitors to buy your products. But instead, they are exiting your website. That does not align with the purpose of the product page.
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