User experience is crucial in digital marketing. It influences decisions like website design, SEO, and the type of content we have on our websites. User experience involves meeting the customer’s exact needs and expectations and even surpassing them. It has more to do with how people relate to technology, and how that relationship can be fostered. The digital landscape keeps changing. However, marketers do not always have a clear picture of what user experience entails, and even the impact it can have in their marketing efforts.
Brand engagement and experience are very important when it comes to user experience. Some of the factors we must put into consideration in order to create a great user experience are: atmosphere, problem resolution, design and speed. Visitors need to find what they are looking for easily and fast. Your website should therefore be content-rich and meaningfully designed. This way, the customers become engaged and they keep looking forward to more. Let us delve more into this below:
1. SpeedSpeed is vital. Every second a visitor waits for your website to load, they begin to get frustrated, and this destroys the reputation of your brand. To avoid this you need to:
- Optimize your imagesImages account for a significant amount of website load time. Your images should not be too large if they are being used as thumbnails. If your website is properly set up on a CMS, it automatically optimizes images. If your images are not optimized, you can use free tools like JPEGmini and Smush.it to optimize them before adding them to your site.
- Automate speed improvementsSet up many automated speed improvements. If you use a CMS, you need to install a plugin that caches parts of your site. This way, visitors need not download anything more than once. If you are using Wordpress, tools like WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache come in handy. The plugins minify as well as compress files. This makes file sizes smaller, thus visitors can browse the site more quickly. Sometimes, you may need the professional help of a web developer to cache and compress files.
2. DesignDesign is also a crucial aspect of creating engaging user experience in digital marketing. Here are some aspects to look into:
- Stock photosIt is best to avoid using stock photos. Since many websites use stock photos, it becomes very easy for a visitor to identify one. This makes them start questioning the professionalism of your brand and of your website too. For instance, you can use a photograph of your team on the 'contact us' page instead of a stock photo.
3. AnalyticsIn marketing, you need to use analytics on Google to know changes that could affect user experience. You can set up a sales funnel that can help you track the way users move through the checkout process, or the point at which they drop off. You can also analyze in-page click through rates and see whether users follow the desired path when they are completing site goals.
Some things to look at include: for instance, the pages where people are spending most of the time, the documents that are being most downloaded, and how many interactions there are before the consumer purchases the product. Analytics will help you understand how users interact with your website. This way, you are able to make improvements in user experience and even in content.
4. FindabilityIn digital marketing, the structure of your URL should encourage findability. This is because crawlers and searchers both need URLs in order to provide relevance to the content of the site. Your URLs should therefore be properly labeled, that is, keyword rich, descriptive of page content, and concise. Navigation items must also be properly labeled. The navigation should consist of the terminology that a searcher would use. The content must also be relevant to the label used. You need to ask questions like why would the searcher want to come to your site? What information are they looking for? Your answer to these questions should guide the terms used in URL structure.
5. Other aspects
- ClarityThe main headline of your website should be a concise and clear statement. You need not waste your visitors time by making them read the entire content of the home page, or even go to the about us page to realize what your business does. The customers should understand what you do a few seconds after landing on the home page. It is better to have a few, well-written pages.
The metadata and content must also align on every page of your website. Crawlers get an accurate depiction of content, and your site receives better scores for relevance. This makes it rank even higher in search results. A Meta description that accurately describes the content of a page will also provide relevance to a search engine. The user can then click on the search result and have their expectations of the contents of the page met.
- Calls to actionAccording to research, in digital marketing, a call to action button is able to convert higher if it is placed at the point where the visitor finds the information that they need, that is, at a point where the customer is prepared to make a decision. This works better than putting several call to action buttons all around the website.
There are important tools that you can use to improve user experience on your website. Let us highlight a few:
- PeekThis tool allows you to have users review your website, mobile site or app and send you a 5 minute video as feedback. It is free and you can run up to 3 tests monthly.
- UserTestingThis is the company that has made Peek. It has additional features, but is not free. There are metrics that can help identify problems, and track your user experience over time. You can get to see how your competitors are faring.
Other tools: Crazy Egg, Visual Website Optimizer, Mouseflow, UserZoom, Optimal Workshop, among many others.