Usability and user experience influence your site’s search engine ranking success thanks to what Moz calls the “no-one-likes-to-link-to-a-crummy-site phenomenon”. That —along with a plethora of available content and society’s fleeting attention span (8 seconds)— makes capturing your audience’s attention more and more difficult.
A website is the backbone of all digital efforts, so auditing your site’s usability is imperative. When testing a website’s user experience (UX), we suggest you start by asking yourself the following questions to determine if your site is built for the right users.
6 Questions to Ask Yourself for Better UX
Who is your typical customer base?
Researching and identifying your target audience should be the first step when creating any aspect of your website. With free tools like Google Analytics, you can gauge the demographics of your website’s audience. Consider the gender and age range of your website users. Millennials will expect mobile-friendly designs and will have higher expectations for your website than less-tech-savvy users.
To see where your website stands with your current customer base, pay attention to analytics metrics such as session duration, pageviews per session, bounce rate, and returning visitors.
Remember, it is cheaper to retain a customer than acquire a new one, so listen to your users and change the structure of your site to best suit them.
Who is your target audience?
Search engines rely on engagement metrics and user behavior data to determine the popularity and quality of a given website. Marketing your website to just anyone can lead to skewed engagement metrics and an inaccurate depiction of your site to search engines.
Your website should speak directly to your target audience and make everyone else wonder if they should be there, too. The best UX design makes a user feel like the website has been created and personalized just for them. To create a compelling experience for users, take the time to research your target audience and what makes them tick.
What is the intended goal of a visitor to your site?
Once a user is on your site, it’s up to you to set the direction of how they interact with it. If users land on your home page and have to think about where they should navigate next, chances are they will return to the search results page and move on to your competitor’s site.
If the goal of your site is to submit a form, call your business, or sign up for a newsletter, clearly point users in the right direction with calls to action (CTAs). CTAs should be visually noticeable with compelling, actionable copy on the first page a user lands on. Users should be able to complete valuable actions with little to no effort.
What is your Unique Value Proposition?
Fear of better options is a thing, and consumers today look to the internet to research products/services before committing to a purchase. Reviews, ratings, and other valuable information mean consumers are more educated and less impulsive.
One of the most important things you want to communicate through your website is your competitive advantage. Dedicate space on your site to explain the value behind your product/service and what makes you stand out from the crowded market. In fact, with a great user experience, your website alone can add value for your market that your competitors don’t.
Who are your main competitors and industry leaders?
Know thy enemy and know thy search ranking! The internet has given businesses an opportunity to reach a vast audience. With this reach comes an increase in competition. You are no longer just competing locally with the businesses across the street, but also businesses appearing next to you in search engine page results (SERPs).
The purpose of this question is to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors in your market. By keeping taps on your competitors, you can learn from their successes and failures without taking the financial hit.
Which pages on your site do you most want visitors to see?
Getting users to your site is one thing. Getting them to stay is another. Users today do not have the patience to search through pages of your site to find what they are looking for. There are millions of websites they can land on, and you need to make sure your website is providing what they need to stay.
Prioritize the pages users would find important or useful. This is where your intended goal above and research on your target audience is beneficial. These pages of your website should be easy for the user to get to.
A digital marketing campaign is only as strong as the website it leads back to. Taking the time to create a personalized, tailored user experience will lead to satisfied searchers and higher rankings.
Asking yourself these six questions will get you one step closer to giving users the ultimate user experience that they deserve! And if you have more questions — you can ask us.