What is User Experience and How Does It Play Into Your Website?
First impressions are important, and in many cases, your website can be the first impression a user has of your business or brand. Everyone wants to have a good-looking website, but it’s about more than the design! Outside of the overall design of your website, you also want to be sure you are providing a good user experience making it easily navigable and optimal functionality. This is the key to keeping users engaged on your site and increasing conversions.
What is user experience (UX)?
User experience refers to the entire encounter that a user has with a website – how it works and how we want a user to feel when it works is important to consider when designing a website. There are 3 elements to user experience to be considered including look, feel and visibility.
The look and feel of the website is the first impression a user will have while navigating through the site. How the website is designed also is influential on how the user will feel.
Feel is how the user feels while using the website. The user should not feel overwhelmed or confused after navigating through the website.
Usability is how easy the website is used. The goal of usability is for users to be able to complete a goal efficiently while using the website.
Why does UX matter?
As a web designer and/or developer, if you are intentional and keep these 3 elements of UX in mind while building your website, there are many benefits to consider. Starting with the end goal: repeat visitors! When a customer visits your website, the positive experience they have is what will continue to bring them back.
UX also plays a big role in SEO, and it’s true that users are more likely to click on your website the higher it is ranked within the SERPs. Improving the user experience on your site reaps positive benefits for your search engine optimization boosting your site higher in the organic search listings.
Once you have a user on your site, you want to keep them there and make them feel encouraged to explore other pages within your website. This can be made possible by including elements such as a simple menu navigation that works to build the site hierarchy and make it easier for a user to navigate to deeper pages of the site. The content on your site also plays a huge role in UX. As a user navitages your site, the content should help create a seamless journey and guide the user through the website functionality and lead them to the emotions you want to leave them with after viewing the site.
You can easily gauge the experience that a user is having on your site with metrics made available to you through Google Analytics such as bounce rate and average time on page.
UX is more important now than ever
Following the Google Page Experience Update, additional search signals were introduced to judge a web page based on how a user interacts with the page. The search signals for page experience now make up the following elements: Core Web Vitals, Mobile friendly, Safe browsing, HTTPS, No intrusive interstitials. The newest element introduced is what is referred to as Core Web Vitals. Core Web Vitals scores a page based on three aspects: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).
Google will be using these page experience search signals to measure if a web page is in “good” standing. Although page experience is not technically a ranking factor, these elements when weighed together have an overall impact on how Google may rank your web pages.