User Experience (UX) is essential to digital marketing right now. The Google Page Experience update that will arrive in May 2021 is placing great importance on UX. Consequently, there is a mad dash to make websites shiny and user-friendly.
However, it seems many are unaware of the practical aspects of UX and how it is so much more than making a fancy looking website. UX design is comparable to architecture. When designing a building, an architect will be very deliberate with layouts as everything has a specific form but also function. What does a UX designer do? They build websites the same way, there is a lot of time and effort that goes into how the user will interact with the website, just like how a person will live or work in a building.
UX will keep visitors on your website longer, lower your bounce rate, and up conversions if used correctly. As it enhances your customers’ visit, a great UX also improves your SEO and your bottom line.
How Do UX and SEO Work Together?
Not long ago, UX and SEO were seen, at worst, as competing entities and, at best, as parallel factors neither competing nor strengthening the other. Google’s increasing focus on the user experience solidly unites the two aspects.
The unification of UX and SEO occurs naturally in today’s digital marketplace. The mutual goal of offering the best information to searchers makes the paring work. SEO drives the traffic to your web page. UX will keep the searcher on your website. This is why ux design matters as much as seo, for example:
- Without good SEO, you have little traffic on your page, and no one notices your UX.
- Poor user experience will drive visitors away from your site, giving you a high bounce rate and no conversions (despite your SEO being top-notch).
Trends to Help Your Website UX and Boost SEO
Considering Google’s stance on mobile-first indexing, combined with the data that shows more than 77% of mobile searches take place whilst searchers are at home or in their workplace, it is easy to understand how vital an excellent mobile UX is for your business.
In the arena of mobile SEO, the user experience you provide to visitors can make or break your position on the SERPs. Additionally, sites providing a poor UX will not get good reviews or any recommendations from visitors.
Key factors that impact the UX of a website include:
- Speed – Pages that load slowly will annoy visitors and kill your SEO. Two of the biggest causes of slow loading are images and videos. Consider checking your site with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool. Knowing what to adjust is a big part of the battle for the top of the SERPs
- Ease of use – Examples of mobile sites that are difficult to use are just about everywhere. Additionally, websites your customers’ can visit if your site frustrates them are also plentiful. According to Statista, there are 1.7 billion active websites. No matter your niche, it is unlikely that you are the only game in town.
- Clean design – Web pages that look excellent on laptops or desktop screens often lose their sparkle on a phone or tablet. Less is more when you are putting together a mobile site and trying to ensure a superior UX. Make sure your mobile site has specifics such as:
- Large clear print
- Sizeable tap targets
- Clear navigation directions
Chances are you are familiar with the pros and cons of operating your device in Dark Mode. If not, rest assured it is not as sinister as it sounds.
Dark Mode can extend your device’s battery life and reduces eyestrain that comes with looking at a white screen with dark lettering for long periods of time.
Detractors say that Dark Mode can intensify eye fatigue when in bright light and that reading extensive passages in Dark Mode can be more difficult.
The hype about adding Dark Mode as a part of your website UX goes a bit beyond these specific points and hinges upon what Google’s John Mueller has to say regarding the topic.
When asked if using Dark Mode on a website impacted SEO in any way, Mueller assured the world that because it was a part of CSS (which does not influence how Google’s crawlers index sites), there is no reason to fear adding Dark Mode to your web page.
More interestingly, Mueller added that at some point in the future, Dark Mode could be worth noting in SERPs, depending on its continued popularity with users.
Smart Content Load
Whatever changes occur in digital marketing, you can depend on the fact that quality content will carry weight when it comes to SEO. However, how you load your content can have an impact as well.
A treasure trove of excellent information and relevant images will not influence site visitors who grow impatient and leave before seeing your offerings. This is where a better way of loading becomes a key component in UX and SEO.
- Lazy Loading – Using Lazy Load keeps your website’s speed up by only loading what the viewer sees at the moment. This eliminates wasted time spent loading content that searchers may never see.
- Infinite Scroll – The Infinite Scroll feature means your visitors may never reach the end of your page. This feature keeps a reader’s attention on the information in front of them because there is no point where they must click on an icon to see more details or wait for a new page to load.
Voice Enabled Search
The permanence of voice search in the virtual marketplace is apparent. A web site optimised for this is critical for your success; there are plenty of statistics to back up the need for you to be on top of your site’s voice search capabilities.
For an impressive UX, implementing Voice User Interface (VUI) will make your site stand out from the competition. When you consider the dominance of voice search, a similar path for VUI is the natural next step.
What Is the Difference Between VUI and Voice Assistants?
The key differences between the two may seem subtle on the surface:
- VUI is a point of contact for a human to interact with a computer. This interaction is similar to typing or tapping; the human voice is simply the way to enter commands or queries.
- A voice assistant has programmes that allow it to process voice requests, but it lacks the level of interaction seen in VUI.
- When interacting with Siri, you are using a programme; when engaging with VUI, you are inputting data to operate the computer.
Using micro-interactions is a powerful way to enhance your UX and, in turn, your SEO. The trend works in nearly every e-commerce situation imaginable and has improved the UX for scores of web pages.
What Are Micro Interactions?
Micro-interactions are a way for website users to receive feedback regarding actions taken while using a device. If you do anything online, you have experienced micro-interactions. A few examples include:
- The ‘like’ buttons on sites that change colour or display an icon after a user clicks it.
- A progress bar showing how much of a download needs to be loaded.
- The dots that represent someone typing on message apps.
- Left swipe to delete an email on a smartphone.
- A scroll bar that appears when you move your cursor down a page.
Why Are Micro Interactions Important?
It is a part of our nature to expect a reaction when we act. When dealing with computers, something as simple as an icon changing colour when we click lets us know our action was correct or at least noticed.
For example, when a customer sends an enquiry through our website, we acknowledge their enquiry and let them know we will be in touch shortly:
How Do Micro Interactions Help UX and SEO?
The internet can feel somewhat impersonal sometimes, and ambiguity regarding our actions enhances that feeling. Users prefer knowing that whatever action they completed, whether filling out a form or liking a friend’s image, was correct and completed.
For example: Stacey places an online order for a new pair of boots. Immediately after placing the order, she is notified that the order was successful, and given an estimated timeframe for shipping. After seeing her order was captured correctly, Stacey is confident that the item she wanted will be shipped to the correct address in a timely manner. Additionally, she starts to browse some of the suggested add-on products and remains on the website for an additional five minutes.
If a customer visits your site and the micro-interactions occur predictably, their user experience is likely to be positive. Interacting with a website that makes actions clear will keep a customer on the page. This reduces the bounce rate and also ups the chance of conversions. The result is a happy customer who is more likely to recommend the site. Additionally, there can be a boost to SEO because of the lower bounce rate and the positive UX.
Microcopy and UX Writing
UX writing and Microcopy are more than just trends to enhance your website user experience. Essentially, users can interact with your web page because of these two essential components.
What Are UX Writing and Microcopy?
- UX Writing is creating copy that works within user interfaces to direct users and assist interaction between the user and the computer or other digital device. It is essential because copy has a significant role in the User Interface (UI) with no sign of diminishing. The most delightful looking user interface with bad copy is a bad site, period.
- Microcopy are smaller bits of information that guide a user through a programme. When a user does a particular action, microcopy pops up to assist the user with the programme.
For example: When a visitor is navigating a website, microcopy can pop small bits of helpful information on the screen. The information may be reminders, explanations of options, or directions on how to complete the process of checking out. Although the copy is small (hence the name), it can have a considerable impact on the UX and if the visit converts.
Many companies use these elements to personalise their web pages. Customers love to feel as if they are a part of the brand. Frequently, you can achieve this by creative UX storytelling, candid images, or humorous instructions. Be sure that if you lighten your website’s overall mood, it is on-brand for your company. Animated animals may be fine if you own a pet supply business but would be wholly inappropriate for someone who sells urns for cremation.
Stay Ahead of Your Competition
While all of these trends have merit, avoid using too many as you enhance your website. Creating something unrecognisable will not improve the user experience and may have the opposite effect on customers familiar with your brand.
Understanding how SEO and UX work together is a crucial aspect of digital marketing in 2021. A good understanding of how to implement UX trends is equally important.
However, staying ahead of the curve is time-consuming and not always straightforward. If you do not have the spare time to learn all about UX design and create top-notch user experiences, you may want to consider working with an expert who can give your site the upgrade you need while you focus on running your business.