Improving User Experience: Where to Start
When it comes to company websites, small business owners often find it difficult to prioritize their maintenance and optimization efforts. Keeping a business website up to speed with the changing web can feel like a full time job. While they understand that search engine optimization is important, they also recognize that the user experience is just as critical. According to local marketing experts, the best websites integrate SEO and user experience into a seamless collaboration.
Move Away from Broad Terms
The main issue here with the term “user experience” is that web designers and marketers often use it to justify their web design decisions. It can be easy to say that a blog or a revolving home page image, for instance, will improve the user experience. However, more often than not we need to move away from the broad term to zero in on the individual components of user experience. This is where significant strides towards improving user experience can be had. According to The User Experience Honeycomb, developed by Peter Morville, websites perform best when they are:
When we break user experience down into these categories, it is much easier and simpler to set concrete goals towards improving user experience.
Test Your User Experience
To improve usability and other attributes of a high-quality website, website managers often turn to testing their users to see whether or not they can find the information they’re looking for. In addition, they may also ask them what they remembered about the website; effective online communication makes it easy for people to remember key pieces of information from a website. Also, usability testers pay particular attention to the percentage of people who would recommend the website to others.
No matter how your small business decides to evaluate its user experience, it is important to make sure that you’re making web design decisions based on data rather than blindly trying to improve “user experience” for the sake of it. For help with Google Analytics and other website tracking tools, turn to local marketing experts or see our Google guide.
Good SEO Often Improves User Experience
Even if a website’s user experience is outstanding, it is rendered useless if no one can find it. That’s where findability and SEO come into play. When small businesses employ SEO tactics and organize their website content, they usually help both search engines and customers find their website. As a small business owner in a competitive industry, this is everything and you can’t afford to neglect either area.
Help Customers Find What They Want
In general, customers get frustrated with slow websites, so it’s important to reduce your site’s download time as much as possible. However, there is also evidence that customers get just as frustrated when they can’t find information they’re looking for. When these customers have difficulty finding what they need, the perception here is that the entire website is slow.
The takeaway here is to present information in a logical way so that it appeals to both users and search engines and that will ultimately improve user experience.