“What is UX?”: User Experience Explained
UX is a critical ranking factor for SEO
Entrepreneurs and users alike wonder: ‘what is UX and how does it affect my business?’
According to Google, Page Experience (also known as “User Experience” or UX for short) is a set of signals that measure how users perceive the experience while interacting with a web page.
But ‘what is UX?’ as a whole can be challenging. User Experience design and optimization are hard to illustrate without a relatable experience. Here is one way to explain what is UX and how it works.
Imagine walking into a brick-and-mortar retail shop. They sell books. Every time you go in, you need to skim through different categories of books you are not interested in. Takes time and feels impersonal. Like you are just another visitor that gets the same experience.
But suddenly, the store starts changing its floor set up to match your unique likes, shopping trends, and needs.
Now, every time. you walk into the store, it creates a personalized experience that flows and feels effortless. Shopping there now is hassle-free and quick.
But most importantly, it doesn’t feel invasive because it improved your experience as a consumer. Now you feel recognized, seen and appreciated as a consumer.
This is UX. The online capability of changing the way a site interacts with users’ commands and actions to improve their online experience.
Yet, defining User Experience requires including the metrics (or signals) that Google recognizes when ranking your page:
“It includes Core Web Vitals, which is a set of metrics that measure real-world user experience for loading performance, interactivity, and visual stability of the page. It also includes existing Search signals: mobile-friendliness, HTTPS, and intrusive interstitial guidelines.” – Google
Why Is UX Important?
Online business websites need traffic. And, to get traffic, you need SEO on your site. To achieve a higher ranking on Search Engines like Google, you will need to improve overall site UX.
To understand why UX is important, you need to take a look at your website with your user’s (customer’s) eyes, not only from a marketing or business perspective. They want more than just images, links, and completed purchases. They crave Experiences.
In the end, it all comes back to User Experience.
UX focuses on the site’s architecture, visitor journey, user link flow, and desktop or mobile layouts. UX is determined by the ease or difficulty to navigate through elements web developers, designers and businesses have implemented into their websites.
User Experience vs. Page Content: What is more important?
While UX is important, Google still seeks to rank pages with the best information overall, in some cases even if the page experience is not up to standards. Quality content is also a ranking factor.
Therefore, a great User Experience doesn’t supersede having great content. They bear the same weight when it comes to improving search engine ranking. Because the combination of both impacts UX greatly.
Providing a good user experience should be your site’s top goal. Not only is it a ranking factor for Google, but it also leaves a lasting impression on your user’s journey through your business’ website.
Here are some key facts and statistics that further explain why User Experience has become so important for Google and online businesses:
- Bad customer experience makes around 79 percent of visitors leave and prefer some other website.
- Users who are accessing the website on a smartphone have 5 times more chances of leaving the website if they face any inconvenience. They also are frequent buyers who have come with transactional intent and might make a purchase on the same day.
- Following a bad experience, a mere 12% of the users stay on the website, and the rest 88% make an immediate switch to the next alternative.
- Adobe believes 39 percent of the users will stop engaging with a website if it takes too long to load images.
- Studies have shown that good UX boosts the conversion rates with almost double the percentage as compared to the user interface.
How to tell if your SIte's UX needs Improvement.
Good UX answers all the following questions.
- How easy is navigation on your website?
- Is your content engaging enough for your audiences to stay?
- How secure is your site for the users?
- Is the content relevant, clear, and readable?
An easy way to optimize your site’s UX, is checking your Core Web Vitals objects often by using a free tool like PageSpeedInsights or Google Lighthouse Chrome Extension.
“Based on several of these factors impacting the user experience, Google already takes some of the signals into account for ranking purposes. That is great (when those factors have teeth), but they were never wrapped into one larger signal before. And that is exactly what Google is trying to do with the Page Experience signal.” SEMrush
By “objects” and “signals” we mean the elements involved when Google measures UX. They are also known as Core Web Vitals, and they play the main role when reporting your performance to search engines, like Google.
Some telltale signs that your site needs to improve UX are:
- Slow search engine rankings
- Lack of traffic
- Slow loading speed
- High bounce rate
- Low sales
If you have exhausted all your SEO techniques, but there’s no considerable change in your traffic or rankings, your site’s issue may be UX-related.
How to Improve UX
There are many elements involved in providing a good user experience. Here are some good Google recommendations for improving UX:
- Google recommends that websites use HTTPS, rather than HTTP, to improve user and site security. Sites that use HTTP can be marked as “not secure” in the Chrome browser.
- Ensure that your site works in different browsers, like mobile AND desktop. This includes optimizing your site for different platforms too (Android, iPhone, Tesla etc.).
- A fast page usually beats a slow page in User Experience or UX. You can use the Core Web Vitals report to see your site-wide performance numbers, or PageSpeed Insights to test performance for individual pages on your site.
But your business will have a hard time achieving goals – including SEO marketing strategies – without a clear understanding ‘of what is UX’ and ‘why’ it is so important.
Improving UX can be as easy as following a signal checklist. There are many elements, or “signals” that Google reads when measuring User Experience.
Some easy ways to improve UX, and therefore search engine ranking, are:
- Improve site loading speed.
- Make all pages mobile-friendly across all devices and platforms.
- Avoid using popups and interrupting elements that can inhibit the user experience.
- Have a secure site to keep user information safe.
- Provide free quality content with researched keywords.
- Easy to navigate, shop, learn and explore.
- Check often your Core Web Vitals objects.
Bottom Line: Why should you invest time and resources in improving UX?
All businesses have a bottom line. So, revenue drives most business efforts. And in business, time is money, so entrepreneurs try to avoid spending time on fruitless efforts. Understandably so.
Time is required to learn new skills, change pages, create valuable content, and improve speed and other aspects of UX.
But if you understand the importance of SEO and web traffic, you need to invest time or other resources, like hiring experts to manage your SEO. That is the path modern digital marketing, SEM, and e-commerce is headed.
User Experience is not only the latest digital marketing trend and strategy for business in 2022.
UX is paving the way for unique, personalized user experiences like virtual realities, increased security, algorithms, and control over advertisements and data sharing.
Keeping your site within Google’s User Experience standards can be easy and is a proven effective SEO strategy that should be in every entrepreneur’s business plan.
So, now that you know what is UX, how will you improve users’ experience on your site? Let us know by emailing us here.