So far, we’ve talked about SEO, how to find good keywords, why your competition matters, and more. But, one of the most important aspects of your site is that it provides users with what you claim it does, and that it’s set up so that users know what you offer and can easily accept your offers.
Even if you get a lot of traffic, no one is going to stick around on your site if the user experience is poor. If the site loads too slowly, doesn’t work on mobile, not enough content – or the wrong content – or the structure of the site is not compelling enough, the people who do visit your website will leave quickly. Conversely, if it’s set up properly, they’ll be more likely to stick around.
If your users feel listened to, you’ll build brand loyalty, attract more customers, and of course earn more revenue. You can, of course, test your site out by simply trying to look at it as if you’re a user. Click around and try to determine how your users feel as they’re trying to navigate the site. But, it really helps to use technology.
Google Webmaster Tools have a lot of ways to help you study user experience, such as bounce rate, return visitors, unique visitors, time spent on your site, which pages they exit from, and if they complete the goals you’ve set for them. If you get really into Google Webmaster Tools, you can also discover how people are finding you and your brand, and more. (https://www.google.com/webmasters/)
Survey Your Users
Another way to find out what your users think is to put a survey on the site. You can also send it via email to your email list, asking them to come to the site and give you an evaluation based on the survey. Incentivize them by giving them a freebie once they submit the form.
What Questions Are Users Asking You?
Keep in mind that once you are getting the traffic, you have some very useful ways to find out how your users feel – through email, social media, and even the phone. This gives you a clue about what your audience is having a really hard time finding on your site, as well as what they like in terms of the content you’re providing to them.
Are people signing up for your email list? Are they filling out forms properly? Are they abandoning their cart? Keep in mind that a lot of this information can be obtained automatically using Google Analytics via their webmaster tools.
While the technical aspects of your website are very important, user experience is probably one of the most significant. Being at the top of search results does no good if your users dislike your website.
An important aspect of that user experience is content. Next time, we’ll talk about how to write SEO-friendly content that works for users and for search engines.