74% of businesses believe user experience is key for improving sales, conversions and loyalty.
What is User Experience?
According to Wikipedia: User experience (UX) involves a person's emotions about using a particular product, system or service. User experience highlights the experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human-computer interaction and product ownership.
While I don't totally disagree with the definition, a business has to look at user experience a bit less subjectively. It's not all about the user, it's about matching their needs to your goals and providing the information, design and navigation to bridge the gap.
Important metrics for you to track on your site for User Experience:
- Conversion Rate – What is the percent of people that arrive at your site and actually convert into a lead or sale? Have you implemented goals in your Analytics rate to observe whether or not it's increasing?
- Bounce Rate – What number of visitors arrive at your site and immediately leave? This is indicative of a site that may not be optimized for search and social… so visitors are arriving with an expectation of the information they'll find there but then they do not. If the keywords driving them are relevant, then you've got another problem… the information you're providing isn't compelling and you're not engaging them into a path to conversion.
- Time on Site – Typically, someone who spends more time on your site will tend to be engaged deeper, an indicator that they are a good lead that can be converted (your metrics may differ!). What are you doing to engage visitors deeper? Do you have video? Whitepapers? Case Studies? A blog? Providing a variety of information that drives engagement is key.
And it goes without saying that User Experience is heavily dependent upon the design of your site, integration of your brand throughout, and providing the mediums and information your visitors need.
Sometimes, poor user experience can be something as little as finding a phone number to contact your business. It can be the use of fonts and whitespace that make it difficult to read. It can be the branding and professional design of your site and whether or not it provides it the user with an overall level of trust and professionalism. And, more often than not, it can be confusing marketing-speak that make it difficult for your visitors to understand whether or not your solution could be a solution to their problems.
Don't underestimate the impact of your user experience. If you're in doubt, go test it. If you can't afford a service, then grab your teenager or spouse and get their reactions. You may be surprised.