Have you ever visited a website, downloaded an app or bought a product and had no idea how to use it? How do I find the page I need? Where do I upload images? How do I even turn this thing on? The feeling is maddening—so much so that you probably swore off that site, app or product and vowed never to use it again.
That's why user experience matters. The difference between good and bad UX is the difference between a user coming back to your website time and time again and leaving never to return. A negative experience can turn you off of a brand entirely, yet positive ones will keep you around forever (think Facebook, Google and Apple).
Let's dive into the key areas user experience can affect in your business.
Return on Investment
Everyone knows you have to spend money to make money, but what happens when you're only doing the first part (besides crying)? Say you built a new website six months ago. It drives a lot of traffic, but your conversion rate is low—people aren't contacting you or buying things. Bad user experience may be to blame.
The more intuitive a website is, the more likely users are to convert. They feel comfortable using the site and will make few to no mistakes along their journey. Not to mention, they're more likely to return to your site in the future if they enjoyed the experience the first time. Good UX turns browsers into buyers and one-time buyers into repeat buyers.
Note – intuitive does not equal pretty. Your site could be beautiful, but it's worthless if customers can't use it.
The easier it is to do something, the more satisfying it is. Think about a time where you put off doing a task because you thought it'd be hard, but it turned out it was really easy. That's how you want your website to feel.
Uber did this when they released their app and disrupted to taxi industry. In the past hailing a cab or calling for one was stressful. But Uber made it so you could see your driver coming toward you on the phone—giving you the peace of mind that a ride was on its way.
But let's be clear – the Uber example is great, but you don't have to create an industry-disrupting app to leave your customers satisfied after they use your website. Just make sure they can do everything they need to do efficiently and intuitively and you probably already have a leg up on the competition.
Search Engine Optimization
Google's algorithm contains thousands of indicators to tell them which search results are best for each query—one of them being bounces back to the search results. But how does this relate to UX? If users come to your site from a search and are immediately confused, they'll go back to the results and choose another website. This tells Google the searcher was not satisfied with your page and to move it down in the results next time—something any novice search engine optimizer can tell you is bad.
Google also takes time spent on site and number of pages viewed into consideration when determining search results. So the more comfortable a user feels on your site, the better when it comes to SEO.
What do you typically do after you have an amazing experience? Tell someone about it, duh! Whether it's a great time at an amusement park, a tasty sandwich or an amazing interaction with a website – people will tell their friends about it both in person and on social media.
However, the flip side of that is people also tell their friends about bad experiences they had. So a negative experience could be broadcast even farther than a positive one.
The most important point we can make about all of this is that your website is for your users, not you. So design it with them in mind and you'll succeed. Ready to improve your website's user experience? Talk to us today to get started.