Release Your Inner Geek

Even though not many of us here at Grey Coffee will probably admit it, deep down there is a bit of inner geek in all of us. For me I love any web related stats, I like drilling down a lot deeper and understanding how a user will view your website and also how they ultimately will navigate through your website. The topic this generally relates to is User Experience.

In this post today, I will discuss how user experience or UX for short is becoming so much more important with the design and development of your website. There are many elements that all relate to User Experience, these span from website loading speed, user navigation, browser compatibility, device compatibility, communication of content and website structure. I will also look at the impact User Experience has on your website SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).

So what does it actually mean?

Well quite simply User Experience is the break down of the needs and requirements of your potential clients, or ‘users’ who visit your website. Good UX will mean that these needs are met at every step of the way through out the journey of the user on your website.

User Experience can start with the navigation on your home page, how easy it is to add a product to your shopping cart, or even something as simple as a landing page that acknowledges receipt of purchase or submission of a contact request. Good UX will ultimately keep users engaged with your website whereas bad UX will ultimate leave the user frustrated and will probably result in abandonment.

How does website loading speed and page loading speeds effect the UX of my website?

Quite simply, these days’ people just do not want to wait. In most cities now we have 4G service on our mobile phones which makes applications and websites load pretty dam quick. When shopping we have contactless payment systems, again making transactions much quicker. We have seen the contactless technology work initially with the Oyster card making it much quicker and easier to get through the gates on the underground. With technology moving at such a pace it is important that your website doesn’t slow anyone down because users will just not wait.
On average a website page should take approx between 2 – 3 seconds to load, and I actually seem to recall the average is about 2.6 seconds. If for any reason your website is taking longer to load then we should really review the reasons why this is.

Why does it matter what browser my website is viewed in?

Many of you that know me, will know I endorse everything that has an Apple badge on it however even though I am one of many not everyone will be on a mac operating system. There are such a wide range of Internet browsers to accommodate for these days. Some users swear by Firefox, others Safari, IE (Internet Explorer), and last but not least Google Chrome. Ensuring your website will work and function properly across all browsers is extremely important. You can use your Google Analytics to view what users are more commonly using to view your website. You can then check yourself that you are happy how your site is performing across the different browsers.

Why is the primary navigation on my website so important?

There are no defined rules when it comes to website structure and navigation, and many agencies will design the website navigation as they see fit. However have made it clear that from a UX perspective a user should never be 2 clicks away from a call to action or a sales conversion. For service business this could come in the way of a contact submission or a call back form, for ecommerce businesses this could be an add to basket button or even a checkout button.

The navigation of your website is one of the most fundamental elements of the website. Get this wrong from the outset and ultimately it will come and bite you in the bum in the long run. The navigation should be clear user focused and ultimately make it easy for people to navigate to and from pages finding the information quickly and easily.

Finally a lot of this also comes down to the communication of content and how relevant the content is to the page that the user is searching for. If for example you clicked on a navigation item labelled services and there was no obvious content outlining the services that you offer to your clients then you don’t need me to tell you something is seriously wrong.

So how does all this effect how Google rank my website in organic search queries?

As we already know Google will not rank you on any one thing, but we do know that UX is becoming more of a ranking factor. This means Google will look at some of the points above and make judgement on how user friendly your website is.
Improving the UX of your website will help many things. Ultimately if the journey and navigation of the menu is more focused, your web conversions or enquiries will increase. If your site is developed in good friendly code that is device and browser compatible then this will have a positive impact on your organic search rankings in Google.

The next time you review your website, try and release your ‘inner geek’ think about how users may interact with your website, try loading it on your mobile phone or maybe even try it in different browsers. Try and view it not as the owner of your brand but through the eyes of the user. Once you start understanding your market and how the user may interact with your site you will really start to be able to unlock the potential that lives within your website.

If you would like Grey Coffee to review your existing web solution and how we can look at user specific elements within your website then why not give the Grey Coffee team a call 07872 576803 to see how we can improve how users interact with your website.