User experience (UX) is a term describing the responses, perceptions, and emotions that a customer has when interacting with a service, product, or system. In the context of digital marketing, this happens when a person is reading, scrolling through, or interacting with any type of online content.
Attention spans are short these days, and first impressions make a powerful impact on users. It’s crucial that the first impression be a positive one, with strong visual appeal and foolproof navigation. All desired content must be easy to access by way of a streamlined navigation system. At every touchpoint, customers should quickly be able to find what they’re looking for. Effective digital marketing is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal to enhance user experience. Here are several ways that it achieves that goal.
1. Customer Pathway
A user’s experience on a website is like a journey, and analytic tools can help trace an individual path. It starts at arrival, moves through the browsing experience, and travels on to conversion. The goal for a digital marketer is to make the journey smooth and informative, with no obstacles along the way. Studying a customer journey, it’s possible to gain insight into exactly how they engage with a site, and bring attention to pain points that can lead to bouncing off the site, leaving shopping carts abandoned, or canceling memberships or newsletter subscriptions. Maintaining engagement is crucial. Doing a search for a digital experience cloud may help you move toward streamlining the process so you can focus on other key tasks.
2. Responsive Design
Responsive design means that a website is equally attractive and user-friendly on any kind of device. The majority of users now browse on mobile devices. When they search for a product or service, they expect that information will be immediately available on their terms. A positive UX isn’t just an option on mobile — it’s vital. Fortunately, more content management systems emphasize mobile-friendliness than in the past.
3. Customer Loyalty
Don’t underestimate the power of your website design to drive customer loyalty. It has a potent effect on motivation, perception, and behavior. If the UX and design are subpar, it undercuts the business-customer relationship. Fortunately, a good user experience will enhance the perception of your brand, customer satisfaction, and positive word-of-mouth association. Happy customers will become brand advocates and make repeat purchases. They’ll pass the word along for you on social networks and IRL, and boost your value over the long haul.
4. Search Engine Optimization
Effective search engine optimization (SEO) is a necessity for the visibility of your website and the success of your business. Your target audience has to be able to find you easily. A good UX helps boost SEO. Your potential customers will stay on your website and explore its content for a longer time, making the bounce rate go down. This alerts search engines to the fact that your website has useful, original content and that it meets the needs of search queries.
5. Conversion Rates
Good digital marketing gives customers helpful information about a service or product. If the customer thinks this information is interesting or actionable, there’s a good chance they’ll follow up on the website and explore further. A positive UX will deliver seamlessly, boosting the likelihood of a conversion. Keep in mind that a conversion doesn’t have to be a sale — it might be newsletter signup or some other type of buy-in.
Patience is in short supply now. Users expect web pages to load immediately. Even a few seconds lag can result in loss of revenue. Search engines use speed as an important ranking metric. Make sure that your photo formats and compressions result in fast load times. At the same time, the level of quality and the detail in your images affect user experience and conversion rate — be aware of that, too.
Although distinct call-to-action (CTA) buttons have become an industry standard, it’s important that users read and see enough information before they see the CTA — a “hard-sell” approach can backfire. Keep in mind that the “know, like, and trust” factor is important prior to conversion.
6. Content Strategy
Content strategy is inextricably woven into user experience. Drilling down into your metrics, you can find out more about your target audience, take note of their pathway through your website, and use the information obtained to fine-tune your content and the way you present it on your site. As your UX improves, so will search rankings. It’s a fascinating and rewarding process to discover how small tweaks can make a big difference. This is an area where it’s helpful to research similar companies to learn from their successes and mistakes.
7. Content Distribution
Once you’ve created a stellar user experience and dynamic content, it’s time to start sharing and get noticed. Select the right social media channels for your business — they won’t be the same for everyone, and it’s not necessary to have an active presence everywhere. Take into account your type of product/service, the kinds of people you serve, and where your competitors are active. Just as you have a good UX on your website, your social media users should be able to navigate easily to and from your social media platforms and receive the same type of information, value, and purchasing opportunities no matter where they land.
Consistent, high-level branding across your website and social media networks is another aspect of a positive user experience. Users should feel like they’re in a similar aesthetic environment while scrolling through all of your online destinations, and they should “hear” the same brand voice. To loyal customers, it’s a sort of “home away from home.” When communicating by email, phone, and in-person, extend the experience of your brand in a natural, authentic way. It may require a good bit of pre-planning and infrastructure building to do so, but it’s time well-spent.
Digital marketing and UX optimization work in tandem and should be in continuous dialogue. Consider these factors as you craft your strategy.