A lot of business owners and digitally inclined marketers generally do not know (or maybe they choose to ignore) the effects/importance of UX (User Experience) and Site Navigation in the SERP’s (Search Engine Ranking Positions).
Today we are going to discuss at length how exactly you can take advantage of this metric and make it work for you in your own search marketing and website optimization. But first let us make a list of a few things that make up the general user experience for a website.
- Site Speed.
- Mobile Optimization (Growing Importance).
- Site Navigation.
- Bounce Rate.
- Organization of site content.
Now that we have our list, let us discuss each individual topic and figure out how you can get it right for your own business.
The beautiful thing about this one is that we can all relate to it one way or the other, no matter how much you love a website, or used to love it – if it runs slowly or way too slowly and there is an alternative running 99% faster we will all leave and use the alternative. And trust me, you don’t want people leaving your website for terrible site speed. In my experience those visitors will never return 70% of the time and beyond that, your “faster” and smoother running competition will outrank you with no remorse. Courtesy of Google!
A lot of businesses build functionality dependent and heavy desktop sites, we get that! Truth be told, some of us have done it even, but here’s the thing you should never do, subject users trying to catch a quick read or collect information on your website with a hanging device and crashing browser. Or worse… Extremely tiny text that they have to zoom constantly and scroll to read! Ain’t nobody got time for that! Get a mobile site or if you must – Go responsive!
Going responsive is a great way to eat your cake and have it but I suppose if you have a data hungry website you may want to seriously consider going mobile. Better User experience overall, more satisfied customers and everybody wins!
If I visit your business/agency website and you have no clear cut navigation to help me get things done quickly, I will leave and so will every one else! Only thing that excuses a navigation is if you have a one pager website. And in many cases, one pager websites with content that requires you to scroll still have navigation that helps you jump to specific sections of the page.
It’s not rocket science, you are not supposed to put your contact us form in a tiny corner of the page and expect us to find it! Do us a favor please and just gerrarahere men!
Yes there is the argument that so so so big agency or company have their website like this, it is creative and not conventional and their navigation is like a roller-coaster lollipop toast machine. I get it, your mentor website is creative and unique, I am not asking you not to be unique… I am just saying that website you admire so much is popular for a reason, and your website is not. So do you really want to fight or argue a weird navigation/content structure like the one they have at 97thfloor.com after they already have clients like ESPN, Adobe, Dell &Time Warner (to mention but a few). Is dell your client? And when I say Dell I don’t mean Dell Support Center Lagos Nigeria – I mean Dell Dell! The people that actually shove out hundreds of thousands of dollars in marketing and consultancy fees to agencies like 97thfloor.
Think about that for a minute and seriously consider your target audience before putting your navigation inside a jQuery ball that I have to bounce with my mouse before I can do anything on your website.
Believe it or not, the rate at which the 3 things listed above piss people off enough for them to leave your website and never comeback is actually a ranking factor in itself. Talk about karma and negligence coming back to bite you in the ass.
It’s simple! If Google ranks you at number 1 for keyphrase “Handbags made with Onions” but people who visit your website don’t find any such products or worse, the site is too slow with poor navigation and nasty improperly listed content – they will leave and click on result number 2. When people keep doing this I like to think of it as upvoting the other guy over you! In very little time without having improved marketing or done anything new, the number 2 guy becomes number one and stays there. Oldest trick in the book, It is not enough to just do the same things your competitors are doing to just “stay on par”, if you take the time to research what they are doing wrong and then you proceed to do it right by yourself it will pay dividends!
Personally I have used this factor alone to steal rankings for my clients at least 10 times in the last 7 months. It’s not a myth – it does matter!
Yes I already gave the 97thfloor example on site content, and please note that I actually regard 97thfloor as one of the best inbound marketing agencies out there. I think their website is perfect the way it is for an agency as creative and innovative as theirs. I just don’t think their type of website is perfect for everyone! You especially because you have to be reading this at all!
Now that said, I am talking about something entirely different here! Let’s start with advertising! If you have a content producing website like a blog… Having 15 ads on one page with 17 words of text is never ever ever going to be OK! Putting 3 ads above the fold before I even see the post title is never ever ever ever going to sit well with a user!
Like a Yoruba mother will say, "You are doing yourself!"
You want to make money yes! We get it! But it should always be about providing the information first before anything else. That is the only way you would truly make money and keep making money!
I want to continue typing but I need to save some finger juice for my next blog post! Please and thank you! Hit me with any questions you might have in the comments section and I will get at you soonest!