Beyond SEO: Improving Your Website’s User Experience
Improving your website’s user experience can be difficult if you have a major focus on SEO efforts. Everyone wants to see the big traffic numbers – the stampedes of visitors that make your server sweat and teeter on the brink of meltdown. At the end of the day, the number of visitors doesn’t mean anything if they don’t convert and turn into a customer or a sales lead. Creating a more meaningful user experience for your visitors should become priority, as visitor retention and a decreasing bounce rate climbs in importance for both SEO and the overall user experience.
Always be truthful. Never publish a PPC ad that doesn’t accurately represent your site. Take into consideration the correlation between your H1 tag, first sentence, internal link anchor text and how it matches up to your page title and meta data. If the search engine page result (or SERP) doesn’t accurately depict what your page is about, you are only hurting your own image and inflating your bounce rate.
Blog posts, white papers and fresh, timely content will keep visitors coming back for more, but rarely do PDF files. Outside of the slight edge PDF documents can have, there is little reason for a site to feature content in a PDF. Users are not able to enjoy the same website experience or interact within your page as they would if the content was scripted in HTML. Basically assume you are alienating your visitors with your PDF files.
Always mind where your external links open, especially social media profiles which can distract first-time visitors away from your site. It is important to introduce your visitors to your social media communities and further develop a relationship, but do make sure that all external links to your Facebook and Twitter pages open in new windows.
With the rise of tablets, smart phones and mobile devices, it is undeniably critical to have a site that is properly optimized for mobile use if your visitors often come to you via these devices. A poor mobile experience correlates directly to a reduction in credibility on your behalf and if it’s an ecommerce website, lost sales.
If you’re currently getting the traffic you’ve desired or simply looking to increase quality traffic, make these quick fixes to improve your overall user experience and watch your conversions climb.