As a digital content marketer, you’ve most likely invested a tonne of time creating the perfect content calendar, spent hours producing the content and, in some cases, even longer publishing it. After carefully curating a campaign for your client, why would you then publish it to a website that is fiddly, slow and annoying to use?
This is where User Experience, or UX, comes in. The internet is littered with angry complaints from users about websites that are “annoying to use”. Yet UX and Content teams typically work independently of one another, which, in our opinion, is a massive flaw.
Instead, we see Content Marketing and UX as working hand-in-hand, allowing you to produce content that’s not just useful but also usable.
Great Content Needs Great UX
Here at Passion Digital, we’re only interested in great content — and we’re already very good at creating that. So, we want to reward our great content with a worthy user experience. After all, 52% of users could lose faith in a company that provides a bad experience. As well as this, 88% of online shoppers revealed that they won’t return to a website after a bad experience.
With statistics like this, it’s crucial that we look at how readers navigate and interact with our content when it’s live. We want our audiences to continue returning to and sharing the content they interact and engage with.
User experience and content strategy are naturally closely linked, as both want to serve the reader as best as they can. Part of creating a content strategy is investigating what the user wants and expects when they search for something. If your website is difficult to navigate, slow to load or even too text-heavy, you could drive users to a competitor’s website instead, increasing the bounce rate and decreasing the time spent on your page. And we don’t want that.
With the launch of GA4, analytics are more user journey-focused. This means that we’ll be able to see, clearer than ever, how active users are interacting with each page, and even how ‘sticky’ they are (this means how frequently users access your site).
Improving Content Marketing With UX Design
For your website to rank, you need to put focus on the user. Creating content that’s easy to navigate and understand, and that answers questions and intent is crucial to creating an excellent user experience. We know the current trend is around AI-generated content, but there is still merit in publishing human-generated content – and we can prove it. Our Head of Insight and Strategy, Rosie, recently took a deep dive into whether AI could have written some of her old content, with some interesting insights gleaned.
When it comes to pushing your content live, you want to ensure that it’s well-designed and easy to use. There are a few things to watch out for from a usability point of view:
- Font: ensure your content is easy to read and the font is neither too big nor too small
- Colours: you should avoid having colours that are too ‘loud’ as part of your content unless it’s for branding purposes. This includes the colour of your font and the colour of your background
- Subheadings: break up any large chunks of text with subheadings, making it easy for readers to quickly scan the content
- Amount of content: don’t leave the user endlessly scrolling through content, as it may make them feel overwhelmed and could lead to disengagement with your website
Calls-to-action and internal links
Internal links and calls-to-action (CTA) are both important to both content marketing and user experience. Internal links, from a content and SEO perspective, ensure that users stay on the website, navigating through the website to search for answers to questions and, hopefully, make a purchase.
When it comes to creating CTAs, you should group them into primary, secondary or tertiary links. This essentially means prioritising your CTAs into which ones are the most important for you and your business. Primary CTAs are meant to encourage the most desired action, while secondary CTAs act as an alternative action, and so on.
It’s also important to be as clear and concise with any calls-to-action in your copy. We recommend working closely with your UX designers to ensure these links are distinct so the user can anticipate where the link will take them. This means having a unique title to guarantee an accessible experience. For example, you could remove any “View more” buttons, replacing them with a title that will help the user understand what page they’re being redirected to, such as “View all beach holidays”.
As well as having clear and concise text for CTAs, you also need to ensure that all links are recognisable as links. This means making them clear and easy to follow, with a defining appearance, such as bold, underlined and in a different colour. You should also frequently check for broken and outdated links, and take the time to make sure that all links lead to the most up-to-date and relevant information on your website.
Effects of UX on SEO
We already know that SEO is crucial for website rankings and to get users on to your website in the first place — and having optimised, well-written content is a big factor in this. But content alone can only get you so far. As previously mentioned, UX aims to improve how users actually interact with your website, which has an effect on your SEO efforts.
Fast site speed
Site speed is one of the most important factors when it comes to SEO, and is a pretty big ranking factor. This includes both desktop and mobile site speeds — faster-loading websites usually rank higher in SERPs. There have been multiple studies that have shown how page load time affects conversion rates for websites, with the first five seconds being the most important in generating conversions.
Suffering from slow site speed? We can take a look, and offer technical and UX advice on how to speed up any laggy pages to ensure your rankings aren’t affected. Get in touch for more information!
We all know by now that how mobile-friendly a webpage is has a huge effect on rankings. This is obvious when you think about how many people search using mobile devices — and we’re willing to bet you’re reading this on a mobile device. But if your website isn’t optimised for different devices, users may well miss pieces of content and have difficulty navigating their way around, causing them to bounce back to the SERPs.
By using a responsive design, you can automatically adjust your website layout to fit any screen size. This means you don’t even have to worry about creating two layouts for desktop and mobile. Our Web team are experts at this, and can help you ensure your website is desktop- and mobile-friendly.
Visual stability refers to how well a website has been designed, and how consistent the design is. Having inconsistencies across your site can cause confusion for the user, as they may think they’ve accidentally clicked away from your website and be more inclined to browse and shop with a more consistent competitor.
Consistency is also crucial from a branding perspective. You want to ensure that your branding and voice echoes through every aspect of your content, from the structure and formatting of your pages to the page layout.
Clear permalink structure
Permalinks are simply the URLs on your website, and are way more important than they may initially seem. Having a clearly structured URL means that search engines can quickly crawl through the URLs and know exactly what the content will be on that page. It also means that users know what to expect if they see the URL.
We recommend including keywords and phrases within your URL, and keeping all content clearly organised through URL subfolders. This also means users can glance at the address bar to see exactly where they are on the website. In this case, the URL acts almost like breadcrumbs on the website, clearly showing the navigation through the website.
At Passion Digital, we work together to develop campaigns that boost conversions. Get in touch if you’re interested in learning more about how our content and UX services can help you.