In today's digital world, consumers have less time and want digital products to deliver the solution to their problem instantly. Consumers constantly access the internet whether they are at their office desk or at home, bank or in a shop for a variety of reasons from booking a flight to a medical appointment, to checking places to shop. A common theme in all these online interactions is the quality of their experience.
Don’t be confused!
UX or User Experience is user-centered design considering the users’ needs and expectations at the forefront while designing the interface through which an user interacts with any product. This product does not necessarily be a digital product, it can be a physical product too but for this article we will focus on the digital side of user experience.
A critical aspect of user experience is how easily and quickly can a user find a solution to their problem. For example, a consumer looking to purchase some propshafts, would be looking to view product details, add to cart, checkout features working seamlessly on the E-Commerce website. If a business has to stand out in competition, then not only the product matters but the overall user experience is critical.
Keep reading to know more on how UX matters in Digital Marketing.
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UX in Digital Marketing refers to the comprehensive experience that a user has while consuming or using a product. It is the overall feeling that a user associates with the product and attitude that the user develops for the product.
While a lot of work is done & said about SEO, Google Ads, other Pay Per Click Advertising, content management, email marketing and social media marketing, User Experience or UX is still often overlooked while crafting digital marketing strategies.
According to the latest UX Statistics,
UX on the other hand, when improved, results in
The rise in the use of mobile phones and growth in media consumption since 2011, mobile phones are becoming the preferred touchpoint for a constantly increasing number of digital users. 60% of online shoppers use mobile devices only to make shopping decisions. A website that is not responsive & optimized for mobiles is immediately rejected by users irrespective of its desktop experience.
In the field of Digital Marketing, UX is about carving seamless experiences and nurturing positive feelings when a user interacts with a digital marketing touchpoint which could be a piece of content, a website or a landing page.
Digital Marketing & UX are like the two wheels of a bike. Both are needed for a product to be successful. No matter how much Digital Marketing budget is used or innovative campaigns are created, if the UX of the product is not focused on solving users’ problems efficiently & effectively, it will all be a waste.
Afterall, “People ignore design that ignores people.”
UX is a buzzword among Digital Marketers and is often confused with only usability. While usability or something being easy to use is an important component of UX, for a product to stand out in the saturated digital space, UX digs deeper to investigate if a page or specific content is able to satisfy the specific needs of the user. Accessibility of information on a website, content readability, loading speed, ad placements, purchase process, personalization of content, ease of accessibility and navigability, brand tone and voice are among some important parameters that shapes a user’s experience.
“Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works” – Steve Jobs.
Being only easy to use or nice to look at won't deliver conversions; rather being clear, concise, and accessible to your target audience are crucial factors for UX.
Every piece of content is not obstructing. In fact, 82% of people enjoy reading relevant content. Brands can effectively convey their message by publishing engaging content that has a direct value. Well informed & optimized content not only helps in organic rankings of websites on SERP, but is also a key ingredient for good User Experience. SEO-friendly content that provides informative answers to user’s queries result in conversion & reduction in bounce rates.
Writing engaged, informative & SEO optimized content seems obvious for businesses but is often forgotten. Providing fresh and relevant content is key to a good UX.
By far, it is clear that Digital Marketing & UX go hand in hand. Let's now look at the few digital marketing aspects in details and how UX is crucial for Marketers:
UX powers SEO: A successful search engine optimization strategy will provide the user with the most relevant search results matching with the searcher’s intent. While incorporating relevant keywords, backlinks, on page optimization is significantly important, delivering an immersive user experience is critical and goes hand in hand with SEO. You might have highly optimized content but if the page speed of the landing page where the content is delivered is slow, users will immediately bounce off the website. Hence, user experience is directly related to metrics like session duration, bounce rates. Google’s new Page Experience update is a testimony to UX getting more and more priority in SEO. At the same time, you might be delivering the best user experience, without search engine optimization you will not be found on Google for users to enjoy that experience.
UI or the User Interface: The User experiences a digital product through the User Interface and various user interactions carve the user’s experience of the product. From Information architecture, navigation, Call To Action buttons, search function to every single piece of content & feature on a website must be intuitive as each element of the digital product’s UI shapes the UX; prompting the consumer what to do next & moving them in their buyer’s journey.
Optimizing mobile experience: About 96% of smartphone users have bumped into websites that weren’t responsive to mobile devices. 60% of users purchase a product or service via a mobile-friendly website and over 40% of the users leave the site that does not have an optimized mobile version matching the user’s expectations. The above data suffices the need to optimize the user experience and devise marketing strategies not just for one device but across multiple devices with different screen types.
Over the last few years, the digital marketing landscape has become extremely competitive. A user experience centered approach enables companies & marketers to stay focused on the end users, trying to solve their problems. This requires User Experience to be incorporated in the Digital marketing strategy which is a value-addition to any marketing strategy. Customer Personas, User Testing, Journey Maps, Content Strategy, Exceptional Visual Experience are required for a company to champion their Digital Marketing as well as User Experience strategy.