CONTENT MARKETING AND USER EXPERIENCE
Regular User Experience audits are crucial for achieving your content strategy goals. If your blog takes an age to load or your contact form doesn’t work on a smartphone it doesn’t matter how great your writing or graphic design skills are.
The expectations of users are rising all the time, just as their tolerance for delay, interruption and disappointment heads in the opposite direction. Better UX delivers more conversions and it will also improve how your content performs in search.
Make life easy for your users
Once your content marketing strategy starts producing some data you need to be ready to act on it to improve the experience users have when they interact with your site.
User Experience (UX) touches every aspect of your content marketing strategy from how you acquire visitors to what you do to convert them into customers or leads. UX can be the difference between a content marketing strategy that achieves positive ROI and one that falls flat on its face.
Here some questions we’re often asked about User Experience.
How does User Experience impact my content marketing ROI?
You can create original and engaging content on all the right topics but if users have a hard time interacting with it then your content marketing ROI is likely to be close to zero.
Ultimately, content marketing is transactional. You give your audience some helpful, useful content in the hope that you’ll get something in return, whether that’s a sale, an email address or just awareness that you exist.
UX is make or break for these transactions and the clues will be there as soon as you start looking at your Google Analytics. Let’s take User Flows for example, which show you where users are going after entering your site.
When you see a big drop-off on a particular page it’s a good indication that you’ve got something wrong from a UX standpoint. Maybe it’s too hard to work out what the next step is supposed to be or perhaps you’ve failed to communicate your key messaging quickly or clearly enough.
A regular UX audit of your content will give you a chance to address potentially costly problems quickly and maximise ROI from your content.
What are some common User Experience mistakes?
This is one of those questions that we could devote a whole page to and in fact we have a Whitepaper with no fewer than 60 tips for improving your website UX. But for now let’s stick to just 5 common mistakes that should set red lights flashing on your Content Analytics dashboard.
- Burying your CTAs: Prime real estate on every page needs to go to your conversion opportunities. Your enquiry form or download button needs to be prominent and easy to get to, no matter how awesome your content might be,
- Burying your USPs: when a user lands on your website they’re asking, what is this page for and what value does it offer me? If they don’t have an answer in 3 seconds they’ll bounce;
- Landing pages with little or no content: this is not just a shameless plug for long landing pages on a long landing page, it is genuinely one of the most common UX fails we see. Users need to trust you and a form on an otherwise empty page makes that a lot less likely to happen;
- Content that only makes sense to you: when you create any kind of content for your website or blog it should be relevant and useful to one of the user personas you’ve created and support one of your conversion goals. Be careful not to let your inherent bias or tendency to use geeky jargon drown out all that work you did in the content planning stage;
- Sites that fail the mobile friendly test: your Google Analytics can tell you which devices your audience is using to access your site. If your content is impenetrable on a smartphone or tablet you can bet you’re turning those users away – maybe for good;
What about Conversion Rate Optimisation?
There’s a lot of crossover between UX and CRO. When we do a UX Report for a client, for example, we cover both UX and CRO, because ultimately you don’t want a user to have a great experience on your site just to brighten up their day. You want them to convert.
Here are 5 basic principles of CRO:
- Put a conversion goal on every page: it doesn’t need to be a flashing neon “buy now” but you want a measurable action users can take on every page of your site;
- Create primary and secondary CTAs: your conversion goals should have a hierarchy. Selling your products or booking someone in for a demo might be your preferred outcome when someone visits your site. But you also need softer CTAs, like a download or a newsletter sign-up, to increase your chances of extracting at least some value;
- Make your CTAs quick and simple to complete: whether it’s a checkout process or sign-up form you need to eliminate any delays or potential points of confusion. Users have a low tolerance for hold-ups and will bounce if you make it too difficult for them;
- Do some AB testing: AB testing is where you run two or more versions of the same page to assess the impact of your changes. That could be something subtle like the colour of the buttons or a full on re-ordering of all the elements and rewriting of the copy. AB testing sounds flash, but there are some affordable, simple platforms out there to help you do it. We like AB Tasty;
- Make dedicated landing pages: it can be tempting to funnel all your traffic to the same places. You went to a lot of effort to create cool pages so you should get some value out them, right? Well, it depends, because a page that works for search might not be optimised to convert users who clicked on an ad. Landing pages should be specific to particular topics and campaigns.