Measuring Positive User Experience

When planning our SEO Campaigns, we give great attention to keyword streams and traffic that is driven to a website. One of the most important, and often overlooked, aspects of good SEO is the User Experience on the website in question, and the website being structured to convert website visitors into customers. What are the indicators of Positive User Experience and how can they be measured in Google Analytics? Please see the graphics and illustrations from Google Analytics below.

  • Site Bounce Rate.  Google defines bounce rate as the percentage of customers that come to one page of the website and access no other pages during that visit.  Bounce rates vary widely, but a bounce rate of less than 50% is considered acceptable by most analysts.

Positive_User_Experience

  • Pages Per Visit. This number reflects how many pages per visit on average that users read when they come to your site. The higher this number, the more pages visitors are clicking on the site. The more compelling the content, the more pages that will be accessed by the visitors to the site.

Google_Analytics

  • Average Visit Duration. Again, the larger the time on the page, the more compelling the site content. Some sites have technical content that takes a long time to read and digest.  I would suggest that each site should be evaluated on Average Visit Duration trends for that site, not on an industry standard.  If the trend is down for a time, refresh content and make sure that your site content is what your clients need to know.

User_Experience

  • Conversions. You can set up goals or ecommerce conversions in Google Analytics. Goals would be sending a contact form, setting an appointment, clicking on a link to a special offer, subscribing to a newsletter, etc. Ecommerce goals evaluate sales. Again, be clear about the goals of your website and track them.  If your website content is compelling and answers the needs of potential buyers, these trends will continue to grow. Both Goals and Ecommerce reporting allow comparisons to past periods, like the example below.

Ecommerce

  • Your Bottom Line.  The most important measure of your website’s success is the growth in income to your business.  Your Website Marketing is focused on certain products and potential customers.  When you see income growth in these areas, you can usually attribute some of this growth to the performance of  your website.

Bottom Line:  Create positive user experience using some of the following techniques:

  1.  Fresh and relevant content.
  2. Easy to follow navigation
  3. Internal site links that make related information easy to find.
  4. Page titles that compel a viewer to seek more information.
  5. Product/Picture displays that are easy to navigate and are attractive.
  6. Attractive, modern design to help with branding of company online.

Don’t be afraid to track your Google analytics and respond to needs for improved content.  Be cautious on changing too many features at once, because it will make tracking of the effects of those individual changes more difficult for those who cannot afford sophisticated A/B testing scenarios.  Strive for a Positive User Experience on your website, and in most cases, you will see the improvement in your bottom line, even if you do not have an ecommerce website.

Eric Van Cleave is a Partner in Zenergy Works, A Santa Rosa, California based SEO, Website Design and Development and Online Marketing Firm.

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