Semalt Explains What User Experience Actually Means To Google And Why It's Important
Table of Contents
- What is User Experience (UX)?
- What User Experience Actually Means to Google?
- Why Is User Experience Important?
- How to Provide Great User Experience (UX)?
Since the inception of the web world, a common practice has been to overlook user experience (UX). Do you know why? Because everyone was doing better in this world without caring about users.
However, things have altered now, and Google deserves the most credit. Though Google is helping people get answers to their queries for several years, it took the big step to put users first in 2019.
Earlier the mission statement of Google was to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." In 2019, the renewed mission was to allow users "to get things done."
In simple words, Google cares about its users. To ensure everyone on its platform aligns with the improved mission, Google will now rank websites based on the user experience they provide.
Semalt experts understand that a lot of questions are emerging in your mind. For example, what does Google mean by user experience? Why is it so important? How to improve the user experience? To find the answers to all such questions, let's explore this article.
What is User Experience (UX)?
User Experience (U.E. or UX) is a person's involvement with a product, service, or company. It covers all aspects of an individual's interaction and experiences with businesses, products, or / and services.
User experience is affected by several factors: usefulness, usability, desirability, value, credibility, accessibility, and others.
In the web world, user experience (UX) is about the interaction with and experiences faced by users with websites. A website with good UX is appealing, functional, easy to use, has content that evokes emotional responses, and retains visitors longer.
What User Experience Actually Means to Google?
If you look at the latest updates and announcements from Google, you'll recognize that the emphasis is clearly on providing the best user experience. It is also clear that user experience affects conversion rate, bounce rate, and search engine rankings.
Slow-loading web pages and annoying experiences with websites often alter a person's perspective of a brand or company. No matter how good a business or its offerings are, it can lose because of a higher bounce rate and low ranking on SERPs.
On the other hand, websites providing a better user experience can increase returning customers and help escalate the growth of any business.
About user experience, Google explains:
"Optimizing for these factors makes the web more delightful for users across all web browsers and surfaces, and helps sites evolve towards user expectations on mobile. We believe this will contribute to business success on the web as users grow more engaged and can transact with less friction."
Google has made sure that SEOs and website owners know about, and have access to, valuable tools for enhancing user experience. In other words, it wants you to understand the importance of following page experience signals:
• Loading Performance
For a better UX, make sure your web pages load quickly, and Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) appears within the first 2.5 seconds of loading.
The interactivity boosts visitors' engagement. To increase interactivity, aim for a First Input Delay (FID) score of a maximum of 100 milliseconds.
• Visual Stability
Don't let your content jump around when the page loads. For visual stability, ensure your website's Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) score is not greater than 0.1.
Allow users to access your website via mobile devices. You can take Google's Mobile-Friendly Test to check whether your pages are mobile-friendly or not.
• Secure Connection
Serve your web pages over HTTPS and let your visitors know that your website's connection is secure. Explore this Google Search Central document to learn securing a site with HTTPS.
• Safe Browsing
You should free your pages from deceptive (such as social engineering) and malicious (such as malware) content. Use the Security Issues Report to detect any issues blocking safe browsing on your site.
• No Intrusive Interstitials
Intrusive Interstitials are UX killers. They make content on web pages less accessible and don't allow users to go through the main content. If any intrusive interstitials (pop-ups, etc.) obstruct the primary content on your web pages, get rid of them.
Why Is User Experience Important?
Better UX is advantageous for both website owners and visitors / users. Websites with a good user experience allow visitors to interact without any disturbances. But websites providing a lousy user experience don't let visitors take desired actions and often fail to retain them.
Some research-backed reasons that'll clarify why user experience is essential are:
- Users take around 50 milliseconds to make an opinion about your website. If it succeeds in influencing them immediately, they'll stay otherwise leave.
- Mobile devices (ignoring tablets) now generate 54.8% of the worldwide website traffic. If your site is not optimized for mobile devices and doesn't provide good UX, you may lose potential mobile customers.
- Around 57% of users don't want to recommend an ill-designed mobile site. It means a well-designed mobile site that caters to users' needs is essential.
- 39% of users do not feel staying on pages where images take a lot of time to load or don't load at all. You need to make sure images on your site are smaller in size and well-optimized for loading quickly.
- 88% of overall online consumers do not prefer returning to a site after having a bad experience. Returning customers are vital for growth, and only better UX can get them back.
- Around 47% of users expect web pages to load in a maximum of 2 seconds. With fast-loading pages, you can prevent users from bouncing off before visiting your site.
- A well-designed website is seen as more trustworthy by 75% of users. To make sure your website portrays credibility, spend some time enhancing its aesthetics.
There are several other reasons that justify why a good user experience is essential. Today, numerous guides and tutorials over the internet can help you achieve your UX goals.
Alternatively, you can take the help of professional experts and provide an enhanced user experience to your audience.
How to Provide Great User Experience (UX)?
While searching the internet for ways to provide a great user experience, you'll come across many guidelines, fixes, and rules. Experts say that you may succeed in delivering the best UX if you go with the industry's best and latest practices.
Here are a few tips you can follow and ensure your website offers a great user experience:
• Optimize The Load Speed of Your Web Pages
Whether it's to make your homepage or landing pages, make sure they load quickly. The Largest Contentful Paint (L.C.P.) must appear on the user's screen in less than 2.5 seconds. Here are a few things you can do to optimize the load speed of your web pages:
- Choose the correct image format
- Optimize images and make them smaller
- Use a C.D.N. (Content Delivery Network) so that your online content delivers quickly
- Make use of the browser caching facility
For a detailed load speed analysis of your web pages and solutions to increase their loading speed, use the PageSpeed Insights tool from Google.
• Make Your Site is Mobile-Friendly
As mobile devices drive half of the global web traffic, your website should be mobile-optimized so that all type of media displays perfectly on different screens. You can do the following to ensure your mobile site offers a better user experience:
- Employ responsive design
- Make sure that font sizes used on your site are easily readable on small screens
- Break the text blocks with ample white space
You can use Google's Mobile-Friendly Test tool to check whether your website is mobile-friendly or not. This tool also provides suggestions to improve your mobile site.
• Enhance Your Website Navigation
Make sure people visiting your site do not face difficulty in finding what they want. Google suggests that you should discard things that can disrupt users' viewing experience. For this, you need to be careful about:
- Placement of primary content below the fold
- Any pop-up appearing when users land on a page
- Any interstitial (overlays or pop-ups) appearing anytime during the interaction and requiring users to close manually
In addition to this, optimal internal linking is the key to easy navigation. Create proper links between your relevant internal content so that users learn better and gain more information from your website only.
• Write for Humans, Follow E-A-T
Always remind yourself that your audience is human, thus aim to provide quality content to them. Delivering high-quality content to your audience is crucial for a good user experience. To create high-quality content for your audience, you can do the following:
- Follow the principle of Google E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness)
- Valuable and easily digestible content for humans should be your target
- Use supporting visuals and media like images, screenshots, infographics, etc.
To present valuable content to your audience, you must be aware of the ingredients of great content writing. If you write for humans, your site will receive love from Google.
Google's inclination towards user experience is advantageous for both website visitors and website owners. Visitors get access to valuable, high-quality content, and website owners get increased traffic.
Google also clarified that websites providing a better user experience will now rank higher in search results. Therefore, it is essential to enhance your site according to your audience's needs. When it comes to improving UX, you can either do it independently or get in touch with an expert.
Interested in SEO? Check out our other articles on the Semalt blog.