Earlier this month, Google finally announced its highly anticipated Core Web Vitals update will roll out in May 2021, which re-inforces our belief that websites must be more than fetching, flashy online brochures. Websites must offer a technically solid data-driven user experience (UX) with a design based on a digital marketing strategy that converts and produces a return on investment.
Here are three reasons why you should always choose the best user experience over creative, complicated design elements:
Reinforcing your brand requires a solid UX.
You've heard it before: Your brand is not your logo, it's the promise of an experience. The uniqueness of your brand is more than color and font choices. It's how your value proposition differentiates you from your competitors and how that creates a special bond between you and your customers. A website that is created simply as the platform for your designer's artistic expression might match the visual identity of your company, but unless it is architected by a specialist who understands the experience your brand promises to deliver, your website will be eroding, not reinforcing, your brand. And leave your customers scratching their heads.
Marketers with an awareness of the complete brand persona create custom online experiences that match the experiences your customers recognize and with what they have a level of comfort. Smart marketers know that custom-built sites and templates must go beyond what average visitor wants to see to offer the complete brand experience. Your brand is unique. So is your customer. That relationship can only be reinforced with a matching user experience.
Being found in search engines requires a solid UX.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is more complex than ever. Gone are the days when meta data and keywords alone got your site on page one of a Google search. We now understand that Google is constantly adjusting its algorithms and ranking factors and will only surface results to sites that best meet searcher intent, which includes the whole of the experiece the site offers.
Considering things such as mobile experience, key analytics and quality of content, Google uses artificial intelligence to predict which sites will produce a UX that provides the most user satisfaction for any given keyword search. In addition the new page experience ranking factor combines a number of vital performance metrics to evaluate a user’s experience while they interact with a web page. These core web vitals include:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): measures the time it takes for the main content of a page to load
- First Input Delay (FID): measures the amount of time that passes between the initial user interaction with the loaded page and the browser response
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): measures the visual stability of a page when interacting
While tasteful, artistic design contributes to a site's likability, sites that rank the highest are the ones that combine multiple factors to reward visitors with an intuitive, predictive and comfortable user experience. Pages that are not optimized against the new page experience ranking factor and the 200+ others might fall in rank.
Meeting your site's success goals requires a solid UX
To justify the expense of digital marketing and maintaining website, CFOs require CMOs to show a return on their investment. Calculating that return requires analysis of your traffic with proof that the user interface is effectively converting visitors into customers. Unless your site has been built to facilitate the same sales and marketing experience that your best salespeople do, that proof will be hard to provide.
Great sales people guide customers through the marketing funnel. They understand customer needs, anticipate their questions, overcome their objections, earn their trust, build their confidence and close the sale. Your website's UX needs to do the same.
Trivera uses a discovery process that works with our client's team to identify and understand target audiences. We ascertain the thought processes of their desired target user at every step from awareness, consideration and intent, to conversion and loyalty. We then turn to the data, first looking at their current site to see where the UX is falling short, then using outside predictive research to create a digital marketing strategy that includes a model for an optimal UX. Trivera's approach builds a marketing program that integrates a site with a UX that faithfully replicates the brand experience, creates success and ROI.
Web design isn't just about making your website "pretty," it's about reinforcing your brand, getting found in the SERP's, and producing a level of success that justifies the investment. Understanding and executing a solid UX is the key to all three.
About Tom Snyder
Tom Snyder, founder, president and CEO of Trivera, a 25-year-old strategic digital marketing firm, with offices in suburban Milwaukee. Tom has been blogging since 1998, sharing the insight gained from helping businesses and organizations reinforce their brands by taking full advantage of digital and web technology as powerful tactics.
Photo Credit: Adobe Stock
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