Improve Your User Experience – And Boost Your Traffic
- Day #1: Getting Started
- Day #2: The High Quality Approach To Traffic
- Day #3:Drive Traffic by Piggybacking on Trending Topics
Did you know that Google’s search engine algorithm now takes user experience into account? In fact, it’s a big factor to how websites rank. In other words, if you make your website easier and more intuitive to use, you’ll rank higher in Google. You’ll also naturally have more people coming back to your site, as well as more people sharing your content.
A Word on Hummingbird
The Google Hummingbird update is the latest update released by Google. This update was completely different than all previous updates, including Panda and Penguin. While other updates made changes to the previous algorithm, Hummingbird rebuilt the entire algorithm from scratch.
One of the driving factors to Google’s slew of updates from Panda to Hummingbird was improvements in artificial intelligence. A computer can now tell with a high level of confidence whether a website is high quality or not. It uses signals like:
• How easy is the site to navigate?
• How much of the website is advertising and how much is content?
• How much real activity does the website have?
In short, user experience is now a big part of SEO and traffic.
How to Improve Your Website’s User Experience
Google Analytics – Look for pages that have a high bounce rate. Bounce rate means anyone who lands on your site and then leaves without visiting another page on your website. A high bounce rate generally means the user wasn’t satisfied with the information they found. A low “time on site” is also a good indicator.
Look for these pages, and try to figure out the cause of the high bounce rate. Was it because of a lack of content? Too many ads? Confusing navigation? Improve the page, then wait and see how it affects the stats. Continually improve your content throughout your site.
CrazyEgg.com – CrazyEgg is a heatmapping tool. It allows you to see where people’s mouses tend to go and where they tend to click. This allows you to see things like:
• People hovering over confusing areas of text. If they spend a lot of time there, it might be a good idea to clarify that paragraph.
• People clicking on non-links. For example, people clicking on a flowchart. Try to get into people’s heads – what might they be trying to do? In this case, they might be trying to access a larger version of the flowchart. It might be a good idea to upload that.
• People misclicking. For example, people clicking several times before they manage to click a link on your navigation. That might mean your links are too small.
Heatmapping can give you all kinds of valuable data for improving your user experience. Even if you don’t regularly use it, it’s worth it to sign up for CrazyEgg for just a couple months to locate any “black holes” in your user experience.
In the next lesson we’ll talk about a big part of both SEO and user experience: website speed.
Your Traffic Assignment:
Check your analytics stats to find the top 5 pages with high bounce rates or low visit times. Try to figure out what is causing it and improve the pages.
As you have time, do this with 5 more pages and then 5 more after that.
Monitor things to see if the rates have improved and if not, try making changes again.
If you aren’t currently using heat mapping software and your budget allows for it, consider signing up for Crazy Egg or another similar service for even a month or two. Monitor the results and update your site to improve user experience.