Most business owners understand their websites can make or break their companies in the Digital Age. Either their websites help attract new leads and convert them into customers, or they lose these opportunities to the competition. Unfortunately, far too many business owners assume that the only way to do this is with traditional SEO improvements, like using the right keywords and earning high-quality backlinks. The truth is that improved user experience is becoming just as important.
This makes complete sense when you think about it. Google wants to offer the best user experience possible. If it doesn’t, Bing and other search engines will quickly lure away users. If you want Google to send more leads your way, treat UX with as much importance as SEO. Here are three easy ways you can begin doing so right away.
Google formally announced that site speed is a ranking factor all the way back in 2010. Yet very few business owners see this as a real opportunity to outdo their competitors. That being said, there’s no average loading speed for web pages. Among other things, it depends on the device, browser, and Internet speed of the user. Still, the longer it takes your page to load, the more leads you’re losing. In fact, if your page takes longer than three seconds to load, you can expect 40% of your visitors to leave.
Attracting visitors to your site is only half the battle. The next goal is to keep them there as long as possible. The overall amount of time they spend on your site and the number of pages they visit per session both tell Google if your website is a good match for the keywords your visitors used. While great content will go a long way toward accomplishing each, it won’t do much if your site is hard to navigate.
Popup ads can be extremely powerful for generating leads. However, you need to wait to show them to visitors until after they’ve had enough time to decide if your site meets their needs. According to some studies, 60 seconds seems to be best. You may also want to consider utilizing content upgrades or live chat invitations instead.
None of this is to say that you don’t need to research your keywords, optimize your images, build a robust backlink profile, and do all the other traditional SEO practices that lead to a popular site. However, if all you do is bring people to your site without thinking about how to keep them there, you’ll soon see fewer visitors. Instead, spend just as much time focusing on web design to enjoy a much more successful SEO strategy.