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Your content is only as good as your user experience (UX)

I am a big fan of ‘Think with Google’, the Insight and Research website, and I subscribe to its weekly newsletter. One of its weekly emails really caught my attention and made me pause. According to its analysis, the average time for a mobile landing page to fully load is 22 seconds. Yet 53 per cent of visitors to mobile sites leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. And despite the fact that more than half of the overall web traffic comes from mobile, its data shows that mobile conversion rates are lower on mobile than desktop.

Ouch! This really brought into focus that, however excellent your content might be, if the overall user experience (UX) of your website is not up to scratch, you strip your content of its value.

What is UX?

At its basics, UX is a deep understanding of your users, what they need, what they value, their abilities and limitations. Peter Morville’s honeycomb diagram perfectly summarises the multifaceted UX:

  • Useful: Is your content original and does it meet your audience needs?
  • Usable: Is the site easy to use? Is the user journey seamless? How long does it take for web pages to load?
  • Desirable: Are the design, the visuals, the colours engaging? Does the design trigger emotions?
  • Findable: How easy is it to find the content on your site?
  • Accessible: Is the content accessible for people with disabilities?

Content in the context of UX

Creating valuable content is only one part of the equation and, to be optimum, it needs to be considered into the overall context of the UX.

So, when investing in content, attention should be paid to your website experience. Is it fit for purpose? Is there any disconnect between the form and the substance? Would you stay on a site where the content is hidden away? Do you wait for an image to load on your mobile to read that promising article? Would you scroll through an article where the copy is so dense you can’t zoom in on that particular point of interest? Is there a synopsis? Would you navigate around a site to find more related content if it wasn’t for a clear call to action (CTA) inviting you to read more on the subject? Is the related content relevant to the article you’ve just read? Is the content easily shareable? Is the page so cluttered you feel overwhelmed and leave? Is the content visible above the fold? Is the imagery attractive? Your content is about innovation and yet the site looks dated?

Engage with your UX team and test

Design, layout, visuals, interactions, navigation, menu, CTAs and content all need to work together to provide the best UX possible. Every content marketer should engage with their UX team to review content pages and to devise a strategy with them to improve on the UX, including carrying A/B testing and ongoing optimisation.

And if the statistics from Google wasn’t enough to convince you of the importance of getting the UX right, let me add a few more facts: 88 per cent of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience. A website’s overall aesthetics affect 75 per cent of the judgement about its credibility.

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