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Evaluating the Power of UX in Digital Marketing in 2024

The Power of UX in Digital Marketing

How did you feel about your last grocery shopping experience? Was the store’s interior eye-pleasing and comfy? How was the pricing? Did you enjoy the customer service? And, most importantly, would you like to return to that store next time?

You probably spun that case around in your head for a second to recall your emotions and general impression. This simple example from a daily routine describes the purpose of user experience or UX in digital marketing or form building. It doesn't matter whether you provide that experience to clients online or offline. What genuinely matters in this case are the quality and aftertaste.

However, online business is a tough nut to crack as there is Google, with its frequent updates and requirements, competitor targeting with online advertising, changes in users' behaviour, in-depth website management strategies, and to top it all off, there’s the fact that you don't meet your customers face-to-face.

Even though these conditions complicate customer interactions, they also help produce high-end tactics to grab clients' attention. This is where digital marketing comes in, and UX is a vital tool that can empower your digital marketing efforts.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing refers to brand promotion through diverse digital channels like pay-per-click, social media, search engines, email, etc. Also known as online marketing, digital marketing covers all promotional activities that can be performed on the web.

The principal goals of digital marketing are brand building, designing a seamless customer journey, providing a positive user experience, attracting more prospects, and retaining existing customers' interest.

Why is UX Important for Digital Marketing?

To fully understand and evaluate the role of UX in digital marketing, let's first look at some remarkable statistics. For instance, as of January 2023, the number of internet users worldwide reached new heights, making up 5.16 billion. And 4.76 billion of this total were also social media users.

Source: Statista

And check out the number of internet users in the United States from 2019 to 2028, indicating a continuous increase after 2023 and forecasting a new peak in 2028, with 332.14 million users.

Source: Statista

This data demonstrates one essential thing — there is a giant pool of potential customers online that is constantly growing. 

Digital marketing can help you to reach a larger audience, blurring the borders and allowing you to communicate your message widely. Nevertheless, a digital marketing strategy can’t be holistic without a thoughtful UX design, which indicates how perfectly marketing and UX complement each other.

Thus, UX in digital marketing allows for better user engagement. With a user-friendly website or web application you can provide a positive mobile experience and a great visual experience. That way, nothing will interrupt digital customers from exploring your products and getting to know your brand.

Additionally, UX allows you to build loyalty. Indeed, a smooth and seamless website that provides a one-of-a-kind shopping experience represents your commitment to delivering only the best to clients. This, in turn, evokes their desire to stay with you longer and spread the word about your brand.

Generally speaking, UX is crucial for digital marketing as it allows you to understand your target audience, along with their needs, abilities, and limitations. It also allows you to adjust business goals by improving the product or service and enhancing the quality of customer interaction.

Employing UX in Your Digital Marketing Strategy

From year to year, the world's best digital marketers puzzle over winning blueprints for achieving brands' promotional goals through different digital channels. And the thing is that even precise user testing and persuasive content marketing only work if the selected digital marketing strategy has a proper UX design.

Consider UX Marketing for Ensuring Customer Satisfaction

Building relationships, establishing an emotional connection to the brand, developing loyalty and trust, and forming a considerable customer base are just a few things a user-centric approach can help with when producing a digital marketing strategy. Indeed, positive UX leads to customer satisfaction, which is paramount for every business.

Imagine a branded online store website that is not yet ready for mobile. In addition to an unresponsive layout, there are broken links, buttons that don't work, fonts that are almost impossible to read, and so on. Would you be happy to spend time on a website like that? Would you be satisfied with shopping in this case? And, mainly, would you recommend your best friend to shop at that store? The answers are obvious when the website is such a mess.

Low-grade UX design stimulates frustration and anxiety and has nothing to do with loyalty to the brand. Moreover, poor site usability leads to problems with client retention and acquisition and can also massively damage brand reputation.

Therefore, employing only well-thought-out marketing strategies with UX in mind is the best path to a positive user experience. It will produce increased customer satisfaction, which means growth in sales and brand awareness.

Refine User Experience to Boost Your SEO Efforts

Even though the web is full of gossip saying SEO is dead, search engine optimization is still very much alive and well, helping businesses reach their target audiences. Besides, the more hype around user experience, the more important search engine optimization becomes with regard to Google compliance and vital ranking factors.

Undoubtedly, Google is placing more emphasis on the user experience to determine website ranking positions in organic search. Moreover, starting in May 2020, the entire society of online business owners commenced learning the Core Web Vitals announced by Google to sharpen their websites according to new policies before the complete Google Search Algorithm update rollout that happened later, in August 2021.

Core Web Vitals are critical metrics that directly affect website performance in search. The main point here is that these metrics are all about ensuring a positive user experience. Loading, interactivity, and visual stability are the three pillars for providing the best user experience by optimizing the page experience.

Source: Google Search Central

To measure these vitals, the Google Search Algorithm focuses on LCP, the Largest Contentful Paint, FID, or First Input Delay, and CLS, the Cumulative Layout Shift. Here the LCP examines the time for the largest content element to go live on the screen, concentrating on the website's loading speed.

The FID investigates the time necessary for the browser to respond to the first interaction with the user. This metric is distinctly user-centric, estimating the time visitors have to wait before performing any actions on your website (checking the menu, email, etc.). And the CLS evaluates the stability of the page while it is loading to ensure the user is not confused by any page elements moving around.

Maintaining a good score of LCP, FID, and CLS significantly refines user experience on your website, which leads to a boost in essential business metrics. For example, Carpe, a brand offering sweat solutions for all areas of the body, noticed severe issues with online store speed affecting their website performance and sales.

So they endeavoured to address all the performance issues, enhanced the Cumulative Layout Shift by 41%, and improved the Largest Contentful Paint by 52%. These adjustments brought Carpe a 10% boost in traffic, a 15% growth in company revenue, and a 5% increase in the store conversion rate.

On top of that, as of May 2022, Google Chrome declared experimental support for INP, known as Interaction to Next Paint. This metric was designed as a solution to combating the limitations of FID and providing a profound evaluation of user experience on a page. 

And what's interesting about INP is that starting in May 2023, Chrome considers INP as a new Core Web Vital metric that will become a stable vital metric in March 2024, completely replacing the FID. So consequently, people will become very enthusiastic about responsiveness and UX in digital marketing in the coming years.

Source: Google Search Central

Therefore, inspecting your website performance, analyzing the pages to see if they meet the specified Google Core Algorithm criteria, and eliminating any concerns are more crucial than ever. The AI-powered website audit tool from SE Ranking can help you to check your website’s Core Web Vitals and other page experience metrics. Their automated site audit also provides a comprehensive website examination of security, usability, speed, localization, and crawling. The report covers all significant metrics and provides tips for technical SEO adjustments.

Source: SE Ranking

Even though Google, ranking positions, UX design, and content adjustments matter a lot, remember that SEO is not only about your website and search engines. It is predominantly about your relationship with your target audience.

Indeed, making your business website search engine friendly is essential. However, all your digital marketing efforts should be centered on your customers. If you serve visitors with exciting evergreen content that brings value, they will stay on your website longer, browse more pages, take a target action, and even recommend your brand to others.

Grow Your Conversions

Digital marketers usually predefine the target actions to be specified on the website and estimate the expected conversions. But the problem is that bad UX can interfere with making the target move and lead to a poor conversion rate

Marketing strategies that lack the blueprint for UX design result in incoherent websites with too many friction points, dramatically affecting the customer journey. To boost conversion rates, you need to make sure the actions you want your visitors to perform are apparent and straightforward. Whether it is a newsletter signup, a purchase, a demo request, or any other target activity, creating the best path down to a tee should be your goal. 

To increase conversion rates and revenue, think of designing a customer journey map that contains all the touchpoints prospects will deal with before taking a step. By doing so, you will be able to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the visual experience and usability of your website.

Conduct User Research

Providing a positive experience to your potential customers involves revealing their motivations and pain points. Therefore, collecting data from diverse sources, such as analytics platforms and heat maps, is crucial.

Consistent user research can help you define minor and major gaps in overall user experience, and the outcomes you can get are about to level up your business. For instance, Mike Sadowski, the CEO and founder of Brand24, a popular social listening platform, noticed a significant decrease in the platform website's conversions due to a huge bounce rate on the sign-up form.

He turned to recordings and heatmaps to understand why customers were confused on the sign-up form stage. He found issues with the promo code allocated in the form and the form design that included too many distractions. After evaluating customer pain points, Mike and his team designed a new sign-up form to eliminate distractions, leading to a nearly 300% increase in conversions and tripling company sales.

Furthermore, consider sorting out the data you receive from the analytical software, as you mainly need to focus on UX-specific metrics like average time on page, behaviour flow, bounce rate, page views, etc. Analytical tools usually show all the information that can be extracted, which can become bewildering if you are starting out.

Although conducting user research may seem very unpredictable, facilitation can really help. In fact, there is no ideal result to obtain after the investigation, so consider trying, testing, and highlighting points that work best in your particular case. Try not to concentrate on failures, as the desire to understand your audience itself is a huge step ahead.

Exploring different frameworks and tools and employing various approaches to data analysis are integral to developing research skills. It helps digital marketers to gain more precise insights, enhance the digital marketing strategy workflow, and come up with dedicated solutions that perfectly meet the needs of online customers.

Opt for Consistent Content Creation 

When it comes to content, you should definitely focus on quality over quantity. If your website looks like lorem ipsum with chaotically inserted keywords, you can forget about any digital marketing result. Various digital channels drive users to a website or app, so all the magic happens there, on your website pages or application.

In times of SEO and AI content generators, friendly and consumer-oriented content that aims to fulfil visitors' search intent is worth its weight in gold. So go the extra mile to create engaging, informative, and truly human copy to entertain and educate users or solve their pains. 

Such an approach naturally encourages prospects to get to know your brand, explore your product or service line, share your blog post or new product deal with others, etc. Try to be honest with your audience, do not hesitate to share your expertise, and better conversions and revenue will be soon to follow.

How to Measure the Impact of UX on Digital Marketing?

To be confident in your marketing and UX, you should measure the effectiveness of the changes you apply regularly. Keeping track of your progress will show you if the game is worth the candle.

  1. Investigate User Engagement Metrics

The scroll depth, time spent on the website, and the number of page views are fundamental points for gauging user engagement. These metrics allow you to understand whether your UX design strategy works for capturing the clientele. 

Try website heatmaps and behaviour analytics tools to measure your UX performance. This software has advanced functionality focused on user experience optimization, so you can slip into your visitors' shoes and see how they interact with your website or product.

Source: Hotjar

  1. Pay Attention to Bounce Rates and Exit Rates

Increased bounce rate and exit rate metrics for the website imply severe problems with the user experience. If crowds of people leave your site, you should definitely take your marketing and UX into consideration.

Perhaps your content lacks engagement, or your pages don't meet the niche-related search intent. Tools like Google Analytics allow you to monitor bounce and exit rates precisely so that you can stay up-to-date.

Source: Google Analytics

  1. Measure Customer Satisfaction and Feedback

Customer feedback is a gem that you need to ask for and appreciate. Feedback shows a business’s advantages and drawbacks, providing superior knowledge for development and headway. Customer satisfaction and feedback are excellent for estimating your digital marketing efforts, especially your UX performance.

Take advantage of the Net Promoter Score (NPS) metric to get insights on customer loyalty to your brand and track overall customer satisfaction. You can run surveys, collect product or service reviews on social media platforms or forums, etc. There is also specialized software that allows for running NPS surveys via multiple channels. For example, check out SurveySparrow, Qualaroo, ProProfs NPS, Zonka Feedback, Survicate, and others.

Source: SurveySparrow

  1. Monitor Conversion Rates

The purpose of UX in digital marketing is to simplify the entire customer journey. So, monitoring conversion rates is certainly intertwined with a positive user experience. When designing your user-centric website, you want to make the path to the target action, like a registration, email subscription, or purchase, smooth and clear for your audience.

Therefore, by evaluating your conversions, you can understand whether the journey to the desired task is convenient for your visitors. Google Analytics is an excellent tool for measuring goals and discovering conversion rates.

Source: Google Analytics

Summing it Up

UX in digital marketing is as important as salt in seawater — an essential component to maintaining the original structure that can't be replaced or omitted. UX design helps digital marketers to develop better strategies and deliver enticing customer journeys that win customers' hearts, achieve loyalty, and grow brand awareness.

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