User experience measuring is critically important to improve the overall customer experience and increase conversion.
How does Google know whether the web page provides a good User Experience? The answer to this question is very important since UX (user experience) is not just crucial for visitors’ journey and behavior on the website, but SEO performance.
User Experience is a Google ranking factor, thus, Google takes it into account when ranking the page in search results.
In this article, Aleph Website discloses what metrics Google uses when it comes to user experience measuring and how to improve your overall user experience on the website to make the best results.
User Experience Metrics Collected by Site Trackers
The website is your most powerful marketing asset. It helps your business establish a strong online presence and credibility, and ultimately, increases leads and conversions. However, not all websites provide a good user experience.
Google Analytics provides UX metrics that show how visitors behave on the website which indicates whether they have a good or bad user experience. The most important UX metrics are
- Page Views
- Session Duration
Google Analytics provides data about all web pages and the overall website. Let’s dig deeper into why these metrics are the most important for user experience measuring.
Pageviews show the total number of pages viewed, which includes multiple views from the same user. Every time a user loads or reloads a particular webpage, a pageview is counted.
On the other hand, the unique pageviews indicate how many people visit the web page. Therefore, it tells you how many different users come to the webpage. Google tracks unique pageviews with clients’ ID that is stored in the browser cookie, so this number is always lower than total page views.
So, what do these metrics mean to us?
While total pageviews indicate the popularity of a web page, unique pageviews are the more accurate metric when it comes to web page popularity.
The total pageviews tell us about the traffic to individual web pages. When you know there’s a lot of interest in a particular page, you can start digging deeper into what brought the most traffic here, and what the users did after visiting that page.
Also, you can compare pageviews with other metrics to bring more valuable conclusions. Let’s say you saw that the landing page received a lot of traffic, but had a low conversion rate. You should ponder on what factors prevent users to take action. For instance, that could be a poor offer, bad navigation, or something else.
When it comes to page views, you have to pay attention to Bounce rates as well. This metric shows the percentage of people who visit a particular web page and then just leave.
According to SemRush’s article about bounce rate, the average bounce rate is 41%-55%, but ideally, it should be less.
In order to reduce bounce rate, ensure that the web pages are
- Optimized for mobile devices
- Easy to navigate
- Provide content that is expected regarding meta tags on search engine results
2. SESSION DURATION
Session duration is another crucial metric when it comes to User Experience measuring.
According to Google Analytics:
‘Session is the period time a user is actively engaged with your website, app, etc.’
Put it differently, the session is the complete user’s journey on the website, from the moment they land on the website until they exit.
Therefore, session duration is the period that users interact with the website. It’s very important to keep in mind that if the user didn’t interact with the last visited page, time spent on this page is excluded.
Google Analytics provides you with the Average Session Duration which shows the average length of the session within the given timeframe.
Aside from that, here you can find the Average Number of Sessions per User, as well as Average Page Depth (page per session) which presents the average number of pages viewed during a session.
The longer users interact with the website, the better user experience they get. This is a strong indicator to Google that your website provides a good user experience and valuable content they’re interested in.
In the Audience section of Google Analytics, when you select Behaviour and then News VS Return Visitors, you get data about the unique users and revisit users.
Unique users are New visitors who come to the website for the first time on the same device. On the other hand, Revisit users are Return visitors who visited the website at least twice from the same device.
Aside from Pageviews and Session duration, this metric is essential to Google when it comes to user experience measuring. This tells Google that your website is valuable to users, so they visit it more than once.
In this section, Google Analytics provides you with three pieces of data:
- Acquisition (Sessions)
- Goals (in this case Conversions)
Even though it’s always important to get new website visitors, it’s essential to get revisit users as well.
How Does Web Design Influence User Experience?
A good web design is essential for user experience. It helps connect with the audience and provides a pleasant browsing experience with an attractive look and easy navigation.
All website design elements should facilitate interactivity and meet your target audience‘s needs. Additionally, web design helps you build your brand image which makes people trust you and keep them attached to your brand.
Let’s see what design elements you should implement into your website in order to improve user experience.
1. High-Quality Images
Images are highly effective for capturing user attention. People are visual creatures and they process visuals 60.000 times faster than text. Compelling images are a great way to engage and inspire your audience.
Make sure that you use high-quality images on the website with appropriate resolution sizes.
There are a lot of great online tools that can help you here such as Cloudinary.
2. Font Selection
Aside from creating great content for your audience, make sure that you provide the content in a usable format that improves readability.
It’s very important to choose the right font in order to encourage users to consume content.
Learn more about how to improve the typography of blog posts in the Yoast article about the Importance of typography.
3. Content Structure
Content structure is very important for the reading experience. Keep in mind that people don’t read, but scan text until something grabs their attention.
In order to make scanning easy for users, segment text into sections, use paragraphs and headlines, and subheadings.
4. Table of Content and Jump Links
Jump links are in-page links that lead users directly to content on the same web page. When implementing jump links, you increase the discoverability of web page content and help users navigate easily.
In order to improve user experience, create a content table that includes jump links that give visitors direct access to the content of interest.
5. Page (Loading) Speed
Page speed measures how fast the web page content loads. This significantly influences the user experience, since slow loading speed increases bounce rate and lower average time on page.
Users usually tend to leave the site if it’s not loaded in 3 seconds, so make sure all web pages load quickly.
Page Experience – User Experience Measuring in Google Search Console
Google Search Console provides a Page Experience report which measures the user experience when interacting with the web page on desktop and mobile devices, beyond the information value.
- Loading Performance
- Visual Stability
Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals are technical factors that test the quality of the page and suggest the level of User Experience. This report is divided into Mobile and Desktop. This report reveals the performance of pages using 3 metrics:
- Largest Contentful Paint
- Cumulative Layout Shift
- First Input Delay
It includes Core Web Vitals, a metric that considers user experience regarding:
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) measures how fast the page’s main content loads. LCP actually measures the time from initiating loading the web page until the largest image or text block is rendered.
First Input Delay (FID) indicates interactivity and responsiveness by measuring the time from the user first interacts with the website to the time when the browser responds to that interaction.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) tells about the visual stability of the site. Sometimes unexpected layout shifts occur which drastically harm the user experience.
Layout shift occurs any time a visible element changes its position, which is unexpected to users and negatively influences the user experience. For instance, you’re about to tap a call to action button on the page and suddenly, the button moves and you click something else.
Aside from these metrics, the Page Experience report includes signals for:
- Mobile-friendliness (checks if the web page is optimized for mobile devices)
- HTTPS (checks if the site’s connection is secure with HTTPS)
- Intrusive Interstitial Guidelines (checks if there are interstitials that make content less accessible)
In the video below, you can check what the first steps are to getting a great page experience.
CONCLUSION: MEASURING USER EXPERIENCE is essential for improving site performance
Considering all the above mentioned about UX, we can conclude that user experience measuring is essential for overall website performance. User experience doesn’t just benefit users. It also helps businesses increase website traffic, leads, and conversions.
Moreover, UX became an official Google ranking factor, which means that it significantly influences the ranking position on Google. Therefore, user experience measuring has become more and more important for improving both customer satisfaction and ranking position.