Traditionally, user experience has been confined to web design. But as the discipline continues to grow and evolve, it can be defined as
any touch point allowing a customer to interact with your brand
. As marketers, it's our job to make sure these experiences go together. If you want to grow and improve so that you stand out and dominate your space, user experience must be part of everything you produce. In this post we'll go over 5 reasons marketers should care more about UX (i.e., how your customers and prospects interact with your brand online).

Reason #1: Great UX improves SEO
A poor user experience makes it difficult for search engines to navigating to and from different areas of a site. When this happens, you risk limiting the number of pages the engines will index, which is bad for search rankings. A great user experience actually helps search engines find your content and figure out what it's about, how it should be ranked, and what for. Improve yours by implementing sitemaps and intuitive navigation. Ensure that
every page on your site can be found within three clicks or less
. This benefits search engines
and
your end-users. Work toward a well-structured and easy to navigate site, and users will be less likely to abandon your site. By the same token, the more time users spend with your content, the better it will perform in the SERPs. It all starts with the user experience.

Reason #2: Great UX strengthens brand messaging
A positive user experience eliminates distractions and common frustrations that maybe websites fall into. The benefit here is the brand boost you will see because users can focus on your key messaging and important calls to action. Similarly, brands that offer a consistent user experience across the web are able to effectively set expectations about their company, its products, its services, and its content. Though you can't always influence the experience delivered by a certain channel, like social media for instance, you can certainly control the content you publish, language you use, and the frequency in which you communicate. A critical part of marketing is seeing that users recognize the brand, no matter the source or the device being used. User experience influences this, so make it a priority.

Reason #3: Great UX drives engagement
People want to engage with content that benefits them. A good user experience is one of those benefits. Deliver engaging experiences that are optimized for two-way communication and encouraging of this dialogue. On a website this includes smart onsite interaction, signup forms, social feeds and sharing options. Make these interactions seamless for better user experiences. Users want interaction, so give them the option. It will give you valuable user feedback, too, making it easier to cultivate brand advocates. However, not many people are going to put up with a bad user experience. Frustrate your users, and your leads, engagement, and conversions will suffer.

Reason #4: Great UX creates brand loyalty
Bad UX destroys great content, and therefore customer loyalty. You could have the most amazing content in the world, but it will still struggle to perform against a poor user experience. Content that delivers a good user experience acquires more repeat visitors than content that doesn't.
Characteristics of good UX
include fast-loading sites, intuitive navigation, unambiguous icons, sensible layout, clear calls to action, responsive design, and more. Great UX makes users want to return and share it with others. This is important, since brand recommendations from friends and family are the
most trusted
type of promotion. Then, after you've established that positive association, you can begin to drive traffic organically and build a loyal following. Melissa Eggleston, content strategist and UX specialist, says: “Great UX influences brand attraction and engenders trust with users because it keeps visitors in the flow, moving from one interesting piece of content to the next without distraction or delay.” This is a crucial step in facilitating brand loyalty.

Reason #5: Great UX increases leads and sales
When visitors arrive at a site, the page should navigate them to the desired action, every step of the way throughout the
buyer’s journey
. The better the usability and the fewer distractions, the more focus can be placed on your
calls to action
, and the better the chance users will take the expected action. A good user experience ensures that product messaging is consistent, forms are easy to find and fill out, and the checkout process is as smooth as possible. According to
this report
, 67 percent of shoppers will switch to a competitor's site if the checkout process takes too long. So take a look at your current checkout process and pinpoint the areas where users are abandoning potential purchases. From there you can begin to redesign and test the actions that increase transactions. Providing a fluid checkout experience is an easy way to increase sales and improve business.
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Bart De Pelsmaeker
Bart is a digital marketing veteran and the founder of
Readz
, a platform used by brands of all sizes to create superior content experiences. His writing has been featured in Sparksheet, Business2Community, Skyword and other martech publications. He speaks regularly about tech and marketing, most recently at the World e-Reading Congress, American Business Media, and the Integrated Marketing Summit. Connect with Bart on Twitter
@BartDP
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Why Marketers Should Care About User Experience
By Victoria Taylo
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